High school graduation is a monumental step in the life of every young artist, but their journey doesn’t end there—not by a long shot. After all, they’ve spent 4 years of their life completing rigorous courses, possibly pulling all-nighters for projects and exams, and honing their craft in attempts to secure a coveted position at a thriving art school.
Many high school grads today are finding the college admissions process more competitive than they first imagined, and they’re struggling to make an impactful impression. But it’s not just students who must make an impression—universities today only grow and excel by finding the best talent. To do this they have to facilitate a culture that nurtures creativity, precisely convey to students exactly what they look for during the admissions process, and also what advantages and opportunities a prospective student will enjoy at that school. Pennsylvania College of Art and Design’s (PCA&D) holds Open House events designed to attract superior talent and evoke emotions that compel prospective students to enroll.
PCA&D’s Open Houses are awesome events and are super successful at “selling” the school. The challenge is reaching the right kind of students and converting them to leads that can be nurtured with information and offers about the Open Houses. With so many competing art schools in the region, the space gets cluttered and marketing can get lost. Creating compelling content was the first step but what would secure the leads PCA&D needed was an aesthetically powerful (these are art students remember!!) and poignant landing page. They needed something that would jump out to a creative soul to make them say, “Hey, this place looks interesting, I want to learn more.”
Our first order of business to create a landing a page that was truly attention grabbing, was to place large, alluring images of current student artwork that would ignite the creative and whimsical sense of prospective students. The magic of this art enables a new way of looking at ordinary objects or people around us, illustrating a whole new meaning only seen through the eye of an artist. The themes of introspection and reflection are evident in each piece and are depicted to evoke a wide variety of emotions. Once PCA&D shared with us the work of their students, we instantly knew it must be showcased in the marketing.
Following landing page best practices while working with our client to get all needed lead data, we ensured the most important details were front and center and the information regarding the event held clear hierarchy and was easy to digest. Because PCA&D is speaking to prospective designers, we wanted to make our design unique with artistic elements, keeping it modern and colorful and relatable to a young artistic community.
For PCA&D’s 2015 Open House events, we created 6 unique landing pages for paid advertising platforms which received a total of 4,616 page visits, 51 leads and 16 new contacts. For an art school of their size, these numbers were monumental compared to previous years efforts, reaching only under 1,000 page visits. Open House attendance soared and by April 2015, PCA&D had already exceeded their entire 2015 enrollment goal by approximately 20% (fiscal year for Higher Ed is July-June). They were ecstatic!
Our efforts for PCA&D were successful because we were able to efficiently capture the attention of prospective art students and convert them to Open House attendees. You only have a few seconds to make your case, and Stratus was determined to create a landing page that couldn’t be ignored.
Our landing page design impacted PCA&D by opening their eyes to new and creative ways they can reach out to students. Prior to partnering with Stratus, PCA&D had virtually no inbound marketing knowledge and hadn’t tied any former traditional marketing channels to measurable resources like landing pages. We wholeheartedly believe the strategy and creative efforts that produced this landing page has positively impacted PCA&D and given prospective students a compelling reason to consider PCA&D for their art education.
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In life I crave relationships and honest connections with people – I use this unwavering need for human interaction to make Stratus Interactive a strong, growing and culture-focused agency. When I see an opportunity to educate, guide or solve, my strategic wheels start turning- challenge accepted.
New business development and account strategy are my two areas of focus and I’ll go to my grave undecided on which I love more! The feeling of helping a prospect understand how we can solve their pain and problems and make them successful is beyond-fulfilling, but then again, the feeling of collaborating on a strategic plan and seeing it produce measurable results is a thrill all its own. I’m so grateful to work for an agency like Stratus that allows my individual and professional strengths to thrive instead of having to choose between these two great loves!
Besides my Stratus life, I have one husband, one dog, one toddler and one bun in the oven (due 2016!). I’m a wine enthusiast (as in I love drinking wine), not-so-mildly-obsessive photo-taker and photo-album maker, and I get abnormally excited about grey, cloudy days.
I hope I have a chance to build a relationship with you sometime soon – feel free to call, social or email me anytime! See all Lisa McDermott's posts.