We caught up with our Advertising Team to hear their tips and tactics from this year’s summer campaigns...


Advanced audiences: how to use first-party audiences in a strategic way

When tasked with planning targeting for a niche course or faculty, it’s often the case that Facebook’s interest targeting capabilities do not offer enough room for manoeuvre in reaching the right audience. So, this summer the team took a new approach to targeting for one of our international clients, planning their strategy months ahead of the live date.

The idea was to utilise lookalike audiences built from high intent first-party data to test against a more traditional Interest/Demographic targeting approach. The ability to collect large amounts of first-party data through the placement of pixels, engagement with Facebook pages and email lists meant the team had vast troves of pre-qualified audiences at their disposable to remarket to, or build lookalikes from. These audiences were then used to compare against the effectiveness of more traditional interest targeting.

And the result? Using first-party audiences more strategically, generated more high-quality leads, leading to higher conversion rates. In contrast, the Interest targeting ad set failed to produce a lead before being turned off. It also had a CTR that was 50% lower and a CPC that was 228% higher than the Lead Gen Form lookalike ad set.

Why brand awareness matters

Other than the obvious of course.

But when one university came to us this summer, concerned they lacked brand awareness in the run-up to A-level Results Day, it was essential we were able to roll out pre-Clearing activity in preparation for their PPC and Social campaigns during the summer months.

Boosting brand awareness in this way meant the team were able to use direct brand keywords on A-level Results Day to attract a higher score from Google and significantly reduce the CPC.

Interestingly, the team also tracked linear conversions through a series of key points in the user journey, giving them insight into where the traffic their campaigns were driving was actually going during various stages of the funnel - offering a wealth of useful data into user behaviour.

Delivering results on a low budget? Think outside the box

Delivering campaigns that are within budget and meet our clients’ expectations means we often have to think outside of the box. Particularly during Clearing.

After plenty of research, and despite the platform having an older user base, the team knew that Bing still receives a spike in activity on A-level Results Day. This could partly be down to voice search devices, such as Alexa and Cortana which run on Bing as default, becoming more prevalent. And for one London university, this meant they were able to receive high levels of traffic at a lower cost for the more expensive Clearing and course-related terms.

Similarly for another campaign, by thinking more strategically about keywords, the team narrowed down and created a highly-specific theme for the keywords that allowed them to generate a high number of clicks on a very limited budget.

As always, if you’d like to discuss how Net Natives can help you reach your student recruitment goals and improve your campaigns, get in touch here.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive