Case Study

UK University Increase Chinese Student Enrollment with WeChat and Baidu Marketing

To attract more Chinese student, the UK university needed to grow its brand awareness in China. With Covid-19, they decided to host a virtual student fair, and needed promotion of the event in China. With Baidu search advertising, WeChat advertising, and WeChat content marketing, their virtual event was fully booked, and received large amount of inquiries from Chinese students and their parents. With this success, they are expanding with AdChina.io to advertise and market on more Chinese channels.

Industry

Education

Headquarter

UK

Company Size

2,000+

Years in China

10+ years

"Our virtual student fair was fully booked in just one week, and we received great interest from the students. That's the biggest success we've ever had with such events. AdChina.io really helped us unlock an effective way to reach our prospect students in China."
Zelene Nicholls
International Recruitment Manager

55%

Higher CTR on Douyin, Toutiao ads than industry average

2.4x

Traffic to university website and program pages

51%

Lower CPM on Baidu search ads than industry average

Products used

Goals

  • This leading UK university was established in 1905, had over 2000 staff members, and had already enrolled around 2500 international students.
  • They would like to further build their brand awareness among Chinese student.
  • They wanted to get more inquiries from both Chinese students and their parents.

Challenges

  • Before working with AdChina.io, the university was attracting Chinese students organically — without any paid advertising.
  • This was holding them back from achieving their goals, as they didn’t have a big enough brand in China to generate organic leads.
  • As a result, their pre-existing WeChat account struggled to take off, and COVID-19 had made attracting Chinese students even trickier.
  • That’s why they decided to launch a virtual student fair aimed specifically at Chinese students — to cut through the noise, and to directly invite them to make an application.
  • But without any knowledge on how to advertise in China, targeting and attracting those students proved challenging.

How they did it

Campaign goals

  • Increase brand awareness in China.
  • Drive relevant traffic to university website and program pages.
  • Get inquiries from Chinese students and parents.

Campaign details

  • We started with a month of in-depth campaign planning and worked with the university to build an advertising strategy to promote their virtual fair.
  • To do this, we reviewed each marketing channel in China, analysed its users, and pinpointed which would be the best platform to advertise to students in China.
  • Alongside this, we also conducted extensive keyword research and content planning to understand where the opportunities would be to reach students, and what kind of content would deliver the right results.
  • Combining all the research data, we developed a strategy that’s mainly focused on 2 channels:
    • First, we aimed to improve the university’s reach on WeChat. To do that, we ran targeted display ads on the platform (promoting the university’s virtual fair) and started posting on their WeChat official account to interact with students and build brand awareness.
    • Secondly, we launched a targeted Baidu ad campaign using our platform to reach students and parents in key cities interested in studying abroad. We did this with search and display advertising that appeared alongside the relevant keywords.
  • After achieving success with WeChat and Baidu campaigns, we expanded to more channels, and started advertising on Douyin and Toutiao.

Campaign results

  • Thanks to our WeChat strategy, the university was able to fully book its virtual student fair far quicker than expected — making it their first successful event of its kind.
  • The university has also reported a large increase in prospectus downloads from Chinese students. They’re now working with us to expand to other channels with AdChina.io.
  • With our help, we are confident that the university will meet its target for Chinese student enrolment — despite the difficulties of the past year.

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