The pace of change for major advertising platforms has always been relentless, and 2019 isn’t going to be any different.

But, for Natives, being agile and having the relationships and expertise to test new features has given us a distinct competitive advantage. We caught up with our experts in the Paid Media team to go behind the scenes and get the latest on the innovative campaigns kicking the new year off to a successful start.  

Early adopters

As promised, YouTube now delivers direct response results. And we’ve made use of micro conversions to help feed Google’s algorithm whilst adopting a new targeting option very early on - producing some incredible results.

We used a YouTube Trueview for action tactic, initially utilising custom intent audiences. Mid-way through the campaign, the team added a new education based detailed demographics audience and the performance of the campaign really took off, delivering a very low cost-per-view. Adopting the new segment as soon as it was available helped the team and the campaign reach a broad, but targeted, audience before the level of competition began to impact costs.

The success of this campaign reiterates the importance of setting aside budget in order to trial the latest developments and becoming an early adopter to beat the competition.

Interest targeting

Historically, LinkedIn has only had the option to target people by skills, job titles and industries, making it notoriously hard to target people who are looking for a career switch or are interested in areas outside of their usual work.

The platform has now introduced the ability to target users based on their interests, with more than 200 professional interest categories. Within these areas, there are also sub-categories allowing for really detailed targeting - making it the perfect opportunity for the team to trial it for an international campaign promoting a Masters degree. By trialling and testing LinkedIn’s new feature, within the first week the campaign has gained many more leads at a much lower CPL. Not all interest areas are on the platform yet, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for additional categories that we can start testing.

First-party data

First-party data is extremely powerful, not only to find new audiences but also in re-engaging users who have dropped off in their journey to conversion. Although performance has always been good overall, for one institution offering international programmes with an always-on tactic, we have faced the challenge of finding new and relevant audiences so that frequency doesn’t become an issue. With the average frequency starting to creep up, the team agreed to utilise first-party data to expand their audience targeting by uploading hashed data from users who had started, but not completed their application for the MBA programme, as well as users who had previously enquired about the course.

Using these data sets, we were able to retarget these users and build lookalike audience segments to bring the frequency down by 69%, positively impacting the performance and efficiency of the tactic. As well as reducing the frequency, the introduction of data-led audiences also increased the Click Through Rate by 74%, and the campaign overall saw a surge in conversions, with opened applications rising by 61%.

If you want to hear more about the campaigns we’re running, or how our experts can help you smash your student recruitment targets, get in touch.

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Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive