Digital Marketing to Educators, What’s New?

Here’s what isn’t changing. Educators are avid users of digital channels. Using email at work and home, browsing for resources and shopping, connecting on social channels for peer advice and support makes digital marketing to educators an effective strategy. What does change are the latest tips and techniques education marketers can use to attract, persuade, and build relationships with educators.

We know, because MDR deploys email, Facebook, and display ad campaigns for our clients and that gives us unique insights into educators’ digital habits. We’ve recently taken a deep dive into the data to tease out what’s new in digital marketing to educators.

The full Data-Driven Digital Marketing Trends in Education: Behavior and Benchmarks Guide is now available, and here are some highlights we wanted to get onto your radar, soonest.

Email Marketing

Email is the rock in digital marketing. A direct, valuable, and cost-effective method of one-to-one communication, when implemented properly it is a reliable source of awareness and leads. We asked the WeAreTeachers experts for their tips on what makes teachers sit up and take notice. Get the report for the full list, but here is one of their recommendations:

  • Adding video and polls to your emails to increase CTRs
    Interactive elements like a scratch-off coupon, quizzes, polls, embedded videos, slideshows, rollover images, or even infographics engage email audiences in new and exciting ways.

In our study of email campaign performance, we looked at campaign size, deployment timing, performance by job title and performance of subject line words. A few stand-out results you’ll want to see:

  • Some formally taboo subject lines words now generate opens. Gift, $ and Free are on the list.
  • Principals and Assistant Principals are an untapped, responsive audience for emails.
  • Trigger follow-up emails can squeeze more results out of any campaign

For each report, we summarize what worked into an email best practices.

Facebook Advertising

While other platforms are coming up fast, Facebook is still the world’s most popular social network in general and especially with teachers: 82% of teachers say Facebook is their number one channel and 64% visit Facebook every day.

That’s more than enough reason to have Facebook in your marketing mix, but here’s why paid advertising is worth the investment: An average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month.

We studied ad placement performance, performance by device used, and static ads vs. video. Here’s one valuable takeaway we learned by examining client campaigns:

  • Audience network ad placements cost a lot less than other placements and due to the mobile format, can stand out a bit more than those in the newsfeed.

Just like we did for email, we’ve summarized best practices and included a campaign benchmarking section for clarity on how many metrics are calculated.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is an effective ingredient in any campaign to capture educators’ attention, especially given that display ads can increase brand awareness by 80%. That said, the content and design of your ads needs to consider this important reality:

  • An online display ad needs to be visible on a webpage for 14 seconds, on average, in order for a consumer to gaze at it for one full second.

Where you place an ad, and how an educator will see it, will have a big impact on its effectiveness. That’s why we looked specifically at these areas of performance: ad size, device used, and ad sites. One surprising finding:

  • While display ad impressions are most evenly split between phones and desktops, educators are most likely to click-through on ads while browsing on a tablet.

Audience-based advertising allows you to get your message in front of educators across their web activity, including the time they are spending on tablets viewing news, playing games, and watching entertainment.

The Trend is Digital

The pandemic boosted everyone’s online time, so it’s no surprise educator reliance on digital channels for professional and personal business has only increased. As you evaluate your marketing mix, keep this in mind, and be sure to review our free Data-Driven Digital Marketing Trends in Education: Behavior and Benchmarks Guide so your efforts are on target with how educators are responding to digital outreach now.