China digital marketing campaigns for Unite Students Accommodation

Listen to article

Background & Objectives

Background & Objectives

The UK is now the No.1 destination for Chinese students, who make up around 40% of the British International Student population. Chinese students stay in the UK for 2-4 years on average and when selecting student university accommodation, they have a plethora of requirements.

Unite Students is the UK largest student accommodation provider, housing 76,000, across 27 cities. As over 15% of their students are Chinese, they were looking for a long-term strategic marketing partner to work with them on China strategy to grow and retain their customer base.

Our Strategy

  • Transform Unite Students from being merely a market leader, to a unique hospitality brand appealing to the new generation of Gen Z students.
  • Articulate the Unite Students brand using a clear brand voice, that proactively engages young Chinese consumers. Rewarding advocacy is a key KPI across all activations.

Our Work with Unite Students

  • Rewarded customer loyalty and advocacy within all communications and promotions, encouraging peer to peer promotions.
  • Grew our KOC numbers by creating communities on WeChat.
  • Created a multi-faceted content strategy to appeal to different student and parent groups, resulting in resonating, relevant and, most importantly, profitable social outreach.
  • Leveraged social monitoring tools to monitor customer sentiment and respond appropriately. Monitoring the student market in real-time to identify vital consumer insights.

Our Activations campaigns designed for Unite Students

  • Through a mixture of marketing activations, both off and online, we established strong brand awareness and customer advocacy.
  • We provided digital PR outreach, paid search, social media advertising and community management to maximise campaigns.
  • By optimising the website and lead generation sales funnel, we were able to provide a more streamlined journey for Chinese students.
  • We were able to deliver hugely successful seasonal campaigns to drive sales for Unite, with KPIs for both customer acquisition and retention being exceeded from 2019, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Campaign Results

  • We generated 3000+ enquiries and triple-digit bookings during 2020 campaigns
  • Over 30% growth in followers across main brand accounts
  • No. 1 WeChat readership amongst similar competitors
  • 112.5% + increase Y.O.Y in the number of pageviews and impressions

Client Testimonial

We have been working with Emerging Communications for nearly three years, and it has made a great difference for us in the way we approach our social media strategy in targeting Chinese students and has been intrinsic in our success in this highly competitive market.

Bernadette Cochonat - Senior International Sales and Marketing Manager, Unite Students