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Which Are The Top 5 Digital Advertising Platforms For The Education Industry Desktop still commands over half of the share of display advertising spends, but if experts are to be believed, mobile is fast catching up.

By Ankit Khare

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Having been in the business of digital media solutions for over four years now and seeing the landscape evolve quite closely, we still get the frequent question if digital is all about Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Especially so, when it comes to advertising in the education industry, since it is students who are the target audiences.

While these channels have a highly prominent place in the world of digital media solutions, the buck doesn't really stop there. Not if you're looking to plan a seriously effective advertising strategy. So what exactly separates the grain from the chaff when it comes to digital advertising? Well here is what I feel, are the top 5 digital advertising platforms for the education industry.

#Search Campaigns - Being where you need to be

The already short attention has become even shorter and a good offer is simply not good enough if it doesn't get delivered at the right time and place. Search Engine Marketing (SEM), simply put is being visible in front of your audience when and where they query for something that relates to your business. SEM is the most important tool when your objective is to generate a higher number of qualified leads. Vis-a-vis the education industry, there are over 3.8 Billion searches pertaining to courses, colleges, universities, admissions, professional development education between the months of January and July alone. Using relevant search keywords and crisply tailored ad copy, advertisers in the education industry cash in on a significant chunk of qualified leads simply through SEM campaigns.

#Facebook Campaigns - Breaking the wall

It wouldn't be highly surprising if a decade later Facebook was one of the only few applications we ever needed. From photography and gaming to precise user targeting, Facebook is only getting bigger and better as a marketing tool, and is simply perfect to the Indian context.

India's youth makes up for 70% of its 375 Million + internet users, and to no one's surprise almost 40% of the internet usage comes from social platforms. Not only that, but the urban youth has caught up to using Facebook for more constructive purposes other than networking, making it one of the best suited platforms for digital advertising in the education industry.

#Re-targeting – Cashing in on the cookie

If you have to spend on digital advertising, why not focus it where it might actually matter most. Not only is retargeting a strong branding tool that gives you a higher return on your advertising dollar, it works seamlessly with inbound and outbound marketing as a part of a grander digital strategy.

Research has shown that even though cookie shelf life for education related searches is shorter than the industry average, the rate of conversions is far greater than many business verticals as well and retargeting campaigns have been majorly successful proving this point in the past.

#Display – Know them, show them!

Simply put, display advertising is text, image, audio, and video banners on a website, and it started off coldly, almost leading it to being discontinued by marketers. But a few years hence, and with the evolution of context based targeting, ad exchanges, real time bidding, and native advertising, display advertising has become one of the most successful platforms to advertise digitally.

For the education industry it all boils down to the context and the content. Placement, ranking, and accreditations when placed in display banners, have seriously beneficial results for digital campaigns

#Mobile Display – Putting your advertising dollar in their palms

Desktop still commands over half of the share of display advertising spends, but if experts are to be believed, mobile is fast catching up. Increased mobile usage, better targeting, and the shift towards the consumption of rich media content make mobile display advertising one of the strongest platforms for digital advertising in today's marketing landscape. But the best part of its suitability to the education industry is the adoption of mobile among the youth (almost 30% users search content exclusively on mobile) and the cost efficiency that mobile campaigns have, with the cost per lead on a well structured campaign being almost 60% lower than desktop display campaigns.

While these are what I certainly believe to be the best digital advertising platforms for the education industry, other platforms have also got marketers the desired results from their campaigns. The key aspect to consider in planning your education industry campaigns is the limited attention span of the audience and creating content that can engage them long enough to deliver your message.

Ankit Khare

Director & Co-Founder at Unipro Education Pvt. Ltd

Ankit is a digital media specialist with a proven record of success in Online Advertising, Media sales, and Digital marketing.He  is well-versed with the emerging E age Media space and have rich experience on various online advertising platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook, Google Adsense, Global Ad exchanges, behavioral Re-targeting, Ad networks, Email marketing, Affiliate Marketing etc. He is currently heading Unipro Education a Digital Media Company, which is set to offer strategic digital media solution to education category advertisers in emerging markets.
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