University of Surrey

Building a genuine brand to attract young Chinese students through video influencer marketing

University of Surrey, needed to gain differentiation in what is now a highly competitive UK education market. With today’s Chinas students now being more sophisticated buyers, typically they will search over 15 channels and apply to more than 10 universities!

Identifying and communicating University of Surrey’s distinct personality to connect and engage with younger generation of Chinese students, was key in the brand growth plan we created

The Challenge

  • Engaging and connecting with today’s Chinese GenZ students in a highly competitive market 
  • Building brand preference in the early stage of Chinese students’ application journey 
  • Generate positive user generated content & social buzz from alumni and existing students to help boost applications  

Our Strategy

  • Shifted approach from traditional brand-led communication to content co-creation with influencers from authentic story-telling angles 
  • Leveraged influencer-generated video as the core asset in digital campaigns targeting prospective students in early stage in application cycle 
  • Composed scenario driven video content to demonstrate the life-time value of being a Surrey student 

What We Delivered

  • We Sourced a number video influencers on Weibo and Bilibili that matched Surrey’s brand values and went on to co -create video content that would resonate with potential target Chinese students and parents.  
  • Providing an authentic voice and narrative, that brought the university alive, resulted in increased brand awareness, engagement and shares.  
  • Leveraged alumni and current students’ emotional connections and resonance to further spread the content from their own social media networks.  

Our results

6.2 million



completed video views





Exceeded our expectations

The excellent resulting video certainly exceeded our expectations and helped us meet key brand awareness goals and bring the Surrey brand to a wider audience. Testament to the quality of the resulting video was that it was organically picked up by numerous members of university staff who commented on and shared the video widely. We’d be more than happy to work with Emerging Comms and their KOL suggestions in future.”

Emily Beere

Postgraduate Marketing Manager