Eleana Davidson

7 months ago

Edurank Awards 2020

As you all know, we recently announced the Edurank Award winners 2020. From our six categories, we selected 16 universities to be shortlisted, and from there, our Student Panel chose those worthy of taking home the gold. 

In our latest blog series, we’ll be taking each category and putting it under the microscope, to run through why these institutions made the shortlist, what’s great about the campaigns, and what we can all learn from them. 

This week, it’s the Best Use of User Generated Content.

User-generated content is a great way of creating from the student for the student. It’s a more personable, informal approach to marketing that can really help students resonate and engage with an institution. Here are some of the entries we’ve shortlisted for being the very best at harnessing the power of student-led marketing:

The winner

University of South Wales

USW’s campaign celebrated the graduates of 2020, with particular emphasis on their achievement of finishing their degree during a global pandemic, and their year ending so abruptly. They divided up their social media channels into various sections, so that students could tune in to the content tailored to them. For example, there were talks, social media events and competitions hosted on behalf of each faculty, so students could watch alongside their fellow coursemates. They also included fun activities, such as downloading a virtual yearbook and creating a mortarboard, so that students didn’t feel left out of graduation in the more traditional sense. Of course, this meant that international students could also participate due to the online nature of the graduation celebrations, ensuring that each and every graduate benefitted from this campaign. From this, not only did the social media campaign reach the graduates of 2020, but it also sparked applications for 2021, highlighting the university’s innovation in a challenging time. 


The runners up

The Sheffield College

The reason we love The Sheffield College’s approach to lockdown is because of the wide range of videos that followers could send in. It’s a time and cost-effective way to build up social media posts, while maintaining engagement with staff and students. The campaign included a mini bake-off series, in addition to make-up tutorials, floristry and any other lock-down hobby you can think of! After all the bad news in 2020, posting light-hearted content and inspiration for lockdown activities was definitely the way to go. Encouraging them to engage in simple, fun activities alongside thousands of other colleagues, family and friends helped lift the mood and rebuild that sense of community. It also highlighted that no-one was alone during the crisis, and that support was available. 


The University of Chester

Through unscripted and emotive messages from Chester’s students, the #MyChesterStory encompassed a range of stories from students of different backgrounds. Used in a variety of marketing channels, from social media to email marketing, Chester was able to broaden the reach of these special moments to students, both prospective and current. Those who attend open days want to know what the university experience is like from those who have been there and done it. So, by creating posts and videos with a student tone of voice, Chester ticked this box big time.  

We’ve loved reading about all the success stories and the institutions’ unique ways of utilising user generated content effectively. Congratulations again to the University of South Wales, The Sheffield College, the University of Chester, and all our other 2020 winners and finalists.

To find out more about which institutions are leading the way on social media, sign up to Edurank and for more student marketing insight and the latest on our awards and events, sign up to our Think Student newsletter.