Media tips you need to survive Clearing

Clearing blog - Media tips you need

With the continued increase in students applying direct to Clearing, we understand how stressful this time of year can be for students and universities alike. If you’ve managed Clearing before, you’ll agree it’s a noisy, crowded and competitive time for most.

We’ve outlined a few media secrets that will ease your workload and help you spot those game-changing opportunities some clients can miss.

Free up your time to focus on conversions

Every year, The Student Room supports thousands of students by providing them with useful advice from experts, UCAS-trained advisors and a network of volunteers. Even if you’re not one of our clients, you can still benefit from The Student Room by directing people to the resources they need.

We will be sharing regular advice to help students navigate the stressful time that is Clearing. This keeps your call handlers and social media team free to focus on potential students while we look after everyone else.

Stay tight to your suppliers during Clearing

Look out for late-to-market opportunities. We’re super-agile and react to changes in the market and student behaviour.

For example, we understand it’s been difficult to build custom audiences through Facebook since GDPR came in. We responded to our clients’ needs by creating a product that leverages our qualified, unrivalled data to engage students on Facebook.

So, stay tight to your suppliers and keep a keen eye out for last-minute tactical opportunities.

And don’t forget results day itself – have you contingency planned? Savvy clients will have plans in place for last-minute media when their results come in, or on Results Day itself. By working closely with your media supplier you’ll ensure access to top opportunities, available inventory and be best positioned to react effectively.

Creative is key 

The best media partners will work with you to test and refine your creative ensuring you get the best results out of every piece of inventory.

Always factor in a creative review and consider how it might need to change depending on the media partner. Clearing is a busy period, so this year, we’re helping you save time by offering a full creative review by our team of experts. If you submit your campaign assets to us by June 28th, we’ll share detailed recommendations capturing how you can best optimise your creative for maximum performance on The Student Room.

We are also happy to schedule new creatives for Results Day. This way you can target the most appropriate audience for your call-to-actions. If one of your CTAs is “call now”, be sure to supply a phone number. We’ll implement click-to-call for you (again, any media agency should also be happy to work with you on implementing this).

Email is a Clearing go-to

Email is a go-to for Clearing and Adjustment message, but a word to the wise – choose a media partner who sends one email per subject, per day. Clearing databases can be highly targeted and highly timely, but some media choose to over-send and in doing so burnout their audience quickly. Be sure to question your supplier or agency on this before making a call.

Last year, 60,100 students accepted a place through Clearing and our database captured 61,000 users opted into receiving messaging from our university partners. Each user selected an average of two subjects they were interested in. By segmenting this data, we can make sure students only receive the course information relevant to their subject preferences.

Remember, if you’re targeting a course specific audience then be sure to mention it in the subject line or SMS preview text. “Study English at a top 50 university” will always outperform “Study at…”.

Don’t overlook Adjustment

Finally, we have carefully created Adjustment audiences for highly engaged students that always perform, but clients don’t tend to consider. With many Clearing audiences already spoken for (across all media), savvy clients would do well to ask questions regarding Adjustment audiences.

Last year our Adjustment audience was made up of 13,763 students. Don’t forget to leverage this audience to attract the talented students who change their mind after Results Day.

If you want to talk Clearing and Adjustment, discuss the audiences you need to target or share the courses that need a helping hand, send us a message and we’ll get in touch to explore opportunities with you.