Culinary Institute Lenotre was searching for a marketing partner to support the college's strategic, creative and technical needs because it didn't have an in-house marcom team. Rated the top culinary arts school by Niche, the college wanted to launch a new website as well as develop buzz-generating marketing campaigns to attract new students.
COVID-19 presented a challenge as student enrollment dropped. The client needed us to turn around the trend and to strategize and execute all marketing, including event promotion, brand awareness, lead generation and content development.
We needed to create a solid digital strategy to reach multiple target markets (including both recent high school graduates and those looking to re-career). Plus, we needed to increase lead volume and quality to boost their conversion ratio.
Our goal was to increase enrollment by 50%.
Our team analyzed their assets and data, and we realized they needed a redesigned website as a first step since their current website was hosted on an outdated technical platform, its user interface wasn't modern, and the site wasn't highly visible on search engines.
On the marketing campaign side, we dove into buyer personas for all of their degree and diploma programs, including culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and hospitality and restaurant management. We developed a multi-platform strategy through paid ads on search engines and social media to reach multiple demographics and to capture leads. Once captured, we also developed a plan to guide those leads through the decision-making process via email workflows, remarketing ads and content that speaks to their stated interests.
Our first initiative was to create a best-in-class website to promote the school's programs and expansion into online education. Our team was responsible for developing the site, including information design, visual design, technical implementation and overall content development. The website would have more calls-to-action to drive leads, multimedia content such as student testimonials, photos and videos, and an easy-to-navigate format.
In addition, we worked to boost the site's visibility on search engines. This included research into the questions potential students ask about French and international cuisine, scholarships, financial aid and other need-to-know items for enrolling in culinary school. We developed content around these questions and optimized them for search engines. We also completed technical updates to rank better on search engines.
We didn't end our promotion efforts there. The college offers degree and diploma programs as well as continuing education, recreational classes and cooking classes for children. With such diverse audiences, we aimed to create strategic campaigns to target many demographics. Our pay-per-click campaigns included advertising on search engines for targeted keywords and promoting continuing education courses on LinkedIn to current professionals.
HexaGroup is a digital-first agency that believes strongly in the power of marketing technology. For Culinary Institute Lenotre, we implemented numerous tools to help the school meet their ambitious enrollment targets.
We developed an organic social media strategy to target younger audiences via video on platforms such as Tik Tok that the college hadn't yet explored. We created multimedia social calendars tailored to each social media platform, and we began promoting school events through avenues such as Facebook Live to promote brand awareness and to spike student engagement online.
Finally, we implemented marketing automation through HubSpot marketing to track leads and nurture them via email workflows. HubSpot is a complete marketing automation platform that allows us to see where we captured a lead, what pages a lead viewed and how they interact with the site. This enables us to nurture leads with content that is relevant to their specific interests and motivations. It also ensures we can test, monitor and incrementally improve content.
Our work isn't over – next year we aim to continue our trend of generating hundreds of high-quality leads with the goal of having classes at full capacity at all times.
After the launch of the new website, page views went up by 29.02%, and the average session duration increased 21.96%. The bounce rate (visitors looking at only one page) dropped 53.83%. This means that users viewed more pages and stayed on the site longer than before.
Even more importantly, goal completions rose 75.64%. This means that 7,472 visitors became leads by completing a form or contacting the college directly. These leads came from paid ads, emails, social, organic search and other sources.
On Google ads, clicks rose 11.67% for a total of 12,323. Cost per click dropped 61%, meaning the college spent less to get more clicks from potential students.
Of the current class of 269 students, 15% first filled out a form from social or paid ads.
We increased the amount we posted on social platforms, and it paid off.
On Instagram interactions rose 118.76% to 4,828 in the seven months since the website's launch. On Facebook clicks on links grew 16.03%, and on LinkedIn clicks grew 26.67%. Impressions also spiked on all three platforms from 146,864 to 152,770 on Facebook, from 47,721 to 74,179 on Instagram and from 4,261 to 10,633 on LinkedIn, which means that even more prospective students were introduced to the Culinary Institute Lenotre brand.
At HexaGroup, performance is in our DNA. We’ve spent the last two decades honing a six-step marketing methodology that balances proven best practices with each client’s unique objectives. Armed with in-depth knowledge of the energy, technology and professional service sectors, our team hits the ground running to achieve your KPIs.