Marketing Strategy

Using Data to Drive Digital Campaigns for Schools

May 14, 2020

Have you ever run a digital marketing campaign that didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped? It's a common experience shared by most school marketers. Digital marketing campaigns have swiftly overtaken traditional marketing tactics in the past decade, due to their potential to be a cost-effective, trackable and provide a much broader reach. However, you're setting yourself up for disappointment if your campaign isn't first researched, tested, monitored and moulded based on the data of previous campaigns.

To help you ensure your campaigns are data-driven, we’ve put together this guide on how you can interpret your digital marketing data and put it to work.


1. Set a measurable objective

Understanding how your ad is performing will depend entirely on its purpose. Whether your goal is to increase website visits or encourage form submissions, ensure that your objective is set and that you’re able to measure it from the outset. As with any marketing activity, digital campaign objectives should contribute to the overall business objectives that your school is working towards, as laid out in your marketing plan. 


Read our guide, Steps to Creating a School Digital Marketing Plan


If you’re using Google Analytics to measure your digital marketing, you can create a custom URL builder to help you track each individual campaign. We look into this further in our article, Tracking Your Schools Marketing in Seconds where you can learn how to to add tracking parameters to your links.


2. Customize your landing page

Many digital marketing campaigns — in particular, ones where the objective is to complete a conversion action — will take you directly to a landing page. Rather than using a general page on your website, such as your enrollments page, consider building a custom landing page that encourages visitors to take the desired action (such as filling out a form, or watching a video). 

Your Google Analytics data will indicate whether your landing page is effective. The metrics to look out for are: bounce rate, time on page and, if relevant, conversions. High bounce rates can indicate that the campaign’s landing page is ineffective, as can a low time on the page and low conversions. In these instances, alter your landing page or select one that is more relevant to the campaign, and conduct more testing.


Find out more in our post, How to Reduce Your School Website Bounce Rate


3. Review your performance and optimize

There is no type of digital campaign where a marketer can set and forget. That's why it's so important you monitor your traffic, engagements and performance based on your unique objectives on a constant basis. After you've reviewed your ads and landing pages, you can make changes to aspects of your campaign that are not performing well, or could be performing better.

The images, videos and text that you use in your ads and on your landing page are crucial to the success of your campaign. To optimize your campaign, consider performing A/B tests on different elements of your ads and landing page to find out which one converts better. A/B testing is a common marketing strategy where you alter one element and run it simultaneously alongside the original, allowing it to run for a period of time before selecting the most effective content. 


4. Let the data drive future campaigns

Once you've concluded your campaign, perform a big review to learn which parts ran well, and which could be improved or discarded in the future. certain ads may be performing particularly well, and you may want to use aspects of these as learnings for future or other campaigns.

Testing, optimising and learning from your digital marketing campaigns is the key to ensuring that you create campaigns that resonate with your audience. Data is the most powerful tool for measuring your campaigns, so always keep an eye on it and let it guide your marketing decisions.


Want to learn more about creating a data-driven marketing strategy for your school? Check out these resources to get you on your way!