Telling Student Stories: University of the Fraser Valley

In the wake of the pandemic, the University of the Fraser Valley’s Continuing Education (CE) department wanted to refocus students’ interest on their amazing Continuing Education programs, and to fill their (largely virtual) classrooms with students keen to move into the next phase of their career.

When they approached us initially with this challenge, we talked to a dozen or so CE stakeholders who spoke with clear pride about their programs and—perhaps more striking to us— profound admiration for the students in those programs. The stories of transformation they shared were so inspiring and memorable. What better centrepiece could there be for a brand awareness and recruitment campaign?

Throughout 2021 we worked with the lovely team at UFV CE to plan and deliver a content campaign focused around the concept of ‘Continuing You.’ Our #ContinueYOU theme effectively captured and showcased the stories we gathered from nine incredible CE students who really had—with the education and support provided by UFV—been able to continue their growth and evolution as people and professionals.

Best of all? Thanks to the success of the 2021/22 campaign, we’ve continued to work with this dynamic crew throughout 2023 to deliver on a fresh campaign supported by captivating video storytelling, along with social media and landing page conversion.

The Work

At the outset of planning for the #ContinueYOU campaign, we conducted a Brand and Competitive Audit to better understand the university’s key brand stories and audiences, and to position this new campaign in a way that would ensure distinction in the space.

In collaboration with UFV’s CE stakeholders, we then delivered a series of workshops to pinpoint the campaign’s goals, and the KPIs we’d measure to ensure success; to develop a series of targeted user personas for the campaign; and to outline the key channels, content types, and promotional tactics we’d use to deliver and amplify our message.

Concept development came next: we pitched a number of concepts and jointly evolved the #ContinueYOU concept, creating branding and visual samples for the campaign to ensure its visual impact and appeal.

Once the ideas were all in place, we began firming up the Tactical Plan, outlining timing for the year-long campaign, how we’d gather and deliver stories, and how we’d promote and advertise the content. Once signed off, we then got the campaign underway, publishing fresh stories for the landing page, social content for various channels, and paid advertising throughout the year.

The Results

Our first #ContinueYOU campaign for UFV 2X’d our original campaign goals, resulting in 1.2 million impressions on our content: double our targeted engagement percentages among target demographic groups.

Social media followers increased by 23% during the campaign—not bad indeed! But it was engagement that delighted us: we had targeted a modest 4% growth in engagement per post. But by the end of the campaign, we saw a 2,256% growth in engagement per post—oodles of likes, shares, and comments indicating that these real, inspiring stories resonated with a growing audience.

The campaign also resulted, importantly, in a healthy increase in calls and inquiries from students. However, we realized that many of those results were anecdotally and sporadically reported, and therefore hard to measure. So, when we began the 2023 campaign, we built an online conversion metric into the game, adding a landing page form to ensure measurability of success.

In 2023, we also added video storytelling to the mix. For both campaigns, we captured inspiring stories of Continuing Ed students, shared via social stories, posts, and a high-conversion landing page; generating exceptional engagement and solid inquiries for UFV.

Why We Love Them

Our whole team fell in love with the students we featured, who were universally brave, humble, grounded, and utterly inspiring. Doesn’t it make you want to go back to school, too?

Story-rich campaigns are effective for recruiting campaigns of all kinds. Keen to tell your inspiring stories in an effective content campaign? Reach out–we’d love to chat.


Check out more of our work by following the arrows below. And feel free to reach out to discuss ways we might support you and your team with the right targeted campaign and/or content. 

Quick Overview

Our #ContinueYOU recruitment campaign has extended over two seasons now to showcase stories of some truly inspiring students through video and social media storytelling. The first campaign blew our original targets out of the water with 2,256% growth in post engagement.

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