Culinary School Cooks up New Enrollments

THE RUNDOWN

A culinary school provides hands on training and a simulated work-like environment to prepare students with the skills, techniques and professionalism to achieve life long career goals. The center offers courses in hotel operations and commercial cooking and catering. The school enjoys a fairly steady enrollment due to their work with government assistance programs to help provide veterans and the disabled with the skills to achieve and maintain a rewarding career.

THE CHALLENGE

The success of the culinary school’s programs with their current government assistance clientele encouraged them to extend their program offerings for general enrollment. The center believed they could expand the impact of their programs by allowing more people the opportunity to learn and grow in the hospitality field. With a goal of increasing new student enrollment by 10 – 15 students per session, the school turned to Advance 360 because of our reputation for excellence, credibility of our expertise and data, and our team infrastructure to fully support and monitor their digital marketing efforts.

THE STRATEGY

The Advance 360 digital team worked closely with the client to identify the types of student prospects to target and the most relevant geographies to reach them. With two locations in the New York metropolitan area, the digital team focused on the 5 boroughs of New York and developed a multi-channel strategy to connect with the optimal audience including Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Facebook Lead Generation, and Display Remessaging. As the campaigns became established, the strategy was expanded to include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and TrueView Video.

SEM (paid search) campaign to drive leads and conversions. The Advance 360 search team developed an exhaustive list of relevant search terms/keywords to connect with potential students with an interest in hospitality, cooking and culinary education. Naturally, with the vast number of general consumer searches for cooking-related topics, the search team also implemented an extensive list of negative keywords such as bakery, demonstration and celebrity chef names, for example, to maximize the search budget and prevent budget loss due to incompatible appearances on search result pages.

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Facebook Lead Generation ads extend brand awareness with a call to action. Facebook lead ads were targeted to Veterans to inform them of the government assistance programs as well as recent high school students who are just starting to think about a career path, and people specifically interested in a culinary career. Lead generation ads delivered prospect information immediately to the client’s email and CRM.

Display Remessaging ads reinforce the brand message and offer to recent website visitors. Among potential students that came to the school’s website via organic or paid marketing efforts to learn more about their programs, visitors that did not convert were served additional digital display messaging to keep the client top of mind and encourage conversion.

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SEO (organic search) expertise strengthens client’s website to improve organic rankings on search pages. The search team reviewed the client’s website and updated existing titles and descriptions with optimized content. They created a unique page for Veterans with fresh content and optimized images. The team also reworked and optimized their Google Business listings and helped to get their blog page functioning.

TrueView Video can provide the most engaging level of messaging to connect with an audience. What better way to highlight the school’s facilities, meet faculty, glimpse classes in action and hear from satisfied graduates to make a lasting impression on prospective students?

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THE RESULTS

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ROI OVER 400%

per month on average

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Average 120 leads per month

Search & Facebook campaigns drove a high number of actionable leads to the client.

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56% Video View Rate

TrueView Video campaign garnered a 56% view rate which is over 2X the industry standard.

SEM 6% conversion rate

Client campaign conversion rate exceeded the education industry average by 77%

12-15 new students per
enrollment period

Campaigns achieved the client’s goal of 10-15 new students per session

Real World Example: Traffic, Conversions, and Sales

What’s most important: Site Traffic, Site Conversions, or Sales Dollars? Trick question. Separate but equal, each of these outcomes is inter-dependent.

This graph shows the actual performance for three of our client’s product lines.

Digital Campaign Performance vs Sales

B-SearchVSales-graph2 Real World Example: Traffic, Conversions, and Sales

Starting with picnic tables, the search volume is significant. At first glance at the search results alone, it appears this is a product collection in need of supportive advertising and additional attention. But if you look a little closer, the actual site conversions for this product are low, along with the percentage of total sales generated by picnic tables. This isn’t where we should be investing our client’s marketing dollars.

In contrast, the fencing products generated a similar amount of search volume, but accounted for a much larger share of actual conversions, site sessions (research!) and sales. In fact, for a similar search volume, the sales are more than 60% higher than that of picnic tables. This indicates that the return on the paid search investment is more than 13 times that of picnic tables. Knowing this, should we consider whether a change in the spend will increase the return percentage? Could we spend less and see similar results?

In lawn and garden, our spend hasn’t generated the sales we’d hope to see. This might indicate that an optimization in our keywords is necessary, that our geographies should be reviewed, or that our content should be analyzed for SEO value.

What does your analysis tell you about your own business?

Content Marketing: Did you know?

Marketing experts saw the shift long ago. They’ve preached that “content is king” for years. But what does that really mean?

Custom content, written, produced, or designed for specific segments of your audience offers a truly personalized experience. It feels bespoke — designed just for the shape, size, or attributes of your best customer.

 

78% of these marketers believe that custom content is the future of marketing.

Start small. Create a single infographic and an accompanying article. Position them appropriately on your website. Then pull graphic elements from the infographic into digital ad units, targeted to the clientele most impacted by that statistic. Link back to the full article and creative, and watch what happens.

 

50% of budget for in-bound marketing strategies, significantly decreasing the cost per acquisition. Some report as much as 3x the leads from these activities.

Shift spending from traditional media, where limited personalization is possible, and refine your tactics to more unique messaging that will have an impact. Try this exercise: Pen a series of 2-3 paragraph organizational updates, based on the different generations of your audience. Note how the language should change as the audience’s characteristics change. Expand this thinking into web content, social media, and other promoted materials, based on the audience you’ve selected to reach.

60% of your audience will look for the product after reading about it, and 90% report finding it useful.

Does that mean you need to buy advertorials in all of your traditional print placements? No. It means you should be looking at Google reviews, sites that recommend your products, and putting testimonials on your site. It means that you need to be thinking about partners that can describe your product to their audiences, expanding your reach. Get guerilla, get grass roots. This is about uncovering opportunities, not painting marketing efforts with broad strokes.

 

70% of your audience says that engaging with your content makes them feel closer to your brand.

It’s proven: the more interactive the method, the more reward you’ll reap. Plan to mix your media so that you engage as many of the senses as you can. Make it visceral: audio (podcast), graphic (design/artwork). Make it surprising: get whimsical by posting the playlist for your office. Get creative by posting photos of your VP’s children trying to figure out the latest product in your line. Nothing is off the table but silence.

These tips are just the beginning. These will certainly snowball into more! Give these a try, and more will surely follow, along with new business.

Source: Statista

2018 Digital Marketing Trends

Who is your most valuable audience? Your digital strategy should lead them directly to you. But the landscape changes quickly. How do you keep up? Here’s our take on actionable insights you can (and should) incorporate into your marketing strategy, including advances in online display targeting, content marketing and video.

Peter & Company Jewelers Increases Awareness and Revenue with Strategic Marketing

By all accounts, Peter & Company was a successful Cleveland jeweler. With their concentration on special occasion jewelry, diamonds and engagement, and specialty brands, they had all the devices to gain and keep their clients’ attention.

But at Advance 360, we knew that with a strategy centered around events and special occasions, true gains could be made. We built for them a layered campaign with evergreen, event, and other segments, targeted at those that could be most influenced.

Marketing Challenge

Peter & Co. is a single point customer service oriented jewelry retailer that has been in business for 30 years. They have/had partnered with jewelry specific agencies over the past decade. Peter & Co. wanted to understand how their marketing efforts were performing, have a better knowledge of their customer base, and be able to better leverage the digital space.

Our Solutions

  • We proposed becoming their Agency of Record to handle ALL marketing efforts
  • A full CRM and POS data analysis was performed
  • Custom reporting was created to track both web analytics and POS performance in one place
  • We built them a 12 month media calendar including digital, video, print, radio, signage, etc.
  • Our team coordinates and/or activates and optimizes all of the media plans
  • Our creative team initially designed campaigns for Always On, Mother’s Day, Spring, and Summer

Capabilities:

  • Display impressions
  • Campaign management
  • Design
  • Video
  • Photography
  • Responsive rich media
  • Social media marketing
  • Print advertising
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Blog
  • Exterior signage
  • Store collateral & signage
  • Swag items
  • Catalogs
  • Holiday website
  • Campaign analytics
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Creative Samples

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Recruiting International Students

According to the Institute of International Education, more than one million college students studying in the U.S. are international students, and 47% of those are from China or India. Due to limited funding, more than half of these students elect not to make a campus visit before starting classes. The US has always been the destination of choice for international students, making your digital marketing strategy around an international audience even more necessary.

We’ve outlined some strategies below to help universities marketing to prospective international students:

SEO/SEM

If you were an international student, how would you go about searching for universities in the United States? You would probably search for something like: “programs for international students in the United States” or other similar phrases. Having your university’s web page appear on the first page of that search’s results will enable you to be visible to international students. If you are a very small university it may be hard to compete with larger ones through organic search results, which is where paid search can help. 

Digital Content

Digital content is all about knowing who your audience is and writing for them. Use relevant and useful content to attract prospective international students, like rates specific to international students, as well as information, and answers to frequently asked questions to help make their decision easier. By providing as much relevant information as possible, you will be a step forward ahead of your competition. Remember, your content strategy will elevate your SEO rankings, too.

Mobile

study by UVersity.com showed that international students use their mobile device to visit websites, download university apps, take a virtual campus tour, and view university social media. Having a mobile-friendly website that is engaging and has a fast response rate will allow you to make a good impression on international students. But before you have prospective international students looking at your website university, you need to get noticed. Mobile marketing will allow you to reach the audience you have intended while getting your university’s name out there for prospective international students to notice and research.

Social Media and Other Grassroots Strategies

International students want to communicate with admissions counselors, international services, and students during the admissions process.

  • Use your international alumni to intrigue prospective international students. Create testimonials that you can quote and refer to on your social media accounts. You can also use your international alumni to create a page on LinkedIn. Invite current and former international students to join the page so that perspectives can view it and find someone to connect with that went to college abroad and can give them valuable advice.
  • Use your social media account to promote materials that are important to international students. You can promote materials about the number of international students there are on campus if they are relatively high, or you can promote materials about clubs/organizations that are on campus to help international students feel acclimated on campus.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Using Instagram is second nature for current teens which is why utilizing your university’s Instagram and advertising on the platform will help increase your university’s brand presence with international students. Posting pictures of campus and students will give international students a feel for campus life without physically being there. Keep in mind that generic photos of campus are no good, make sure the pictures capture candid moments.

Improve Your Search Performance with Content Marketing

Content Marketing has become one of the most important ways for a business to market themselves online. 

Not only does targeted, relevant, frequently updated content on your site nurture your prospects and give them a deeper way to get to know you and your products, if done well over time, it gives good “Google Juice” so that you are ranked higher in searches! Improving your organic search rankings with Content Marketing takes months of consistent publishing on your website. It is for that reason that we work with clients on annual engagements, rather than producing “one-off” pieces.

Click to download our most recent travel content guide.

Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategies that Really Work

Constant change has become the norm for healthcare marketers these days, and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down as a new administration will inevitably mean changes to the healthcare system. That being said, there is one trend that isn’t going away in digital healthcare marketing, and that’s the focus on the patient. Healthcare has made the shift towards a value-based system, and healthcare organizations depend on patient satisfaction to not only maintain their current patients but to get referrals and gain new ones.

The good news is that organizations that promote themselves digitally will benefit from the increasing consumer involvement in healthcare. Providers are at an advantage, because health is one of the most important topics in people’s lives, and digital marketing is facilitating an exchange of information between these providers and their patients. But what are the best strategies for reaching patients? We’ve outlined some of the most effective ones below:

Storytelling

The goal of many healthcare organizations should be to focus on brand awareness, as well as gaining and retaining patients. The best way to do this is to draw patients in by framing your healthcare facility as a caring and engaged organization. Your story needs to be about putting the patients first. These days, patients are turning to the internet to research their healthcare. By consistently providing them with up-to-date information about diseases and conditions, treatments and procedures, and the doctors and health care professionals in your organization, you can engage the patients that are out there researching. In addition, healthcare marketing is cyclical and should focus on what the patients are experiencing throughout the year. During Mother’s Day, you can run maternity stories, weight loss after the holidays, flu shot information in the winter, and men’s health around Father’s Day. Of course, healthcare organizations need to keep in accordance with HIPAA, so focusing on general and educational information should be the priority.

Video

Don’t forget – content doesn’t just mean the written word. Video marketing is extremely effective for healthcare organizations. Creating videos to post along with your content can greatly enhance your content marketing strategy: according to a study by Moz, posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links. Consider creating patient education videos that explain a complex subject in a short but compelling way, or interview doctors in your office to bring the human factor to your healthcare organization. Make sure to post these videos on your website and share through social platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Social Media

Engaging with patients means that healthcare organizations need to take it one step further than just posting information on a website. That being said, social media is an important component of healthcare marketing. In fact, 90% of adults 18-24 say they would trust medical information shared by others in their social networks, while 41% of all patients say social media impacts their choice of healthcare providers. Replying to patient concerns in a timely manner is important for healthcare organizations, and encouraging patients to provide feedback on their experience can be an effective social strategy. Healthcare providers should be using social media as one channel to amplify their story. Another great way to use social media to the benefit of a healthcare organization is by creating groups and forums where patients can discuss various aspects of the healthcare field. Keep in mind though, that social media is only effective if it is consistently managed.

Website and Search Engine Optimization

All websites these days are at the mercy of search engine algorithms, and healthcare organizations are no different. If you want your organization to be discovered online, you need to have your website content optimized for that purpose. So what does that mean? In terms of Google specifically, there are two primary metrics: relevance and authority. Relevance is a measure of how relevant your website content is to your business. This used to only be measured through content related to keywords and back-end tags and meta descriptions, but the algorithm has gotten much more sophisticated and can now understand the content as it is related to the intent of the search. Authority is the measure of how trustworthy and valuable a page is based on rankings that include how many times people share or link back to content, how well the site runs, and if it is optimized for mobile usage. In basic terms, the best way to optimize your website is to make sure the content you create to tell your story is valuable, up-to-date, and of good quality.

Email Marketing

The truth is, email marketing is still the standard for business reaching their audience, it just needs to be done in the right way. The best email strategy is a targeted and personalized one that reaches the right audience with the right message. Use personalization techniques that enter in recipient’s names when sending, include a catchy subject line, fill the email with relevant and useful content for the readers. It always goes back to the story and making sure that the patient is getting quality information that aligns with your brand.

By using digital tools to communicate relevant information and educate your patients, you will inevitably build relationships that will help you retain your current patient base and build a community of well-informed and engaged patients that are loyal to your organization.

SEO Priorities

Every year, Hubspot assembles the “State of Inbound,” a comprehensive report that examines the challenges, priorities, and strategies of more than 3,500 marketers and sales professionals from around the world. The report covers just about every topic in the inbound marketing world, but some of the more interesting statistics revolved around SEO and SEO strategy.

SEO remains relevant and important, but it’s changing dramatically. In 2016, 69% of marketers described prioritizing SEO growth in their strategies. If you are like those marketers, the full report may be reflective of your own thoughts, or may give you a fuller understanding of how this component is expanding among your other efforts.

Micro-Moments Influence Travelers

The most important takeaway: if you want to be found, you better be mobile friendly. Here’s the mobile reality – in 2015, there were 1.8 billion smart phone users in the world, and 64% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Of that U.S. mobile population, 75.1% of them access the internet from their mobile phones, and that percentage is rising every year. With those kind of numbers, chances are that your customers are on mobile or soon will be. On top of being mobile friendly, you have to be in the customer’s path when and where they are looking for your service. What’s the best way to do that?