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westOeastCasesTop Public University in the US

Top Public University in the US

Industry: Education |  Target: Higher Education Graduates  |  Platforms: LinkedIn

As a public research university ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation and one of the largest public universities in the U.S., our client sees more than 20,000 thinkers, innovators and master learners graduate annually, among whom, Chinese graduates took a dominating percentage, and we are witnessing a surge in the number of Chinese applicants each year who are drawn to this education institution’s academic strength, spirit of innovation, and reputation of quality. 

westOeast shares the belief that alumni are one of the most valuable assets and commencement ceremony is a fresh start of a new journey rather than the end of the relationship between alumni and their alma mater. Our client has been planning to host events, set awards and provide assorted services for Chinese alumni to ensure they have access to resources for achieving success and to keep the Chinese alumni community active, facilitating interactions and resource sharing among themselves.

Unfortunately, the information database of Chinese alumni has not yet been fully established and some of their existing information is obsolete. Therefore, westOeast designed multiple initiatives to approach alumni and gather their information, among which, LinkedIn campaign was one of the most critical and successful components for mission accomplishment.

Why LinkedIn

As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn has often been widely used by international students from China for internship/job hunting and networking and is one of the rare western social media tools that have not been restricted in mainland China. Besides the large pool of target audience, LinkedIn possesses the following features that supported us to achieve our goal.

  • Information authenticity of Linkedin members’ profiles
  • Agile advertising and pricing model (Real-time Bidding)
  • Linkedin Marketing Solutions support sophisticated B2B targeting

LinkedIn Campaign

A full-fledged LinkedIn campaign was rolled out, specifically targeting our client’s Chinese alumni to raise their awareness of the recently established China Alumni Chapter as well as call on alumni to assist with updating information database and join the community for event notice, career resources and lots of exclusive alumni benefits.

Drive Quality Leads

A customized LinkedIn marketing solutions package was put in place to display our messages in the most conspicuous spot for maximal exposure. Sponsored Content were placed among information shared in the feed while Sponsored InMail were delivered once alumni log on LinkedIn to ensure our messages are always front and center to capture alumni’s attention while they are actively seeking information. To further ensure alumni would accomplish the entire information filling process on ASU landing page, we planted LinkedIn Insight Tags to track outer site performance for retargeting.

Customized Content

Holiday-themed messages were sent out at the beginning, tapping into alumni’s memories of campus life and unforgettable moments at school. After receiving the first batch of feedbacks, we analyzed alumni’s area of interests and planned messages according to alumni’s needs, such as job information, career fair, alumni networking events. In order to felicitate alumni form accomplishment, we also inserted LinkedIn Lead Gen form in our message to gather alumni’s basic information through a simplified version to reduce traffic loss.


Optimization has been an on-going process throughout the campaign. By comparing data collected from LinkedIn with our client’s alumni record, we were constantly analyzing campaign effectiveness and adjust execution to make the best use of LinkedIn earned bidding model for accurately reaching out to the designated target audience and achieving the maximum ROI.

The outcome of the LinkedIn campaign reached above and beyond our original expectation, with the campaign CTR and engagement rate about five times of the industry benchmark (benchmarks of CTR and engagement were 0.35% and 0.45%), meanwhile our cost per lead is only a quarter of the average (CPR benchmark was about 400 RMB).

LinkedIn campaign not only raised Chinese alumni’s awareness of the newly established Chinese chapter, but also helped school reconnect with its alumni. The influx of alumni forms are valuable assets that contain alumni information, feedback and suggestions, which not only helped with client’s Chinese alumni database building, but would also pave way for better alumni organization and light the way for future campaigns and events.