How Do You Create a Credible and Authentic Message?
Business Academy Aarhus is one of the largest business academies in Denmark. Founded in 2009, the Academy has 4,900 full-time students on its programmes.
The school launched Unibuddy in January 2018 – and has since seen hundreds of conversations take place on the platform.
It’s a far cry from three years prior, when the Academy was struggling to build a digital presence. But, recognising the importance of digital investment, they began implementing a full strategy.
Prospective students want peer-to-peer
Andy Grantham, International Project Manager, summed it up: ‘This generation is all online and want instant information. And they want to speak to people, real people, not to robots or our website. They’re not necessarily able to meet up at a fair or come to the campus – especially if they’re international students.’
The University’s own research found that prospective students wanted more peer-to-peer interaction. While Business Academy Aarhus already had case studies, these were polished, corporate and sometimes met with scepticism from marketing-savvy students. Peer-to-peer was the solution – to provide, as Andy puts it, a ‘more credible, authentic kind of message’.
More than information: reassurance and guidance
And so Unibuddy was embedded to provide this credible and authentic message. The platform also reduced the email burden on other areas of the Academy. Prospective students were frequently emailing official channels with questions that would be better answered by other students. These prospective students weren’t seeking information – they were seeking reassurance and guidance. And who better to deliver this than a current student?
Unibuddy, Andy says, provides prospective students with ‘information from someone they can identify with.’
A particular highlight of the platform was the blog function. As Andy explains, “One of the things we use a lot is the blog posts, because we don’t have the functionality on our website. Now, when I send out emails there is content actually written by students. And it’s not the classic ‘come to us, we’re the best’ kind of thing – it’s more like ‘this is what you can experience’. So it’s a much more subtle way of doing it.”
Unibuddy didn’t just help with getting applications and conversion – it also helped students after they’d accepted their offer. Andy said he was surprised to see that ‘about a fifth’ of conversations were from students who had already applied. They want practical advice and reassurance – and they want it from someone who was in their shoes.
The platform was clearly beneficial for the institution, but further value came from the data analytics – which proved invaluable: ‘we can see the dips and the highs, and what sort of questions we’re getting at what time of year. This information not only informs our printed media and what we’re taking to fairs, but also helps us improve the structure and information available on our website.’
Unibuddy helps students thrive through sharing their experiences, effortless technology and the smart application of data.
Together, the platform and student ambassadors provide an outlet for an institution’s authentic voice, a deeper insight into the market’s motivations and foster a sense of belonging – even before applying.
Unibuddy is working with 100 institutions across the world, optimising conversion throughout the student application cycle, from lead generation through to enrolment, with some impressive results. But don’t just take our word for it. Have a look at www.unibuddy.com and find out what some of our partners say.
About the author
Camille Vironda, University Partnerships Manager
Camille joined the Unibuddy Customer Success Team in August 2018. Before this she worked at London Business School in Student Recruitment for three years.
In her spare time, she enjoys travelling back to France where she grew up, and running half marathons.
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