How Sussex Uni Recruited Prospective Students During The Corona Virus Pandemic By Standing Out From The Crowd With This Epic Social Media Video Marketing Campaign

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing serious financial problems for UK universities. Prospective students and offer holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Students are making difficult decisions whether or not to accept university offers for the new academic year. It’s a big decision in normal times – even more so this year, with some teaching due to take place remotely and socialising potentially very difficult with current social distancing regulations.

 

Clearing 2020 runs from 6th July – 20th October 2020. Clearing is a process that allows universities to fill spaces on courses that aren’t yet full, while students without offers are given a second chance to pursue their higher education aspirations. This is traditionally a very competitive time of year for universities, this year it will be more important than it has ever been.

Solution

To create a social media video campaign focusing on our location and the benefits learnt during the Covid-19 lockdown, of nature and fresh air. With some sort of social distancing likely to remain in place for a long time (or the potential for it to return stronger) the focus is on the fact that the campus is surrounded by the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park and is in one of the sunniest cities in the UK, Brighton & Hove. This is the differentiator. Sussex Uni needs to stand out from the congested, highly competitive marketplace, ahead of and during Clearing, to amplify the brand.

Target Audience

Primary audience 18-19-year olds (considering applying through clearing this August). Secondary audience 14-16-year olds (who are making decisions now about their choices for 2021 entry). Parents/guardians of prospective students may also view the videos to gain information about the University of Sussex and the city of Brighton & Hove. The campaign must appeal to both UK and International audiences.

Challenges

Time.  The campaign has to be delivered by 20th July 2020. The great British weather. The videos will only look good during fine weather. Early starts. Shoot in the best light. Approx. 5am – 11am.

Results

A 59 second Youtube video sums up the best places to spend your time in Sussex. These shots were captured using a 360 degree camera. This allowed us to capture unique angles and perspectives like never seen before. To see more behind the scenes, please read about the filming experience by Flavio Ferrari, Video Manager at Sussex Uni.

The strategy for the social media video campaign was to release a short 15 second video everyday, for 15 days, to clearly communicate a single USP with highly engaging visuals. You can see more videos at @sussexuni on Instagram.

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