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1. What is your specific student target? Define this by year, major, interests, geography, etc. The more detailed, the better.
2. What are you going to say now to get that specific student’s interest? Think about what matters to students when they are a freshman versus a senior, a business major versus an English major, etc.
3. What is the ideal time to get that student’s interest? Consider specific days, such as graduation, upcoming career fairs, throughout the fall or spring semesters, etc.
When you have answered all three questions, you are ready to reach your target college students. To accompany the three questions you answered, here are three common ways companies are reaching college students with their marketing.
According to researchers at Bowling Green State University, 85% of the 315 students surveyed check their emails every day. What’s more, 58% of Gen Zers check their email multiple times a day, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. Remember, the oldest members of the Gen Z generation were born in 1995, so they make up most of the college population today.
After you have answered the question about what your message will be to win student attention, you’re ready to create an email campaign. Your ideal message will be your subject line. If it doesn’t fit in the subject line, you are saying too much.
Consider the example of Detroit-based watch company Shinola, which used the tagline: “Celebrate your grad with a Detroit-built watch.” If you offer a product that is perfect for gift-giving or a new job, such as a watch or leather goods, send an email to soon-to-be grads in early May. The subject line? “Dress to impress at your new job with a [your brand name] watch, briefcase, tie, etc.”
It is no surprise that students spend a lot of time on their smartphones. A 2017 study from the University of Buffalo found that college students use their phones for five to nine hours a day. And in 2016, a study at the University of Nebraska estimated that college students spend 20% of their time in classrooms on their phones. That’s why you have a great opportunity to create mobile ads that students will see as they explore the internet.
A common way to get started with mobile marketing is to draw an invisible digital fence around a certain area on campus. If students cross that area and explore the internet, they get served up your mobile ad. If you are a brick-and-mortar retailer, consider sending students offers on their mobile devices that they can redeem in store.
Hiring a college student to represent your brand on their campus and talk to their peers about it. There is no shortage of activities that an ambassador can do for you, but common activities include having them hang up flyers, attend events, speak in front of their classes/student organizations and post on social media.
If you offer test-taking services, ask ambassadors to speak to the value of test preparation. If you make an energy drink product, have ambassadors pass out free samples in the library during finals week. Just be sure the college student authentically fits your brand and truly believes in your product or service, as college students value authenticity. You can read my full list of the elements needed for a successful student ambassador program, here.
There is no shortage of activities, both online and offline, that you can execute to target college students. However, more important than the activity is the strategy behind it. What is your ideal student, message and timeframe? Answer those questions and you will be off to a great start.
June 6, 2019 at 08:03AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs