Paid Social Campaign #2

Strategic Diversification in Facebook Leads to Strong ROI

About the Partner
This university has four ground locations across the country. They have developed an effective and unique learning experience that is specialized in the arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies, engineering and design. They launched their first fully online degree in 2010.

The Story
This university set a goal for Fiscal Year 2017 to increase inquiries for their online hospitality program, along with other top converting programs. However, they needed to keep CPI down so Thruline was tasked with generating additional volume at a lower cost for these programs. We identified Facebook as an underutilized area that had the potential to drive additional inquiry volume at a lower cost per inquiry.

The Strategy and Execution
Thruline took the approach of strategic diversification within Facebook to obtain maximum results. Implementing a variety of ad formats, creatives and audiences can allow Facebook to serve the right ad to the right person at the right time and provide the best ROI. Campaigns were created for different programs, allowing ad copy and the audience to be tailored to each specific program. Ads were first created using a combination of single image and carousel formats in the traditional news feed and right column placements linking to the client’s conversion-focused PPC website. Next a campaign for hospitality was created utilizing Facebook’s recently released Lead Ads format to make it even faster and easier for users to fill out a lead form. Throughout the course of the year, new programs were added as needed and creative updates were made as ad fatigue started to settle in.

Since investing more into Facebook campaigns at the start of FY17, this university has seen tremendous growth in its hospitality programs and overall inquiry volume from Facebook. Total Q4 hospitality inquiries increased 145% year over year. Total inquiries from Facebook were up 326% in that same time frame, all while keeping the Facebook CPI under $115. The Lead Ads format has been particularly successful for the hospitality program, driving 98% of hospitality inquiries from Facebook last quarter.

Implementing a variety of ad formats across a multitude of programs has been instrumental to growth for this university in the last year. Thruline has found that testing new products, like Lead Ads after it was released by Facebook, is essential to finding additional growth opportunities for higher education institutions. Additionally you must be willing to tinker with campaign settings, ad copy and ad formats until you find the right balance that works best for your institution.


Sarah Russell, Director of Digital Media