THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Scope – An Imagine Learning Original Series

Entered in Education

Objective

The goal of Scope is to help educators and learners of all ages uncover connections between the subjects taught in school and events and ideas in the world around them. 

Capitalizing Where Competitors Aren’t Paying Attention  

While 51% of all Americans claim they use YouTube to learn new things, this space is virtually overlooked by our education industry competitors beyond sharing product promos and webinars. As the largest national provider of digital curriculum solutions, serving over 15 million students and 1 million educators in over half of districts nationwide, Imagine Learning’s ambition for Scope is to produce a high-quality series on a par with the exciting and informative videos made by casual learning channels such as Vox or Veritasium, but with the same rigor and scrutiny that we apply to our K–12 education products. 

Answering the “How Will I Ever Use This?” Question 

This question, perhaps the most common one asked by students, drives at a perceived lack of connection between education and “the real world”. Each of our products seek to empower students and reveal those connections. Another common problem the learning gaps and blind spots we all experience. To build a true understanding, many issues addressed in the news and media require knowledge of a fundamental concept often taught in school. Scope addresses this connection problem in both directions: helping students grasp the relevance of what they learn in school and providing a new foundation for all learners to better understand the issues that affect our lives.

Strategy

Scope is produced by the team responsible for the marketing of Imagine Learning’s core product portfolio, and this perspective was a huge contributing factor to the development of the series. Whereas the buyer's journey for a supplemental product happens quickly, the core journey can take multiple years. It’s through this lens that content marketing is an essential component of the core marketing proposition—can you imagine talking to someone about the same thing for years? If someone tried to get you to watch Game of Thrones by telling you how good it was over and over for 2+ years, would that make you more or less likely to watch it? Would you even still like that person?! 

Scope gives us an opportunity to connect with our audience on a regular basis without asking them for anything or tying that interaction directly to a product or feature. It enables us to build trust with our customers and sustain their interest over the long sales cycle while demonstrating our commitment to education and the concept of inquiry-based learning, which empowers students to drive their own learning by asking questions. 

The questions investigated in the first season were chosen to reflect some that are regularly asked either seasonally or in response to a news story or piece of media: What is inflation? Why are we obsessed with dystopian fiction? What’s causing this rise in wildfires? These topics help engage students in reoccurring issues and connect to each of the subjects represented by Imagine Learning’s core product portfolio. The aim of this first season was to create a series of videos that would achieve a level of longevity by connecting to those concepts and providing us with SEO-ready content in each relevant news cycle. We wanted to produce something for all learners in advance of the questions arising when these things happen – not after the event. 

These videos were inserted into our existing product-focused, always–on campaigns as part of our broader content-marketing strategy, which also allowed us to create custom touchpoints around each episode. While the episodes themselves don’t mention any products, we are able to use those touchpoints to build audience retargeting segments and drop individuals into retargeting layers for related products/content. This strategy, in addition to providing the episodes directly to sales reps for use as customer touchpoints that aren’t as “sales-forward”, has yielded fantastic results as seen below.  

For our team, this project provided an excellent opportunity to stretch ourselves creatively and try new things. We opted to use Scope as a testing ground for a new approach to production, which encourages cross-team collaboration between writers, graphic designers, animators, and video editors at every stage and as an opportunity to try new forms of marketing and promotion. The processes we developed have become a foundational part of our function this past year—our most successful year for marketing by any metric.  

Results

This project has inspired our team and the processes and creativity that has flourished since its inception have been transformative. If that were the only result we could point at then this would already be an enormous success! 

However, aside from revitalizing our YouTube channel and triggering a 60% year-on-year growth in subscribers, where our Scope content marketing strategy intersects with our core product marketing is perhaps the most exciting statistical result. Using and adapting the processes developed for Scope, our team reassessed our product-marketing always-on campaigns and integrated the episodes into those campaigns. Since they relaunched last fall, each campaign is continuing to achieve open rates of 70-80% and click-to-open ratios between 35%-45%. That open rate is 17x our previous average and the CToR is 6x our previous average – both well in excess of our education industry averages (4.63% and 6.57% respectively). 

This increased engagement has led to a year-on-year growth of 32% in core leads and influenced revenue with an increased conversion rate of 46%. Thanks to Scope and our improved content marketing strategy, we are serving more leads to sales than ever before and converting at a higher rate! 

This year, our second season of Scope, will focus on Social Studies and specifically the presidential election in a way that can be used in classrooms and inform a more general audience too. 

We are incredibly excited about the impact Scope has had on our team, processes and campaigns and we feel that this is just the beginning. 

Media

Video for Scope – An Imagine Learning Original Series

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Imagine Learning

Links

Entry Credits