1 Oct 2011
Higher Ed EXPO – a new kind of college fair – launched its first event in Miami. With only six months between the launch date and the date of the event, the new venture had very little time to reach its sales and branding goals. Social media needed to be an intrinsic part of their strategy. The critical problem lied in the need for a two-pronged approach: a) The higher education institutions that they needed to sell booth space and sponsorships required a “B2B” approach; and b) Prospective students and their parents required a “consumer” approach. Both approaches needed to work in sync, with very limited resources and in a record amount of time.
Given the limited time and resources, we implemented a double approach:
- For the B2B segment of the strategy, we developed a combination of paid and organic (non-paid) tactics. We setup an advertising campaign on LinkedIn, in which we targeted higher education administrators and recruiters that belonged to over 100 Higher Education groups, or had Higher Education jobs in related areas. This lead to a significant surge in traffic and registrations. Subsequently, we joined nearly 50 of those groups and started posting periodic announcements, articles and discussions of interest to their memberships. Again, this resulted in significant feedback, discussion, website traffic and booth sales.
- For the student segment of the strategy, we secured the support of the local School Board, secured sponsorships from major local media including the Miami Herald and Power 96 radio, created a facebook fan page, and implemented a sweepstakes campaign. We then took the message to the blogosphere, and targeted local student groups and pages. These efforts resulted in over 4,000 participant registrations for the event.