Making Theology Rock 

4 February 2016  
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With a clear objective and the mechanic laid out, how hard can it be to get inside the heads of teenagers making the hardest decision of their lives? Never without their mobiles, it was down to the power of social media to showcase how great a course CTS at Trinity College is! We’ve previously written about the site, quiz, and email mechanic that we set up for Trinity Theology, this post is about the types of promotion used.


The Holy Trinity For Trinity

Trinitytheology.rocks was promoted using Facebook, Instagram and Google. Initially we started out allocating the same budget to each platform, for a short time until it became clear that Facebook and Instagram were outperforming Google by a long shot.


Let’s look at Google, and get that out of the way.  Google ads were targeting ROI, NI, and UK. There were a number of ad groups promoting:

  • Study at Trinity
  • Study theology
  • Take the quiz

Interestingly it was the specific call to study theology that performed the best, with visitors who clicked spending an average of 1.5 minutes on the site. However, the cost of the clicks on Google were coming in very high compared to the social networks, we had a limited budget, so we gradually eased back on the spend on Google and increased on the better performing networks.


The target audience was set to 16-19 year olds, living in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. We started out targeting based on the following interests but the audiences were very low (ie. they just don’t define themselves as being interested in the leaving cert!)

  • Leaving Cert
  • A-levels

The results started coming for Facebook when we broadened the search to target all female 16-19 year olds, in the specified locations, who in high school. The cost per click came down about 20% when we broadened the targeting in this way. In January, the noise around CAO deadline drove significantly higher results. The cost per click almost halved from the run up to Christmas, this could also be down to the specific targeting methods as we input exact commuter locations around Ireland e.g Dublin, Kildare, Drogheda etc. and narrowed the age gap again to 17-19.

The average CPC on Facebook was: €0.51.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.18.55 PM


Unsurprisingly, given the age of the target audience, Instagram ads performed the best. After the initial weeks when we weeded out Google, we ran Facebook and Instagram in synch, targeting similar age groups and interests, with a consistent message. The only difference was that on Instagram we were using the video feature, and on Facebook it was the carousel.

Instagram scored (in most cases) almost three times the results as Facebook, with an initially lower cost per result, that grew over time. We were surprised to find UK coming in less expensive than NI early in the new year, so we focused mainly on ROI and UK in the run up to the deadline. Again I wonder if the high cost and low results of NI is down to the fact that people don’t classify themselves as NI, opting for ROI or UK instead?

The average CPC on Instagram was €0.44.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 5.48.03 PM

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