What can be accomplished in 6 months? In the grand scheme of things - 6 months is not a long time. Approximately 182 days - if we told you that you could completely change the trajectory of your institution in such a short time - would you believe us? That said - success is like a dance - it takes two willing, able - and committed partners! It’s in Lanterna Education that we found this partner - and our dance began! As partners, we were excited to ramp up their marketing efforts - while helping them gain a better understanding of where their marketing budgets would make the biggest impact.
Say hello to Lanterna Education
The partnership between Lanterna Education and Pink Orange Media began in November of 2021, a month not notoriously known for its new beginnings. Nonetheless, we began the conversation with Lanterna - a prestigious and well-known company within the education space - with a desire to improve its lead-generation efforts through compelling copy, appealing creative content, and a campaign strategy that would be the envy of all its competitors.
Lanterna Education, a prestigious online tutoring platform has helped students in the IB program for 2 decades. With their resources, tools, knowledge, and expertise - Lanterna supports its IB students, empowering them to unlock their potential - and ace their exams. The renowned institution offers tailored - and flexible tutoring services through its expansive network of over 300 professional tutors. Their program matches prospective students with their ideal tutors, who are regularly evaluated against industry, and performance standards. Together with its sister organization, Kognity - Lanterna stands on the shoulders of giants to provide students with high-level resources and academic support - globally.
The partnership between Pink Orange and Lanterna Education began with high aspirations and an account that needed a little bit of TLC. While the structural work was sound, there were a few aspects that needed reformatting, restructuring - and some good old attention.
Before Pink Orange took over the Lanterna accounts, conversion tracking was set up based on click actions - this setup lead to the campaigns recording each click attempt as a successful conversion. While the conversion tag was installed correctly - the trigger actions were flawed.
Conversion tracking is a vital aspect of any successful digital attempt, and setting this up erroneously can negatively impact campaign performance. Sometimes, the way that conversions are set up can confuse the pixel, causing it to fire incorrectly - a time-consuming issue to resolve. Successful conversion tracking is crucial, otherwise campaigns ‘learn’ from inaccurate data!
Non-performing bid strategy
Initially, the majority of the campaigns were maximized for clicks - a strategy that wouldn’t work for this account considering the historical conversion data already available.
As marketers - you’ll know that multiple bidding strategies can be implemented - and there is the right one for each campaign and account, depending on its maturity. Using the wrong strategy too early on in the account life can cause more harm than good! Here, our objective was to increase quality conversions - which is why the bidding strategy was revised.
Low ad strength
While the team at Lanterna had made levels of progress regarding their ad sets, the headlines and descriptions did not have embedded keywords.
This is where the value of a solid creative and content strategy comes into play. If this isn’t in place from the start, it will harm ad strength, as well as the cost per impression, and impression share that your account will get versus that of another advertiser. The team at Pink Orange quickly identified that the ad copy initially used wasn't always phase appropriate, and in turn came up with different, more appropriate copy based on the different stages of the marketing funnel.
Limited audience targeting
Initially, display campaigns were limited to both custom, and remarketing audiences, causing a limited audience - and missing out on potential students.
Limited audience targeting is just that, it sets the stage for an account to miss out on potential audiences that need and want to hear the message! Our goal was and is to increase the audience size while keeping the prospects relevant and appropriate to the target persona.
An account that needed ‘cleaning up’
Before Pink Orange took over the Lanterna account, the team had a singular ad group for all keywords and layered audience segments.
For this account to be successful, it needed a complete restructuring. We did so, giving us more control, and making it easier to optimize - identifying what worked, and what didn’t. In addition to this, we ensured bullet-proof UTM tracking right down to a keyword level, because our main goal is to attribute ad clicks - to sales. After continuous optimization, we reached the point where we could keenly identify which exact click led to a conversion, as well as pinpoint the exact amount of time that it took for a lead to become a customer. This allowed us to redefine the student buying journey while adding the right amount of touchpoints along the way.
Undefined UTM Tracking - and its consequences
Leads in the CRM couldn’t accurately be traced back to a campaign, or a keyword that generated them. This is where optimization takes the lead.
All of the above aspects of the account were rectified, optimized - and maximized within the first 4 months of managing the account. Now that we are at the point where we have a holistic funnel attribution system in place - we can continue to collect data based on campaign performance, lead progression - and the different touchpoints needed along the way. This is how Pink Orange can build a full-scale marketing machine!
How Pink Orange restructured the account:
- We removed the false conversion triggers and set up new ones based on form submissions.
- We installed a code that would enable check validation via Google Tag Manager. This helped us eliminate the possibility of measuring invalid form submissions as false conversions.
- We set up UTM tracking scripts on an account level - which automatically picked up the parameters that we wanted from the final URL for each ad.
What we did when we took over
- We began by conducting new keyword and audience research
- We broke down ad groups into smaller, manageable units, each containing related keywords. This allowed us to monitor performance efficiently and effectively
- We set up related ad extensions
- We set up manual bidding on a keyword level instead of on an ad group level
- We set up all related ad extensions
- We efficiently created specific campaigns for all major markets
- We created region-specific ads
- We focused heavily on copy and creative material, drafting new ad copy (headlines and descriptions) to improve ad strength
- We began A/B testing of the creatives and copy
- Based on the identified target personas, we created ads for each - ensuring that they were being shown to the appropriate demography
- We assisted the Lanterna team in adjusting the workflows in their CRM to ensure that leads were injected into the correct nurturing campaign
- We launched YouTube and Performance Max ads, giving us quality leads
Identifying target markets
Apart from the most discernible market - the UK - we selected additional markets to target based on the average monthly search volume for the keywords that we analyzed and the size of the different audience segments for display campaigns.
Possibly the most rewarding component of this business! We are data-driven, which is how and why we can produce results that demonstrate ROI for our clients.
Results are regularly monitored throughout the campaign, allowing for innovative improvement. Methods, channels, copy, and targets are all evaluated regularly to verify the strategy's effectiveness. Objectives are still being reached through developing country-specific content and leveraging the account's creative freedom.
- Percentage increase in the number of leads: 439%
- Percentage increase in the number of QLs: 212%
- Percentage increase in the number of customers: 80%
- Percentage decrease in CAC: 37%
- Increase in CTR: 66%
This increase in CTR can be directly attributed to the improved ad copy, creative execution, and new and improved creative strategy. The decrease in the CAC is a direct result of the combination of the Pink Orange team’s efforts.
The partnership between Pink Orange and Lanterna is evolving, and new opportunities for the account and institutional growth are continuously identified. This is merely a reflection of the first 6 months of the partnership, there is certainly more to come! Now that we have initiated the campaigns, identified the markets & audience, established the brand's authority - and implemented a full-funnel attribution system - we can continue to collect performance data, lead progression analysis, and effectively build a timeless, sustainable, and holistic marketing machine!
Here’s to your success, Lanterna!