Increasing and diversifying the prospective graduate student recruitment funnel through digital marketing strategies
Through research and departmental partnerships, the University of Michigan College of Engineering’s Communications and Marketing team (C&M) crafted and executed paid marketing campaigns that resonated with a more diverse applicant pool. As part of a push to both increase and diversify the pool of prospective graduate students, College leadership signed onto a three-year proposal by C&M to pilot paid tactics and build an infrastructure for success. The goals of this partnership and investment were:
- Support the College’s focus on improving and diversifying graduate-level recruitment and matriculation, in particular female and underrepresented minority students in the U.S.
- Pilot and test specific, strategic paid marketing tactics.
This pilot required heavy research and skills development within the C&M team, and collaboration across the College with communicators, recruitment personnel and faculty leadership. Because each department has its own unique recruiting priorities and goals, C&M designed campaigns to complement those goals.
Tactics utilized include:
- Email drip campaigns: Salesforce
- Individualized landing pages: Unbounce
- Search Ads: Google PPC
- Social media: Facebook/Instagram
- Preroll video ads: YouTube
The campaigns, refined each year over the course of the three-year pilot, brought in more than 4 million impressions, 40,000 page views, 3,000 new leads and almost 400 new applications. This was accomplished with a budget of approximately $100,000 over the three years.
However, the most important result was successfully navigating such a complex project, filled with many stakeholders. We helped lead Michigan Engineering into new territory and emerged stronger on the other side.