What began 5 years ago with a collaboration in relation to SEA with the RSM and ESAA, turned into winning an online marketing tender for Erasmus University Rotterdam, just three years later. This also means that we work on SEO, web analytics projects and campaigns for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. We are also increasingly working on the Erasmus website and, alongside target group research, we carry out various A/B testing in order to improve campaigns and website behaviour.
The Erasmus University (EUR) has a great many separate faculties and limited companies, each with their own problems and requirements. Our task is to fulfil the individual faculties’ needs and work alongside marketing communication to monitor the summary. We not only try to maintain a line through the many individual projects, we also pay a great deal of attention to applying lessons from the various campaigns. A huge challenge in this context is getting and maintaining a grip on the young target audience.
Strategy and approach
Campaigns focused on students begin with branding among secondary school children and end as and when the student signs up for a Bachelor course. This online customer journey for the student transcends channels and can last years. During our international branding campaign Make it Happen, we disseminated videos by YouTube and Facebook to enable pupils to familiarise themselves with EUR. The moment that a pupil actually starts looking at courses is actually two years later and requires other channels. The fact that we measure everything means we can link the right KPI’s to each phase. We report results from the various campaigns, per country and faculty, via DoubleClick for Search.
SEA plays a huge role, particularly in international contexts. Many students and potential students are looking for courses abroad and university rankings. As they begin to clarify what they would like to study, they carry out more specific searches. By combining online results with the data from the EUR, we can more effectively localise the areas and cities which offer good quality students. We are smart when it comes to SEA and thus expand the visibility of these specific locations.
The challenge is then to keep ‘tempting’ the target group, after their first introduction. With remarketing campaigns via the Google Display Network and Facebook, we highlight call-to-actions such as registration data and brochures. We always take account of the individual’s most recent online behaviour.
In 2015, Erasmus University obtained over half a million website users via Google AdWords. The number of international, interested students (including name and address details) was over 4,000. Nationally, this was 10,000. In total, this is growth of 6% compared to 2014 (within the same media spend).
From Facebook, 44,990 people visited the site and there was an average engagement ratio of 1%. The search optimisation success which was most apparent was a CTR increase of 88% in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 of 2015. In the same period, we achieved a CPC reduction of -5.6%