EduPortal Trends Heard Far and Loud at LeadsCon

Having returned recently from LeadsCon, I can’t help but think back on the conversations our media team had with education marketers and how their challenges and opportunities translate into trends that we believe will impact the sector in the months and years ahead.

Based on what we heard, here are the trends we think are going to play out:

#1:   EduPortals are investing much more aggressively in in-house generated original content.    A handful of sites have become known and respected for their engaging content and high converting leads. We agree with those in the space that content is “king,” so, out with the “host and post” affiliate partners and in with original, robust editorial and video content.

#2 :  EduPortals are still pushing call center products in two formats:  Call verified and warm/hot transfer leads.   We believe the industry is more receptive and willing to test warm/hot lead transfers when documentation and archeology of the lead can be provided.  We are seeing call verified leads being used to fill in the gaps of lead flow and keep the call centers operating at peak capacity.

#3:  Push for Cost per Click (CPC) campaigns:  Some EduPortals have developed new CPC offerings.   These vendors usually rely heavily on display, search, and email channels to stimulate and capture the interest of the respondent and present them with options. The billable occurrence happens upon clicking on a school’s listing.  We realize that the neat thing about this CPC channel is the “broader net” of expanded reach of the potential pool of respondents.

#4:  New and affordable Video and DR TV channels:  TV, in all of its formats, still has a dominant share of advertising spending for all measured brands and product categories. We are starting to see new, more affordable ways to test “TV” and video that efficiently target higher education intenders.   We believe the following channels are worth investigating: Google TV, Google and Yahoo Video Channels, Hulu, TVWeb 360, Televisionfanatic and hyper-local cable options.

#5:  Attribution Solutions:  Our industry is still driven to test, prove and verify media channels that show direct accountability to a cost per lead or enroll model.   More higher education marketers are pushing to test attribution models that can determine the “halo” effect that traditional branding channels have on other media channels.

Other topics of interest among attendees included mixing in brand agnostic campaigns into current media plans and increasing interest in attracting and enrolling military personnel – two key topics on the minds of our customers and Datamark.  It was another great year at LeadsCon, and we look forward to exploring these trends and topics on a deeper basis to test their validity.

Scott Haslam

Scott Haslam has been with Helix Education for 3 ½ years and has over 8 years of experience in the Higher Education industry. He earned his BA degree in Communications from Brigham Young University.