How to Use Inbound Marketing Strategies to Reach College Students
As an agency who helps employers develop their brands and engage students, College Marketing Group had the pleasure of working with many notable companies over the past 15 years. During the past five years and especially the past two, we are seeing digital marketing making a shift…again.
Students most frequently apply to companies they have heard of and have researched. More companies are starting to use digital and social media to help engage more students and then keep them engaged by using social, mobile, video and banner advertising to those who have already visited the careers page of the employer. We see quite a few employers going this direction. How this works is by using “cookies” placed on your careers pages. Once the cookies are there, advertising can then be purchased to reach those specific applicants. This is called “retargeting” with most agencies or “remarketing” when using Google.
Let’s take a look at an example. TechCo is looking to recruit two types of students – (1) programming/software students and (2) customer service representatives. If you read the our previous post about Personas, you will recall that these two candidate personas are likely very different. One is concerned with access to new software programs, working in an Agile teams environment and works around the clock. The CSR is more concerned with upward mobility in the company, mentors, training and social interaction with peers – both in and outside of work. The CSR is also likely best as someone who likes to help others achieve their goals and hearing a “I couldn’t have done this without you” from a client or coworker. These two Personas want to hear and see different messages. A general message about the company will not work as well as one specific to their interests.
This plays out the same way through digital marketing. With “cookies” a company is able to segment the messaging a candidate sees based on the pages they have visited on your website. The programmer persona is more likely to continue to learn more about TechCo if they show a quieter work environment with the latest tech gadgets. The CSR persona will be more likely to respond to group pictures that have people laughing, hanging out together and generally socially engaged. This may sound overly simplistic but it’s important to show your target market (i.e. Persona) what is important to them.
Without getting too technical on how this works, it is now possible to buy video, banner, and social media posts that only people who have visited those specific pages will see. It’s also possible to get demographic information, interests and online behavioral information (similar to what Google Analytics collects) to help develop a better persona background on your target Personas. That information can then help influence your information session presentation, images, content and stories to be more specific to what the typical Persona characteristics.
The exciting part of digital marketing these days, is that if the lines of communication between marketing recruitment are open, both departments can help build a better profile and greater engagement with your ideal candidates.
As always, if you have questions and want to discuss how this can work for your company, we’d be happy to walk through it with you, answer any questions and see how it can be applied to your specific hiring needs.