Establishing your brand toward college students takes more than just setting up a booth on a campus. According to Pixlee, this generation values authenticity and transparency when it comes to marketing. This means that your brand has to go the extra mile in order to make their mark on campus. You want to be able to generate results that last throughout the lives of these newly independent adults who want to build long-term relationships with the brands that they love. There are a variety of ways to build a strong brand presence on college campuses.
Create a Program for Brand Ambassadors
You want to be able to meet students where they are. Students are currently living on or near campus, taking classes, and most importantly, joining organizations. Setting up a brand ambassador program truly allows students to get to know your brand and enables you to build a long-term relationship with them and their school. This could come in the form of a student organization or even an influencer program. These students would help spread the word about your brand on their campus, volunteer when your brand has an event, and so much more. This way, your brand is able to essentially grow without you physically being on campus.
Partner with College Organizations
Another way to meet students where they are is to partner with organizations that are already on college campuses. Now, this does not mean to associate your brand with just any circle. For instance, if your brand consists of beauty products directed toward empowering women, then partnering with the Women Student Union or a makeup orientated club on campus would work best. This way, college students are able to warm up to you and recognize your brand.
Offer Free Items or Services
It’s no surprise that college students love freebies. When your brand arrives on campus, make sure to have sample-sized items or services that you can offer students. In addition to engagement, these free items add more value to your brand in the long run. According to Linchpinseo, receiving free items makes people feel valued and repeat customers are created. Other benefits include creating buzz, nurturing customer loyalty, increasing website visits, and more.
Attend Huge Events
The great thing about college campuses is that they are constantly having events. Whether they are celebrating homecoming season or the start of spring semester, there will be something on campus for students to engage with. This is the time for your brand to get creative and associate yourself with these on-campus events. For instance, if a university is celebrating the beginning of fall semester and your brand is a subscription service, it would be wise to attend and offer a month’s worth of your services. Something to keep in mind is that you want to be able to book your spot for the huge event pretty quickly, so it is important to have a campus contact.
Maintain an Online Presence
To keep the relationship going with students and especially now with the pandemic, make sure to have an online presence. This could be through your website, social media, or even being a part of the university’s databases. After students meet you or your brand ambassadors, they should be able to find you online to look for upcoming events, contests, etc. Having an online presence also adds credibility to your brand for both schools and students.