How UP!Rotterdam Registered 10.482+ International Students in just 10 Days

Rotterdam’s public-private initiative, UP!Rotterdam, is a program with one simple objective: make the city the perfect port for companies, including startups, scale-ups and  SMEs. UP!Rotterdam offers an ideal innovation ecosystem through which companies can achieve success.

College Life Media is the media partner for UP!Rotterdam’s  program. As a media partner, the award-winning agency was responsible for attracting top young talent to UP!Rotterdam’s first digital festival, Upstream Festival.

The Objective

The objective of this collaboration was to reach at least 7.500 top students in the Netherlands.  Out of these students, College Life Media aimed to get at least 200 top students in the Netherlands to sign up and join the program’s digital festival.

the hosts of UP!Rotterdam's digital festival

The Challenges

The planning of the campaign was met with several challenges.  One of them was the need to meet the target number of registrations for the event within 10 days — an extremely short period of time. Furthermore, College Life Media had to work with only 20% of the normal budget, which was a very limited amount. As a result of the low budget, College Life Media used no paid advertising for the digital festival in order to reach its target audience, and instead relied on three alternative organic tactics.

The Solutions

In order to meet the campaign’s expectations, the media team came up with three effective solutions to overcome the aforementioned obstacles. :

  • Growth Hacking: Using advanced growth hacking techniques, the team leveraged social media algorithms of LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram, in order to reach a wider audience.
  • Hyper-targeting: The target audience was narrowed down, and created six distinct personas that could then be individually targeted
  • Automating: We used automation methods in order to achieve the target number of registrations within the extremely short period of 10 days. The results:
    • LinkedIn: 1.500 direct messages
    • Instagram: 750 direct messages
    • Email: 5.600 direct emails (those were collected before campaign)

The Process

As a part of campaign planning the team initially narrowed down the target audience. It was important to explore how to correctly target top-tier students who would be interested in the digital festival. It was required thus to review all the available channels that were at the team’s disposal. The team made sure to use each social network effectively. Thus, through leveraging College Life’s international community of top international students and graduates, the right candidates signed up for the digital festival and this in turn, delivered optimal results.

The campaign execution was carried out successfully through the use of the three tactics mentioned above.

The Impact

College Life’s international community had a direct impact on the attendee percentage. An outstanding 40% of the attendees were international students. In total, over 10,400 students attended the digital festival from over 7 different institutions in the Netherlands. Thus, College Life Media helped meet and exceed the initial objective. The full report  provided by Upstream is available on LinkedIn.

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