At A Glance
Ask any educational establishment what their biggest challenge is and they’ll tell you its driving student enrollments.
The same was the case with ERC Institute – they needed to find new ways to connect with their target audience and appeal to them.
From boosting visibility and generating interest to attracting leads and building trust – developing a consistent enrollment pipeline requires strategic planning and time.
While they were leveraging digital channels to acquire leads, they realized that their efforts were in vain. Their in-house team lacked the resources, time and data to implement an effective lead generation strategy which resulted in high spends but very few leads in return.
For example, they were running Search and Display ads but due to their limited knowledge, they wasted a lot of their budget on the wrong keywords.
Another tactic they were using was participating in MBA fairs. While this was necessary for brand recognition and to get their school in front of potential students, it was a huge cost and wasn’t fetching them the kind of leads they expected to acquire.
There came a point when they realized they couldn’t afford to waste any more money. They needed expert intervention to develop and implement a robust lead generation strategy – and that’s where we at Brew Interactive came in.
The goal was simple – to put together a digital marketing strategy to attract highly qualified leads for their MBA programmes and devise an action plan for their enrollment officers to convert those leads into students, as quickly as possible.
We started by conducting comprehensive research on the ERC institute to understand their offerings, target audience, objective, and pain points.
We also carried out an audit of their website and social media pages to gain a better understanding of the content they were producing and how they were communicating with their audience.
One thing was certain – the higher-education market is extremely competitive and in order to reach their
audience, we had to ace channel selection, audience targeting, and budget allocation.
Hence, we provided a multi-pronged approach that involved designing optimized landing pages and running targeted paid advertising campaigns across various channels to promote those pages.
1. Developed Lead-Generating Offers and Created Optimized Landing Pages
In order to capture leads, we had to first come up with enticing lead-generating offers that would compel prospects to fill the lead form and share their details.
We conducted audience persona research and based on those insights, came up with offers that would be incentive enough to attract them to the school.
These offers were centered around providing value and were leveraged to understand prospects’ interests and segment them accordingly.
We created over 20 landing pages with different combinations of headlines, copy, imagery, and designs and conducted A/B tests to identify and optimize variants that performed well.
Here are some of the landing pages we designed.
Each of these landing pages had powerful headlines, effective copy enlisting the value people would derive and a simple, easy-to-fill lead form. These pages saw an average conversion rate of 12%.
Once the landing pages were ready, we had to think of ways to promote them, drive traffic and attract the right kind of audience. Given the nature of the business and target audience, we identified Google Search, LinkedIn and Facebook as our prime advertising channels.
2. AdWords Campaign
The key to a successful AdWords campaign is identifying the right keywords.
We extracted relevant keywords from Google’s search report and identified new long-tail keyword opportunities that would attract users with higher search intent (eg. study MBA Singapore, where to study MBA, MBA courses in Singapore, etc.)
We also ran a quick competitor check to understand which keywords they were using and made it a point to insert negative keywords to reduce wasted spends.
Once the ads had run for a while, we did a keyword analysis to understand which ones were performing and added the irrelevant and non-performing keywords and search phrases to the negative keyword list.
3. LinkedIn Text Ads
A huge section of ERC Institute’s target audience is working professionals who are looking to upgrade or switch their career which made it imperative to advertise on LinkedIn. It’s the perfect platform to attract career-oriented users and we had to be on it.
We ran multiple Text Ads – each of them had a different message. The ads were targeted to specific job functions such as accounting, marketing, sales, human resources, etc. and prospects with managerial job titles.
Once again, we kept a close check on the ad performances and optimized the combinations of ad copy and images that worked while pausing the ones that didn’t.
4. Facebook Ads
We also ran ad campaigns on Facebook to promote the landing pages and acquire leads. We created around 480 audience segments and developed ads tailored to each of them.
We targeted users based on location, age, behaviors, and interests (eg. focus of study). We also went ahead and created lookalike audiences to target users similar to our existing audience base.
5. Trained Enrollment Officers for Better Lead Management
After having created the landing pages and promoting them through multiple channels, it was also necessary to go one step ahead and streamline the transition of leads from the marketing to the sales team to boost conversions.
Hence, we conducted a series of training sessions with ERC Institute’s enrollment officers to equip them to manage and convert the leads better.
As each of the landing pages were directed to users with different objectives, we encouraged the officers to engage with the leads and understand their motivations to push them further down the sales funnel.
For instance, in the case of the leads captured from the ‘One Day MBA Experience for Free’ landing page, we urged the enrollment officers to educate them about the benefits of the MBA programme in order to convince them to enroll.
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