Success story

Recruiting new students with retargeting

The higher education institution used targeted video adverts to raise awareness among potential students and link adverts to encourage them to complete an application, resulting in an 88% lower cost per completed application.
  • 51%decrease in cost per lead
  • 60%decrease in cost per started application
  • 88%decrease in cost per completed application

Their story

Starting new tech careers

Startup Institute is a unique higher education institution dedicated to providing students with the skills to follow their passion and succeed in a number of tech-related fields. It offers full-time and part-time courses at its campuses in Boston and New York.

Their goal

Increasing applications

The college wanted to raise awareness of its courses and encourage people to fill in an application to attend Startup Institute.
The strategy that has worked best for our business has been to cast a wide brand awareness net, and then create remarketing sub-funnels for acquisition. We wouldn’t have arrived at this balance if we didn’t have the tools and flexibility that Facebook offers.
Dana Cordova, CMO, Startup Institute

Their solution

A two-part strategy

Startup Institute kicked off its campaign by joining forces with digital marketing agency Social Fulcrum, which manages the ongoing campaign.
The company’s awareness-focused video advertsappeared in both mobile and desktop News Feed, and featured alumni explaining the college and why it’s particularly great for people seeking a career change. Advertising copy, which was optimised for mobile, encouraged people to learn more about the courses.
To ensure that it reached people who would benefit most from its courses, the Startup Institute team limited its targeting to college-educated people aged 26-44 who were not parents.
It also targeted adverts to Custom Audiences built from the college’s email lists, website Custom Audiences based on data from key web pages collected by the Facebook pixel, and Lookalike Audiences based on these Custom Audiences.
Next, the team reached out to people who had watched the video, serving them retargeted link adverts that linked to its application web page. The Startup Institute team also retargeted adverts to people who had visited its website, showing them adverts about the courses that they’d looked at.
Finally, the team used the Facebook pixel to measure the impact of its adverts on submitted applications. It tracked these results against a series of standard events that corresponded to the particular actions it wanted people to take (submitting their email address, completing an application and so on) on the Startup Institute website.

Their success

Straight As

The Startup Institute team found that qualifying its ideal audience with awareness-focused video adverts had a positive impact on its conversion-focused link adverts. The ongoing campaign, which began in October 2016, achieved the following within a month:
  • 51% decrease in cost per lead
  • 60% decrease in cost per started application
  • 88% decrease in cost per completed application
Startup Institute will continue to invest in Facebook advertising, as it allows us to reach a huge audience for less than the cost of traditional advertising channels. Our sales cycle is long, and it takes 3-6 touchpoints before a lead converts; Facebook almost always plays a direct or indirect role in the process.
Dana Cordova, CMO, Startup Institute