Learn how we took a successful campaign for Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School from good to great by adding unique video stories from students’ perspectives.
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) is an independent school located in Okotoks, Alberta that focuses on excellence in scholarship, leadership, and character. With a 220-acre natural campus and state-of-the-art facilities, STS develops confident, well-rounded K to 12 students who embrace challenges with curiosity and intent.
Two years ago, STS partnered with Metric Marketing to develop and launch an extremely successful campaign: Say Yes to STS. It was born from the idea that STS as a school could open doors for all students – including kids who might struggle in a traditional school environment. Say Yes to STS encouraged prospective students to consider what their lives might be like if they took a chance on themselves and chose a school that would support their futures.
The campaign has been in market for two years and it’s been driving impressive results for the school:
Users are now more engaged. The number of pages users are browsing has increased and the bounce rate has decreased by over 10% YOY
YOY, conversion rates have increased dramatically
There has been a 90.7% increase in conversion actions across the site
When we reviewed and analyzed the campaign results, we noticed one important thing: video outperformed all other forms of media. This data point became the jumping-off point for YEStories.
Say Yes to STS was a great jumping-off point, but what we really needed were videos of real students who said YES – and experienced a life change because of it. We had a chance to turn a simple campaign idea into a deeper story that could live on for years to come and really position STS as the school of the future. While other schools focused more on themselves in their campaigns, this was an opportunity for the school to focus on the students.
We went to Calgary to interview STS students with their own success stories to tell. These kids had said YES to growth, YES to learning, YES to their futures… and they were ready to tell the world about the school that helped them make it happen.
We knew that the best way to tell their stories was through video. Listening to children describe their experiences on a screen provides a powerful emotional resonance that can rarely be replicated.
Working with local photographer & videographer Ewan Nicholson (and the amazing marketing team at STS), we created a series of videos that we called “YEStories.” The full-length video content was a few minutes per student, and we cut those down to create short-form content that could be used more fluidly on social and digital ad platforms where both parents and potential middle and high school students spend time online. Combining strategic placements with emotional, heartfelt videos was the key to ensuring STS’s message was loud and clear: we are the school of new opportunities.
In the previous Say YES to STS campaign, we used a typeface with elements that gave the word YES a certain movement. For the YEStories content, we took that same typeface and expanded on it.
The key was keeping the recognition of the previous campaign while carving out a new path for this campaign to stand out on its own. The animated elements (some would call them doodles) around the YEStories logo come from the original Say YES to STS campaign identity and add movement with an element of fun – not taking itself so seriously while still keeping a bold and confident tone.
The idea behind the photography was to have the students look bold, confident, and brave. The green and blue overlay come from the STS brand colours, but exist on the photos to represent the role STS has in supporting the children behind the scenes. Overall, the look and feel of the campaign is fun but still strong, confident while being approachable, and brave while still staying true to the STS brand.
We displayed the videos across social and digital ad platforms, and cut them down to even smaller, bite-sized videos for platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. Having so much footage allowed us to be creative with which small videos we could experiment with - and decide which ones worked better in certain placements.
Since the campaign launched in late Fall 2023, we’re still waiting on full results. Check back soon to see how the YEStories performed!
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