There are many marketing techniques to take advantage of, with each of these providing different results for specific demographics. Many companies will automatically think of a few of these strategies for college students, such as social media and other online marketing techniques.
While this will provide a significant number of results, provided you capitalize on it effectively, the majority of marketing professionals and business owners may look for strategies that offer more of a personal touch.
However, many people may not know which methods will provide high-quality results in this regard. One of the more notable ways that you’ll be able to do so is with campus marketing. This may be a term that a significant number of people may be unfamiliar with.
Those that do know the term may often not know how to take advantage of it. However, there are a few ways that you’ll be able to do so to maximize your results while keeping your spending low. As such, you should be able to see a significant return on investment with campus marketing.
There are a variety of things you’ll need to know to expand your brand awareness among college students and maximizing your ROI.
What Is Campus Marketing?
Campus marketing refers to the process of promoting products and services to students while they’re on the college campus. While there are a variety of ways that this can be done, much of it is done by students to their peers, which has often been seen as one of the more effective ways of doing so.
The majority of companies and marketing professionals use brand ambassadors to advertise their products. These are typically part-time positions, with the brand ambassadors promoting the company at a variety of social and college events.
The advantage of hiring brand ambassadors instead of sending company representatives is that students will be much more knowledgeable in the area than most others. As a result, they can often be much more effective at spreading a brand’s message at popular hang-outs around the campus, as well as areas where many students may congregate.
One of the primary reasons that this is effective is that students are much more likely to trust the recommendations of their peers rather than advertising campaigns.
While brand ambassadors will often be the largest part of a campus marketing campaign, the majority of firms also use a variety of online efforts. The majority of these campaigns focus on social media, with both the on- and off-line efforts often feeding into each other.
Who Uses Campus Marketing?
While the majority of brands that use campus marketing are naturally youth-oriented, there are a variety of brands that utilize it that may surprise you. These brands are spread across a range of industries, with many of them offering branded merchandise, among other incentives, to their ambassadors.
Some of the more notable examples of companies that have done so have included Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. Red Bull is perhaps one of the more notable firms that have taken advantage of the strategy and has brand ambassadors across over 300 campuses, which can also be said of Microsoft.
The energy drink company’s ambassadors host quite a large number of events on campus, such as music lectures to chariot races, with the unusual approach helping to gain a significant amount of attention. In contrast to this, Microsoft has taken a more hands-on approach and often hosts product demonstrations and a few other events.
There are a variety of other companies that have held notable campus marketing events, with American Eagle being prominent. Much of this has been because they’ve sponsored move-in events for several years, which has helped the company increase its brand awareness on-campus from the first day.
The company has also planned to sponsor a variety of campus recreation facilities across the country, with the effort to further enhancing its brand awareness.
Who Responds To Campus Marketing?
Many companies will wonder what people are most likely to respond to campus marketing campaigns. While the obvious answer to this will be students, the strategy can extend well beyond them.
Much of this is seen in the fact that the students may become long-term customers of the brand, which can have its own benefits. Alongside being able to convert many students into buyers is the fact that they may become brand ambassadors themselves without realizing it.
This is primarily because many of them may then begin speaking to relatives and friends outside of the college about the events that have been held on campus. A lot of this can be seen in a person’s influence on their younger siblings.
As a result of this, an effective campus marketing campaign should have more effects than what may become immediately apparent, which helps set it apart from many other strategies. This could make it somewhat similar to influencer marketing, although there’s only a small amount of overlap between the two.
The influence that college students can have can be much larger than many companies may have realized. Those that have done so have noted that it can have quite a substantial effect on sales, which has meant that the majority of them have done everything possible to expand their reach on-campus.
How Is A Campus Marketing Plan Developed?
Many companies may be interested in developing a campus marketing strategy, although they mightn’t know how to do so. While hiring an advertising agency will be a useful option for this, many firms may not have the budget to do so.
However, this doesn’t mean that you’re out of options, as creating this campaign may be much easier than you may believe. There are a few steps that you’ll need to take to ensure that your campus marketing campaign is as effective as possible.
The first of these is to conduct surveys into the type of students and campuses that you’ll want to target. While many firms will want to be exposed to as many people as possible, this may not be an effective way to generate leads and may lead to a much lower ROI than you might want.
Proper preparation and planning will be able to help you identify the students that you should target. Alongside this, you’ll be able to identify and hire a variety of brand ambassadors to help you implement your strategy.
Before you start hiring brand ambassadors, however, you’ll need to create your messaging and marketing materials, which can be similar to the majority of other advertising strategies. When you’re doing so, you should be clear with your main message and aim to develop as much interest as possible in these materials.
Finding representatives can often be much more complicated than you might imagine. When you’re doing so, you should focus on hiring students who have a large online following, which could be an indicator of how popular they may be on campus.
Alongside this, their digital presence should also help with it comes to your online strategies. There are a few ways that you’ll be able to canvas for brand ambassadors, such as through social media ads, college newspapers, and much more.
You’ll then need to train these student representatives so that they can advertise your brand as effectively as possible and in a way that you want. The last step is to monitor the performance of your campus marketing to determine whether it’s as effective as you may want.
One of the core aspects here is to remain flexible in your approach so that you can adjust when needed. This is especially helpful if some strategies aren’t as effective as you may want, which could mean that you may have to change tack occasionally.
10 Stats About Campus Marketing
There are quite a significant number of statistics that should help persuade you to take advantage of campus marketing. Though many will be related to the various benefits of the strategy, you may find some surprises. These can be especially helpful when determining your target market.
Some of the most notable include:
- There are over 31 million people between the ages of 18 and 24 currently enrolled in college, which is approximately 10% of the U.S. population.
- The amount of people attending college is increasing yearly and is up from 20.4 million in 2000.
- College students have recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest audience for marketing professionals.
- Just over half of college students are women, accounting for 11.5 million in 2017 compared to 8.9 million men.
- Over half of the students, 13.4 million, will attend four-year universities compared to two-year universities, approximately 7 million in 2007.
- The majority of students enrol in undergraduate programs; in 2017, this was 5 million compared to 3 million.
- The majority of students attend college full-time compared to part-time, with this being seen in a ratio of 12.6 million to 7.8 million in 2017.
- The number of 18 to 24-year-olds enrolled in college has risen from 35.5% in 2000 to approximately 40.5%, and growing.
- While the majority of college students are aged between 18 and 24, the amount over 25 has been growing slowly.
- College students spend close to $300 billion on essentials while spending almost $200 billion on discretionary purchases.
Campus marketing can provide an effective way to increase brand awareness among college students. To do so effectively, however, you’ll need to ensure that you put the time and effort into knowing the audience and creating a variety of high-quality marketing materials.
Though this can be quite a difficult process, it will ensure that you see as high an ROI as possible from your efforts. Like every other marketing strategy, proper preparation and planning will be vital.
While you may need to put a much larger amount of money into campus marketing than you may have to with other advertising campaigns, this can reap a significant number of dividends. When you’re creating the strategy and setting a budget, you should keep in mind that you should be able to develop long-term customers for your business.
Alongside this, you may be able to offset much of this financial cost by providing brand ambassadors with company merchandise. Doing so should also mean that you’ll be able to increase brand awareness while reducing overall costs.