Charlie Sifford Foundation Scholarship

RQ Marketing employed an integrated social media marketing and online advertising strategy for the Charlie Sifford Foundation Scholarship, leading to a 42% increase in the number of applications submitted over the previous year.

By leveraging online ads and re-engaging the audience through social media, RQ Marketing successfully boosted awareness and interest in the scholarship.

42%

Increase in Scholarship Applications

15%

Engagement Rate on Facebook Ads

2K+

Visitors to the Homepage

Introduction

Industry: NON-STEM

Location: United States

Charlie Sifford was the first Black player on the PGA TOUR. He secured his first PGA victory in 1967 at the Greater Hartford Open in Connecticut at Wethersfield Country Club.

To honor him, a scholarship has been created to help fund college costs for students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), or for students focusing their education on a golf management program. Any student who is or will be attending college is eligible to apply.

Objective

The primary objective was to increase the number of applications for the Charlie Sifford Foundation Scholarship Program through targeted social media advertising and marketing.

Challenges

Faced several key challenges such as maintaining excitement, re-engaging the existing audience, expanding reach, and reducing application drop-off rates. 

Replicating Initial Excitement

As it was the second year of the scholarship, maintaining the excitement and momentum from the launch year was challenging.

Reengaging the Audience

The existing social media audience needed to be re-engaged to maintain interest and participation.

Expanding Reach

With a limited number of followers, there was a need to reach a more relevant and broader audience.

Application Drop-off

There was a noticeable drop-off rate during the application process, requiring intervention to ensure completion.

Solution

RQ Marketing Services introduced targeted social media outreach and online advertising to help boost program visibility and increase application numbers.

Revamped Social Media Strategy

  • Content Refresh: Updated social media post styles to enhance brand recall.
  • Engaging Content: Introduced a variety of content, including videos of past scholars, FAQs, testimonials, information about Charlie Sifford, and famous quotes to build intent and provide social proof.

Online Advertising

Facebook Posts were boosted to target and reach relevant and wider audience, increasing program visibility.

Email Scheduler

Utilized the email scheduler feature to manage drop-off rates. Automated reminder emails were sent at intervals (21 days, 14 days, etc.) leading up to the deadline, complemented by consistent social media messaging.

Results

Increase in Scholarship Applications

Achieved a 42% increase in the final number of applications.

Social Media Ads and Posts was a major source of Awareness

42% of applicants reported learning about the scholarship from social media and online ads.

High Engagement Content

Videos of past scholars had the highest engagement rate at 7.73%.

Engagement Rate on Facebook Ads

Achieved an impressive engagement rate of 15.38%, surpassing the industry benchmark of 1%. Additionally, 18 individuals shared the call for application posts, and 10 saved the posts, indicating strong interest and interaction.

Program Visibility

Facebook ads attracted 627 users, a new channel that proved effective in reaching the target audience.

Enhanced Communication

Automated email reminders reduced response time and improved the completion rate of applications.

Our relationship with RQ Platform is a critical part of our partnership with our sponsors, scholarship committee, applicants and award winners.  We very much appreciate the easy to use turnkey portal and the customer services that comes from the technical and marketing teams at RQ. We couldn’t perform at our best without their total offering.
Russ
Program Manager, Sifford Foundation Scholarship

RQ Features Used

Social Media

Online Advertising

Email Scheduler

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