Graduate School’s Optimized Digital Efforts Lead To More Qualified Leads

Presidio Graduate School, a private graduate school located in California wasn’t meeting their recruitment goals for the niche audience they were targeting. They partnered with UniCentrico by Centrico Digital to rehaul their digital recruiting efforts to attract, qualify, and convert leads. After 1 year of working with us they were able to:

  • Optimize the average costs per lead for both Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
  • Generate 353 new leads, of which
  • 76% were qualified and
  • 15.7% passed the interview process.

The Situation

Presidio Graduate School offered MBA and MPA degrees focused on sustainability but wasn’t meeting their recruitment goals due to the niche segment they were targeting. What's more, they weren't skilled enough to launch successful social media and PPC campaigns for lead generation. There was no optimized admission funnel to properly track, qualify, and nurture leads. As a result, they ended up with poorly qualified leads, kept losing potential students, and wasted resources.

Their Goal

Presidio Graduate School needed to implement an automated lead qualification system, design customized journeys to nurture potential students throughout the entire admissions process, and broaden their reach for lead generation – without struggling with complex technology or time-consuming processes. The end goal was to increase recruitment numbers for their September 2020 enrollment.

UniCentrico’s Initial Assessment

When Presidio Graduate School reached out to us, the first thing we did was to analyze their current marketing efforts. We discovered that:

  • Their Google Ads campaigns had a very low-quality score, meaning that the client was being charged more for its Cost-Per-Click.
  • Conversions on LinkedIn Ads weren’t tracked at all.
  • No marketing automation nor strategy existed, despite using Salesforce. The client used the Salesforce CRM to manage top-of-the-funnel leads, but these leads were not being nurtured through the admissions process. Instead, they depended on one-to-one communication between students and Admissions Recruiters.
  • The client had never run Facebook Ads -- a key driver of engagement and lead generation.

It was clear that Presidio Graduate School needed a smarter way to attract leads, move them through their funnel, and convert qualified students -- while ramping up brand awareness.

UniCentrico’s Solution

After our audit, we developed a 4-point solution:

  1. Improve the overall PPC strategy.
  2. Introduce Facebook Ads into the lead generation strategy.
  3. Optimize LinkedIn Ads to track conversions and generate leads.
  4. Integrate Salesforce and HubSpot to build our customer journeys and nurture prospective students throughout their entire admissions journey.

Google Ads: We performed a thorough SEM keyword research to identify top-performing keywords related to our client’s industry and the programs they offered. These keywords were determined by looking at their estimated CPC, CTR, average searches per month, and their competition index. Then, we created a campaign structure targeting branded and non-branded keywords utilizing broad match modifiers to target our target audience effectively. Finally, we developed A/B split tests within each of our ad groups to identify what ad copy resonated best with our audience.

Facebook and LinkedIn Ads: To reach our target audience, we performed detailed targeting and created different audience segments for split testing, including retargeting and lookalike audiences. Ad formats for our campaigns varied between InMail (for LinkedIn), video, carousel, and static ads. Leads were captured with a landing page designed by us on HubSpot and also via Lead Forms on Facebook and LinkedIn Ads. Our cost-effective approach allowed us to keep optimizing campaigns and improving results.

Salesforce to Hubspot Integration: To successfully integrate both automation systems, we had to understand how they complemented each other. First, we launched a Sandbox instance on Salesforce for testing. To ensure there wasn't a discrepancy between data, we rolled out an integration strategy that mapped relevant fields, properties, and determined sync rules. Finally, we developed 5 complex workflows that targeted and scored leads within the admission funnel. These workflows contained engaging and valuable content, plus clear CTAs that moved students from the beginning of the admissions journey, down to the application stage. Our nurturing cycles were programmed to last for over a year.

Success At Last!

Presidio Graduate School’s campaign launched in June 2019 and successfully used social media advertising, marketing automation, and PPC strategies to attract, qualify, and convert leads. By June 2020, this campaign resulted in:

  • 353 leads for our client.
  • An average cost per lead of $13.53 for Google Ads.
  • An average cost per lead of $27.20 for Facebook Ads.
  • 15.7% passed the interview process.
  • 76% of these leads were qualified.