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Marketing to Students: The Five Keys to Success
A marketing cheat sheet with ways to get students to notice your brand or organisation.
Emily Harrison

Getting students to engage with your brand can sometimes induce a bang-your-head-against-the-wall kind of frustration. There’s so much competition for the attention of the youth market. How can you make your brand stand out from the crowd?

Students have had advertisements hurled at them throughout their entire lives. According to a survey done by TechCrunch, the average age a child receives their first smartphone is 10, so by the time they reach the cusp of adulthood they have become pretty immune to the standard techniques of digital marketing. Therefore, brands need to get a little more creative to get through to this particular audience.

Here are the top five methods from Campus Media, which we have modestly titled ‘Marketing to Students: The Five Keys to Success’

1. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts can help drive quality traffic to your company page, especially if they are positioned on sites that your target audience are already known to go on. The National Student panel at the Engaging Youth Conference reported that students do not typically trust corporate brand pages in the same way as the pages of their peers or influencers. Therefore, a sponsored post will allow for your brand messaging to be communicated in a more authentic way. Also, as the content will be written by a third party, it will be considered less biased than self-published company content.

2. Student Brand Ambassadors

Student brand ambassadors are influential students who will represent your brand at events, on campus or even online. They will help you to build a relationship with their peers in a more personal way, whilst simultaneously providing the opportunity for students to gain some valuable work experience. In order to ensure students are an appropriate match for the client, they can be sourced by agencies who interview, vet and train students before campaigns. This way, brands can be confident that they are being represented by students who truly reflect their values and personality.

3. Social Seeding

Social seeding is a method of digital marketing that enables your content to be scattered across the internet in relevant networks by influential people. It extends your audience reach and it could enable you to target specific markets within the student demographic. For example, if you’re a sportswear company and are looking to appeal to students you might want commission some social seeding to target sports societies within Universities across the country.

4. Experiential Marketing

Students may have built up some intolerance to traditional digital marketing methods, but they still love a good experience. Experiential marketing can be specifically tailored to meet your marketing objectives and provides the chance for students to engage directly with your brand. It can be anything from breaking the world record for the highest manned balloon flight to an immersive memory game on University campuses.
Moreover, it can be an effective way to spread brand awareness online; Splash found that 81% of millennials shared photos on social media at a branded event and 71% used the events hashtag.

5. Campus Tours

A well executed campus tour is an excellent way to increase your brand exposure amongst the student population. Campus tours come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which also means they are highly individualised and more likely to be remembered. They can have a multi-focal approach that embodies a combination of the above strategies to maximise the impact of the campaign.

In an age of ad-blockers and technologically savvy students, it is important for brands to think outside the box in order to get this generation to pay attention. At Campus Media we know all about students; if you want to challenge us to come up with an idea for your next campaign then contact us through our ideas factory.

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