How Higher Education Marketers Can Drive Student Enrollment with CTV Advertising

October 3, 2022 | By Bradley Buss

Author: Bradley Buss, Regional Sales Manager, Premion  

For higher education marketers, the name of the game is driving student enrollment — and with evolving consumer media consumption habits, they’re rethinking the most effective channels for reaching prospective students.

With 85% of U.S. households in 2022 projected to be CTV households*, including many prospective students, streaming TV is a compelling and effective advertising channel for higher education institutions. In fact, according to the MRI-Simmons 2022 Cord Evolution Study**, 90% of education intenders watch ad-supported OTT, and 57% of them cannot be reached via traditional cable/satellite. Thus, savvy university marketers are increasingly turning to Connected TV (CTV) advertising as a compelling and proven media channel.

Beyond enabling TV buyers to extend reach, CTV advertising has become especially appealing for digital and performance marketers that are grappling with the impact of Apple and Google privacy changes, which is upending how digital marketers can target consumers. New data-driven CTV advertising solutions provide higher education marketers with the precision of digital in targeting, personalization, attribution, and performance capabilities — and the big screen quality viewing experience of linear television. 

CTV Audience Targeting Capabilities

From driving brand awareness with demographic or contextual targeting to reaching in-market consumers with intender targeting, higher education advertisers can now tap into a broad array of CTV targeting capabilities. In fact, our 2022 CTV/OTT survey found that 56% of advertisers say the ability to precision target audiences is the top reason for increasing CTV/OTT spending in 2022. Furthermore, with dynamic creative ads, CTV ads can be transformed into messaging unique to each individual household with localized and interactive enhancements. For example, education advertisers can localize an ad with scannable QR codes, nearest location, and more. This adds an extra layer of ad relevancy to drive advertiser results with specific localized and personalized call to actions.

The Efficacy of Outcomes-based Measurement

Education advertisers can now look beyond video completion rates as a key metric of success, as they can connect CTV viewership to direct business results. This could be as granular as running a university ad on CTV and tracking how many viewers that were served an ad subsequently visited the institution’s website.

Furthermore, advertisers can measure CTV effectiveness with brand lift studies, which can measure ad recall, favorability and brand awareness, as well as the effectiveness of creative and individual brand attributes. Proving the value of CTV advertising begins with setting clear campaign and measurement objectives, and it can span driving specific outcomes to measuring incremental reach or brand lift.

For higher education advertisers, it’s not just about following the streaming shift to reach their prospective students, but by capitalizing on new targeting and measurement capabilities, they can ensure that their ad dollars are spent wisely to reach high-value audiences to drive measurable outcomes — which can translate to higher student enrollments.

Education institutions need a trusted premium CTV advertising partner that’s committed to brand safety and ad fraud protection — and that can execute locally in reaching the right consumers at the household-level, track conversions and reduce wasted impressions. 

To learn more about CTV/OTT viewership and education intenders, download our ‘Why OTT for Education’ guide here.

 *eMarketer, Connected TV Households, September 2022; Copyright © 2022 Insider Intelligence Inc. All Rights Reserved.
**MRI-Simmons, 2022 August Cord Evolution; people looking to start or return to school in the next 12 months

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