East Berkshire College and Strode’s College in Egham formally merged in 2017 to create the Windsor Forest Colleges Group.
Together they have over 300 years of experience and provide over 800 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship courses in various subjects, from entry level through to higher education.
We were initially approached by a marketing company working with the Windsor Forest Colleges Group to help achieve the following goals:
As with most colleges around the country, there is a fair amount of local competition for each course. Windsor Forest Colleges Group were keen to spread their brand messages of ‘joining a supportive and friendly college’, ‘courses that help you gain a career’ and ‘preparing students for university’ while engaging with an audience that wasn’t overly familiar with their offerings.
Taking on the initial brief, we set up a Google Ads campaign targeting people in a number of ways in specific locations around the college sites.
The first was a Google campaign targeting people who were searching for the types of courses each of the colleges offered. This put the Windsor Forest Colleges Group at the top of the search results, increasing visibility and attracting people looking for specific courses or subject areas.
We also targeted people through their interests and the way they were interacting with search platforms. For instance, we focused our efforts on people looking for how to get into a good college, as well as those searching for A Level and GCSE results or college-related subjects. We also aimed ads at people who were ‘in the market’ for a college course using Google’s data.
We additionally targeted people who had been to the website but not applied or registered their interest, showing them ads to encourage them to return.
Finally, we set up an open day campaign directed at local youngsters and parents to entice them to sign up and look around the colleges.
The account was set up and the results were amazing almost instantly. Enrolment numbers increased dramatically for the subject areas we were focusing on.
For the open day, we doubled the bookings from the previous year.
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