Marketing for a university has changed significantly since social media became popular. Students and their families now demand the same level of online engagement they receive from brands and individuals–and for higher education marketing teams, that can be a real challenge.
Kristi Lafree Smith, Associate Director of Enrollment Marketing at Butler University, creates social media ad campaigns to reach prospective Butler students and their parents. “College marketing is very competitive,” Kristi said. “You have to be agile and on-trend to stand out in that crowded landscape.” That means spending a lot of time researching the content that will speak directly to her target audiences–but that’s time she rarely has.
Kristi’s biggest challenge was creating high-performing ads in a time-efficient way. “I was spending a lot of time setting up creative in an old-fashioned Excel template,” she said. “I spent so much time on that that I couldn’t be more creative.” She set out on a search for a solution that would enable her to create high-quality social ads quickly, and found Pattern89.
Once Kristi began using Pattern89, the following benefits stood out to her:
- Experimenting with new ad elements to discover what performs best
- Receiving guidance from a Digital Marketing Strategist
“From start to finish, getting results in Pattern89 is a lot faster,” she said. Facebook is the best-performing social channel for the parents of prospective students, while high school students prefer Instagram. Kristi can optimize both Facebook and Instagram ads in Pattern89 and keep track of their performance to ensure Butler is connecting with the right audiences. The result: Kristi’s social ad management time has been cut in half.
Pattern89’s powerful platform makes quick work of ad management, but it’s the combination of the platform and a dedicated Digital Marketing Strategist that Kristi’s especially grateful for.
“Brandon is fantastic,” Kristi said. “He’s super easy to get in touch with and explains concepts that are complex–even for someone who’s been in marketing for a while. Social is a hard business to know if you’re not dedicated to it every day. He’s almost like a [second staff member].”
Butler University’s investment in social media marketing and advertising has paid off: since ramping up digital efforts, applications to the University have steadily grown over the last year. After finding success with Pattern89, Butler’s Kristi is excited about how Pattern89 will help Butler experiment with social media marketing in the future.
“We try to stay ahead of the curve in terms of marketing trends and trying new things,” she said. “I’m excited about experimenting even more with Pattern89 in the coming year.”