20 June 2019

Laura Ruby, University of Brighton: My Unibuddy Experience

Laura has been working as a Senior Marketing Officer at the University of Brighton for just over five years, a period that has seen a lot of change both at the uni and within the sector. Laura works with three of the University of Brighton’s academic schools on a range of marketing projects and activity for student recruitment – an area that throws many new opportunities and challenges their way!

Laura works in a project group responsible for onboarding with the Unibuddy platform in November 2018. And since going live in January, has been looking at ways to include Unibuddy as part of Brighton’s ongoing recruitment strategy.

She shared her Unibuddy Experience.

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Once the decision was made to go ahead with Unibuddy in November 2018, we completed the onboarding process in a few weeks and were ready to launch on January 6th .

We recruited 23 online ambassadors from our existing pool of student ambassadors representing all 12 of our academic schools and as many of our most significant subject areas as possible. The process of setting them up was really simple, a bit of chasing to get them to write their profiles etc. but very straightforward. And they were given the additional training provided by Unibuddy – thanks Amy!

To get as much engagement as possible we have deployed Unibuddy in a number of ways throughout our website – as popcards on relevant course pages and subject pages and other key areas of the site, promoted on the home page and in the navigation menu.

Using the chat to a student CTA to strengthen our email campaigns, we have integrated Unibuddy into emails throughout the cycle so far. Promotion via email campaigns has been primarily to offer holders for 2019 and is being rolled out in pre-app emails now for late application and the 2020 cycle. We have pushed out through social media with a video we made featuring our lovely online ambassadors and used the chat to a student CTA used on the Student Room. The Unibuddy call to action is embedded in 2020 materials from the start of the
cycle including prospectus and digital advertising.

We are really happy with the engagement we’ve had so far – with over 5K conversations so far this year with prospects from over 90 different countries.

And our ambassadors have proved themselves to be a really valuable asset, not only in terms of helping their peers in making a huge decision but also in providing insight for us. The experiential content we get from them helps us produce course information that really brings the course to life. And they have given us really positive feedback about the experience for them too citing the flexibility and the experience of helping out other students as benefits.

“Our ambassadors have proved themselves to be a really valuable asset, not only in terms of helping their peers in making a huge decision but also in providing insight for us”

The social posts feature of the platform is one that we are finding particularly useful as it can be a challenge to get authentic student content. So far, we’ve had a significant number of blogs on a range of topics that are a really good reference for prospective students (and their influencers). We are exploring the various ways to use this content in campaigns and for other materials.

Next steps will also include using the Unibuddy Live functionality. We are in the early stages of exploring this but see many possibilities!

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