A Crash Course on Digital Marketing Tools

Digital marketing might sometimes feel like one more thing you need to be on top of as a marketer. But there are some major advantages to digital marketing.

For one, it levels the playing field. Your institution isn’t competing for limited ad space in a magazine, on TV or on billboards. The viewership opportunities can also be strategically targeted, and because digital advertising tends to be more cost effective, you can get more trackable views for your bucks.

And that leads us to one of the most powerful aspects of digital marketing: it’s data driven. You can gather analytics about how many people viewed your ad and for how long, whether they interacted with it, and even who interacted with it. Digital marketing enhances brand visibility, and thus community trust, and it gives you more opportunities to tell the story of your educational institution.

In short, digital marketing is the ultimate tool for building connections and expanding income potentials. We’ll break down a few key tools for digital marketing – consider this your crash course.

But Before We Begin

The digital marketing team at can provide personalized insight into your digital marketing metrics with our FREE digital marketing assessment. Learn more and schedule a meeting!

Search Engine Advertising

Search Engine Advertising uses keyword searches to propel your educational institution to the top of people’s search results.

Let’s say someone types “college near me” into Google, Yahoo or Bing. If the user’s keywords fit the parameters of your search engine advertisement, then the user will see your institution at the top of their search results.

Here’s how search engine ads appear for me:

Typically, this approach goes one step further by serving up display ads that are also tied to keyword searches. So, if someone is looking for colleges, for example, your display ad could show up in the website advertising they see.

After searching for colleges for the purpose of this article, I then went over to the Madison Magazine website and saw an ad for Purdue University. Voila! The more I look for educational institutions, the more education-related ads I’ll see when I’m online.

Display ads are very successful for retargeting. Once someone has been on your site, we can follow them online – displaying ads for your programs while they’re on other websites or on their own social media. At, we typically recommend creating two versions of a display ad, one for prospecting and one for retargeting, so that you get the most out of your advertising dollars. 

Social Media Advertising

For educational institutions, social media advertising is one of the best ways to build community awareness. It’s an affordable and fast way to gain exposure, and there’s plenty of data to back up its effectiveness.

In 2021, the Pew Research Center found that 7 out of 10 Facebook users visit the platform daily. Similarly, roughly 6 out of 10 people visit Instagram daily. When Statistica queried professionals about the advantages to social media marketing, 88% said it increased their exposure; 79% said it increased their online traffic; and 69% said it generated leads.  

Social media advertising also gives you the opportunity to really dial in your target audience with adjustable metrics including age, gender, income, location, interests and more. So, you can get in front of the people who are the most likely to engage with you. 

IP Targeting

IP targeting has some very cool marketing advantages, but first I’ll explain what it is. In simple terms, an IP targeting campaign sends digital advertisements to all the devices – smartphones, computers, laptops, etc. – associated with a particular IP address. The IP address can be a household, business or even a college campus.

The trackability of those ads is what really sets IP targeting apart from other digital marketing tools. With this tool, marketers can collect clear ROI data. With IP targeting, you can decide exactly which households or businesses will receive that ad based on factors like income, age, gender and even industry-specific professions. If someone clicks on your ad and then seeks out your programs, we’ll have data to prove the direct correlation.

IP targeting has another key benefit: GeoFraming. For example, you can target the homes of parents with high school-aged children and send digital ads to every device within the home, and then follow those up with print ads for added visibility. It’s a great way to capture the attention of students who are looking at higher education institutions.

Stay tuned! We’re digging into IP targeting a bit more in an upcoming blog.

Social Media Posting

Making connections and building trust is crucial for any educational institution, and social media posting can help you accomplish both goals. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn as tools for telling your brand’s story and positioning your institution as the go-to.

And even though social media started as a way to connect with individual people, it’s become a hotspot for finding and connecting with businesses and organizations. According to 2021 internal data from Instagram, 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business. Meta reports that 2/3 of Facebook users visit the page of a local business at least once a week.

The key to success is understanding what people want from each platform and tailoring your messaging to fit the demographics of each. It’s also important to set clear goals and objectives. Is the goal better customer service? Educating the community? Increasing awareness and showcasing achievements? Sharing a behind-the-scenes view of campus life? Your goals should be the starting point for publishing content and measuring success. 

You can gain more insight on social media tips and tricks, as well as measuring success, by visiting our blog.

To get started on your own digital marketing campaign, reach out to an account representative.

Posted by Shelby Moyer - September 16, 2022