Adapting to the Fast-Changing World of Digital Marketing

At the end of 2021, a major change in the digital marketing landscape caused us to rethink our digital strategies for reaching high school-aged prospects online. We quickly adapted and ended up increasing our prospect inquiry pool by more than 200%.

The Challenge

For a long time, particularly for clients with tight budgets, Facebook and Instagram ads (now Meta) played a big role in our overall advertising strategy. But, in August of 2021, Meta announced drastic changes to its advertising platform that would severely impact colleges and universities, and many other industries.

Beginning in September, advertisers could no longer use any detailed targeting or custom audiences for advertising to users under 18. This would not only impact the affordability of our ads but also significantly limit our reach. 

In an effort to keep spending in-check for institutions with conservative ad budgets, properly support our other marketing efforts, and continue to generate a healthy number of net new prospects, we needed a better way to reach our targeted prospects online.

The Better Way

We quickly pivoted and reimagined our current use of all non-META marketing channels—encompassing the Google Display Network, YouTube ads, and more. And, by adjusting the use of our existing marketing suite, we were able to reach a larger target audience than ever before.

Today, our partner institutions have a strong, unified, and timely presence on over 96% of websites that have advertising inventory, and most importantly, a presence on the websites their target audiences are already visiting.

And it’s paying off…

Results

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As of today, net new inquiries for our search campaigns (directly from digital ads) are up 212% year-over-year. 

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As of today, net new inquiries for our application-driving affordability campaigns are up 40% year-over-year.

When being results-focused and nimble pays off.

When Facebook suddenly changed their policy for targeting under-18-year-olds we had to react quickly but strategically. Thankfully, given the team's breadth of experience in the industry's various different advertising solutions, we were confident that we would be able to not only replicate but exceed our goals and continue to drive high quality traffic to our prospects. The results have surpassed all of our expectations and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities in front of us.

— Max Pollak, Director of Digital Advertising, Waybetter Marketing