PPC Case Study: Lead Generation for Columbia College Chicago Online

Executive Summary

Columbia College Chicago Online had been working with another agency to use PPC ads on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google to 1) drive traffic to its website and 2) generate leads for its online college courses. However, results were lackluster and there was little reporting structure in place.

Careful Feet Digital offered PPC strategy and execution services to 1) improve traffic to the CCCO website, 2) improve the number of leads the College received and 3) create a reporting structure that made it easier to identify the best performing ads and results from each campaign.

“Careful Feet is extremely results-oriented, making their PPC strategy and ongoing help invaluable as we grow our course registrations.”


Columbia College of Chicago runs over 10 courses each term. Finding students online for each course requires the creation and management of various types of ads specifically targeted to individuals of various demographics and psychographics running on multiple social channels.

Prior to working with Careful Feet Digital, Columbia College of Chicago had very little in-house expertise about how to create and start digital advertising campaigns, particularly when it came to targeting to reach individuals most likely to benefit from the courses the college offers.

How Careful Feet Digital Helped

We run a variety of different ads on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for Columbia College of Chicago, including lead generation, traffic and sponsored content ad campaigns (names vary depending on channel). We initially gathered data provided by the previous agency, as well as enrollment data, to specify our targets. As time has gone on, we’ve been able to modify these audiences using Facebook and AdEspresso insights to decrease cost per click and increase CTR and ROAS.

Careful Feet Digital managed approximately $90,000 in quarterly advertising budget to generate 13,000,000 impressions on Columbia College of Chicago ads on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We generated approximately 10,000 leads in the same time frame, with our cost per lead on Facebook averaging $4.95.

On some campaigns, cost per lead was as low as $0.97.


PPC Case study cost metrics

Inbound traffic has increased 2260% between 2017 and 2019, and the weight of returning users increased from 12.1% to 21.7% which indicates that we attract more users who are interested in Columbia College Online in the long run. 

Columbia College Chicago Online offers 8-week courses and professional certificates led by industry experts.