Using Gated Content + Paid Social to Generate High Quality Leads


Uncommon Schools is a charter school network with 53 schools across 5 cities in the northeast. Media Cause has partnered with Uncommon Schools on staff recruitment and student enrollment efforts for nearly five years. 

Uncommon Schools’ staff recruitment advertising content needed a refresh. With the release of a compelling new blog from Uncommon that would lend itself well to a paid social campaign, Media Cause created a strategy to use this content to drive leads and applications for their staff recruitment efforts.


The Outcome

The gated content ads that we ran drove the strongest hire rates among nearly all of Uncommon’s hiring initiatives, generating 453 leads that led to at least 5 hires and 135 blog subscriptions, bringing more high quality educators to Uncommon Schools’ charter school network and helping more students to get an exceptional education.




of applicants were hired into highly selective teaching roles

high-quality leads generated through paid social ads

of leads opted into the blog subscription list in addition to joining the staff recruitment email list

The Challenge

Media Cause and Uncommon Schools have been partnering on staff recruitment efforts for a few years. With a clear goal in mind each year—to generate leads and applications from qualified potential teachers—our advertising content needed a refresh to continue driving success. 

Simultaneously, Uncommon Schools had recently launched an instructional best-practice blog and needed to promote their thought leadership and generate blog subscriptions.

The Strategy

With the launch of their new instructional best-practice blog, we decided to use the blog content to freshen up our lead gen advertising strategy on paid social. The campaign we implemented aimed to generate qualified leads among teachers and also promote Uncommon’s thought leadership and generate blog subscriptions. 

We ran ads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn that featured content from the blog, allowing users to click through to the content after submitting a lead form natively on social platforms. When submitting a lead form, users were required to opt-in to Uncommon’s staff recruitment email list and were given the option to opt-in to the blog subscription list. After submitting the lead form, users were driven to the blog content.

The Implementation

Media Cause wrote Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ad copy that promoted the content of specific blog posts, calling special attention to the PDF downloads offered in each blog. We wrote accompanying lead form copy that created a smooth user journey from the ad to the lead form and finally to the blog post.

We used Zapier to connect the Meta + LinkedIn lead forms to Uncommon’s CRM and Mailchimp accounts. After a lead form was submitted natively on the social network where the user was served the ad, the user immediately received their first nurturing email from Uncommon Schools, which we helped to produce.

We used a UTM tracking system, developed in partnership with Uncommon Schools’ website vendor, to track gated content leads within Uncommon’s hiring platform, SmartRecruiters. 

This sophisticated tracking system allowed us to watch gated content leads move through the stages of the hiring process, including application, interview, offer, hire, rejection, and withdrawal. We could compare hiring data and conversion rates for gated content leads with all other initiatives, such as standard (non gated content) leads and other types of campaigns.

Media Cause developed a robust media plan that incorporated gated content paid social ads as one of eight tactics. 

We launched and optimized Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads to support four pieces of content during a 7-month flight. Throughout the flight, we optimized our tactics, shifting budget between our evergreen ads and the newer gated content strategy. Our optimization decisions were data-driven, based on our dynamic paid media dashboard that tracked cost-per-lead, cost-per-app, and subsequent hiring metrics (interviews, hires, rejections, etc.) based on content focus. 

In addition to driving leads, applications, hires, and blog subscriptions, we were able to promote informative and relevant topics to teachers.