The African Leadership University.

Find out how the African Leadership University generated a 775% increase in quality applicants from Facebook and Instagram

Say hello to the African Leadership University

We helped ALU create market-specific social media advertising with multiple touchpoints, turning quality leads into enrolled students through a combination of targeted campaigns and timely retargeting. Beyond that, we helped them harness the power of data analytics to understand which ads generate the strongest applicants.

The who

ALU (African Leadership University) is a network of world-class, pan-African universities, with campuses in Rwanda and Mauritius. ALU's mission is to empower Africa's next generation of leaders to create a transformative impact across the continent. ALU offers a unique and innovative education model that combines leadership development, real-world experience, and skills-based learning to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. With a focus on practical skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, ALU equips students with the tools they need to become change-makers in their communities and beyond. Through its partnerships with leading global organizations, ALU provides students with opportunities for internships, mentorship, and networking, enabling them to build a powerful network of connections across Africa and around the world.

The challenge 

Generate high-quality leads from ALU's strongest markets and increase conversion from lead to tuition-paying students.

By 2030, Africa will be home to the world's biggest potential workforce. The African Leadership University offers unique undergraduate and MBA degrees, targeting the next generation of African business leaders and entrepreneurs who will tap into this talent pool and transform the continent. 

ALU's program offering is attractive—many young, ambitious Africans dream of studying there. However, the university needed help connecting with the strongest possible applicants and taking them from prospective students to enrolled students. With a high volume of potential applicants from all corners of the continent, but ultimately a low application "conversion" rate, ALU asked us to prioritize quality over quantity and attract the right candidates from their target markets, filling their cohort with the best and brightest.

The solution 

Targeting talent, and nurturing quality.

Highly relevant, market-specific social campaigns with multiple touchpoints, compelling content, and effective retargeting.

To start, we split the social campaigns into market-specific segments, creating much smaller but more relevant audiences with the help of additional targetting filters. A smaller audience of prospective students allowed us to better customize the campaign content to their specific needs.

Next, we created campaign content for multiple touchpoints in the decision-making process. This content was designed to increase engagement with the university on Facebook and Instagram and re-engage prospective students that had yet to take the next step. 

Lead data generated from this approach was fed into automated retargeting campaigns that featured genuine student and campus content. By cleverly segmenting the audiences based on where they were in their application journey, we were able to deliver the right message at the right time to encourage them to take the next step in submitting their application or confirming their place. And our "soft content" approach significantly boosted the rate of started submitted applications from highly qualified prospective students.

Alongside these targeted social campaigns, we installed a chatbot on the ALU website. The chatbot could identify whether the site visitor was a prospective student who hadn't yet applied, a student in the process of applying, or a current student. It also knew if the visitor had seen our social media content. Armed with this information, the chatbot was ready to answer the most frequently asked questions, direct site visitors to the content they needed, or connect them with a university representative who could help them complete their application. 

The numbers 

More clicks from qualified candidates, decreased the number of poor-quality applications by 10% whilst we doubled the number of applicants via social campaigns. The number of rejected and unqualified applications has decreased by 50% within the first 3 months of the recruitment cycle for 2020 vs. the same timeframe in 2019. 

With our focused campaign strategy targetting smaller but more relevant audiences, we increased the already strong click-through rate on ALU's paid media ads from 1.61% to 2.65%. And this was only the beginning.

Our retargeting campaigns, combined with ALU's strong nurturing email approach, boosted lead-to-started-application rates for Facebook and Instagram leads to 8% (for the 2019 intake). Importantly, we managed to decrease the number of unqualified applications from social channels from 19% to 2%.

Since the beginning of our collaboration in November 2018, ALU managed to fill its cohort with 775% more applications coming from Facebook and Instagram campaigns than the previous year.