In the Blackout Battle, CTV Advertising is Still An Oasis
by Isabel Greenfield
4 Min Read
6 Min Read
If you’re a decision maker in the advertising efforts for a higher education institution, promotional tools like university websites or college fairs can only go so far when appealing to ideal customers, aka students. In order to stand out among the crowd (there are currently ~4000 colleges and universities in the U.S.), you need to get your institution’s message out to the masses. Not only that, it’s important to target consumers who are likely to view your college or university as a good fit for their needs—bolstering your efforts to increase requests for information (RFIs), campus visits, admission leads and enrollment.
This might sound like a tall order, but there is a proven advertising solution that can help your higher ed institution to do all this and more: Connected TV (CTV). Undergrad audiences are very familiar with the channel—~76% of consumers aged 15-24 reported that they use CTV. Additionally, people looking for graduate programs or those who are on a “non-traditional” learning journey are also consuming content this way—the majority (82%+) of consumers aged 25-54 are CTV users. The audience numbers are there, but that’s not the only benefit this channel can provide colleges and universities.
Higher ed institutions have increasingly chosen to advertise on traditional linear TV. According to MediaRadar, colleges and universities spent a whopping $310.49M on television advertising in 2021. While linear TV advertising can be fruitful for some higher ed institutions, the space has become saturated, making it a very competitive advertising channel. Another factor to consider—purchasing ad placements on traditional TV can be extremely costly.
With endless amounts of networks and content, CTV is a great alternative to linear TV. Similar to traditional television, CTV is an effective platform to tell a meaningful story. Since CTV is essentially TV advertising with digital capabilities, you can deliver high-impact TV creative that encourages potential students to visit your campus by developing ads that speak to what makes your institution unique and how someone could flourish there—all while tracking website traffic and admission leads that are driven by your campaign.
You can drive urgency with messaging that infers that seeing the campus in person is an important step to take in order for potential students to make an informed decision. To ensure that viewers engage with your ads, you’ll need to produce high quality videos that flow well—so it’s paramount you have a creative partner that will work with you to best tell your story. While creative agencies are commonly sought for this purpose, services like MNTN’s Creative as a Subscription (CaaS) can support this endeavor by delivering new creative on quarterly basis, allowing for optimization and updates to your creative strategy. And it’s cost effective as well; the price of ad creative is bundled into the cost of media, which ensures the entirety of your budget is spent on driving more admissions and visits.
Utilizing CTV, your college or university can leverage the prestige of TV advertising to stay competitive—all while having total control over the construction of your ad campaigns. Additionally, CTV offers detailed audience targeting and in-depth campaign data (more on this below) that can help you to develop future ad strategies.
When advertising on linear TV, it’s tricky to get hyper-targeted with audience segmentation. So, if you advertise on traditional television, your ad might not be viewed by students or parents who are likely to be interested in your college or university.
With CTV advertising on the other hand, you can easily develop and then target ideal audience segments. CTV allows you to target people in many ways—use demographics to hone in on consumers by age or geographic location, or, you can target viewers by interests and behaviors. Remove some of the guess work in audience building by utilizing MNTN Performance TV. Our Oracle Data Cloud integration features pre-built audience segments that align with higher education’s advertising objectives: households with prospective college students, consumers who are expected to enroll in or return to higher education, parents of high school students, college graduates and more.
You’re probably familiar with leveraging paid social, paid search and banner advertising as performance marketing channels—but did you know that CTV can be utilized this way as well? When advertising on CTV, it’s easy to target all parts of the marketing funnel.
Once your ad campaigns are developed, you can take advantage of a familiar marketing channel to bolster your CTV efforts—our MNTN Multi-Touch feature was built to ensure consistent messaging across advertising channels. With MNTN Multi-Touch, your ideal audiences see your ad on CTV, as well as related ads served across web and mobile on every device in the house, including laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile. This can help to drive additional performance and strengthen brand recognition with viewers.
Whatever type of campaign(s) you choose to run, CTV supplies you with a plethora of detailed, real time data. Via CTV and OTT advertising, you can track key performance marketing metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) and conversion rates. This data can help you to understand which networks are driving top performance and what types of content your ideal audience is most engaged with—providing you with actionable insights to guide your future advertising strategies and overall marketing efforts.
State colleges to online-only schools, private universities to specialized technical institutes—no matter the type of higher education, CTV can be beneficial to your advertising efforts. With CTV you can sidestep some of the downfalls of and competition on linear TV while still messaging to viewers on television screens far and wide. So what are you waiting for? Start scoring top grades in advertising for your college or university by using CTV as a performance marketing channel to drive campus visits, quality admissions leads and ultimately, higher enrollment numbers.