Summary

Microsoft Education provides teachers and students globally with a suite of software services to support learning. During the Covid-19 pandemic, different countries had different educational software needs dependent on when their schools were closed, operating hybrid in-person/ remote learning models or fully back in the classroom.

Working with marketing agency SHARE Creative, the company adopted a hyper-local digital advertising approach to increase audience engagement. Over 500 personalised search and social ads for the company’s Microsoft Teams and Windows 10 products were created, in 13 languages, across 170 countries, personalised, then continually optimised according to product usage.

The four-month campaign generated 100 million impressions and a 9% uplift in sales leads.

Objectives & aims

SHARE Creative was briefed to raise awareness and sales of Microsoft Education products to education decision makers, teachers, parents and students globally, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Implementation, execution & tactic

As different countries were under different Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the campaign needed to be tailored to resonate with individual learning situations and needs, to optimise audience engagement.

The campaign began with a survey of key global Microsoft Education accounts covering 5-18-year-old students, to understand software needs dependent on how many were working in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid set-up. Insights from these key accounts shaped the approach for their market. The insights led to the segmentation of accounts for hyper-personalised targeting and content based around the extent to which each segment needed product introduction or elevation.

The segments were targeted with 500+ relevant Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Display, and Search ads translated into 13 languages across 170+ markets. The ads led each segment to relevant Teams and Windows 10 content based on the Microsoft Education website, including tutorials, GIFs, animations, landing pages, downloadable PDFs and infographics.

Ad performance was continually monitored and then creative was optimised in a test and learn approach which evolved alongside the changing global educational situation. For example, a school who was working remotely, using Teams for the first time and struggling to communicate with large groups of students, was targeted via ads which promoted the Teams Breakout Room function. As their educational model evolved, and schools began the return to teaching in the classroom, they would be shown features that were useful for both remote and in-person learning such as collaborative grading tools.

Results

  • Over 100 million impressions across social and digital
  • 3.3 million clicks on social ads.
  • 9% clickthrough rate
  • 9% uplift in sales leads.