Case Study: Refreshing a Marketing Plan to Cut Costs and Increase Teacher Applications

We updated a marketing plan to cut costs, increase overall applications, and bring awareness to an issue in our community.

The Challenge

Teaching vacancies in Shelby County were growing. Our job, recruit teachers to fill the vacancies by increasing marketing efforts.

Shelby County is a large school district and staffing it with the right number of teachers is a big job. One company working to fill the vacancies in the county is Teach901. They are a one-stop-shop for connecting teachers with jobs in the Memphis community.

To recruit teachers they were running Facebook and Instagram ads, posting to social media regularly, and sending weekly emails with job opportunities. Before we took over running their marketing efforts, the cost per lead (in this case, a teacher submitting a job application) was around $75. This was a high cost, and our main goal was to get this cost down.

The Process

We established a clear path for conversion to cut costs. 

Running Facebook and Instagram ads was seen as the main source of success, but with a high cost per ad rate, it was an expensive approach to the problem. In order to bring the cost down, we needed to establish a clear path for conversion. Our first step was to increase awareness for the problem and for Teach901 by running ads to as many people as possible, to a highly targeted audience. 

Our focus was on reach, to new and current teachers.  We targeted through Facebook detailed targeting (anyone with “teacher” in their job title or area of study, ex: math teacher, science teacher, third-grade teacher, etc), and geographic targeting (fencing Schools of Education at every university within 200 miles).

We ran a few different tests on the messaging for the ads. Some were more along the lines of “Helping you find your dream job in education” and linking to the website. Others were value offerings in the form of blog posts like “How to nail your teaching job interview” or “How to make sure your new school is a good fit for you” and sending them to blog posts on the website. This whole phase was to help us find the people we should be spending more money on to market to.

Consideration is where we spent the majority of our marketing dollars. We would send carousel ads with job categories in them (See Elementary Jobs, See High School Jobs, etc). This was partially in hopes they’d see one that caught their eye, but more importantly, was communicating the wealth of job postings that we had.

Our goal was to get them to return to our job board and apply. We also utilized AdRoll (remarketing) to have display network ads running so that during application season, they wouldn’t forget about us regardless of where they were online.

Based on user activity, we would segment out teachers that spent more time reading specific job posts on the website without applying to be even more aggressive on showing specific, and relevant job opportunities to. For example, if a potential applicant spent more than a minute and a half looking at an elementary math position, we would send other elementary math positions to their feed in the coming days.

The Outcome

Where are we now? Costs-per-lead has been dramatically cut and applications are up. 

Applying for these jobs had no monetary cost to the applicants, and once someone had applied we would automate their information delivery to school leaders. The ultimate conversion would be their acceptance of a job offer but that was well out of our control. 

Ultimately, we were able to lower the cost per lead from $75 to $15 the first year and then $9 the second. In addition to majorly decreasing costs, we were able to increase the number of applicants by 14% the first year, and 52% on top of that the subsequent year.