Motivating Young Families
To Start Saving For College Today

The $1 billion NC 529 Plan is a tax advantaged way for families to save and invest for education. 529 plans can be used for two-year and four-year colleges, K-12 tuition, student loan payments, and more. Launched in 2001, The NC 529 Plan is administered by the non-profit corporation College Foundation, Inc.

Success by the Numbers

Increase in total website sessions in 3 years
Increase in organic traffic
Million in free media coverage
email subscriber retention rate
conversions from Amazon to
increase in social media engagement

The Challenge

When We Started:
The URL directed people to an antiquated website platform where the NC 529 Plan content was hard to find and access. In order to address online marketing challenges, we launched a new microsite to improve the user experience, maximize organic search success and convert more visitors into prospective NC 529 Plan participants.

A non-traditional media approach was needed to reach young rural and urban families across the state via online media and streaming media outlets.

The NC 529 Plan had been almost invisible in statewide news media for years. They deserved to be the thought leaders related to all things related to saving for college.

The NC 529 Plan was behind in the use of social media to reach, educate and create brand engagement with young North Carolina families. They also lacked a data-driven content marketing strategy to guide all content development including social media, website, and video production.

How We Helped

919 Insights:
Using our exclusive data analytics platform, we identified the exact topics driving young families to the website and social media platforms, what content was actually being viewed (or ignored), and what topics led people to opening up a NC 529 account.

This intelligence was based on actual online behaviors of their thousands of daily website visitors and visitors to competitive 529 Plan websites.

Paid Advertising:
Based on the 919 Insights findings, 919 created and produced all broadcast, digital and native advertising and negotiated and placed all media in house.

Earned Media: (Public Relations)
919 quickly established the NC 529 Plan spokespeople as local, statewide, and national thought leaders via sustained free broadcast, online and print media coverage.

Social Media:
919 accelerated both audience growth and engagement with North Carolina parents across a roster of social media platforms – organic and paid content.

Owned Media:
A full roster of website content was needed to fully maximize the recommendations from the 919 Insights analysis.

919 has also developed a library of NC 529 Plan videos for parents, relatives, kindergarten, and elementary school counselors and more.