Terra State Reaches Potential Students with Hulu
The first rule of effective marketing is to be where your consumers are. Thanks to Streaming TV advertising, businesses of all sizes can now reach highly engaged audiences who are spending more time watching content at home.
Michael Metzger, Marketing Manager for Terra State Community College, set out to do just that to help reach the school’s Fall semester registration goals for 2020. The college, located in Fremont, OH, is nestled between Cleveland and Toledo and Metzger was looking for a way to cast a wide, yet targeted, net in his local area with his first campaign on Hulu Ad Manager. We spoke with him about his goals for Streaming TV advertising, working on the platform, and how Hulu Ad Manager compares to other advertising channels.
Hulu: Please give us some background about Terra State and the audience you are trying to reach.
Michael: We are a small school and our audience is all over the place. A Terra State classroom can have middle and high school aged students sitting next to students in their 50’s. Ohio offers free college courses to current 7th-12th graders who test into the courses, and that makes up about half of our student population. This younger audience, along with students in their 20’s coming in after a hiatus, are the ones we are aiming to reach.
Hulu: Which channels/platforms are currently part of your media mix?
Michael: We have a small budget, so we do what we can. We have a few traditional billboards, but digital makes up the bulk of our advertising. Some digital platforms are out of our reach because of high minimum budgets. Currently we utilize digital display, Google paid search, and YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram. In the last year and a half, we’ve also turned more to Pandora and Spotify. However, we’ve found that streaming media provides better results across the board.
Hulu: What marketing or advertising challenges did you experience that led you to try Streaming TV advertising?
Michael: Through pandemic relief funds, we received around $50,000 to boost enrollment and support the school with increased advertisements. Our school board requested a bigger TV presence, so we originally began with traditional television ads—but our impressions were only mediocre.
Hulu: Tell us about why you made the choice to advertise on Hulu and why you chose us to help tell your story?
Michael: There were several reasons why Hulu stood out as a natural choice.
It seemed like all the students were streaming Hulu. I knew we needed to be there.
I’ve been a Hulu subscriber for years. Last year, Terra State opened a dorm, which doesn’t provide cable. One afternoon, as I was visiting and taking photos for marketing, it seemed like all the students were streaming Hulu. Since I was already a fan, it seemed like a natural fit to reach our young audience. I knew we needed to be there.
Hulu was also immediately attractive because of the ability to connect with a younger audience. We want to attract young students who can save money—and time, if they start early—by enrolling with us before they head to a four-year university. Our general goal was awareness, to let potential students know we are here, we are open, our dorms are open, and there are options for education close to home. On traditional TV, Terra State ads were showing up on the Weather Channel and Discovery. Our audience—especially during lock-down—is primarily streaming, not watching traditional broadcast television.
The platform was super simple. Targeting by interest and demographics is great, and then there’s also my favorite: targeting by zip code. Technically speaking, our school serves the surrounding 5 counties, and because of our location we often have to split our budget between two DMAs (designated market areas). I was able to go through all the counties and pinpoint specific zip codes which really broadened our reach and saved money.
I use analytics a lot. They’re very important to me and I like seeing impressions. With the Hulu self-service platform, I can see the percentages of viewers who watch on mobile versus on a television in their living rooms. The platform was very user-friendly and straightforward. Traditional television seemed more like a shot in the dark.
We worked with a small local agency for ad buys, but they didn’t have a contact at Hulu and we didn’t meet the minimum spend at the time. When I heard about Hulu’s new self-service platform with a lower minimum spend, I jumped right in! I’d always preferred to manage our ads myself anyway, and working directly with Hulu saves us money.
We saw a steady increase during the entire campaign.
Hulu: What results and overall success have you seen already, after running your campaign on Hulu?
Michael: Historically, students generally wait until the last 2 weeks to register for the semester. Because of COVID our numbers are down, but we saw a steady increase during the entire campaign—and admissions hasn’t closed yet. I like the flexibility of starting a campaign whenever you want. We usually start about 2.5 months before a new semester, and we will definitely run more campaigns this year.
Learn More About Hulu’s Self-Service Advertising Solution
Thank you so much for your time, Michael! Places like Terra State Community College are exactly what we had in mind when we built the Hulu Ad Manager.
Looking to have your ad in front of your target audience? Learn how you can get started with Hulu’s self-service platform, Hulu Ad Manager, an affordable way to show our community of engaged viewers what your company has to offer.