Nonprofit University Exceeds Growth Targets with Streaming TV

3 min read·Jul 05, 2024

Prominent Christian liberal arts college, Samford University, is well known in the South for the excellence of its academic programs and outstanding Division 1 athletic teams. However, with excellent national rankings in degree programs such as law, nursing and pharmacy, as well as being  nationally ranked for overall career preparation and student engagement, Samford is also nationally relevant. Working with Vibe is helping the university expand its reach and prospective student pool.

The Samford marketing team had never worked with Streaming TV but decided to test a new medium to both expand awareness and pressure-test performance campaigns.


Extend National Awareness

Cost Per Session <$2

Trackable spend and conversion

No minimum fees

Samford University initially considered working directly with a Streaming TV publisher, but exorbitant minimums, unresponsive support teams, and limited inventory pushed them in another direction. As a nonprofit organization, every dollar counts: the team needed a flexible, transparent partner with premium inventory, which is how they found Vibe.

"Knowing our investment was going directly to premium inventory placement versus processing fees was huge for us, as a nonprofit organization."

Madison Barker, Digital Marketing Manager

With Vibe, the team was able to test and learn early on by launching different ad formats across content and audience types, starting at $50/day. Consistent testing and optimization were especially important considering the breadth of their campaign goals:

  • Expand awareness of Samford nationwide 
  • Increase applications for their pharmacy program
  • Increase applications for their legal programs
  • Capitalize on the school’s outstanding athletics with ads on live sports programming

Vibe’s self-serve platform empowered the team to adjust and optimize campaigns based on real-time results and audience insights. They were also able to discern which targets warranted higher CPMs and which ones were more reachable via massive reach at low CPMs. Some placements on live sports games or channels like HBO were more expensive than others, but balanced out with 99% VTRs and page views to match.

"Pixel tracking was a game changer for us to understand our audience better. That and QR codes allowed for great tracking."

Madison Barker

Premium channels including live sports

Granular targeting

Custom creative

Vibe’s Customer Support team worked with Samford to fine-tune their semester-long campaigns in accordance with incoming data and different audience needs. 

"The team went above and beyond contacting us with optimization and testing ideas and taking action on our platform feedback."

Madison Barker

Thanks to Vibe’s first and third party audience data, Samford University’s marketing team was able to target parents of teenagers within specific income brackets and locations, serving customized ads to promote the university and nationally ranked graduate programs.

Once those campaigns ran for a few months, they launched a March Madness campaign to celebrate their NCAA basketball tournament appearance, which fed into the success of all concurrent branding campaigns.

Thanks to promising results and targeting accuracy, the team decided to launch campaigns for more niche programs like law, which targeted mid-career professionals between 34 and 54 who were more likely to be interested in the career changes or advancement opportunities.

The team developed creative for this campaign following learnings from their earlier efforts by, for example, adding QR codes with a clear CTA on-screen, testing shorter ad lengths, and including their stakeholder demographics in the video.


Increased Awareness in Relevant Programs

$18 avg. CPM

$1.45 avg. Cost Per Session

99% VTR

Vibe’s platform flexibility and in-depth reporting allowed Samford University to expand their reach nationally and consistently build awareness for targeted programs. Thanks to Vibe’s CPM and frequency capping modules, they were able to stay well within their budget while reaching net-new audiences across campaigns. 

Next up? Continuing to optimize creative for evergreen branding campaigns and layering more targeting data on degree-specific performance campaigns.

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