It seems that summer may finally be here (fingers crossed) and whilst this may mean jugs of Pimms and hitting the beach for some, for FE education marketers it is all about summer student recruitment campaigns to hit those all important recruitment targets.

Net Natives have been running successful summer campaigns for over 9 years now, so we thought we'd sit down with our expert Advertising Strategy Manager Zoe Bretton to talk about the campaigns we run every year for our clients in FE, her platform recommendations and the kind of message and targeting that resonate.

And of course, if you want to work with Net Natives this summer, don't miss your chance to hit those all important recruitment targets, contact us today.

So whilst we always advocate early planning and lead capture and long-term nurturing are at the centre of all our campaigns, here are our top 5 most successful campaigns we run every year that will help you hit your targets:

It's not too late to apply

How do you get those late applicants moving through your conversion funnel? How do you influence those hard to reach audiences and motivate them to apply and convert? Net Natives recommend using a mix of platforms and ad types to push potential students through before the start of term.

Using Google Search ads to promote specific course vacancies is a great way to get in front of an audience that is already searching for information and will place you above your competitors who might be relying on organic traffic. To make sure that you are not falling off the radar once they've moved away from your site, be sure to include some budget for re-marketing.

Meanwhile, use your own data to set up look-a-like and custom audiences on Facebook to target potential students. Targeted Carousel ads work really well if you are aiming them at students and parents as they allow you to tell your brand story in a really creative and narrative-driven way.

And don't forget Instagram. Lots of great ad types, including Instagram Carousel, Instagram Video and the power to set look-a-like custom audiences makes this one of our top recommendations.

Remember: these type of campaigns are most effective when you can use your own data for look-a-like audiences. Make sure you are capturing your leads from web enquiries and events all year round.

Good luck in your exams

Wishing potential students good luck for their forthcoming exams is a tried, tested and effective way of keeping your brand at the forefront of applicants minds, giving them positive and personal associations with your institution - which they'll remember when it comes to conversion time. But what platforms work best for this kind of messaging?

Our experts recommend focusing your budgets on Facebook and Instagram.

GCSE Results Day

Results Day is so huge for the education sector, with nearly every institution using the opportunity to advertise, promote and shout about their vacancies from the digital roof-top. So how can you stand out? Particularly on a limited budget?

In terms of platforms, it is the biggies of Facebook and Instagram again which will resonate with audiences and offer some of the best tools for highly targeted, creative ad campaigns. Don't forget Google Display, which works well for influencing both parents and potential applicants.

Twitter is a platform where we see lots of talk centred around results day, with hashtags allowing people to follow the whole conversation, in the lead-up and on the day. Marketers will want to consider this platform, but beware how you target your advertising. We would recommend working with our Ad Experts to ensure your ads don't sit alongside inappropriate content - resulting in wasted spend.

Post-results day campaigns

It's important not to forget about your campaigns once results day is over. Post-results day campaigns are essential in moving applicants along the conversion funnel and staying at the forefront of their minds.

Much of the platform recommendations for post-results day campaigns are the same as what has been recommended for 'It's not too late to apply', but remember to focus on tailored messaging.

Enrolment and Conversion campaigns

The culmination of all your hard work and the finish line on summer campaigns? but what platform works best for getting applicants over the line? It's time to build custom audiences on Facebook and Instagram.

If you want to be smart and target one of the biggest influencers - parents - then we can build a custom audience on Facebook based on email addresses gathered from parents of existing applicants (if you're worried about data protection, then read up on how seriously we take protecting data with our Hashing tool).

If you're looking for even more inspiration for those last minute summer campaigns take a look at the six developments that have got our Clearing experts excited. And if you're stuck for ideas on how to make the most of your remaining budget, we've got you covered.

If you haven't already booked in your summer campaign yet then make sure you speak with your Ad Strategist or contact Net Natives as soon as possible to book in your activity and hit those recruitment targets.


Article by

Rich Campbell

Head of Marketing