Sussex Coast College Hastings

Renowned for its excellent art related courses, University Centre Hastings (the HE arm of Sussex Coast College) offers degree level qualifications for students looking for an alternative to university. Following Results Day, they wanted to reach more local students considering Higher Education options to showcase their degree level opportunities.

Using conversion tracking to measure success beyond the click

The Student Room targeted a carefully constructed audience with display ads geographically (within a 25-mile radius of the university). With local students being their main objective, we also gave the University Centre exclusive space in the Kent and Sussex A-level forum, a place where local students discuss, and ask questions about their pathway options in their area.

Our targeted ads delivered over half a million impressions, with 707 clicks and a 0.13% click-through rate; an impressive result considering the geographical limitations of the campaign. However as an engagement platform, many of our users engage with a brand on-site then make a longer, more considered journey to the client’s site. So, to understand the full impact of our campaign we decided to analyse performance beyond basic CTR metrics.

To do this, tracking pixels were placed on relevant pages on the University Centre’s website, which can be done manually or using Google Tag Manager.

This allowed us to follow the users who viewed an ad, continued their journey on The Student Room, then subsequently ended up on the college website’s HE pages.

From these view-through activities, we measured further impact by tracking the small steps users made around University Centre Hastings’ website. We registered 3,457 micro conversions, users who have engaged with the college’s brand messaging on The Student Room and subsequently ended up on the college site within 30 days.

As The Student Room is an engagement platform driving direct response it makes sense seeing five times as many people responding to an advert, it genuinely builds brand awareness and turns consideration into action. This demonstrates how The Student Room is the natural destination for education providers to reach their ideal audience, in a place where they are engaged and making decisions.

“We engaged The Student Room to deliver an online campaign to focus on the clearing period for our Higher Education provision. Although we weren’t able to directly track the conversion from this campaign to enrolment, our clearing enrolment numbers were significantly higher than any previous year. We can only attribute this is in part to this particular campaign, although it was particularly useful to see proof of our shared audience via the view-through conversion tracking. The Student Room were extremely helpful and informative in advising us on the approach to take and have begun discussions on repeating this campaign.” – Head of Marketing & Communications, Sussex Coast College

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