Northampton College College promotional video

The Challenge

Clearhead are a student specialist marketing agency experts in college promotional video. The marketing team at Northampton College knew that 16-18 year-olds - the key demographic they want to engage - are spending more and more time watching video content online.

So, to achieve the college’s objectives of improving its reputation and achieving recruitment targets, the team knew they needed to be where their audience was.

They also knew that standing out online would be a challenge. The seemingly infinite amount of competing videos means that the college’s content would need to capture attention, stop the thumb scrolling and engage on an emotional level, through authentic storytelling.

They commissioned Clearhead to create a 2-minute film that achieved all the above.

The Process

The marketing team looked at recent winners from the Student Awards to identify potential student stories to feature in the film. Clearhead advised on which stories would work best visually and compiled a scene-by-scene breakdown, then a shot list for production.

Clearhead proposed a five-beat visual story. This would show each character journey from their initial ambitions to their first career achievements in a realistic, energetic, and engaging way. The college’s impressive campus would feature as a backdrop to these stories, while keeping the students front and centre as the heroes.

Student Specialist Marketing Agency

Hub content is aimed at audiences who already know about you, perhaps because they’ve seen your hero content, or they live locally, or they’ve subscribed to your updates. They actively want to receive engaging content from you on a regular basis, as long as it’s relevant to their stage in the customer journey. Hub content is normally deeper under the surface than hero content. It might be the second video prospective students watch as they search your courses, or video links you send to your email database.It’s push content that deepens your relationship with prospective students, and maintaining that interest and engagement over time. Hub content helps you keep prospective students warm and convert to enrolments.

The Solution

As well as a full two-minute promotional film that was distributed in cinemas, supporting shorter social media edits (based on each individual story) were produced to tease audiences to find out more about each of the stories. An accompanying hashtag of #legendary not only hints at the powerful lyrical content of the ear-catching music soundtrack, but sums up a hugely collaborative process from the very start.

The Results

over 80,000 views

Within three months of the film's launch

1,596 registrations

For an advice and guidance appointment

17.7% increase

In applications by young people aged 16-18

Award-winning, measurable impact

For the first time, the marketing team at Northampton College focused their entire enrolment campaign budget on new media. As the centrepiece of this digital-only approach, the college commissioned Clearhead to create a stunning promotional film.

The campaign exceeded all of its objectives, with year-on-year increases in attendance at open events, applications and conversions.

The campaign's success has been officially recognised, winning the Gold for best ‘Digital and Social Media campaign’ at the 2016 College Marketing Network’s annual FE First Awards. The judges praised the film as “simple, beautifully presented and with impact that connected straight through to enrolments”.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal of Northampton College, said: “By working with Clearhead we have created the country’s best digital and social media campaign this year and now it’s official. Key to the success of our film has been featuring local students, who have secured the jobs of their dreams after studying with us – proof that dreams can come true and lives can be changed."


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