How QS Top Universities Acquired Top Students & Alumni

QS World University Rankings is a global, post-graduate expert that compares top universities all over the world. Through in-depth analysis and direct university comparisons, QS helps students and graduates choose the right paths for their academic endeavours. 

The Focus

QS Top Universities recently worked closely with the post-graduate advisor - College Life - to attract top students and alumni from the world’s best universities. The purpose of the campaign was to enroll them for online Master’s & MBA days that were hosted by QS around the world. 

This global on-going campaign extends to new countries every six months. So far the countries for which a campaign has been launched are the following:

  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg 

The Challenge

With the campaign taking place during a global pandemic, one of the biggest challenges was attracting the target audience to a free online event. As there is an overload of online events that they can join, it’s difficult to remain competitive. 

The Solution

QS Top Universities’s strong brand equity combined with College Life’s tight-knit global community of top international students and graduates enabled the campaign to overcome the challenge. Leveraging the existing community allowed College Life to launch a successful campaign organically without any need for paid advertising. 

The Process

One of the fundamental stages to campaign planning is the setup of ambitious, measurable goals, also referred to as OKRs (objectives & key results). The team established measurable objectives to keep track of all the goals that the campaign aimed  to reach.

These OKRs took the form of fundamental questions that the College Life team needed to address and take into account with every step of the campaign:

  • Awareness: How can we reach as many people as possible and make them aware of this event?
  • Consideration: How much traffic are we getting? How much is everyone engaging with the content? How many conversations are we starting?
  • Conversion: How many registrations are being confirmed? 
  • Follow-up: How can we  keep the target audience engaged after the event? 

The Planning

The campaign planning was broken down into three steps:

  1. Ideation: Exchange ideas with one another and decide on the means of executing the campaign. 
  2. Consultancy: Seek out feedback and advice through collaborative work and communication. 
  3. Content Planning: Decide on the content that needs to be distributed across the website and other channels.  

The Execution

The execution in the following months is to be carried out through the College Life content strategy:

  1. Pillar Content: to drive and boost awareness. 
  2. Micro Content: to elaborate on content introduced in pillar content.
  3. Social Media: to distribute and boost engagement with all content. 

The team shall create a complete guide on College Life as part of the pillar content. Then, the College Life content writers will publish two short-form articles that will provide additional details on topics mentioned within the guides. Further, College Life will distribute all content using available mediums (social media platforms).  

Finally, a landing page will be created, in order to launch hyper-targeted marketing campaigns several times per year.

The Impact 

College Life Media supported QS Top Universities in launching a full-scale marketing campaign that included growth hacking. Through LinkedIn, College Life targeted 2,050 messages with a 2-step message campaign. Through email, the team created 1 drip campaign, consisting of 3 emails, and gathered roughly 250 email addresses.

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