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Geofencing – College Students

As students thoughts turn to the new academic year, Higher Education Marketers naturally look for ways they can target college students and entice them to consider their campus for their courses. With smartphone usage becoming almost synonymous with students at nearly all levels of education, geofencing college students to target specific demographics such as student populations or specific student personas is a tactic that should be considered, especially by those with limited budgets.

The Numbers Stack Up

Considering that many college student’s lives revolve around their smartphones with over 6 out of 10 students claiming to regularly use apps for games (73%), music (67%), entertainment (64%) and social networking (64%), it is easy to see that college students are spending more of their time on mobile devices than ever before, and this is at the expense of computer access, TV’s, e-readers and handheld gaming devices.

Kristin Kollbaum director of marketing and communications at Northwest Iowa Community College saw these figures and decided to give geofencing a try to fill the newly created Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) classes at the nearby Sioux Centre Hospital (SCH).

She began by setting up a geofence which targeted people within a 60-mile radius of SCH, ensuring that when people within this boundary went online they would be presented with ads about the CNA course and job placement.

With a small budget of just $1,200, Kollbaum achieved a 0.73% click through rate which resulted in 35 people attending an informal meeting about the course and two classes being run that year. A phenomenal effort for a small campaign and budget that was run in an area of low unemployment which typically made filling these positions a difficult task.

How to Leverage Mobile Targeting Capabilities to Reach Student Audiences

Geofencing is most definitely a game changer for Higher Education Marketers. By drawing virtual boundaries around physical areas and combining this technology with the layering of specific lists of websites relevant to apps which your target demographic are likely to use, marketers are able to build custom audience profiles and provide specific, targeted messages that are much more likely to be acted upon than more traditional forms of advertising and communication.

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