By: BAM Marketing On: April 28, 2016 In: Blog Comments: 0

As we get closer to the end of the academic year, there’s only one thing that springs to students’ minds when thinking about returning/starting university…Fresher’s Week! Yes, it is looming, and it will come round quicker than expected because it always does! Maybe you feel like we’re jumping the gun a bit, but believe us when we say that now is the time that brands should be wrapping up their Fresher’s campaigns.

The experience of going to university is a key life-stage; the first taste of independence; new and fresh experiences we never forget; it’s where the journey of adult life truly begins! But it can also be a fruitful time for businesses to begin relationships, and for any brand looking to engage and influence students, Fresher’s Week is a significant event in the calendar. So, here are our top five tips to help brands to create a fun and successful student campaign for Fresher’s Week.

  1. Make some noise!jim

You know what they say, never underestimate the power of word of mouth! Student Ambassadors are a popular choice for brands wanting to engage with people on campus, and that’s not just because they can deliver great ROI. While social media is a great way to reach out to students, it can sometimes be seen as impersonal so it’s no surprise that brands are ‘taking it to the floor’ to promote their products or campaigns.

Ambassadors have been a staple of student marketing campaigns for some time now, so this might not be a newsflash moment for your brand, however they can actually bring more to the table than you may have first thought. They often tend to be influencers in their own right and have formed solid online communities via social networks, so as well as being cost-effective – students are much cheaper than the likes of Jim Chapman and Zoella – they’re highly influential and this power shouldn’t be underestimated.

  1. Right Platform, Right Message

With 16-24 year olds spending more than 27 hours per week online, brands must consider how their Freshers activity will translate online. The brands that get the most out of Fresher’s Week will execute campaigns that tie both on and offline experiences together, as we saw with client Doddle’s recent Freshers’ campaign.

Brands must also remember that not all students will attend a fair, so how can they capture those that aren’t interested? We’ve seen the rise of ‘Digital Freshers’ – where brands use online microsites, digital goodie bags and email campaigns to generate buzz online pre and during Fresher’s season. So it’s important for a brand to consider the fact that they now need to engage students in multiple arenas in order to get the most out of their campaigns.

  1. Create Fun & Engaging Experiencestopgun

Brands that create an immersive, fun and memorable experience for its fans create a much closer bond with them. Very much like using a brand ambassador, this uber personal, emotion-triggering experience can build brand affinity like no other tactic, well, that’s what we think from our experience! However, it’s also definitely a lot harder to measure any conversions, as these might not happen on the spot.

The experience of a perfectly formed experiential marketing campaign will inspire and ultimately build loyalty, so brands can expect to make a ‘friend for life’. This marketing tactic isn’t just used for brands during Fresher’s – we’ve seen Benefit’s ‘Good Ship Benefit’ and Bud Light’s ‘House of Whatever’, both campaigns that have been praised for campaigns that made an emotional impact on consumers and fans. So put down the keyboard and get thinking outdoors!

  1. Make Sure You Have Something To Give Awaypizza

The main reason students look forward to Fresher’s is because of the freebies. A whopping 88% of students only go to the fairs because of this. Whether that’s pens, pizza, queue jump or a pair of branded pants, businesses that give things away tend to be favoured, and remembered, by students. Better get the order in now then!

  1. Students Are For Life Not Just For Fresher’s

Too many brands think that a flash and dash Fresher’s campaign will have students eating out the palm of their hands forever more. Wrong! You need to keep the conversation going; offering opportunities for students to reconnect with the brand at other key points of the year. It’s only by keeping the brand fresh and at the front of students’ minds can businesses build loyal customers who will stick with you for the foreseeable.

Brands need not invest millions of marketing budget to keep the chat flowing, by using accessible, popular channels for students it’s easy to keep it going – social media competitions, fun games, etc. are great ways to keep servicing the relationship and even gain new customers along the way.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about your upcoming Fresher’s campaign just get in contact with us.