I had to wait for 1 year to write this case study but the wait was worth it!
Many colleagues, followers, and friends of mine know that our agency’s major client base is in the education industry. One day, I got a call from one of my friends regarding digital marketing for this ed-tech prospect. [I can’t mention the name of the brand due to some professional commitments.]
So, I did a first-level meeting with their manager where I explained to him my past experience and results generated for other education clients. He found it interesting and soon scheduled the next meeting with the founder.
The founder was very soft-spoken and had limited expectations from me. [From now onwards, whenever I use “ me”, consider “my team”].
He told me, “ Akshay, I never did full-fledged digital marketing. Neither I’d hired any agency till date. So, please treat my brand as your brand. I am putting in 1 lakh INR per month for now and considering it that I may not even get it back. So give your best shot and work dedicatedly”.
Even if he didn’t have said this, I still would have given my best shot but after listening to him …… Well, after reading this case study, you will know it.
Sub-niche: Competitive exams related online and offline courses.
Previous sources of marketing: YouTube channel worth 1 lacs subscribers, Telegram channel with 75000 subscribers, WhatsApp broadcasts.
This brand was always profitable, hence the implementation of digital marketing was never for survival but for growth. The Founder himself is a past rank-holder hence the students didn’t think much before enrolling to his courses. However, this brand deserved more success, growth, and scalability. Good education coming straight from the one who has achieved it should get more exposure, shouldn’t it?
[Note: This is just Razorpay’s screenshot. Other payments are received directly in bank via UPIs.]
We started with Facebook and Instagram and recently introduced Google Search and YouTube ads.
Understanding of the subject:
Before starting any project, we always get into the shoes of the prospect. If we don’t have knowledge about what we are promoting, it is destined to be a failure. Hence, we did multiple meetings with the founder and his team and noted down their courses, pricing structure, exact target audience, etc. Also asked relevant questions.
Analyzing their old Facebook and Google ad accounts:
Though they didn’t run full-fledged digital marketing campaigns, they had tried running ads on their own. By inspecting their old ads, we analyzed what mistakes they were making.
Prepared multiple audience sets:
Targeting the right audience is super important otherwise no matter how good your ad copies and creatives are, you won’t earn a single penny.
We went with three types of audiences.
a) Interest-based audience: Facebook allows you to select targeting options from its existing options. We selected the following:
- Age: 21 to 35
- Civil Examination-related interests who are also interested in courses.
b) Custom audience: Lookalike audience of paid students.
c) Remarketing to landing page visitors as well as people who engaged with our Instagram and Facebook pages.
Wrote converting ad copies:
Many brands miss out on this simple yet super important thing. Some write short copies with no call to action. Some write longer copies with no context and so on. Well, to make ourselves better, I am not degrading anyone. It’s just my observation and study after going through tons of ads. [Sources – Ads library and My Social Media Feeds]
We made sure to write ad copies using the simple formula – AIDA.
Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
Also wrote our major USPs in the ad copies with a specific call to action.
Not only this, we used fear, opportunity, FOMO, and necessity factors in different ad copies. Also tried both long and short versions. Apart from this, we also made sure to not miss out on the content part. Mentioned what we are going to offer with our courses to the point.
Converting landing pages and A/B testing
A lot of people say – “ Who reads landing page? Write anything…”. And they have no data to back this statement. It doesn’t matter what you or I feel, only data matters. Hence, we designed multiple landing pages, wrote good copies for them based on our previous experiences, and tested them. Kept running those which performed better, the rest paused. Also installed Microsoft Clarity code to understand users’ patterns of viewing the landing page.
Used and created new assets
If ad copy is one wheel of the bike, creative/video is the second. At the beginning of my career, when I was executing projects all alone, I used to use Canva for creating graphics. Later, as more people joined me, now we have dedicated graphic designers who use advanced softwares. So we created compelling ad creatives which captured the attention and increased the CTR. Apart from this, we used –
- Founder’s video
- Testimonial videos of students
- Promotional videos
It worked like a charm.
Types of Ads
a) Direct purchase ads: The client has a variety of courses ranging from 2000 to 27000 INR. For the 2000 INR product, we ran direct purchase ads with multiple audience sets. For each sale, we spend around 600-650 INR.
b) Lead generation ads: We are also running lead generation ads to collect the data.
Effective use of Educational Counselors:
This is a super important thing. No matter how much data you generate, if your sales team is not good, the data is going to be useless. Fortunately, the client has a good set of counselors. Along with this, we also hired a few counselors from our side. Resultantly, a combined effective performance!!
Constant Optimization of campaigns
While writing this case study, there are exactly 13 Facebook ad campaigns are running. So it’s not like once set up the campaign, publish it, and forget it. Sometimes, 2 of your campaigns get costly i.e. higher cost per lead or cost per purchase. Sometimes, Facebook rejects your ad abruptly. Sometimes, your payments stop processing. Sometimes, the website goes down and hence we should immediately pause the campaign. So many scenarios. Hence, we are always on our toes and keep a constant watch on campaigns to optimize them.
[Note: Google Ads’ expenses and revenue, both, not considered in this case study as we have recently started.]
Our initial approach was to use search ads, where we used long-tail keywords that had a higher potential for conversion.
The search ads brought in a good number of leads, but they weren’t converting well, specifically for the high-end courses. Also, due to higher competition in our niche, the CPC was also higher. Later, we concluded that “ Content-based marketing” works better for us.
We thought it was important to build trust about our brand on other channels before we could sell them our course. Alongside search ads, we also started branding video ads, where we promoted the positive results of our clients.
As mentioned above, our client has over 1 lakh subscribers. With that, we thought that he is sitting on a gold mine, it’s just we need to show our users the right message. So later, we switched to youtube remarketing ads, where we showed our ads to the channel subscribers.
Our YouTube ads converted well. Within just 15 days, we received a ROAS of 6x. Eventually, we started YouTube ads on competitor channels and keywords to gain a little branding and conversions
At the moment, we are running 7 youtube ads campaigns and are planning to launch 2 more in the coming week.
We are using effective YouTube ad strategies that are capable of converting well and advancing our business forward.
If I want to summarize I would say, you need an amazing product and the right distribution. Amazing product because without it you can’t survive. People may buy your product once, but negative word of mouth will spread if the product is bad. Besides this, when I say right distribution, it means conveying your “message” in an effective way to the “right” target audience. “Heyy, we are launching XYZ, buy it” never works. You have to address the pain points of the audience and then present your product.
Apart from this, you need to get in touch with inquiries as early as possible. The quicker your action, the quicker the result.
Thank you for reading.