University Clearing: Gaining Applicants

By Rebecca Kaur – Ad Operations Executive

One of the biggest events in the Higher Education industry

Clearing has become one of the biggest events in the Higher Education industry. In 2016 just under 65,000 students found their university places through Clearing. In such a competitive market, it’s important to ensure that your university stands out. Advertising plays a vital role in both awareness raising and driving applications.

 

Carefully planned digital strategy

A carefully planned digital strategy is key to clearing success. It starts with building awareness before Results Day itself – ensuring potential applicants already have you in mind when selecting a university. Social advertising, across platforms such as Facebook and Twitter play an important role in this phase. We can connect with students before they are actively searching for a clearing place. Programmatic is also another key tool, with messaging appearing to students no matter where on the web they are.

 

Clearing on A-Level results day

Even though Clearing opens in July each year, it really gets going on A Level results day. Anxious students who have not met their offers begin searching for courses that still have places. This is where we introduce Search Advertising as we can connect with students while they are actively searching for universities to apply to. Both generic and course specific adverts may run, with course adverts being switched off once they reach capacity. This enables universities to focus on recruiting in priority areas.

 

Maintain a social presence

It is however important to maintain a social presence throughout the process. This will continue awareness and influence student perceptions. The recent introduction of Facebook Messenger ads will have a positive impact. It will allow students who are considering making an application to interact directly with potential universities, asking questions which may be the difference between that important call being made or not.

 

Clearing doesn’t end on results day

Clearing doesn’t end on results day, with students able to apply up until September. This is where retargeting, whether through programmatic or social platforms, will play its strongest part. Retargeting will encourage students who have already viewed a universities website to go back and have another look.

 

Emotions run high

Emotions will be running high for many students going through Clearing. This makes the messaging they are targeted with especially important. Potential students are likely to respond best when they feel informed, with advertising giving them a clear next step. This in turn will help to reassure the individual, resulting in a more positive outlook on what can be a stressful situation.

 

If you would like to boost your clearing campaign, get in touch [email protected] or call us on 01792 467 967.

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