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The Real London: connecting with our wonderful diverse community  

London is a city of contrasts, a melting pot of cultures and a hub of innovation and creativity. At London Metropolitan University, we are proud to embrace and draw strength from this diversity.

"Higher education institutions across the world might find value in our approach with The Real London campaign"

Our students come from every corner of the globe, bringing with them unique stories, experiences and perspectives. Some are from nearby neighbourhoods, while others travel thousands of miles to be a part of our community.

Regardless of their origin, each student finds a sense of belonging here, contributing not only to our institution but also to the vibrant tapestry of London itself.

The Real London campaign

Our students and staff provided the inspiration for our current brand hero campaign, The Real London.

Our objectives were clear: to put our people at the forefront, to evoke emotion that resonates with our mission, to create a distinctive visual identity reflecting our diverse community and to position London Met as a top choice for prospective students both locally and globally.

With creativity and vision, Kate Stanbury, London Met’s head of Marketing, and Hannah Aldwinckle, our content manager and a London Met graduate, who developed and drove the concept forward, crafted a campaign that truly captures the spirit of our mission and values. We aimed to instil confidence, ambition, and pride across our institution and the results speak for themselves.

 The impact of The Real London

Since its launch on May 31, 2022, the campaign has received significant attention. Our videos have been viewed over 1.3 million times, with an impressive average view duration of 94%. This contrasts with the 45% average across our YouTube channel.

In the campaign’s first year, 61.5% of viewers watched our TRL YouTube ad in its entirety, doubling the industry average.

Importantly, the campaign has had a tangible impact on student recruitment. Approximately 12% of our online Clearing 2022 applications in July 2022 came from individuals who had engaged with our TRL ads on social media.

This is a significant increase from the 2% in the previous year. Our conversions from paid advertising skyrocketed by 145% compared to 2021. Throughout 2023, the campaign has continued to grow and make an impact on our recruitment and the positive feedback has continued.

On platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the campaign’s reach has been phenomenal.

Supporting content for TRL has been viewed over five million times across various accounts, with our own TikTok account receiving more likes overall than almost every university in the UK, in a very short period.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received is a testament to the campaign’s resonance with our target audience. 

A nod to excellence: The PIEoneer Award

It’s not just our community and prospective students who have taken notice of the campaign. Last week we were delighted to attend The PIEoneer Awards where we were shortlisted for an award – this follows on from recognition at the HEIST Awards and the Times Higher Education Awards, two major higher education marketing awards in the UK.

“By presenting a genuine snapshot of London, the team has managed to craft an authentic campaign that has touched many in our community”

Being nominated for a PIEoneer Award was a fantastic recognition of our efforts to showcase the true essence of London Met and the city we call home. 

Making a connection

The Real London campaign is more than just a marketing initiative. It’s a heartfelt reflection of who we are, what we stand for, and the community we’ve nurtured.

By presenting a genuine snapshot of London, the team has managed to craft an authentic campaign that has touched many in our community. They didn’t rely on a big budget, or an external agency for the creative concept, the success of The Real London was made possible through the dedication of our in-house talent and the collective efforts of the entire Marketing and Comms team.

Higher education institutions across the world might find value in our approach with The Real London campaign. It serves as a gentle reminder of the power of authenticity and the significance of truly understanding and representing your community. In a world where prospective students are constantly bombarded with choices, a genuine connection can make all the difference.

About the author: This is a sponsored post by Deon Butler, London Metropolitan University’s Director of Marketing and Communications.

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