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The General Psychology and Messaging Behind Higher Education Advertising
The Glacier TeamJun 8, 2021 6:53:00 AM3 min read

The General Psychology and Messaging Behind Higher Education Advertising: What to Consider

Are you considering general psychology when creating your higher education ads? The truth is there’s a lot more that goes into creating successful higher ed advertising campaigns than simply matching up copy with a nice image. Campaigns that perform well include thorough research and thought out strategies around psychology, messaging, and relevant considerations.

Gen Z Advertising Considerations

While research and strategy development might sound like a bit of a daunting process (where does anyone find the time!?), we’re here to make it a lot easier for you. Glacier did the legwork and put together this list of a few critical considerations for advertising to Gen Z, so you don’t have to! 

These considerations serve as a great starting point for putting together creative, social media ads, paid ads, and more. Read on!

The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Ed Advertising

You may or may not be surprised to know 1 in every 5 students changed their top choice of university or college in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. It was discovered that students rated the cost of attending an institution and whether or not the institution was close to home as greater priorities than in previous years. 

Creative Blog 1 Student changes quote

COVID-19 has made both cost and location primary considerations for 2021 recruitment. That means thinking about these demographics in youth advertising can mean greater success with campaigns. 

Create Content for Each Stage of an Applicant’s Journey

A student’s use of an institution’s website shifts as they go through the application process. It’s essential to keep this in mind as you attempt to target students at different points in the application cycle. Every institution should be creating content that aligns with each stage of their target audience’s journey. 

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Demonstrate Institutional Value

The cost of attending higher education institutions only continues to increase. This makes it an area of particular interest for students and parents. Their goal is to measure the true value of attending an institution which means higher education advertisers need to provide this information upfront. 

It’s important to focus on creating content that demonstrates a clear return on investment. What will students get from attending the institution? What career can they expect to get as a result of their education? And what graduate school outcomes will become available to them? 

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Source: Glacier & Academica White Paper

Having this information and showing real-life success through alumni can make a big difference in the outcome of Gen Z advertising campaigns in 2021. 

Be Mobile Ready

If you’re not mobile-ready, you’re not ready! Today, more high school students own mobile phones than laptops, and 69% of them access higher education websites from their mobile devices. Many students will use their mobile devices to complete their university and college applications. 

Not only that, they’re clicking on and engaging with in-app ads at a rate of 79% - notably higher than mobile web ads at a rate of 64%. 

It’s clear that utilizing the 300x250 ad size is your ticket to higher education advertising success! These ads deliver a richer experience to the user than traditional standard banners. They can include video, interactive content, dynamic data, and expansion to offer more real estate.

Source: Verizon Media (

Further Considerations

There’s no denying it. These considerations are simply a must for every higher education marketer. 

At the end of the day, coupling this research with best practices is the best way to ensure you’re creating campaigns that deliver great ROI. Be sure to check out our blog post on best practices and creative strategies for everything you need to know. 

Do you want to learn more about how to run an effective high school advertising campaign? Let's set up a call to see how we can help!