Right now, thousands of students are getting ready to head back to university for the start of the new academic year. For many young people, heading off to university marks the true beginning of adulthood as they take full responsibility for taking care of themselves, as well as taking care of their own money! While students are famed for being constantly skint, it’s not as common an occurrence in 2019, with many savvy young people bolstering their student loans with part-time jobs or freelancing work. It comes as no surprise then that students are an absolutely enormous market for brands and businesses, with the first few weeks of the term being a prime time to reach out and make an impact. If your business targets students, now is the time to act, so we’ve compiled a short guide with some hints and tips on how you can successfully market to students. Young people more so than any other age group are most influenced by the likes and dislikes of their peers, so make an impact with one student and you could see your business being exposed to thousands more!
Get involved in freshers events
The first week of term at university in the UK is commonly referred to as ‘freshers’ week, a term derived from the term for the new class at universities in the USA, freshman. Every university in the UK will be laying on a bevvy of events to mark this occasion, with the freshers fair being the most common. Freshers fairs and events enable you to get face to face with your target market. It’s a great opportunity to collect data – collecting email addresses for a mailing list for example, and many brands will go above and beyond providing a whole range of freebies to students. Freebies are a great way to get someone to literally take your brand away with them – a branded pen might be used for the whole academic year, for example. If you’re not able to score a spot at a freshers fair, you might be able to contact the university and see if you can send over a brand representative or ambassador to spread the word around campus. Speaking of…
Consider a campus brand ambassador scheme
If students are your bread and butter, you might want to consider implementing a brand ambassador scheme to run throughout the entire academic year. Not only does it give students an opportunity to gain experience in representing and promoting a brand, but it will also enable you to have a more consistent presence on campus and really hone in on your target market. Brand ambassadors can run events, competitions, and generally ensure that people on campus know your business, what it does and why students need to know about it. It’s a long term strategy but it can be very lucrative when executed well!
Discounts, discounts, discounts!
One major perk of being a student is the wide range of student discounts offered by many major retailers as well as savvy local business people. Really, if you want to gain a lot of business from students, you’ve got to offer some kind of discount to entice them in. Anything between 10% and 20% is generally very well received. You don’t need to go mad and offer any more, remember you’re trying to make some money here! If you don’t think a blanket student discount would work for your business, another great idea is to offer student-specific deals on popular services or products, asking students to show their campus card as proof of their university attendance. Offering a student discount is a great way to encourage brand loyalty, so you should seriously consider this if you’re keen to target the student market.
Get digital savvy
Face to face marketing and discounts are all great ways of piquing the interest of students, but if you want to reach as many of them as possible it’s really important to make sure you’re as digitally savvy as possible. Making the most of marketing via social media and building a thriving online community, as well as using content marketing to create interesting digital content that will entice young people to engage with your brand are both crucial when it comes to building awareness of your brand or business within the student market. If you’re looking to target students on a local level, consider advertising on the university’s social media, taking advantage of locally targeted social media advertising, and consider creating a wide range of content in different mediums – videos, blogs, gifs, memes, anything that will help you to relate to students. It’s a tough line to walk, you in no circumstances want to come across as condescending or like you’re trying to be ‘down with the kids’ – people will see right through it and engagement will be poor. But if you can create some great content and promote it well, you’ll hopefully be able to make a big splash within the student community in your area.
If you’d like to run a targeted digital marketing campaign to reach as many students as possible, contact Koncept today!