Driving an unprecedented
64% uplift in applications
year-on-year for ANU's Crawford
School of Public Policy.


With a goal to increase lead volume and applications for postgraduate courses in Semester 1, 2020 the Crawford School of Public Policy partnered with Social Garden to take the lead on a multi-channel advertising strategy. Social Garden identified an opportunity to not only deliver return on investment for the Crawford School, but also level up their content with a student-led approach. It was important that a ‘one size fits all’ or ‘spray-and-pray’ approach was avoided.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Social Garden for 3 years on our Crawford School National Recruitment social media campaigns. We’ve seen unprecedented growth in our Australian student numbers from this time and have achieved market impact that we have never expected. Social Garden is a highly professional, very talented and super hard-working group. I recommend them unreservedly for their creative, responsive and future-focused work.”

– Cecily Stewart, Manager, National Student Recruitment and Development, Crawford School of Public Policy.

Ongoing optimisations and purpose-built student-centred content helped to establish the Crawford School as the leading graduate public policy provider in the Asia Pacific region. Return on investment was demonstrated through attribution reporting – revealing a clear uplift in application and enrolment numbers which can be directly attributed to the Social Garden campaign.


Uplift in applications


Uplift in offers


Uplift in acceptances

  • High growth student acquisition through lead generation
  • Conversion rate optimised landing pages (lead capture pages)
  • Multi-channel digital advertising campaign
  • Social media marketing
  • Search marketing
  • Content marketing

The campaign saw significant growth in domestic student numbers, far surpassing the goal set at the beginning of our partnership.


"We've seen unprecedented growth in our Australian student numbers...and have achieved market impact that we have never expected."

Cecily Stewart, Crawford School of Public Policy

Utilising each digital acquisition
channel to its strengths

Adopting a multi-channel advertising strategy meant that we could utilise each channel to its strengths in the campaign. Google delivered a high volume of high intent traffic, supported by a wider prospecting pool available through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

We developed and executed an audience-segmented creative strategy to construct a personalised user experience from the first ad impression right through to the conversion optimised landing pages. At an advertising level, multiple ad variants were produced to sit natively within each channel, from direct response Facebook lead ads to long form LinkedIn Newsfeed ads.


“When the audience is very niched, the complexity associated with the targeting greatly increases. Knowing this we focused on getting the data strategy right up front so we could put the digital platform AI to work so that we were able to identify, connect and convert prospects that met the strict enrolment criteria.”

- Georgia Worswick, Campaign Manager

Applying creative insights to the wider communications strategy

With a focus on consistent content optimisation and split testing, the insights generated throughout the campaign provided learnings to the Crawford School marketing team to further inform their wider communications strategy:

  • 1

    Detailed course-specific messaging revealed the unique selling points of each study stream and different study motivations of each audience

  • 2

    A/B testing the call to action delivered a lower cost per lead

  • 3

    Using student-led content for social media increased engagement

  • 4

    The landing page design was optimised for conversion by our UI/UX team

Generating high quality leads that convert into enrolments

Lead profiling was established throughout the campaign to capture intent, education history and demographic data to support the client’s recruitment strategy. The seamless integration of this data enabled efficient and prompt handover to their future students team, a huge win for the Crawford School.

We worked closely with ANU to establish a mutual understanding of the critical information needed to nurture prospective students through to enrolment. This helped to inform the strategy behind the data capture within Facebook Lead Ads and each landing page. Once a lead was created, the Crawford School Future Students team would receive an automated email promoting them to follow up and provide each lead with further information matched to their course preferences and advice on how to apply.


“The questions we selected together aim to collect the right amount of data without impacting conversion. Using the same questions on the. lead capture page keeps the data really consistent.”

- Kartik Misra, Account Manager


How we achieved unprecedented growth


Uplift in applications


Uplift in offers


Uplift in acceptances

The success of the campaign paves the way for a direct response approach to student recruitment. Social Garden is proud to have played a pivotal role in upskilling the digital knowledge within the Crawford School and breaking new ground with performance marketing tactics.

Now in the third year of our partnership with ANU, we look forward to unlocking more value with a 2020 always on campaign currently in progress. The campaign builds on our optimisation methodology with the introduction of autoresponders and landing page A/B testing.

Like what you see?

Get in touch & let's make it happen

Australian Computer Society

We partnered with the Australian Computer Society (ACS), an association representing over 47,000 members in Australia’s burgeoning technology sector, on an ambitious campaign.

Builders Academy Australia

Student Garden has been working with Builders Academy Australia for over 6 years. Each year, we have increased the number of student registrations generated from our campaigns, and 2023 was no different.

genU Training

When genU Training approached us, they had a mission: to understand their potential leads better, fine-tune their contact records, and ultimately, convert these prospects into applicants.


In an increasingly digital age, Banyule Nillumbik Tech School found themselves grappling with the complexities of effective social media marketing. At the heart of this job?

ANU Cybernetics

We orchestrated an advertising campaign aimed at recruiting students for ANU’s 2024 Master of Applied Cybernetics intake. This was a multi-faceted strategy with a threefold objective.

Hader Case Study

Hader Institute of Education is an RTO that offers online learning in mental health, youth work, community services, and alcohol & other drugs.

ANU Postgraduate

Australian National University (ANU) partnered with Student Garden to develop a marketing and creative strategy tailored to its postgraduate programs

Australian Institute of Music Case Study | Social Garden

Flinders University Case Study | Social Garden

Deakin Manufutures

Driving a future state strategy for Deakin’s Manufacturing Initiative – ManuFutures

Melbourne Polytechnic

Achieving over 70% growth in organic traffic year-on-year for Melbourne Polytechnic

Deakin University

Improving Deakin University’s current applicant experience for a student first approach to conversion.


Fortnightly digital marketing tips and insights