What have the Net Natives’ Advertising team been up to this month? From Linear Attribution and Dynamic Search Ads to Facebook Stories and vertical video, we caught up with the team to go behind the scenes of some of their latest campaigns. Check them out...

How we put Linear Attribution into action

Having recently changed all conversion actions to linear attribution modelling, more on the why here, take a look at how our team of experts have put this new model into action.

For one university and their Open Day campaign, Linear Attribution saw them receive a 3.57% uplift in conversions. With three tactics running that were all part of the same Open Day campaign, our Paid Media experts (now using Linear Attribution Modelling) were able to see a clearer picture of how each of the tactics influenced one another and how much they contributed to conversions. The team could see that both the subject-specific and the competitor tactics contributed to a conversion that the brand tactic would have otherwise been given full credit for. The competitor tactic had a 3.57% uplift in conversions using this linear model, which is 3.57% the team wouldn’t have had visibility of before.

Using these reports the team have been able to analyse the relationship between tactics and how they influence each other - particularly useful when some tactics seem to be generating a low volume of conversions, but can, in fact, be contributing to a lot as part of a longer conversion path.

15% of all searches are brand new - Dynamic Search Ads to the rescue

For one brave University, having faith in Google’s machine learning ensured they got the cost-effective results they needed during results week.

Needing to promote multiple subjects within one campaign tactic, our Paid Media experts recommended the University adopt Google’s Dynamic Search Ads, not to replace traditional keyword advertising, but to complement it. By doing so, it allowed the team’s dynamic ads to display against long-tail, and otherwise more obscure, search terms not discovered through their keyword research in the first instance. With a surge in searches over results week, our team were able to capitalise on all relevant interest and plug the gaps in their keyword advertising. When these results were compared against the other keyword-based subject tactics they uncovered some interesting results:

  • CP macro-conversion was nearly 3x more cost-effective than the total generated from their keyword advertising
  • CPC was 50% cheaper than keyword tactics. This allowed the team to drive cost-efficient clicks to the website over a very expensive Clearing period
  • The average page position was in-line with the results of their keyword tactics, on average

Overall, the results proved that with a well-structured website, a strong negative keyword list and a strict approach to targeting, Dynamic Ads can work just as well as keywords.

The new Facebook ad type - Facebook Stories

To raise awareness towards the January UCAS deadline, one London university ventured outside the box to promote their brand.

 Using a tactic that included both Instagram and Facebook Stories, the team at Net Natives were able to test and experiment with the impact of both. For this particular university, Facebook Stories offered less reach and impressions in comparison to Instagram Stories - something we’d expect to see based on research that demonstrates image and video content led platforms are leading the way. However, Facebook Stories did offer a far greater CTR and cost per result.

 The option to include Facebook’s new ad type means the team are able to get creative and experiment when it comes to utilising different ad placements to garner the best results - we’ll be sure to keep you updated on Facebook Stories as we continue to evaluate its value.

Diving deeper with Natives’ interest equation

Refining an audience through a second layer of interest clusters can largely improve the chances of reaching more qualified individuals.

For one New York-based university, looking to promote their postgraduate nursing courses, the team used an interest cluster equation as a form of audience targeting based on the fairly niche nature of the tactic. As well as incorporating generic interests such as ‘nursing’ or ‘healthcare’ for example, the team also carried out research into other recommended interest categories such as books, journals, events, institutions and influential figures relevant to, in this instance, the nursing courses on offer at the university.

Using the equation as a guide, these interest categories were given a weighting based on what the team considered to be the most valid. Subsequently, the team took their base audience (the initially required target demographics) and created the first layer of interest clusters consisting of various nursing journals, health organisations and world-renowned figures in nursing history. Following this, they then created a second layer of interests using the same interest categories to further narrow down the audience, except this time they changed the actual interests to other relevant journals. This provided them with a refined audience that is more qualified and therefore more likely to be responsive.

Vertical video and its success

With a campaign goal to reach as many young people as possible and combat some negative perceptions and promote the value of higher education, our Paid Media experts have been utilising a mix of Instagram Stories, Facebook Video Link Posts and Facebook Reach and Frequency tactics.

It’s still early days for this campaign, but we’ve already seen some great results. And a key driver to the success of this initiative is the creative - which has been designed with the platforms in mind. As we already know, most video content consumed on handheld devices is viewed vertically, so it’s been important to maximise screen space to make the biggest possible impact. Facebook states that utilising vertical video formats, compared to horizontal video formats, leads to a three- to nine-point increase in ad-recall in seven out of ten instances. The early planning and adoption of these formats that fit the platforms is no doubt a contributor to the stellar relevance scores we have achieved, and the efficiencies that followed.

If you’d like to hear more about any of these campaigns, or you’d like to discuss how Net Natives can help you reach your student recruitment goals, get in touch here.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive