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FE marketing must be mobile – but optimisation needn’t be a headache

Most commentators on marketing trends placed mobile marketing at the top of their priority lists for 2013 and many surveys support those predictions.

Some 58% of the UK population use a smartphone and the British are downloading more data to mobile devices than anywhere else in the world. British young adults have the highest proportion (62%) using mobile to access social media – more than any other countries analysed – and according to Comscore, young adults have an especially high mobile ad-recall compared to other smartphone users.

So mobile should be a high-priority for FE campaign planning, but you don’t need to re-engineer your website to optimise campaign results.

You have to consider what students are prepared to do with their chosen device when accessing your campaign. This should influence your campaign approach. You must decide whether your mobile campaign is best suited to converting students (for course or open day sign-up), to data capture (leads) or to simply engage with students so they’re more inclined to sign-up in the future. Once you’ve decided this you can consider what student attraction strategies are appropriate for mobile.

Is it PPC, email, display or social media? Most good agencies have access to platforms that enable you to geo-target students with contextual or behavioural targeting (and re-targeting) with some form of advertising. Here at SAY Marketing we use the RTB platform which gives us access to over 91% of the youth market and their influencers in the UK.  Your agency can help you strike the right balance with advertising.  At this point you have the right people looking at the right campaign and feeling comfortable about the Call to Action.

Finally you must know that your website is suited to mobile. You must also be sure that you are optimising campaigns from mobile respondents. There is a difference. Some websites have not been built for mobile users. If your website requires you to ‘scroll’ across on a handset, then it is not designed for mobile usage and you can consider alternative landing pages that optimise results.

Whatever you do, you must also be sure that your destination page is optimised for the campaign. Content, imagery, videos and Call to Action should all be dedicated to the campaign. Any other information or engagement points are a negative distraction to the campaign objectives and your results will not be optimised.

Here at SAY Marketing we build optimised landing pages that have a responsive design, which means that any page is optimised for desktops, tablets and mobile.

Neil Walsh is a director at Student & Youth (SAY) Marketing, which works with FE and HE institutions throughout the UK to help them improve their ROI and marketing performance from advertising campaigns

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