Overview and to generate quality traffic to the

Overview of the 
Education Index Page

Maria Kirichenko

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Maastricht School of Management

 

 

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate current marketing
strategy of the Facebook page of the course-search platform www.educationindex.ru
and measure the effectiveness of Facebook marketing towards website traffic and
conversion goals of the company.

 

 

 

Overview of the  Education Index Page

This paper
examines a Facebook page of Educationindex.ru – leading course search platform
for Russian-speaking students, where students search
information about higher education institutions and courses abroad. Facebook page of
the company is used for two main purposes: to increase brand awareness of universities
advertised on the website and to generate quality traffic to the website.

Using analytical and statistical
tools Tableau, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and AzureML, I will evaluate
how the strategy can be changed in order to increase the Page engagement and
traffic coming from Facebook to Education Index website. Data examined for the
period from 1st August 2017 to 31st December 2017.

 

Analysis and Recommendations

Using Google
Analytics we can see the percentage of Facebook traffic vs
overall traffic sources that drive visitors to the Education Index website in
order to measure the impact Facebook has on the website’s traffic. The chart below shows top
channels of the traffic of the Education Index website where only 1.3% of users
came from Social Media during the period from 1st August till 31st December
2017.

As the company’s
Social Media channels consist of Facebook, VKontakte (analogue of Facebook for
Russian-speaking countries) and YouTube, it is useful to filter the data to
evaluate only Facebook traffic:

 

As shown in the table, goal conversion rate is 10.88%
which means that there were 170 goal completions during 5 the months. While
there are many events users can perform on the website including banner clicks,
only 5 goals were set as main KPIs: subscription to the company’s newsletter,
registration on the website, request sent to a university or Education Index
support team, an event when a user visits more than 5 pages of the website, an
event when a user searches for a University or course on the website.

Looking in the
graph below, we can see that the number of goals completion are related to the
number of sessions, thus the more traffic the company has from Facebook, the
better it is for the completion of goals. We can see the decrease in number of
sessions and goal completions starting from October 2017 – when we
significantly decreased budget for advertisement on Facebook and did not use
any advertisement in December 2017:

 

Taking into account that there is a decrease in traffic coming to the website
from Facebook, it is important to know the reasons of the decrease and
determine the main factors influencing the traffic. First, it is useful to see
whether the number of posts published each month affect the total reach in
order to know whether the company should publish more content. From the graph
below we can see the relation between number of posts (a blue line) and total reach
(a red line).

The graph shows that in August 2017
the company published 31 posts which resulted in 24,907 total reach. In
September total reach increased by 4,593 views despite the fact that there was
1 published post less. Until December 2017 the company maintained the same
level of number of posts (30 or 31), but the reach decreased significantly
which demonstrates that the number of posts published is not the key factor
that influences the total reach.

Second assumption to be examined is
that the decrease in Facebook reach is explained by decrease in the number of
advertised (boosted) posts. From the graph below we may see whether posts
during the period August 2017 –December 2017 were paid or organic. This graph demonstrates
a spike in paid reach that correlates with the spike in total reach that
totaled 29,500 views in September. We may see that in December 2017, when the
company did not advertise any posts, total reach was at its minimum of 1,720.

 

With a statistical tool AzureML we can test the level of interrelation between
the dependent variable – a number of total clicks and independent variables
which are the following: lifetime post total reach, lifetime post paid reach,
lifetime post organic reach. Using a linear regression analysis we can see
whether any of these variables is statistically significant and most
importantly whether the number of clicks is affected by the paid reach. From
the graph below we can see the predicted number of clicks (scored labels) vs
lifetime paid reach. We can see that data is dispersing and more independent
variables are needed for a more accurate prediction.

Summarizing the analysis above we
may see that advertised posts lead to increase in traffic to the website and increased
number of goal completions. However, organic reach is not static and is influenced
by several factors. It is also important to see what factors influence the organic
reach and how the content strategy can be improved in order to generate more
organic (non-paid) reach.

First it is important to know the audience of the Facebook page and whether the
content type and language used should be modified. Since the launch of its
Facebook page, Education Index has used formal academic language for most of
its posts. As we can see from the graph below taken from the Facebook Insights,
main audience group is people aged 18-34, which are most likely students
looking for Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs abroad. Group of 25-44 most
likely corresponds to people searching for MBA and PhD options, while older age
groups represent parents of students. This leads to the conclusion that it
would be more engaging to use a popular informal tone in this Facebook page. Taking
into consideration the fact that share of female users is almost double comparing
to male users, the company should consider publishing more stories targeting
female students such as “Women in science”, interviews with female students, scholarships
for women leadership.

It is also important to see what countries the users are from so that the
company may target those countries with relevant content as well as use this information
for geo-targeting of the promoted posts.

 

It is interesting to see how it the audience from Facebook page interrelates
with the audience that actually go to the website. Using the graph created in
Tableau with the data from Google Analytics, we may see the history of average
number of users by country for each day during the given period:

The graph shows numbers for 21st
September 2017, when most of the users were from CIS countries with Russia as
the main proportion despite the fact that a large proportion of Facebook page
fans are from Georgia. Looking historically at the data we can say that despite
a large audience from Georgia, the majority of the Facebook users that
eventually go to the website are from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine which also
interrelates with the enquiries sent to Universities and clients that purchase admission
support services from the company.

It is also important to know whether new users that come to the company’s
website from Facebook are clicking the website from a smartphone and tablet or
a computer. Using Google Analytics data, we may see that the share of mobile
version users is in most month 3 or 4 times higher than those of computer
users. This is particularly important for our further advertising strategy as
it means that we should focus on Facebook campaigns for mobile. It also shows that
we should adapt our posts for mobile users by reducing the text size, linking mobile
friendly pages that will open properly, using pictures that would display
correctly on mobile screens.

 

Using the information provided in Facebook Insights page, we can see what type
of post gets more reach and engagement on average.  It shows that videos get over 50% more post
clicks and reach than photos or text with links. Shared videos in this case are
the videos shared from official pages of foreign universities as well as organizations
such as British Council and Nuffic Neso Russia. That is an interesting insight
that shows that the company should consider posting more videos – both original
and shared from other pages.

 

Using the graph below that shows Average Daily Total reach vs Average Daily Total
Engagement, we can see that Wednesday gets the most total reach while Thursday
receives more engagement. This information along with the data on what time of
the day the Page’s fans are online, can be used for a more effective posts scheduling
that will result in better reach and engagement rates.

Conclusion

The data used for the
5-month period of August – December 2017 shows a continuous decline in reach,
engagement, conversion to website traffic and goal completions of the company and
indicates that the current strategy is not effective. As two main goals of the company’s
Facebook marketing is to drive high-quality traffic to the website and increase
brand awareness of partner universities, advertising budget should be
increased.

 

In order to ensure that the paid
reach leads to a higher conversion, a more precise targeting should be used. The
company should also publish a more targeted and relevant content for the 18-35-year-old
users, with a less formal tone for its posts. Content published should be
adjusted for the audience that uses mobile platform and the company should ensure
that all posts including sponsored ones are optimized for the mobile users of
the Education Index Facebook page. The insights also show that it is time to
increase the number of video posts as they generate more reach and engagement.

For more reach and engagement, the company should also schedule posts for times
and dates when its fans are online and active.

 

 

 

 

Work cited
 

Footnotes

 

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