It’s that time of year where students begin to make the huge adjustment from being students, to stepping forward into the wide world as graduates.
This change can be terrifying for many; as soon as they lose the student title it means that all of a sudden there are big responsibilities in mind like finding a job and a home, well, after the initial holiday period! Others may have felt stifled at university and are excited by the prospect of freedom, but they are about to find that they are a small fish in a massive ocean.
Understand your audience
The number of undergraduate students finishing university this year is a little under half a million; it’s an awful lot of people with a huge spending power (and that doesn’t even include postgrads). So it’s crucial to understand what they care about and
how to target them based on their needs and wants. Generally, this includes three things; money, food, and themselves, but be aware not to over-simplify your audience and make assumptions. Conducting focus groups can help to greater understand students and graduates, and what matters to them. Build your content so it focuses on helping to fulfil their needs, that way they will begin to build a personal connection between their interests and your brand.
What is really important to remember is that graduates don’t wake up on the day of the graduation suddenly as different people, with different interests and different values. They are very much the same people, and will be for a while. The only major change will be their student discount card expiring!
With that in mind, it’s best to engage with them the same way you would have before they graduated.
Think of the bigger picture
Intuit, an American financial services corporation, developed Mint.com a free, easy to use, aesthetically beautiful budgeting program. The application is mobile friendly, secure, and it has a strong community centre where informative blogs and videos are shared. It was primarily designed to be a marketing exercise focused solely on offering free information.
This is a good example of appealing to graduates without dumbing down the topic. Giving them informative posts about money and budgeting post university life is as likely to appeal to them as much as a freebie did at a fresher’s fair.
Follow trends and respond
The stereotype is that students just eat takeaways and pot noodles everyday. While there are some students that do fit that bill, there is a large proportion that is hugely health and fitness conscious. This is even truer when students graduate, they no longer have big deadlines to be eating around.
Eating clean is a massive trend among young people, with 41% of under 25s saying that they’d actually pay more for healthier products. As you would expect, health brands are jumping on this, Wholefoods Market, for example, is doing really well out of the newly health-conscious youth.
The organic food shop posts regularly on a community blog, this in itself isn’t anything special but what they post is. Obviously everything is in some way linked back to organic food, but also featured are tips on recycling, tips on how to set the perfect summer table, and unusual vegetables, among other stuff. A simple way to expand the brands appeal, again by being informational and useful.
Alongside the blog, Wholefoods Market is taking education to the next level by putting up posters around its stores explaining where the brand’s food comes from; sustainable seafood safety lists, and what exactly the difference in taste is for customers, with in-store promo sending traffic to the blog.
The bottom line is, create interesting content that fulfils a need of your graduate audience and keeps your brand in the forefront of their minds. By building relationships founded on offering support and guidance brands can reap the rewards from their marketing efforts.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you keep students interested in your brands post-university, get in touch today!