Say hello to the ALU School of Business
The partnership between ALUSB and Pink Orange began in 2021 when ALUSB approached us presenting their challenge: To increase quality leads within their strongest markets while increasing the conversion rate of leads to students.
The ALU School of Business is pioneering a new approach to business education by designing programs that are specifically targeted to the demands of a rapidly growing Africa. Their mission is to help make this century “The African Century” by training African business leaders and entrepreneurs. Their goal is to develop leaders for the African Century.
Whether you're a young professional looking to advance your career, an experienced rising leader preparing for a strategic role in the organization, or a senior leader directing growth across the continent, ALUSB has a degree program or executive education program that's right for you.
It’s in the conversion.
Before we started working with ALU in 2018, we already identified a few potential pitfalls. We could swiftly solve a few things, such as large audiences and weak targeting definitions, before deciding to entirely restructure the campaigns so that we could have complete control over the quality and number of leads generated. The overarching goal of this campaign and partnership was to increase the total value of conversions from lead to tuition-paying students by generating high-quality leads from ALUSB's strongest markets.
Pink Orange places a high emphasis on education and the opportunities that it may give. We believe in its potential, and our mission is to help education companies around the world achieve their objectives. With that in mind, ALUSB's problem had a straightforward answer. The overarching obstacle we wanted to address was how to generate enough interest in ALUSB's curriculum so that potential students could understand the benefit ALUSB would bring to their lives - and, by extension, their communities.
- Lead quality
- Accurate data tracking & analytics
- Poor conversion rates
- Control over lead volume by market
The state of the account
Before Pink Orange entered the game.
No conversion tracking in place.
With the primary objective of this campaign being lead generation - accurate tracking was vital. However, before taking over the account - there was no conversion tracking tag set on the website. As a result, there was no conversion data from which the campaigns could learn and improve their performance.
Conversion monitoring enables us to see what occurs after a prospect clicks on an ad, and converts. Each conversion is logged whenever that particular activity is accomplished by adding a conversion pixel to the site (or mobile app). This helps us figure out the conversion rate (what percentage of impressions convert), as well as the cost per conversion (how much the client is paying for each conversion).
Non-performing bid strategy
Because conversion tracking was not enabled on the account, optimizing for conversions as a bid strategy would be futile because there was no conversion data for the campaigns to work with. A non-performing bid strategy simply means that a return on ad spend (ROAS) is not guaranteed.
Broad and redundant keywords
There were no negative keywords to prevent ads from surfacing for unrelated inquiries, and campaigns were bidding on too many wide and duplicate keywords.
Incorrect location targeting
Campaigns were set up to target people who had shown interest in the chosen markets instead of targeting people who primarily reside in these markets.
While efforts had been made to reach their student acquisition targets, it quickly proved to yield a lack of positive results. Due in part to a non-strategic approach, ALUSB required more than just a strategy - they needed results. Pink Orange was ready to strategize its campaign after an exhaustive review of its account, mission, and goals. We designed their solution by analyzing their target audience, and program information - and restructuring the accounts.
The power of organization.
We quickly set out to define the solution by the main objective, as well as the initial problems that we identified during the account audit stage. The plan was to devise and execute a strategy that would meet the KPIs while establishing and nurturing account growth.
Initially, we set up conversion tracking utilizing Google Tag Manager, linking it to Google Analytics. We proceeded to set up and implement UTM tracking scripts on an account level, which would automatically pick up the desired parameters from the final URL for each ad.
We then set out to identify the markets. Aside from the obvious tremendous African markets like Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana, we chose other markets to target based on the average monthly search volume for the keywords we looked at and the size of the respective audience segments for display campaigns.
As part of the initial phase of this project, we kicked it off with keyword research - to ensure that the approach to each market was sound, and based on industry insights. To create a successful bidding strategy, we set up manual bidding on a keyword level as opposed to the Ad group level, which was its initial setup. Related ad extensions were set up, and UTM parameters were put in place.
The next step included drafting and testing the creative strategy - this included ad copy as well as creatives. A/B testing was implemented to ensure the success of the ideal ad set. Each ad group was further segmented into manageable pieces, to ensure that our team could monitor campaign performance effectively, and accurately.
Part of the Pink Orange process is to continuously monitor campaign performance and metrics to identify areas for optimization, ensuring that low-performing campaigns (bringing in lower quality leads) are tweaked, as well as reallocating ad budget to the high-performing campaigns. This data-driven approach allowed us to keenly identify and target the right demographic while making live adjustments to the bidding strategy.
At Pink Orange - we take a proactive approach to lead generation and recommended that ALUSB consider YouTube as an advertising platform. This was based on extensive market research that considered local competition, as well as international best practices. Based on our research - we proceeded to implement a YouTube campaign, that would bring in alternate and unexpected lead sources. We launched both search and YouTube ads - both providing quality leads, with a high lead-to-application ratio.
To ensure proper tracking was achieved, we ensured customized UTM tracking parameters to help us accurately identify lead sources - enabling us to optimize and leverage the success of our social campaigns. Campaigns were run across LinkedIn, Google, and YouTube. We installed insight tags on each landing page that related to the LinkedIn campaign, allowing us to accurately monitor campaign performance. ALUSB’s CRM was integrated with LinkedIn lead gen forms, as well as each being assigned a UTM tracking parameter for lead source identification.
Not only did this approach reach and exceed the identified objectives of ALUSB’s campaign - but we were also able to provide them with accurate reporting on the cost per student, something which they were historically unable to do. Our approach included a clean Pixel set-up - which lead us to collect high-quality data, having a significant impact on the audience quality - and by extension, campaign quality.
Although initially hesitant to embrace change - ALUSB quickly realized that the ROI and ROAS on their campaigns through Pink Orange were more than sufficient. They thanked us for allowing them to open themselves to new market regions.
All of this was made possible by implementing a data-first approach to each aspect of the campaign.
Data is our ally. Without numbers to back it up, a campaign quickly loses its effectiveness. We observed incredible growth during our collaboration with ALUSB, and we were able to quickly demonstrate the ROAS!
Surprisingly, the major markets (Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana) did not outperform our expectations. Ethiopia, on the other hand, was the market with the most leads created.
- Total number of leads generated - 3,135
- Display: 2,955
- Search: 153
- YouTube: 27
- Total number of applications- 217
- Lead to application rate - 13%
- Display lead to application rate- 6%
- Search lead to application rate- 11%
- YouTube lead to application Rate- 22%
- Total number of leads- 1,221
- Total number of applications - 180
- Lead to application rate - 15%
The African continent is full of opportunity. To tap into these markets, constant tests and optimizations of the target audience are essential, to ensure that ad spend is directed where guaranteed results (and conversions) are achieved. Understanding how prospects make decisions is crucial to developing the correct amount of touchpoints and a full-funnel marketing machine. To make this decision, your "clients" will most certainly need more than one ad!