Finding the opportunity in uncertainty: How we harness the post-graduation crossroads for Agent Academy’s marketing strategy

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As the excitement of graduation fills the air, young people across the country are facing a world of choices and possibilities. This sort of pivotal moment can be both exciting and daunting, especially for those graduating students that want to work in the highly competitive digital and creative industries. It’s not always clear what the right path is.

An alternative skills-boost opportunity for young people

Our sister social enterprise, Agent Academy, was founded to help address this issue, to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement, and to provide young people with the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

Agent Academy’s RISE programme is free, only 12-weeks long, allows you to work with industry professionals, gives you access to some of the best networking events in the region, and has a proven track record of getting people jobs. However, as appealing as this sounds, we’re competing against long established institutions and ‘the usual way’ of doing things.

Agent’s job to spread the word and drive student recruitment

Our job, as Agent Academy’s marketing partner, is to find new learners to sign up – young people who are feeling uncertain about their next steps – we need to use the right blend of marketing tactics to let them know that there they have another very exciting option to boost their skills, and quickly. It doesn’t always have to be universities, colleges or internships.

To get potential learners to change their behaviour, you need to speak directly to their experience and offer solutions to problems they once thought unsolvable. So, what are those problems, and how do we address them?

The challenge

1. The Catch-22 Experience

Entry level jobs ask potential applicants for x-years of experience, but gaining experience is nearly impossible without landing a job first. It’s an age-old problem. Agent Academy tackles this issue head-on by designing a programme where participants can gain real experience, producing work for real clients. By offering collaborations with leading organisations, participants can build a strong portfolio and gain the practical skills that set them apart from other job seekers right from the get-go.

2. The power of potential

At the heart of Agent Academy is a simple idea that we all know to be true but that employers too often overlook… passion and commitment are the most potent tools for success. It doesn’t matter if you possess experience, qualifications, or not. The goal of the RISE programme is to nurture your creativity and determination, and reward your hard work with genuine opportunity.

3. Industry-relevant skills

While university degrees provide a valuable foundation, the digital age demands continuously evolving skillsets. Agent Academy facilitates these skills by working directly with employers and shaping the programme around a live project with a real client. The client comes to Agent Academy with a problem, and the RISE programme provides the skills needed for the cohort to solve that problem. In this way, industry-relevant skills are built into the fabric of the programme.

Having established that this is a critical time of year for recruitment and identifying a significant gap in the market as well as several key, unique selling points. What’s next? What methods do we use to get the message out to the right people?

The solution

1. Community engagement

There’s a real sense amongst the team that RISE is an incredible opportunity, and there isn’t one of us working on the project (except for those of us that did it!) that doesn’t wish that we’d known about it when we began our careers. A huge part of our strategy then, is getting out into the world, putting on incredible events like Climate Change Careers, running workshops, making sure we have a voice at key regional events throughout the year.

Our street marketing team hit city centres in Manchester and Liverpool to directly market to prospective learners, encouraging sign ups. There’s a real sense of “If they know about it, they’ll come”.

2. Social Media

Of course, any modern campaign must leverage the power of social media. Engaging content, success stories, and eye-catching visuals are the first step to inspiring prospective participants to take the plunge and start a new journey. Success stories particularly are key. The bottom line is that Agent Academy gets young people good jobs in the industries they want to be in. Every RISE programme that we complete only further emphasises this point.

3. Performance marketing

These days, after running programmes for almost 10 years, Agent Academy is entrenched in Liverpool business community. Our Liverpool RISE programme, almost by word of mouth alone, fills quickly (so, you should apply now if you haven’t already). It is always packed full of exciting and eager young talent.

In Manchester, where there is more choice when it comes to similar courses that equip learners with job-ready skills, we need to be more targeted with our approach. So, performance marketing is a key tactic that runs alongside organic social and community engagement, to help us directly boost visibility, drive interest and ultimately sign ups. We carefully target key demographics, ensuring our messages reach the eyes and ears of the potential learners we need it to.

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that Agent Academy will be running two RISE programmes, side by side, this September in Liverpool and Manchester. Agent has recruited 10 members of its team from the Academy programme over the years, who have gone onto excel in our business and beyond, so the start of a new programme is always an exciting time of year for us.

We’re expecting places to fill up quickly, so if you’re 18-30 and want to break into the digital and creative industry, make sure to apply here.

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