Google Event: Reaching the Right Students with Advanced Targeting

Google Event Recap: Reaching the Right Students with Advanced Targeting

I recently attended a Google event, SEAL Mastery Series, in Chicago. As a Google Premier Partner, our team gets invited to various trainings and workshops hosted by the Google team throughout the year. The SEAL Mastery Series was a great opportunity to learn more about Google offerings and understand various targeting options in order to more effectively help our clients reach the right audiences.

Demographic targeting can only get you so far. With the help of Google’s Machine Learning, which analyzes over 70 million data signals within 100 milliseconds in real-time, we can now get much more granular. Gone are the days of looking demographically for Prince Charles, yet also reaching the Ozzy Osbourne’s of the world.

Re-engaging Prospects We Already Know

The first way we can do this is by re-engaging prospects who are already in your funnel through Display Remarketing, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and Customer Match. 

  1. Display Remarketing
    This is the easiest way to start utilizing your own data to reach users who have already been on your website. According to Google, 97% of website visitors do not convert on their first visit. Adding in a display remarketing campaign is a great compliment to your existing search strategy. To effectively use display remarketing, the messaging should be different than the original message a prospective student would have seen elsewhere. We want to re-engage the users who have shown interest and push them to 
  2. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
    RLSA allows you to customize search ads for people who have previously visited your website and adjust your bid when they are searching on Google. You can get super granular with your remarketing lists and adjust your bid. Google recommends increasing your bid on the remarketing lists in which users are considered further in the funnel, such as visitors who have viewed your email newsletter signup page.
  3. Customer Match
    Customer Match allows you to target prospective students across Google platforms like Gmail, YouTube and Search. Customer Match is pretty simple. You upload a CRM list or offline data like physical addresses or phone numbers. These items are then matched to email addresses within Google. In order to utilize this targeting, you will need a minimum matched list size of 1,000 contacts. Google stated they typically see a match rate of around 20 percent. This means your starting list size should be 5,000 to ensure your matched list will be large enough to use.


Connecting with Students Who Don’t Know Us

Great! So, we now know how to re-engage the students we already know about, but what about those who don’t know us yet? Google walked through two options for reaching prospective students who might not yet know about your offerings.

  1. Similar Audience
    Similar Audience uses an existing remarketing list or a customer match list to find similar users across Google properties. You can use similar audiences for remarketing lists across the Search and Display platforms. Customer match lists would be utilized on the Gmail and YouTube platforms.

  2. In-Market Audience
    In-Market Audience allows you to target people who are actively looking to buy products and services. This is a great way for colleges and universities to get their programs and brand in front of qualified searchers. Google says this data is accurate within the last 24 hours. You can currently use In-Market Audiences on Display and YouTube.

At Converge, we are utilizing Display Remarketing and RLSA for many of our clients, and are excited to test these additional targeting options. Are you reaching the right-fit students with your digital advertising efforts? Have questions on how to implement the strategies mentioned above?
Shoot me a note. I’d be happy to connect and provide more information from our team.

Niki Sheldon
Niki Sheldon
August 24, 2017