Plymouth University student recruitment

by Immediate Media Branded Content Client: Plymouth University
The brief

The University of Plymouth is ranked within the top 2% in the world. However, in an era where student fees apply and central funds are diminished, attracting the highest quality applicants is hugely competitive. The university asked for our help promoting itself as the first choice for students attracted either to the courses they offer or the whole student experience.

The solution

We created a multi-award-winning content programme built around the university applicant journey, which integrated magazines, SMS campaigns and web content. At the centre of this is Student Life magazine, which promotes the University of Plymouth to prospective students. Visually bold and highly browsable – in line with the target market’s digital media habits – the magazine is split into three sections: Learn It (academic hot topics), Love It (south-west lifestyle) and Live It (student how-tos and issues).

Every term, copies of the magazine are sent out to 1,400 target schools and colleges, with a balance of copies retained by the university to hand out at open days. Potential students are encouraged to attend open days through calls to action across web, social media and SMS. For school leavers researching universities online, the magazine content is repurposed, optimised for web and hosted online at

The results
  • Registrants for open days have increased by 87%, equating to a projected £10 million in additional student fees revenue
  • There have been over 21,000 open day registrations online with over 100% increase in registrations
  • Applicant decisions are now made 4% faster than the national average
  • Conversion rates from applicant to student have increased by almost 3%, delivering a ROI of 23:1
  • There have been more than 52,134 page views to the dedicated Student Life Magazine pages
  • Awards won: CASE global bronze awardfor university recruitment magazines, silver in the ‘non-retail consumer’ category in the Content Marketing Awards 2016