Crafting an educational marketing campaign takes time, energy, and resources. But all of that effort will go to waste if the advertising isn’t directed at the proper audience. If you want to increase enrollment and drive interest in your educational courses, you must direct the messaging at the right people—the prospective students. 

Want to reach this younger demographic? Then targeted advertising is a fantastic solution. Here’s what that entails. 

What Is Targeted Advertising?  

The digital world is full of clutter and oversaturation. A million different companies are vying for consumers’ limited attention—each trying to push their particular good or service. 

When it comes to advertising, a campaign’s success isn’t measured by leads but by conversions. More leads doesn’t necessarily mean increased enrollment. Quantity is not as important as quality, especially for education, which involves a multi-touch process to drive a lead down the enrollment funnel.  

Targeted advertising helps cut through the noise. 

Thanks to online tracking technology, marketers can gather digital data and gauge consumer behavior. Instead of relying on assumptions about their target audience, they can now leverage these digital insights to personalize their advertising messaging, directing tailored ads to a specific individual—one that’s more likely to click and convert. 

Why is Targeted Advertising Optimal for Reaching Would-Be Students? 

In a word, it all comes down to demographics. The vast majority of college students are from Generation Z and in the 17- to 25-year-old demo. 

This generation, sometimes referred to as digital natives, was raised in a digital landscape. They’re tech-savvy. Much of their life and social interaction revolves around their phones, tablets, and laptops. For many, social media is their lifeblood.   

As Harvard Business Review notes, “Research has shown that digital targeting meaningfully improves the response to advertisements and that ad performance declines when marketers’ access to consumer data is reduced.” This is especially true for younger audiences that are unreceptive to traditional forms of advertising

But targeted educational ads don’t simply ensure that you’re reaching the right age group; it goes further than that. It may help you reach someone in a specific location or who’s previously demonstrated interest in topics related to education. 

What Types of Targeted Advertising Reaches Students? 

There are a few examples of targeted advertising that universities and schools should consider employing. They include:

  • Social networking ads – Facebook is an especially potent advertising medium. The social network has access to a plethora of user information. Because of this, there are various ways to target Facebook and social media users, including:


  • Sequential retargeting 
  • Interest-based targeting
  • Geofencing 
  • Carousel ads
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Custom audiences


  • Search engine ads – Google was one of the first websites to embrace targeted advertising. It allows you to send ads to users based on their browsing history. For example, if a young person were to type in “online courses,” educational ads would immediately appear on the top and right side of their search page.
  • Behavioral ads – You can also target your messaging to an audience based on their browsing or purchasing habits. Should an individual purchase an educational book, they might then receive ads for schools on other sites.   

All of these channels empower you to reach your desired audience in the right place and time, with targeted messaging which they’re more likely to be receptive to.  

Semgeeks—Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing is all about leveraging data and user insights to ensure that your advertisements reach the people most likely to convert. And for the world of academia, it’s one of the optimal ways to ensure that individuals seeking out higher education hear about your university and then enroll. 

Do you need some assistance with this endeavor?  

Here at Semgeeks, we’re experts in all things digital marketing with a unique specialization in higher education digital marketing. Whether you need help with a targeted advertising campaign for your educational courses or want help with an entire website rebrand, we have the tools and experts you need to create better results and drive enrollment. 


Harvard Business Review. Ads that Don’t Overstep.

Forbes. Research Shows Millennials Don’t Respond To Ads.