How to Target College Parents Online for Graduation Gifts
With college campuses and residence halls now closed, millions of students have had to move home or find other places to live practically overnight.
This mass student migration happened so fast that a lot of dorm rooms are still full of furniture, TVs, and books.
In many cases, students went home under the assumption that their schools would open again in a few weeks. Now that it’s clear that campuses will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, students need to figure out how to safely get their stuff.
Many students don’t have an easy way to travel back to their dorm or off-campus housing to pack up their belongings. Not only is it unsafe to travel right now, but students and their families may be “sheltering in place” or self-quarantinig.
Moving and storage companies can help students navigate this pickle.
Some moving companies have pivoted to help college students by offering services like:
It’s possible (and important) for companies to offer these services while maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks and gloves, along with sanitizing surfaces and items before and after handling them.
If your moving company is in a position to help students with their moving or storage needs, you’ll want to prioritize your digital marketing to make sure you can connect with those potential customers.
Here are 5 ways that moving companies can reach college students online.
College students and their parents are likely feeling the economic pinch right now. This is especially true for students who had to leave behind jobs they had in their college towns.
Discounts on your services may be particularly welcomed and effective at this time. With a crisis going on, profits don’t come first. But at the same time, you need to generate enough revenue to keep your business afloat.
Figure out what kind of deal you can offer, keeping in mind that:
With campuses closed and many businesses shuttered, on-campus and experiential marketing aren’t options. The only effective way to market to college students right now is through your digital marketing campaigns.
Platforms like Facebook and Google offer powerful tools to get your ads in front of college students at an affordable price.
You can build an audience of college students that live in a certain area, or show interest in a specific school. The analytics suites built into these advertising platforms allow you to keep an eye on how your ads are performing, then tweak the language, images, or video content to better connect with customers at a lower cost per click.
Just like you can use Facebook and Google to get ads in front of college students, you can also use these platforms to reach their parents.
Many college students are likely to be getting help from their parents in this time, both in solving the problem of getting their belongings and paying for the service.
To find their parents, you can target the parents of adult children within a certain age range. Since a majority of young adults age 18-22 attend college, if you show your ad to parents of people in that age group, there’s a good chance you’re reaching the parents of college students.
If your business only serves certain universities, you can narrow your audience down by marketing to parents of adult children age 18 to 22 who also “like” those schools.
Finally, if you want to increase the chance that the children of the parents you’re targeting actually are in school, you can limit your audience to those parents with liquid assets of $100,000 or less.
Why? Because parents who have saved and are helping to pay for a college education are likely to have less cash on hand.
With sophisticated audience targeting using the tactics described here, you can make sure your ads are getting shown to the people who need your help the most.
Promote your college student packing and moving services in your email newsletters. If you have already collected age information about your contacts, you can segment your audience to include likely college students, or parents of students.
By emailing these segments, you can tailor and customize your subject line and copy even more to speak directly to their needs. This will boost your open rate and drive more clicks to your website from your emails.
This is also a good time to build your email list. Take your college student discount we talked about in the first tip — if people want to take advantage of the discount, ask them to sign up for your email newsletter.
In the sign-up form, you can ask if they’re a student or a parent of a student, and use their answer to automatically segment your audience as it grows. Follow up with each segment on a regular basis with emails pitching the value of your student packing, shipping, moving, and storage services.
On Facebook, you can use your existing customer list to build lookalike audiences, which allows you to expand your reach to more people that are likely to be interested in your service.
Once you upload your list of contacts to Facebook, the platform searches profiles to find these contacts on Facebook. An algorithm then looks at the behaviors and interests of your current customers, and uses the findings to build a list of other people on Facebook that are similar to your current audience.
This lookalike audience is more likely to respond to your ads than a general audience that you target with basic demographic markers. That means you can get more clicks for less money and increase the ROI of your digital marketing campaign.
College Marketing Group was built to help advertisers connect with college students and their families. We have decades of experience in doing just that for household name brands like H&M, Adobe, Goodwill, TJ Maxx, and more.
On-campus marketing to college students has always been an important part of our strategy. But we’ve also made digital marketing a cornerstone of all of our campaigns, and we have the experience to help advertisers connect with audiences online during this difficult time.
With the coronavirus keeping valuable customers at home and spending more time on the internet, our team has shifted our focus to helping clients big and small reach people online.
You need to worry about running your business. Let us worry about marketing it.