Marketing Case Study | Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

There are many different higher education marketing tactics you can use to recruit online students.

For the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC‘s postgraduate dentistry programs we used a mixture of content marketing, paid advertising, and email automation to reach and attract new students.

Inbound Marketing

In the first 16 months of publishing search optimized content, monthly organic traffic has increased more than 3-fold and we’re averaging over 115,000 impressions and 2,000 clicks per month.

Through keyword research, we identified niche content opportunities, and then strategically repurposed course content, recorded lectures, manuals, and academic research to provide value to new website visitors and fill content gaps on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with expert, authoritative, and trustworthy content.

To convert website traffic into leads, we designed custom checklists like the “Dentist’s Checklist to Diagnosing Vesicular Ulcerative Conditions,” so that DDS candidates and dentists can learn new skills.


In addition to static content like blogs and checklists, we also developed a landing page and funnel for Ostrow’s Virtual Patient Game.

Players are given charts and intake questionnaires from real-life patient cases, and are then asked to give a diagnosis and suggest a treatment.

Paid Advertising

In addition to inbound content marketing, paid advertising played a big roll in year-over-year growth.

To reach dentists, we developed niche-specific search ads and video-based social ads for Facebook and Instagram. In 2019, we earned 104 leads, 2,978 clicks, on 50,771 impressions for a 5.87% CTR.

Ads ranged in topic from promoting free webinars, CE credit opportunities, Professional Advancement Courses, or general information about one of Ostrow’s five online postgraduate dental programs.

We’ve generated over 3,100 leads, reached over 1.4 million dentists and health professionals worldwide, and left over 5.3 million impressions since launching ads on Facebook and Instagram in 2017.

Email Automation

Once leads were in the system, email automation nurtured prospective students with supplemental information based on their program of interest.

We designed the workflows to funnel prospective students toward 1-on-1 conversations with the admissions team so they could have their questions addressed and receive a personalized path to continuing their education online.

Related Case Studies

We’ve also partnered with the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC on video production and designing a suite of university brochures.

Other Services Provided

  • Website Design & Development

  • LinkedIn Marketing

  • Strategy and Consulting

Work with Us

Are you looking to build awareness and grow enrollment for your university or online program? Let’s explore ways we can help you grow student interest, design branded content, and launch new programs.