How to Win at College Student Marketing During Finals Week
Student brand ambassadors are an essential tool for promoting your company on college campuses:
But having a brand ambassador isn’t worth much if they aren’t effective at promoting your company on campus. That’s is why you need a system in place to measure the success (or lack thereof) of your college student brand ambassadors.
From choosing the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to having a plan for improvement, here’s our guide to measuring the effectiveness of your college student brand ambassadors.
In order to measure the performance of your brand ambassadors, you need to define the goals of your program and then come up with the KPIs that will help you determine whether or not you’re achieving those goals.
Regular measurement of those KPIs will tell you where you need improvement, and you can adjust accordingly to help your ambassadors reach the goals you’ve established.
If you’re looking to increase revenue, then your goals might be based around sales, website traffic, and conversions.
On the other hand, if you want to use a brand ambassador program to attract the best and brightest recruits to your company, then your goals might be based on how many resumes you receive.
Your goals should include a specific number and a specific timeline — something that can be measured and definitively achieved.
For example, instead of a goal of “increase sales”, your goal might be “increase sales by 8% in one year.
And rather than “get more applications”, your goal could be “increase application submissions by 10% in the next 6 months.
KPIs are metrics that provide information about whether you’re achieving the goals you’ve defined. The best KPIs are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and attached to a defined Timeline.
Here are some KPIs you can use to measure the performance of your brand ambassadors:
Each KPI requires its own approach to measurement. You need to define how and how often you will collect data for each KPI.
For social media-related KPIs, you could go through each brand ambassador’s profile and count how many posts they made in the last month, the average likes per post, etc. But this is only potentially feasible if you have a pretty small ambassador program.
More likely, you’ll want to use a metrics analyzer, which can provide you with reports on all of your KPIs and more on whatever timeline you establish. Some popular tools include Keyhole, Hootsuite, BrandMentions, and the influence-tracker Khoros (formerly known as Klout).
You can also create custom hashtags for your brand ambassadors to use so you can easily see when and how often they’re posting about your company.
When it comes to sales and traffic, there are two really helpful ways to measure your KPIs: customized links, and unique discount codes.
A customized link uses UTM to track specifically where your traffic is coming from. So you can give each ambassador their own link to your website, and then use Google Analytics to see whose links are generating the most hits.
Unique discount codes work similarly, but reflect specific revenue generated by each ambassador. You give each ambassador their own unique discount codes to share with their followers and peers.
When a purchase is made with that discount code, you can measure exactly how much in sales was created by the work of that specific ambassador.
When first starting an ambassador program, stay flexible. Measure your KPIs often, and plan to review the numbers in 3 to 6 months to see if you need different KPIs or maybe even different goals.
Once your program is rolling with the kind of engagement from student ambassadors that you’re looking for, you should remember to be patient. It may take a while to see real impacts of your brand ambassador program, even if the KPIs are positive.
Along the way, you’ll want to implement a strategy to improve the performance of your ambassadors. Some ways to improve brand ambassador performance include:
Making the Most of Your College Student Brand Ambassadors
A successful campus brand ambassador program requires specific goals, relevant KPIs, well-trained ambassadors, and a strong strategy.
One of the best things about college student brand ambassadors is that they can advocate for your brand in person on campus. And while any day of the school year is a great time for an ambassador to be repping your brand, there are some times where they can be especially effective.
We’re talking about football games, career fairs, and perhaps most importantly, welcome weekend. Read about how you can use brand ambassadors in on-campus marketing during welcome weekend »