Education Marketing: Three New Low-Cost Lead Sources

Lead Sources: At Mason, we're lucky enough to work with our education marketing clients. It's an exciting mix of for-profit, not-for-profit, graduate schools, pre-schools, undergrad and certificate schools. As a result, we're able to try new things and see how they work for the entire .edu marketing field. Three new(ish) sources we've been trying are working very well for our education marketing campaigns. The platforms driving low-cost, .edu leads for us are iAds, Yahoo Gemini, and LinkedIn's new offerings.

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is well known to attract two types of users. The first type is someone who is looking for a job. The second type is, drumroll please, also someone looking for a job! So what is the difference between the types, you ask? The difference is - intent to improve skills. The first type is someone who is browsing and will make a move when the right opportunity comes along. The second type is someone who is not ready to hop jobs. This user is preparing for something bigger - a career shift. This person knows that shifting careers means acquiring new skills. This audience is perfectly positioned for almost any education marketing campaign. In our experience, CPCs vary from $2-$5, a low range compared to Google for the education marketer. Targeting options include age, location, skill set, group affiliation, and other interesting segmentation. Ad copy features a small graphic and allows multiple exclamation points!! The only downside is phone numbers are not allowed in ad copy.

2. Apple iAd Workbench

Recently open for small and medium sized advertisers, this ad network features CPC and CPM display campaigns on Apple mobile devices - iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Banner ad sizes are odd to say the least, but CPC range is still very affordable! You can pretty much get away with spending under a dollar per click, which is rare to come by these days. There is a wide variety of targeting options. Age and geo is a must. The cool part is that Apple knows what you're doing on your device, which allows advertisers to segment by types of apps, types of music, movies, and even user's book categories!

3. Yahoo Gemini

We've heard from official Bing/Yahoo channels that the entire Bing mobile ad inventory will be shifted to Yahoo Gemini network in just a few months. Oh Microsoft, thanks for thinking up more ways to keep us busy! Being a recent addition to the Bing marketing mix, CPCs are low as advertisers are slow to jump on. There are two ways to advertise on Gemini: search ads and native ads (display) on Yahoo's prime networks. Some of the great Bing AdCenter features were carried over to this platform. This includes the bulk upload feature via excel making it easy to manage large campaigns. These are the three relatively new ad channels - ideal for education marketers. Jump in, before they get saturated with advertisers!