Out with the old, and in with the new. Brands will need to revisit strategies and revise tactics when engaging with the next generation. Carol’s recent post on entrepreneur.com, “6 Tips to Help Any Company Connect With College Students,” shares what’s working now. Carol begins:
College students represent an exciting market opportunity for many brands. These students, usually aged 18-24 years old, are just starting to create what could be life-long relationships with companies and brands in a variety of industries. It’s an ideal connection for brands because while students’ brand loyalty is typically low, it’s when they are forming new relationships with brands, and also when they are about to embark upon becoming financially independent. Plus, being educated makes them ideal target consumers because they will often have more spending power.
But, how do you reach these tail-end millennials and early members of Gen Z? I turned to Kieran Mathew, a 21-year-old entrepreneur and youth marketing leader, who founded Amplify Solutions while he was still a student. Because of his youth and entrepreneurship experience, Mathew has a keen insight on what it takes to connect with students right now. Here is some of his best advice.
1. Ditch the old playbook.
Mathew is emphatic that traditional marketing and advertising is dead within the student market. He says that as a brand, you can’t expect to drive marketing through traditional means, as the demo doesn’t typically watch traditional TV or listen to the radio, but prefers streaming services instead.
He also warns against using a traditional social approach in terms of launching ads on Facebook and YouTube. As Mathew says, “The average 20-year-old student observes over 15,000 marketing messages a day. It is crucial for brands to invest time into understanding their consumers in order to stand out.”
2. Embrace word-of-mouth marketing via the right influencers.
Mathew says that based on his research and experience, the new influencer marketing returns are 11 times the ROI of traditional banner advertisements in this 18-to-24 demo. However, he warns that you cannot simply pick someone with a big following and ask them to take a picture with your product for some cash, as that will not drive conversions.
Instead, he advises, “Popularity among social groups is a key factor in this market. If you can build a base of popular influencers using your product or service, others will tag along. That means you need to have a deep and thorough understanding of your target market. Once understood, find an influencer who best reaches this audience.
You can read the rest of the post here.