As we near the end of Admissions season at BC on May 1st, our Office of University Communications has been looking back on a lot of our efforts and trying to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and what we still need to improve.
For the first time at BC, we designed a main Welcome2022 landing page to which we could drive all of our marketing content. Designed by our class speaker, Melissa Lesica Beecher, the site contained video content, profiles on students, links to financial aid and campus tour registration, a tagboard of Twitter posts from other Admitted Students, and even links to join the BC Admitted Student Facebook page.
We definitely saw the benefits of having such a page, especially given the capacity to install a Facebook pixel to track the user data and target ads toward that group. More to come on that front below.
Another success was the two-pronged stragetic approach to video content, and our ability to tailor videos to each specific platform, which I referenced in my last “Making of Special Delivery” blog post. We definitely hope to continue this “BC Branded” and “BC Creative” approach in coming years.
Additionally, BC became more digital than ever – de-emphasizing our print resources and starting to move more and more toward these digital web and social efforts, which will only continue to improve in years to come.
To be Improved
For the first time, we also began a small Paid Facebook Pilot campaign, hoping to draw meaningful conclusions from the small amount of money we invested. Overall, we found that organic reach and shares is still king on Facebook, but we are trying to learn more about specifically targeted ads and budgets, and we still need to answer many of the following questions:
- What kind of budgets should be allocated to paid Facebook Ads? How much does dollar amounts invested tie to success of a campaign? We need to understand how much money to invest in many different types of content – especially different types of video and photo content – to achieve the outcomes we hope for.
- How can we measure these campaigns meaningfully? With our goal being “yield,” not more applications, what should be the “Call to Action” components of the Facebook Ads, and can we actually link our marketing efforts to the Enroll Decision by the prospective students? What are the outcomes we should be measuring – conversions to websites, enrollments, time spent on the Admitted Student page?
- How can/should we use applicant information? Today, we neither have access to/nor would we ever import a list of admit emails into Facebook, so given that limitation, how can we meaningfully target certain demographics of BC applicants and tailor content to their needs and interests? We need to better optimize our Facebook pixels and use it to serve ads directly to prospective students who visit our landing page upon Admission.
Ideally, these specifically targeted “Yield Campaigns” would happen after we send out the Regular Decision letters and content, and in the weeks leading up to decision day on May 1st, we would be serving tailored content to our top admits. For example, Nursing Students would receive links to our recent Nicaragua Service Immersion Documentary, or CSOM students might receive links to programs like TechTrek – content and offerings that could conceivably be a decision maker for prospective students.
Overall, we are excited by our huge digital strides this year. With the addition of the landing page, our newly redesigned BC websites for each major school, and our video strategy, BC Digital Marketing has become far more “circular,” navigable, savvy, and purposeful. With Paid Social becoming our major focus for Yield time next year, I am hopeful that our digital improvements will only continue year over year here at BC.
Having heard from Melissa and myself, experiencing this BC content as current students, and evaluating digital efforts throughout the semester in our class – how would you evaluate BC’s Admissions marketing efforts? What are we doing well? What could be improved? What would you like to see more of? Please comment below!