Clearing Campaigns – Using Facebook to recruit the right candidates

Clearing is one of the biggest events in any university’s calendar. Not only does it provide a chance to fill remaining course spaces, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to reach out to potential students who haven’t considered certain universities yet.

The ability to target demographics based on their interests, age, and education level means that Facebook is a prime platform to recruit students. As specialists in the education sector, it’s something we’ve got extensive experience in here at RH, and recently I’ve been creating clearing campaigns for some of the UK’s leading universities.

Thinking about running a clearing campaign on Facebook? I’ve shared some of my top tips below:

Be Strategic and Plan Ahead

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail right? With over 100 universities competing for the best A Level students on clearing day, you don’t want to leave things to the last minute. It’s best to get a head start on the competition.

Getting your brand out there as early as possible will help to grab the attention of the best prospects before the rush of clearing begins. We’d recommend beginning your campaigns as early as June to start creating interest in your courses.

Inviting people to pre-register their interest will put you firmly on an individual’s radar before they’ve even received their results.

Get Your Targeting Right

It may sound like an obvious one but ensuring you’re targeting the most accurate audience from the word go is crucial. Don’t waste ad spend on people who aren’t interested.

Firstly, think about the criteria that your audience is likely to meet – if they’re applying to a BA(Hons) course then target those who are in high school and studying their A Levels, and exclude those who have already graduated.

Then, narrow your audience further by considering their interests. If you’re promoting specific courses, think outside the box – a potential geography student could have shown an interest in National Geographic publications but not globalisation.

Remember to Remarket

Clearing can be a stressful time for students and with so many universities to choose from it can help to give them a gentle reminder of who you are. That’s where remarketing comes in.

Facebook remarketing uses a pixel to track website visitors who you can then show ads to based on the pages that they’ve visited. It enables you to target those who already have an interest in a course, but have not yet signed up to learn more.

For instance, if you want to drive registrations to an English literature open day, pop the pixel on your site and you’ll be able to target those who have visited relevant course pages for an increased chance of a conversion.

Don’t Forget About Mum and Dad

It’s not just prospective students that you should be targeting but parents too. After all, they’ll want to know that their child is off to a safe and secure university that provides great employability prospects.

Getting parents on your side means that you’re one step closer to securing the student. Our experience has shown that ads targeting parents typically generate considerably high levels of engagement, sometimes even higher than the ads targeting the students themselves.

What’s more, targeting parents is now especially beneficial as more older people are flocking to the platform and there’s an ever-growing number of first-time Facebookers aged in their 30s and 40s.

Running an effective and cost-effective clearing campaign takes a lot of time, effort and preparation. We’ve run numerous highly-successful campaigns for some of the UK’s top universities so please get in touch if you’d like to talk about how we can help you fill course spaces in 2019.