University of Chichester: the ‘halo effect’ of content marketing

What was the goal?

In turning to The Student Room, the University of Chichester wanted to showcase its first-rate sports courses to applicants across the UK, allowing it to compete with leading universities for the best students.

The University of Chichester has an excellent specialism in sport, but this was not widely known to applicants due to the university’s location and size (compared with larger institutions).

The goal was to use The Student Room’s nationwide community of applicant prospects to raise awareness in the university’s target market.

The  “halo effect” of The Student Room’s great content strategy boosted the sports degree email response rates by 270%.

It was frustrating to think that prospective students who should and could be applying here were missing out, because they weren’t aware of the exceptionally high standard of our Institute of Sport.  

The Student Room offered the ideal platform for us to reach them from, because it already has a large and engaged student audience at its disposal.”

Steph Coogans, Marketing Manager, University of Chichester

The Student Room’s solution

High impact content was key to the incredible success of this campaign, with the use of long form editorials to encourage dwell time, engagement and impart knowledge. The editorial team worked with one of Chichester’s alumni to develop an inspirational case study around careers in sport that felt both exciting and achievable, creating a strong association with high quality sports education and excellent outcomes.

The article was targeted towards year 13s who had a broad interest in sports generally, not only those that had an interest in a sports degree. Content was developed and placed strategically to educate users, so that they would strongly associate the University of Chichester with high quality sports education. To position the University of Chichester as trusted experts in this field, we used sponsorship of a popular Careers in Sports article on The Student Room: “What I did with my sports degree”.

The content performed brilliantly in its own right by over-delivering on pageviews by 9.13%. However, the most impressive result was the impact the article had on the university’s subsequent email campaigns, due to the effective brand building.

The Student Room followed up with a series of targeted emails to maximise and validate the impact of the University of Chichester’s sponsored content. The purpose of the email campaign was to inspire students to apply to the University of Chichester ahead of the January 15th application deadline. The University of Chichester simultaneously ran five different subject-specific email campaigns, allowing us to analyse relative performance metrics. The engagement rate for the ‘Sport’ email was almost three times as high as the other emails.

The University of Chichester’s successful campaign demonstrates the enormous power of the halo effect. Strategic content had a long-lasting, measurable impact on its target applicant audience.

“It’s so interesting to see the significant uplift in email engagement that came from the article sponsorship. It just goes to show what a difference good content makes. We’re really pleased with the results.”
Steph Coogans, Marketing Manager, University of Chichester

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