Chippendale International School of Furniture

Building profile and driving sales through integrated comms

The Challenge

The Chippendale International School of Furniture, based just outside of Edinburgh, provides a range of furniture making and design courses and attracts students from all over the world each year.

With increasing financial pressure to fill its professional course and an overreliance on word of mouth and cold calling to drive sign ups, the school needed to widen its sales channels and increase leads from individuals looking to take up a career as a furniture maker.

The Solution

Represent conducted extensive research into the school’s target market and conducted an in-depth website review. This revealed that the school’s website was ranking highly for target keywords including ‘furniture design school’ and ‘furniture making course’ and organic traffic was the largest driver of traffic to the site, however this was not translating into conversions.

Represent therefore managed a complete website redesign to simplify the user journey, improve calls to action and redraft content to focus on the benefits of the professional course.

In addition to a website rebuild, Represent devised and managed an integrated comms strategy that focused on:

  • Digital marketing to increase conversions
  • PR to drive awareness among career changers and school leavers
  • Social media to drive awareness and drive traffic to site
  • Content marketing to engage cold leads who had previously shown interest in the school but not signed up for the professional course

Tactics included:

  • Linkbuilding to improve authority of the website to maintain its keyword rankings
  • Optimised blog posts focused on content for career changers including ‘How to start a wood working business’, ‘Furniture making as a career’ and ‘Signs it is time for a career change’
  • Monthly promotion of blog content to existing email database
  • Business profiles promoting the school’s story and its USPs in business, regional and national press
  • Profiling of former Chippendale students about their journey to woodworking
  • Social content focused on bringing the school’s story and the woodworking environment to life and telling stories of successful graduates

The Impact

  • Over 50 pieces of tier one media coverage secured including in the Telegraph, STV News, The Sun and Metro
  • Over 700% increase in social media traffic
  • 500+ inbound enquiries (416 prospectus requests, 50 Zoom calls, 33 visits)
  • 26 professional course sign ups (course at full capacity with a sizeable waiting list)

“Represent has completely changed our lead generation process and hugely taken the pressure off me. We are now getting regular sign ups through the website and no longer rely on word of mouth or cold calling.

“The team are fantastic to work with – they understand our business and our objectives and have implemented a comms strategy that far exceeded my expectations. I would not hesitate in recommending them to other businesses looking to raise their profile and drive sales.”

Tom Fraser, Principal of Chippendale International School of Furniture

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