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Clearing 2021: Making the most of your media with new innovations that cut through the noise

With clearing becoming more competitive than ever, many Universities are are finding it difficult to separate themselves from the pack and stand out amongst their competitors. In this Webinar, Managing Director Jess Hickman, Senior Digital Strategist Emma Price and Social Media Manager Ella Garrett share top tips on how to break through the noise and get the most out of your audience, all while ensuring your marketing budget is spent effectively.

All statistics and facts are taken from the 3rd part of the Webinar series “Clearing 2021: Making the most of your media with new innovations that cut through the noise.” And are in relation to Clearing 2021.

Webinar objectives

  • To understand the importance of innovation
  • Inspiration on how you can use the newest channels and formats
  • To provide a roadmap to integrate innovation into every aspect of your Clearing campaign

Learnings from the previous Webinar 

  • Pre-Clearing is critical to success, start your campaigns early, include parents and use pre-clearing to build social retargeting and audiences. Plan early, be bold and prepare to be agile.
  • Identify opportunities in an unusual year, run campaigns around Wales’ provisional results date and target mature students.
  • Personalisation is the future of Higher Education marketing. Not all students are the same, having their own thoughts, ambitions and personality. Start your marketing personalisation journey by identifying your student personas, and implement these into every aspect of your student recruitment to improve your marketing efficiency, increase conversion rates and widen your audience pool.
  • The average university only gets 10% of their campaign traffic through innovation channels, (such as TikTok, Youtube and Programmatic.) Having a perfect blend of performance channels, innovation channels and allocating 20% of your budget to those innovation channels, it will help you cut through the noise and identify new and effective student communication routes.

Innovation for success 

  • TikTok lead generation forms – With TikTok releasing a new format for ads on their platform, TikTok lead generation forms could be the ideal way to reach the right audience with the right message
  • Don’t forget facebook “click to call” –  With calls being just as popular as ever on clearing days, ensure you’re using efficient click to call’s on social call ads. These are set up the same way as any call to actions on your typical ad, but with calls being so popular around clearing day, Facebook’s solution is their click to call ads.
  • Responsive search ads & site links – Responsive search ads allow you to create ads that adapt to show more text and more relevant messages to your searchers. By entering multiple headlines and descriptions, Google tries multiple combinations to find the best performing one, making your ads bigger, more agile and more effective. 
  • Consider voice searches – By using long-tail search keywords you’re able to target the more conversational type search queries, that reflect how people speak in everyday life. This is especially great for voice assistant devices
  • Gaming – With gaming being more popular than ever, and with Facebook Gaming on the rise (up 79% during the pandemic), Facebook decided to release a dedicated gaming app, which focuses on live streams, to compete with the likes of Twitch and Youtube. This allows you to advertise on the app by selecting the Audience Network placements in your Ads Manager.
  • Instagram Guides – This feature allows you to curate and share products, places and posts. They’re really great for reusing previous content by combining them to create new and interesting content with relevant text. They’re brilliant for sharing tips, recommendations and telling a story.
  • Interactive Instagram stories – By having interactive stories, it encourages engagemen,t and by making the most out of those tools, you will seem more approachable.
  • Instagram Reels – As one of the biggest trends of 2021, Reels provide a chance to appeal to your audience with short form content. For example, to build on the excitement of “Why York?” you can ask those who have been accepted to share their own reels of how excited they are.
  • TikTok – With TikTok figures rapidly increasing amongst younger age groups. here’s a few examples on how you can stand out:
  • Curate – Be crystal clear and show what you meant to say
  • Craft – Find a straightforward format
  • Capture attention – Make it thumb stopping
  • Cue a reaction – ALWAYS give a reason to interaction 
  • Facebook Groups – Groups are there to help people “customize their social media experience”. They’re filled with more meaningful interactions where people share similar interests. This makes them feel more part of you University community and creates a safe space for questions.

The six golden rules for perfect content

Branding – upfront, recognisable and ownable

Key Message – have a single, clear key message

Time – find the balance between message and time 

Sound – design for sound off, delight with sound on

Framing – custom content for each creative format

To summarise – A mindmap to success 

Pre results day

  • Use TikTok and Google lead generation to generate pre-reg’s
  • Use Gaming channels to increase awareness before results day
  • Use Instagram Guides to inform students of the Clearing process

During results day

  • Use Facebook click to call ads
  • Use responsive ads on Google to boost engagement 
  • Use Instagram Stories to answer FAQ’s on results day
  • Use Ecosia to research active searchers

Post Results day

  • Use Instagram Reels to create a buzz around the university 
  • Use Facebook Groups to convert students to enrolment

Get in touch

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