Marketing to students has become one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish, especially on-campus. With it comes to technology and social media, students like to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to what they see on a daily basis—and will often go out of their way to avoid ads even if it’s for a product they want. We are even seeing popular social channels like Facebook and Instagram, giving users the ability to block ads if they’re ‘not relevant’. In recent years, it doesn’t matter how much money or effort is put into marketing initiatives if you aren’t using the proper channels. For example, traditional ads are one of the least effective ways to grab attention from college or university students. Forbes Magazine wrote, ‘Traditional advertising [to millennials] doesn’t work anymore. People haven’t stopped buying things, but how and why they buy those things have changed.’. In fact, Forbes continues by explaining that word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing solution to advertise. ‘[Students] don’t want ads from a brand, necessarily – they want it from trusted sources – and who’s more trusted than their own social communities’ (Forbes). So how do we accomplish this task? Below are some of our suggestions for marketing solutions to your students.
Reviews and Surveys
If you have a good product, students will acknowledge it and want to share it with their friends. However, word-of-mouth marketing can sometimes be a difficult task to accomplish. One of the best ways to start this process is through the use of reviews and surveys. If the student has an exceptional experience on your app, give them the ability to review their experience. The ratings and reviews are one of the first things a student will look at before downloading an app, and if they are able to see opinions and praise from other students, they’ll be more likely to download. Students trust each other. In addition, surveys are another great tool to utilize when collecting marketing information. Through the use of surveys, you can find out exactly what the student wants in order to better serve their needs—students love being heard.
Students marketing to students. This is such an effective marketing solution to promote your app through the use of trust. What is a student’s most trusted source? Another student; their friends, their classmates. By hiring student Brand Ambassadors you are able to market your app in a way that is much more personable than a sign or flyer.
The same article by Forbes (above) stated, ‘[Students] also are easily incentivized. They want coupons. They want to be among the first to receive updates.’ We discuss this concept a lot on our corner of the internet, but a Loyalty and Rewards program is the bread and butter of student marketing solutions. If you want your students to remain loyal to your app then you need to create a program that offers them rewards every time they use your app. This Loyalty-based program is enticing to students because they know they are also benefitting from using your app.
Although this concept might seem like a surprise to some, students actually WANT to be included in brand communication efforts—especially if it is a brand they trust. Through social media, you are able to get students involved in the marketing solution process which will only increase brand awareness. Examples of this include, getting students to tweet about their experience with your app, or posting a photo of the food they received through your mobile ordering feature. You can then reward students for their efforts through the rewards store. Not only does this create brand awareness, but it is just another avenue for the word-of-mouth marketing solution.
Market to your students through a Loyalty and Rewards Program!