YMC’s interns work closely with our team, learning about marketing to Gen-Z and Millenials from many different angles. Our Summer 2021 intern, Kelsey Thorpe, is a rising senior at American University, majoring in French Studies. Check out Kelsey’s take on making your next campaign on campus a total success!
Potential for Campus Events
As college students prepare to return to campus after over a year of virtual classes, there will be many opportunities for brands and organizations to promote themselves to a broad audience and spread brand awareness. Most college students are tired of learning and socializing in an online environment, so their return to campus presents an opportunity to harness the college students’ excitement for in-person experiences.
Engagement is Essential
Events are one of the most engaging and fun ways to spread brand awareness. A perfect example of this is Maybelline’s College Campus Pop-Up Tour. YMC worked directly with its campus partners to host a Maybelline experience in high traffic areas of campus that allowed students to experience and sample their products. They were able to distribute retail coupons and hand out over 23,000 free samples to students.
It’s also important to consider that students are more likely to stop and chat or even engage on social media if they hear about your brand through other students. This is where campus ambassadors come in. Having students help promote and market your brand will help you gain more traction, as they have the best insight into what’s happening on campus and can easily tap into different student groups. You can also build out gifting campaigns utilizing college student ambassadors and influencers to boost UGC. Makeup brands, like e.l.f. Cosmetics use this strategy to showcase their products by giving TikTok and Instagram influencers products to use on their social media channels. Word-of-mouth is one of the easiest ways to tell students about your brand, so creating fans is much more efficient and impactful with their help.
Instagram and TikTok Takeover
Instagram has been and will continue to be one of the most popular social media platforms for college students, but now TikTok has proven to be just as influential. It’s no surprise that social media use has increased significantly over the past year—it’s the easiest way to stay connected to your peers during the pandemic.
Insta-graphics that are cute, eye-catching, and shareable are an easy way to promote your brand. Posting stories is easy, and students are much more likely to share a story than a post in-feed. Another great option for utilizing social media is a TikTok challenge. TikTok is continuing to gain popularity, and many of its users participate in TikTok challenges. We’ve seen brands like Kate Spade New York succeed on TikTok by creating the #katespadenyhappydance challenge, in which they used ambassadors to promote their brand and, in turn, increased engagement from Tiktok users.
Make Your Mark on Campus
Experiential events and campus ambassadors are a very effective way of grabbing the attention of college students, showcasing your brand, and making a lasting impression on a college campus! Gen-Z students are craving experiences, and holding a memorable event on college campuses will be guaranteed to make an impression. Google embarked on a pop-up tour to showcase their Chromebooks and Chrome browser. Students and faculty were able to check out Chromebooks for multi-day trials, which created a lot of buzz around their product and brand. Leaving a lasting impression will keep students talking about your brand for years to come and give your company the chance to cultivate loyal fans.
How Can YMC Help?
If you’re interested in developing a campus ambassador program, creating brand experiences and events on college campuses, or optimizing your social media presence to reach new customers, we’re here to help. At YMC, we specialize in connecting brands with Gen-Z and Millennial consumers, and we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!