What Works When, How and Where

As a seasoned writer and creative director of career college ads, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works. To be sure, there is no golden rule for creating leads, but there are a few proven methods clients should consider when ordering a fresh batch of new creative.

At PlattForm we’ve conducted scores of student focus groups to determine what inspires a prospect to pick up the phone and call. What we’ve learned above all else is that, in advertising, students want to see “themselves” and be given as much information about the school and the program as possible–that, and they want to be entertained in the process. Therein lays the conundrum. According to the audience, every career college ad should represent students’ demographics, convey all the needed/relevant information about the school and program, all while entertaining to their giddy delight – a task not easily accomplished in thirty seconds.

The best approach to accomplish these goals is to create a broad spectrum of advertising that reflects that which students tell us is effective. A multi-pronged attack of ads that address each concern individually is often the best approach. Clients making an advertising push during a targeted time of year – say, late summer/early fall – do well to order three distinct sets of ads.

The first, and perhaps most effective, is the direct, informative spokesperson on camera describing a program and its benefits. This approach is often strengthened with student and/or employer testimonials. This bare-bones approach should give prospective leads all the incentive needed to call and eventually enroll.

A second successful approach is to entertain. Surprisingly, the bizarre and off the wall concepts have proven to be highly successful in pulling leads. However abstract the ads might be, there should be threads of information about the school or program, as well as a healthy dose of contact information to allow leads to act when prompted.

A third middle-ground approach is to show the targeted demographic involved in the work of their chosen field after they’ve graduated. These ‘outcome’ spots are often identified by students as highly motivating and the spots they most identify with.

In the end, school administrators should monitor what works and what doesn’t work in their given market. Here at PlattForm we’ve developed highly successful methods that determine what works when, how and where. We strategically conceive, produce, then track every aspect of any ad campaign that schools embark on. This is what makes PlattForm the premier, full-service marketing shop for the career college industry. Our creativity, experience and innovation are how we guarantee schools leads–all at a staggeringly low cost-per-lead.

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