Birmingham City University
The University’s strategy of long-term engagement of prospects, using content relevant to their evolving emotional and practical needs, coupled with our incisive approach to targeting and ongoing channel optimisation, paid huge dividends: a small investment served 2.5m hyper-targeted impressions which, because of the hyper-relevance of the message, generated 13,995 clicks to the Open Day landing page. Thus, BCU’s Open Days achieved the best attendance ever, driven in part by the salience we’d created with our consistently empathetic content strategy.
BCU again over-recruited to its Clearing targets. With just a five-figure media budget, Hunterlodge’s campaign helped BCU exceed its recruitment targets for a third consecutive year.
Using quantitative survey data, we observed from this that many prospects enter the New Year considering whether to attend university at all. In response, we worked with the University’s in-house team in creating a suite of content that championed the benefits of university attendance. This included:
- Voiced and written by current and former BCU students. This content evangelised about the opportunity to secure early independence, meet new friends, develop new life skills and, critically, to improve employment prospects. Hosted on the client’s website we served targeted programmatic display ads, social posts and native headline units to drive prospects to it
- Once we’d warmed prospects to the idea of university study we then heeded their shift in focus to course and institution choice and dialled up destination and course-specific messages between February and April. To drive footfall to BCU’s Open Days and faculty taster sessions throughout the Summer, we made the invitation more personal, by specifically targeting BCU’s 52 key feeder colleges with hyper-targeted mobile banners, referencing the name of each college in the ads. Our targeting technology allows us to serve specific messages to demographically-defined mobile users within 10 metres of a given postcode, so every impression was served to precisely the right audience
- Throughout pre-Clearing (May-mid-August) and Clearing (mid-end August) the University’s content and messaging focus aligned, once again, with the emotional and practical needs of prospects at each stage. In May and June, during prospects’ intensive revision period, we worked with the university’s team to offer revision tips and light-hearted content, such as highly-shareable listicles relating to exam howlers
- Post-exam period, the campaign shifted to a recognition that students need to relax and unwind, so we pushed out content under the theme of ‘Summer Survival’, with tips on how current BCU students had used that down-time more productively to prepare for their transition to study. Throughout the actual Clearing period, the campaign focused on direct support, a more explicit call-to-action to connect with the Clearing team, either via the Clearing hotline or via social channels. Naturally all content and messaging was framed by the ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ proposition.
Having been the first ever in the UK to make offers through Clearing to prospective students via Facebook and Twitter, BCU wanted to extend their social Clearing offering, establishing a connection with prospects much earlier in the cycle, to build awareness of, and warmth for, their new supportive proposition: “We’ve Got Your Back”.