Why You Should Read Further

In the world of digital marketing, clients often ask questions like, “What’s the most cost-effective product?” or “What’s the best ad budget for Google Ads?” and “We ran an SEM campaign for 3 months, but why aren’t enough customers calling?” If these questions resonate with you, this case study will provide valuable insights.

The reality is that relying on a single marketing channel to generate successful leads is rare. It is crucial to stay visible with multiple upper funnel tactics, paired with the right messaging and timing for the client’s business.

Background

Chaoyin Bilingual School, a Mandarin and English bilingual elementary school in Richmond, serves students from Kindergarten to Grade 7. While the school has strong brand recognition in China, their newly opened school in Richmond needed a robust marketing strategy to build local recognition. Nayeli Garcia from Richmond News reached out to help strategize their digital marketing approach.

 

Initial Findings and Strategy

An initial audit revealed that Chaoyin’s Google presence was weak compared to the scale of their operations in Richmond. We began with SEO and SEM campaigns to boost their search engine visibility. Despite our efforts, SEM conversions did not improve significantly after three months.

Upon analysing data from the SEM campaign, Google Analytics, and social media feedback, we realised that Chaoyin needed stronger local brand recognition. Nayeli presented a comprehensive proposal focusing on brand awareness through various touchpoints to enhance their image among local residents.

Implementation

Social Ads Our Social Strategist, Maria Plata, spearheaded a brand awareness campaign featuring ads with images of Chaoyin’s building, students, and positive Google reviews.

These ads aimed to foster a strong reputation in the Richmond community.

Additionally, we set up targeted ads encouraging locals to attend information sessions, effectively moving them down the funnel. This strategy and ad design were executed by Maria Plata and the GMD Design Team.

DOOH Ads Nayeli Garcia and Dante Song (Marketing Manager at Chaoyin) created bilingual ads (Chinese and English) for Digital Out of Home (DOOH) targeting screens across Richmond during December 2023 to February 2024. This period, encompassing the year-end holidays and Chinese Lunar New Year, was chosen to maximise exposure.

Community Display Ads To further enhance brand recognition, we tailored ads for Mental Health Week (September 2023), demonstrating Chaoyin’s support for local initiatives in the Richmond News publication. This creative production was led by Nayeli Garcia.

Results

 

The impact of these comprehensive brand awareness efforts was profound:

  • SEM campaign conversions saw a significant uptick, with overall search volume for the brand name increasing throughout the year.
  • After three months of the social ads campaign, SEM conversions tripled.
  • The introduction of social ads with direct conversion tactics (driving traffic to the Open House reservation form) resulted in a threefold increase in Open House attendance.
  • Despite higher CPM during the end-of-year holiday period, the DOOH advertising campaign raised brand awareness, leading to a record high of 24 conversions in January 2024.
  • A two-month hiatus in the social ads campaign revealed a direct correlation between social ad awareness and SEM conversions, underscoring the effectiveness of brand awareness efforts.

Conclusion

When SEM campaigns or conversion tactics underperform, it’s crucial to consider the client’s upper funnel strategies. Effective brand awareness campaigns through social ads, programmatic campaigns, and publisher ad spaces can create a powerful synergy. While search ads alone may lack impact, combining them with additional display, audio, and video digital ads can drive significant customer engagement and conversions.

This case study illustrates the importance of a holistic approach to digital marketing, demonstrating how combining upper funnel tactics with conversion strategies can significantly enhance campaign performance.