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5 Audience Segments Colleges and Universities Should Be Targeting

5 Audience Segments Colleges and Universities Should Be Targeting

4 Min Read

There are currently ~15.85M undergraduate college students enrolled in the U.S. Additionally, 40% of people who have never enrolled in higher education have considered enrollment in the past two years.

If you work in advertising or marketing for a college or university, it’s important to target consumers who are likely to view your institution as a good fit for their needs. This will support your efforts to increase requests for information (RFIs), campus visits, admission leads and enrollment.

Consider the following specialized audience segments to target in your next Connected TV (CTV) advertising campaign—all available via MNTN’s partnership with Oracle Data Cloud:

Approach: High Schoolers

  • Segment name: High School Student in Home
  • Audience provider: PlaceIQ
  • Why to target this audience: There are an estimated 17.1M high school students in the U.S.—this number includes public and private institutions. While not every high school student is ready for (or even wants to go to) college, targeting this segment can be beneficial to you. Regarding younger high school students, it’s never too early to get your institution’s name in front of them, so that when they are ready, they’ll think of you. Older students, on the other hand, have likely been inundated with information about different higher ed options. With this knowledge, it’s important to develop messaging that genuinely speaks to what makes your college or university unique.

Approach: Decision Influencers, aka Parents

  • Segment name: Parents of High School Students
  • Audience provider: Ameribase Digital
  • Why to target this audience: This audience obviously goes hand in hand with the one above. Many high school students have busy schedules, and some may not know what factors to think through when considering a college or university—not to mention that in some cases parents hold the purse strings. So, messaging to parents of high schoolers can be as fruitful as targeting potential students themselves. Whether they’re paying for their child’s higher ed or not, parents typically have a say, or at the very least, can offer opinions on where their kids go to college.

Approach: New or Returning Students

  • Segment name: Expect to Enroll or Return to College
  • Audience provider: AdAdvisor by Neustar
  • Why to target this audience: Should you decide to target this audience, keep this important factor in mind—this group is large and varied. For example, someone who is “expected to enroll” could be fresh out of high school, or, they could be a first time student who put off higher ed for a few years to work or take care of a loved one. This holds true for consumers who are “expected to return to college”—they might’ve taken some time away from higher education to spend more time with their family, or perhaps they traveled for a few years before returning to school. Knowing this, if you target this segment, you’ll want to develop a few versions of messaging that will speak to potential students—no matter their reason for enrollment or returning to higher ed.

Approach: Grad School Curious

  • Segment name: College Graduates
  • Audience provider: Alliant
  • Why to target this audience: For most colleges and universities, potential students aren’t only made up of undergrads. While undergraduate students in the U.S. do outnumber those in graduate programs, this segment shouldn’t be overlooked. People in search of grad school typically have something very specific in mind, so it’s vital that you speak directly to students for whom your institution could be a good fit.

Approach: Gen Z

  • Segment name: Generation Z
  • Audience provider: OnAudience
  • Why to target this audience: Members of Generation Z are currently between the ages of 10-25, making this a prime audience for colleges and universities to target. Another bonus? Gen Z is very familiar with Connected TV~76% of consumers aged 15-24 use CTV at least once a month.

Reach Your Ideal Higher Ed Audiences on Connected TV

This list is just an example of some specific consumer segments that can be targeted on CTV. But, if you choose to leverage a CTV-focused advertising solution like MNTN Performance TV, audience options are essentially endless. Another bonus? When you use Performance TV your ads will only be served on top streaming networks, ensuring prime campaign performance.