Working alongside the business school’s internal marketing team, Narrative helped to build a communications strategy and identify key messages, resulting in coverage in prominent titles such as The Conversation, the Sunday Times and This Is Money, as well as international outlets such as the Times of India and a breadth of regional print and online publications. In addition to traditional media relations, the PR team has also used the extensive knowledge they had gained in order to produce Reach; a 46-page magazine which details the most interesting research projects currently being carried out by Newcastle University Business School Academics.
The PR team’s successes also led to additional projects for Narrative’s creative and digital teams, supporting the client with its desire to move up in the world rankings for research. Below is an outline of this campaign in more detail:
We were commissioned to raise awareness of key research stories with the international academic community ahead of the university world rankings in April 2017 using digital marketing to complement the in-house marketing team’s social media campaign.
The artwork had to appeal to 30-65 year olds with a postgraduate degree and/or were working in higher education. The requirements stipulated that the artwork should be aimed at an English speaking audience, however, the advertising was aimed at an audience in the UK, Netherlands, India, Thailand and Australia. The call to action was to click on the adverts and visit the Research area of the client’s website.
During the planning stage we agreed KPIs with the client, including target number of website visitors generated, target number of impressions of ads within the target market and target time spent on site to ensure traffic was high-quality and engaged with the content. We also set targets for click-through-rate (the percentage of people who clicked on the adverts out of the total number of people who saw them) as this was a key indicator of how engaging, appealing and intriguing the artwork was to the target audience, thus generating clicks to the website.
The artwork was based on the stories which had been generated from the client’s research but with an abstract headline and unusual image to draw people’s attention. The creative directed viewers to click the advert to read more about that particular piece of research.
Overall throughout the campaign the traffic to the Research area of the client’s website increased by 1939% compared to the previous six weeks. Over 60% of the traffic to the Research area was driven by the adverts used in the paid advertising campaign. In total, the adverts had 1 million impressions within the target market which was considered an exceptional result from such a niche target audience. The CTRs for all platforms exceeded the goals set at the beginning. LinkedIn especially had significantly higher CTRs which shows the ads were highly engaging to those who saw them. The traffic driven by paid channels was 90% first-time visitors to the website. This shows that the campaign successfully raised awareness of the School’s research amongst a new audience.
The University’s place in the 2017 rankings increased by 15 places compared to the previous year and they scored highly on research. We have been asked to work on this campaign again for 2018.