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3 Education Brands That Killed It with Their Instagram Campaigns

The global higher education market size is expected to grow from $13.7 billion in 2020 to $35.8 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 21.1%. Despite the heavy setback given by the pandemic, the education sector is slowly picking up and is expected to do better as an increasingly high number of people get COVID-19 vaccinations.

However, the education industry has undergone a lot of changes over the years, and brands operating within this niche need to think out of the box to get their potential users to notice them. Through avenues like social media, education brands can easily reach their core consumers, just like these three brands did with their Instagram campaigns.

1. PlantIn

PlantIn is a gardening app for the world’s plant enthusiasts that helps people identify plants, diseases, and care for their gardens with advice from a growing community of fellow gardeners and experts.

Their Objective

PlantIn wanted to encourage people interested in plants and gardening to download its app and subscribe for a free trial.

Solution & Approach

While PlantIn usually chose automatic placements for the majority of its campaigns, it now wanted to ramp up its usual Instagram strategy to see if it could achieve even better results with a standalone Reels campaign.

To test its approach, PlantIn conducted an A/B (split) test between its usual campaign that used automatic placements and a second campaign that used Reels ads alone, with 30% of the campaign's budget. Three video assets were created especially for the Reels ads, with some small changes to music and motion effects.

The Result

PlantIn’s Instagram success was a major success that led to 3X lower cost per trial subscription with Reels ads. Also, it resulted in a 26% lower cost per 1,000 views with Reels ads and 31% lower cost per app install with Reels ads.

2. Headway

Headway is an educational technology app that aims to provide fun and easy personal growth through various content, including 15-minute non-fiction book summaries, visual concept explainers, and daily insights into productivity, business and career, happiness, and much more.

Their Objective

Headway wanted to encourage busy people in Spanish-speaking countries — particularly Spain, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic — to take a trial of the Headway app.

Solution & Approach

Headway wanted to ramp up its usual Instagram strategy and see if it could achieve even better results with a standalone campaign of Reels ads. To test its approach, Headway conducted an A/B test between its usual campaign (which used automatic placements for six different video ads), and a second campaign that used Reels ads alone.

A total of seven video assets were created especially for the Reels ads. The idea was to compare the performance of the Reels ads with its business-as-usual ads, with particular emphasis on cost per acquisition and conversion rate.

The Result

Headway’s Instagram campaign was quite successful and brought about a 15% decrease in cost per acquisition with Reels ads. Also, there was a 10% increase in video views and trials, respectively.

3. Swiss Education Group

Swiss Education Group is one of the most esteemed hospitality management educators in Europe, offering degree programs, professional courses, and summer schools across five locations.

Their Objective

Swiss Education Group, in collaboration with digital agency The Reference, wanted to promote its newly launched Swiss Grand Diploma culinary program and prompt prospective students in 19 priority countries to contact the school for more information or download a brochure.

Solution & Objective

Swiss Education Group wanted to use Instagram to reach its core target audience of people aged 17–30 who were interested in hospitality, culinary arts, sommelier training, further study, and professional qualifications.

Using professionally produced images and videos, Swiss Education Group created four carousel ads for Instagram Stories that shared an inspiring account of what student life is like while studying for the Swiss Grand Diploma qualification while reinforcing the brand identity through text and visuals.

It also created several different video ads and photo ads for its Instagram feed. It tested all the ads and used campaign budget optimization, allowing Instagram to automatically select the best version of the ad to display.

The Result

Swiss Education Group’s Instagram performed exceptionally well and led to 3.2X more inquiries, compared to the previous campaign. Also, the cost per conversion was 51% lower than its previous campaign. Moreover, the click-through rate for its ads in Instagram Stories was 2.7x higher than the ads in Feed.

Bottom Line

Instagram’s visual nature gives it the upper hand over many other marketing platforms. For product-based businesses that can deliver a visibly noticeable result or help the customers benefit from the product, Instagram can be a great platform to showcase their content. There’s no limit to what can be achieved with the right mix of marketing strategy and impressive content through Instagram.


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