If you’ve ever been on Facebook, Instagram, or the Internet at-large, you’ve almost certainly experienced this phenomena: you’re walking through the mall when you spot a pair of boots in a store window. You walk into the store, walk through the shoe department before ultimately trying on the boots; they’re a perfect fit, but not in your budget, so you decide to skip them in the hopes that they’ll go on sale. The next day, while scrolling through Facebook, you notice that you’re seeing more boot ads than normal -- in fact, you’re seeing ads for the exact pair of boots that you tried on yesterday!
This is the power of digital advertising. While the science behind it is inexact, often, physical and online retailers have the power to understand you, the consumer, with such specificity, that they even know when you’ve been in a store, but haven’t made a purchase.
Businesses of all kinds are embracing digital advertising for its ability to reach consumers and the goldmine of data that powers it. Unlike radio or billboard ads, digital advertising allows marketers to see who engaged with their ads, what action they took, and how much ROI each ad generated -- in short, you can understand what works and why more deeply than ever. When combined with elements like email marketing, direct mail, television, and other ad channels, digital ads work in concert with all marketing levers to engineer a message throughline for customers.
So… what does Catholic education have anything to do with digital advertising?
In addition to the myriad other marketing channels that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is embracing, the Catholic schools campaign is employing digital advertising to further its mission to expand school enrollment. While we wouldn’t call students’ families “customers,” we are using some of the same tactics employed in consumer marketing to heighten potential enrollees’ awareness of the opportunities afforded through Catholic schools.
So, let’s break down the details:
- Where will these ads run? Ads will run on Google, in both search and display ads, and through Facebook/Instagram and the associated Ad Network.
- Who will see the ads? We’re targeting families who already identify as Catholic and likely attend Mass at a local parish, but are choosing public or secular private schools. We do this in a number of ways, but primarily through location, demographic, and personally-identifying information like email addresses.
- What will the ads look like? Using photography and video from across the Archdiocese, social and display ads will look like the Facebook and Instagram posts you’re used to -- except, the language and photos will be specifically chosen to inspire action or interest.
In a world of limited campaign budgets, digital advertising is an amazing, cost-effective resource. Managed by third-party digital marketing consultant working on this campaign, these ads will run in the background -- meaning they don’t disrupt the regularly scheduled program on the Archdiocese of St. Louis accounts. You may or may not see them on social media; if you do, please share them! If not, don’t think that’s because they’re not running or because there’s something wrong, you simply may not meet the specific parameters we set at that time.
When we ran some of these ads last year, we felt they were incredibly valuable and successful. As such, we’re excited to get this campaign underway as we look to increase enrollment across the Archdiocese!
If you have any specific questions about the archdiocesan school advertising efforts, how you can run your own digital ads for your school, or other social media-related questions, feel free to reach out to our digital marketing consultant, Betsy Hicks, at firstname.lastname@example.org.