Why creative is so important: Unlocking the potential of effective marketing campaigns

Tuesday 25 July 2023, Accommodation


Why creative is so important: Unlocking the potential of effective marketing campaigns

In today's fast-paced and competitive digital landscape, catching the attention of potential customers is more challenging than ever before.

All too often, rushed and substandard creative elements limit the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of these campaigns.

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of creative content and highlight how investing in innovative and engaging materials can yield remarkable results. We will also delve into the marketing services provided by UCAS, which enable businesses to connect with one of the UK's largest and most responsive youth audiences.

Capturing attention in a competitive market

The first step in creating a successful marketing campaign is to grab the attention of your target audience. Students, in particular, are bombarded with a myriad of advertisements and content daily. To stand out, your creative elements need to be innovative, fun, and compelling and relevant. This could involve using eye-catching CTAs (call-to-actions), visually appealing images and videos, and captivating subject lines and copy in paid social media posts. By crafting creative materials that pique curiosity and resonate with the student demographic, you can increase the likelihood of your message being noticed and remembered. This might mean investing in great photography, videography and creative before committing to a campaign date – making sure that you have all the tools available to you first. 

Speak to your audience

Engage your audience creatively by tailoring your message to their unique experiences. The transition from starting university to living away from home is distinct for each group: those who are just about to begin, those who are experienced in their second or third year, and those who are seasoned veterans. Furthermore, their needs evolve over time. In Year 1, it's about connecting with like-minded individuals, whereas in Year 2, the focus shifts to fostering independence with your close-knit group of friends. It's crucial that your creative approach and copy address these nuances. Remember, a 'one size fits all' approach simply won't cut it.

Crafting engaging CTAs, images, and videos

The power of a strong CTA should never be underestimated. It serves as the bridge between capturing attention and driving desired actions. A well-crafted CTA can motivate students to click, sign up, or take any desired action you want them to. However, a common theme we see is a focus on ‘Book Now’ when the likelihood of this action being clicked off the back of an email is very slim.

Consider softer CTAs that nurture the desired outcome over time rather than something that can seem premature and aggressive. When it comes to images and videos, the choice between using real images and people versus polished images of rooms and buildings depends on the message you want to convey. Authentic and relatable visuals can foster a sense of connection, while polished visuals can create an aspirational appeal. The key is to strike the right balance between relatability and aspiration to resonate with the target audience effectively.

Optimising subject lines and copy in paid socials

Subject lines and copy are critical components of emailers and paid social media campaigns. To maximise their impact, it is essential to create attention-grabbing subject lines that evoke curiosity or urgency. The copy should be concise, persuasive, and tailored to the student audience. Including offers or incentives can be an effective strategy to entice students to take action. By investing time and effort into crafting compelling subject lines and copy, you can significantly improve open rates, click-through rates, and overall campaign performance.

Investing in content and creative

A common misconception is that investing solely in advertising spend guarantees a positive return on investment. However, without a solid foundation of engaging and compelling content, even the most extensive advertising budget may fall short of its potential. Allocating resources to develop high-quality creative content is crucial to ensure that your marketing campaigns have a fighting chance to generate a positive ROI. By investing in content and creative, you demonstrate a commitment to delivering value and memorable experiences to your target audience.

Where next?

Where do you want the students to end up after they click a CTA? This is often neglected, causing confusion for the customer, not to mention potential wasted advertising spend. They might land on a page that doesn’t look or feel like the advert or email they just left, causing mistrust and frustration. You need to consider the end-to-end journey, and how you are conveying your brand – not just the actual advert. CTR isn’t enough – if you aren’t getting sales, take a look at what happens after they click. 

UCAS' marketing services, unlocking the potential

We are one of the UK's largest and most trusted brands, where we offer marketing services that provide a unique platform to connect with the youth audience. With a deep understanding of who students are and what they're interested in buying, here at UCAS we enable businesses to gain loyal new customers by utilising our data insights.

Through events, digital campaigns, insights from first-party data, and strategic consultancy, we empower brands and help them to identify and engage directly with their future customers. By leveraging our marketing services, businesses can get their brand discovered and gain centre-stage exposure through multimedia campaign packages that reach students when they need products and services the most.