connie davisBy: Connie Davis, Director of Strategic Accounts

The triangle’s three sides make it the strongest shape in nature. It’s scientific fact. Another fact: Email, social media and online advertising are stronger together than they are in isolation.

These three channels in particular are especially important to marketers for building pipelines and driving early-stage engagement.

67 percent use email
50 percent use search
44 percent use social

When used as part of a multi-channel lead generation strategy, email, social media and online advertising can help generate more qualified and engaged education leads and achieve higher return, whether you’re using the tactics to build general brand awareness or market individual events, such as a webinar or conference workshop.

Here’s how these three channels should work together to support one another.

1. Capture attention. Use social media and web advertising to promote valuable pieces of content or exclusive deals (96 percent of teachers are more likely to purchase from companies that offer teacher discounts online when shopping for classroom materials). Whether it’s a case study or a coupon, make sure the offer is so compelling that educators are willing to click to a landing page where you can collect their information in exchange for the content or deal.

2. Continue the conversation. An email address is all you need to start building relationships with the education prospects you find via social and online ads. Deliver a consistent stream of helpful, brand-relevant email content that leads educators down the purchasing cycle, from early awareness to the final sale. As you gather more emails, you’ll build your in-house email database. And with every email you send, you’ll drive traffic to your site.

3. Retarget to prospects. Use your growing email list and site traffic to your advantage. You can serve online ads to all of your site visitors, even tailoring ad messaging to the specific site pages visited. Social networks also allow you to upload email lists to create custom audiences to deliver targeted ads and sponsored content to.

4. Keep learning. Because email, social media and online advertising are all digital, they generate valuable analytics. Before launching new campaigns, review performance from past efforts on each of these channels to glean information about your target audience of educators. What content do they like best? What devices do they prefer? What days and times are they most responsive? Use that information to create highly tailored experiences across multiple channels to improve response and return.

Start the Cycle

The relationship between email, social media and online advertising is cyclical:

Websites are educators’ most valued resource for learning about education products and services, and a majority of teachers use search engines as their main source for information about teaching and learning and educational products. Use pay-per-click search ads promoting content and deals to drive educators to your site. From there, collect contact information in exchange for the offer. Once you have that contact information, deploy emails that lead educators online, upload subscriber lists to social media for ad retargeting, and retarget online ads to site visitors.

Also keep in mind the number of additional ways you can use these three channels to promote one another:

  • Use email to build awareness. When educators recognize and trust your brand, they are more likely to follow you on social or click on online ads. 
  • Promote social media in your emails. Add social links to email footers. Plan entire campaigns around driving social engagement using email to promote an offer (i.e “Like” us on Facebook to be entered to win). 
  • Write social posts encouraging followers to subscribe to your emails, and add forms to your social platforms that allow educators to subscribe right from the page.

Agile can help make the trifecta of email, social media and online advertising even stronger. Learn more about our email marketing and digital advertising services, and contact an Agile Account Executive about how we can help you maximize the effectiveness of these three marketing platforms.

About the Author

Connie Davis is Director of Strategic Accounts at Agile Education Marketing. In that capacity, Connie has advised hundreds of education companies on education marketing best practices. An expert in the education sales cycle, Connie helps companies reach targeted groups of educators with personalized content and marketing messages at the right times and on the most effective platforms for communication. Reach Connie at cdavis@agile-ed.com

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