The University Of Melbourne

Cross-platform social media strategy with record international student enrollments for Australia’s number-one University.



The University of Melbourne is Australia’s number 1 public research facility, founded in 1853.

The Faculty of Business and Economics was permitted to break away from their multinational media agency to engage a local independent provider in Clearwater. This was a logical choice for the University as Clearwater present with extensive education-industry experience.

At the time, the large in-house marketing team did not posses expertise in social media advertising platforms.

Furthermore, a lack of governance and optimisation of the University’s multiple websites, subdomains and web assets was severely undermining its organic search visibility – against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive online space with universities both around Australia and the world vying for student enrolments.

Campaign summary

  • To immediately inject our social media advertising capability into the highly talented fourteen plus team of in-house marketers already within the faculty.
  • Utilise LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to prospect international students.
  • Further engage these social media channels to attract local students to attend information evenings and open-days at the University.
  • Develop an SEO strategy that would level the playing field other education providers who were achieving greater organic visibility at the time.
  • Construct a new cross-platform new social media advertising strategy for both Australia and Asia-pacific countries
    This customer journey-focused funnel targeted prospects at multiple touchpoint using a wide variety of media and content.
  • Prospect the cold, top of funnel audience with extensive micro-targeting, running hundreds of audience tests
  • Identify highest performing touch-points and concentrate efforts and budget accordingly
  • Create a robust strategic foundation for managing and optimising organic search and website conversions across the University’s range of digital assets (not just a single website).
  • Achieved the first ever, fully booked at capacity student information evenings, causing second and third subsequent sessions to be held.
  • Achieved lowest cost-per-student-enrolment of all time
  • Reached audiences across multiple Asian countries, in the most cost-effective way (with the lowest cost per lead) in the faculty’s history
  • Significantly improved search-engine rankings in Australia and targeted Asia-pacific locations for all courses offered, as well as interstate rankings within Australia. Here, it was invaluable to have been granted unprecedented free-reign over the website architecture design and strategy, and have worked hand-in-hand with the University’s dedicated team of in-house developers to implement everything at each stage along the way.

Notable numbers:



Countries in the Asia-Pacific region



In organic search



Years together in partnership

I believe that is testament to the depth of knowledge, strategy & service across Search & Social we have benefited from in that time. Not only has their expertise delivered strong, measurable business outcomes for the organisation...

Chris Parkes Director, Marketing and Communications; Asian Communications Strategy Lead

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