5 Tips For Marketing To College Students
On-campus promotions using street teams come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Experiential marketing is one of the pillars of any college marketing strategy. There is a significantly positive correlation between experiential marketing on campus and the purchase intention of the students that engage in the events. According to a recent study by the Event Marketing Institute, reported that 65% of marketers are seeing a direct sales lift as the result of experiential marketing. And almost a third are generating at least a ten-to-one ROI from experiential marketing investments. National brands looking to create awareness on campus, drive product trials, or create a PR buzz can choose from a variety of street team activation tactics that match their student marketing goals and objectives.
Ambush Marketing – Ambush marketing on campus involves street teams “unofficially” attaching themselves to other scheduled events and festivities. Brands looking to reach college students during popular college events such as Homecoming, career fairs, or spring festivals can harness the hype and divert some student attention their way by showing up unannounced in fun and creative ways. Brands should do some preplanning to ensure that they are not infringing on sponsored event space.
Costumes & Characters – If your brand has a company mascot, or your current campaign is spotlighting a particular character, using them in your next campus street team event can really boost engagement. No mascot? No worry. In some cases, you can hire the university mascot to participate in your campus event. Costumed street teams provide a great way to interact with students and create photo ops that can be shared on social media.
Experiential Events – This is a higher-engagement street team marketing tactic that often requires additional training so the team can talk about and demonstrate the features and benefits of your product or service. These campus street teams often work stand-alone events on campus assisting with student signups, games and prizes, product demonstrations, and social media amplification on popular channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
Flash Mobs – Flash mobs were a bit more popular a few years ago, but their effectiveness at catching attention and creating ready-made social content is still strong. Management of flash mobs requires a large number of college brand ambassadors to perform coordinated choreography, songs, and stunts. Brands wanting to pull this off on campus will need a large team and a cool idea to avoid looking late to the party.
Personal Vehicles – Some campuses are large, and teams need to cover a lot of ground. Why not equip your college street teams with branded bicycles, pedal taxis, skateboards, Segways, or scooters? When used en masse, the visual effect can be impressive and leave a lasting impression for your on-campus events.
Product Sampling – This type of campus street team event involves professional staff handing out samples to college kids with the goal of driving a product trial. The idea is that if you can put your product in students’ hands and have them try it, you may be successful at increasing purchase intent. This is a quick-engagement / high-reward tactic.
Are you planning a street team event on campus? Download our free street team event planning worksheet to make sure you are covering all of the bases.