NEW: Hyperbaric Case Study

Client Higher Education

How a Healthcare Focused College Scaled Media and Adapted to Coronavirus Challenges


Our higher education client has over 200 years of history, operating a range of degree programs offered both online and on-ground campus locations. Working with OpenMoves, a complex PPC transition and reboot was implemented across Facebook/Instagram, Google/Bing, and other channels, leading to a successful scaling to $1,000,000/monthly media spend while still adapting to the many complex challenges created for higher education institutions during Coronavirus.


Monthly media budget


Reduction in paid search CPL


Reduction in paid social CPL


Daily leads generated from PPC


  • OpenMoves played a vital role in getting our digital media efforts online, scaled, and performing effectively. Now more than ever, the higher education industry is under tremendous pressure to adapt quickly and compete aggressively. With COVID reshaping the industry overnight, OpenMoves has offered great insights and rapid implementations allowing us to keep operating and acquiring students at a time when other schools are shutting down.

    University Executive


This college offered a diverse range of programs, with an emphasis on healthcare education, especially in nursing. Given the current times, these programs have experienced a surge in demand, but also spiking competition and soaring CPCs.

Additionally, all the normal PPC challenges such as reducing cost per lead and improving lead conversion rates were magnified by incredible market uncertainty as physical campuses were forced to close across the country and online education and admissions had to boot up very fast.

Primary Goals

Scale media to $1,000,000 / month while hitting CPL goals

Rapidly scale all spending to online

Revise all messaging to be relevant to Coronavirus conditions

Improve YoY CPL trends during a pandemic

video mobile images
video mobile images
video mobile images


  • Managing a million-dollar PPC campaign for a healthcare-focused college during this pandemic we’ve really been in the eye of the storm. So much was changing so fast, and the campaign was so large and complex, it was a very intricate and intense effort. However, with our ability to serve students online and push all lead generation online fast, it was a major success and an example of how moving fast and adapting can get us through tough times.

    Dave, Sr. Search Analyst, OpenMoves
    Dave, Sr. Search Analyst, OpenMoves

The Solution

Capitalize on Cheap Media. During the peak of the virus, media prices were at a huge discount as many advertisers paused their PPC efforts. By moving quickly to adjust our messaging and strategies to work during the pandemic, we were able to keep PPC campaigns online and working, generating several weeks of major efficiency that other advertisers missed.

Rapid, Relevant Content Generation. It took a major cross-department push to quickly generate relevant messaging to address Coronavirus, online education and other factual points, while still having an effective marketing message that captured the right tone and met compliance needs. With a lot of moving parts, operations, admissions, compliance and the OM media team had to work together fast to align messaging on the website, landing pages, and creative.

Strong Analytics in Real-Time. Education lead generation requires strong deep-funnel analytics integration to be really successful. We were able to tie media performance to CRM/Admissions outcomes successfully, and quickly, even through the outbreak. It was also important to react fast to market trends with users staying at home – for example, as social media usage soared, impressions grew and CTR fell, but that didn’t mean the ads weren’t working. Being context-aware through the pandemic allowed us to interpret data correctly.

Rethink and Reforecast. Under uncertain conditions, we needed to rethink our media strategy, while our client had to rethink business fundamentals. For example, the entire geotargeting strategy was rewritten. The entire program and degree marketing priorities set was shifted to favor more practical trending programs. Anything that relied on an in-person event such as a campus tour had to change to a virtual replacement, and some standards on content production values had to be relaxed. Overall, the ability to be fluid on everything from goals and budgets, to creative and analytics has been key to our success.

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