Recruiting and selecting campus reps can be tricky business. It doesn’t matter how much strategy and thought went into the campaign—if you select the wrong campus reps, it can be detrimental. With different brands looking for different qualities in campus reps, it’s important to do your research. Here are the five qualities to look for in every campus rep.

1. Brand Fitcampus rep

To effectively represent a brand, it is vital that the student fits the brand. Every brand has its own personality—some are bubbly, pink, and fun, while others are green, wholesome, and all-natural. A campus rep for the former brand should come across as lively, feminine, and confident, while a campus rep for the latter brand should come across as environmentally conscious, inclusive, and genuine. In addition, potential campus reps should have interests and career goals that align with the brand. A student who is studying dermatology would be a great fit to represent a skin care line, while a student athlete would be great fit to represent an athletic wear brand. Finding a campus rep who embodies the brand doesn’t just lead to his or her individual success, it ensures the success of the entire program.

2. On-Campus Involvement

Strong campus reps are deeply involved on campus. Typically, campus reps are not freshmen; most first-year students haven’t yet developed a large enough network or the confidence needed to influence their peers. Upperclassmen tend to be more involved and have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles within their respective organizations.

Involvement in Greek life, in particular, is a major benefit. A sorority or fraternity chapter at a large school can have up to 400 active members, making it easy for members of these organizations to influence fellow members. In addition to Greek life, involvement in other on-campus clubs is very important. The kind of clubs that a student is involved in typically reflect their interests, which can help determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for a particular brand. Whether these clubs are academic, philanthropic, or social, these student groups make up a large and direct network that campus reps are able to influence.

3. Event Planning Experience

Event execution is essential to bringing a brand to life. Campus reps typically host 3-7 events per year to (re)introduce the brand, encourage student engagement, and create memorable moments with peers. For these events to be successful, having the proper experience is a must.

Campus reps must strategically determine where and when to host their events. Events executed in high-traffic foot areas typically perform better, as more students are able to directly interact with the brand and indirectly gain awareness. Prior event planning experience is particularly beneficial to informing these decisions. Students typically gain event planning experience from their involvement in on-campus organizations or through jobs and internships. Campus reps that not only have event planning experience but love the event planning process tend to execute their events at a higher level.

4. Digital Footprint

A great campus rep has a strong presence on campus and online—they’re micro influencers. Through their social networks, they are able to successfully reach and influence hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of their peers at once. This influence is created through an engaged social media following, a strategic and unique posting style, and an informed knowledge of the overall digital landscape gleaned from relevant internships and job experience. High-quality, brand-related posts often motivate and inspire like-minded students to further engage with the brand, increasing perception and purchase consideration for years to come.

5. Interview Skills

An interview further ensures that a potential campus rep is the correct fit for the brand. Interviews help you further understand the individual’s personality, evaluate how their experiences relate to the responsibilities of the position, and gauge their overall excitement towards the brand. The recruitment process is often lengthy, as finding the perfect candidates to meet the needs of both the campaign and the brand takes time. However, the benefits of hiring the correct candidates are exponential—a true influencer creates additional influencers, which can in turn take your brand’s awareness and relevance within the Millennial and Gen-Z market to the next level.

Many campus reps will go above and beyond the responsibilities of the position to ensure that the brand resonates with their peer networks. You’ll be able to easily spot this campus rep because of their outgoing spirit, expressed dedication to the campaign, and how well their aesthetic meshes with the brand. These reps can in fact be so on-brand and add so much value that they move into full-time positions with the brand following the completion of the campaign.

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HOW CAN YMC HELP?

Want to recruit campus reps that are the perfect fit for your brand? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!

For student marketing and college marketing, 2017 was a year of corrections. For the past decade, companies and organizations have been steadily moving marketing dollars towards strategies focused on highly structured, trackable, and analytical channels—and their approach to student and college marketing followed suit. In a macro sense, this trend was a breath of fresh air—with a lot of brands waving goodbye to the sometimes expensive set-it, forget-it, and pray-for-impressions mediums like out-of-home display, television ads, college sports sponsorships, and tracker-less digital display.

An unintended consequence was that long-term brand building took the back seat to immediate returns, especially with publicly traded companies dealing with the pressure of Wall Street. In 2017, we saw a reversion to a more balanced, thoughtful, and long-term approach.

What did this more balanced approach to college and student marketing actually entail? Here were the four main trends in 2017:

  1. Investment in the Long-Term

Brands were once again investing time, resources, and budget in the development of experiential and event marketing assets—including mobile tours and pop-up experiences that were active throughout the year and were built to adapt to different needs for years to come. Brands like Aerie took their flagship retail stores on the road, representing different seasons by re-branding their mobile pop-up experience.college marketing with a mobile pop up

  1. Social Influencers with Care

After over-investing budget and becoming stretched too thin, brands decided to take a more thoughtful approach to social influencer campaigns in 2017—moving away from massive follower counts and focusing on high engagement with micro-influencer communities. Social influencers with smaller, more involved followers proved to be a winning hand.

  1. Grassroots Brand-Building

Companies realized the role their customers have in defining their brands, which resulted in a re-focus on brand-building efforts on grassroots channels—often powered through campus and student, local, and regional brand ambassadors. Ambassadors across the country moved the needle for a lot of big brands by engaging existing brand advocates and collaboratively delivering experiences, meaningful customer conversations, and relevant calls-to-action to their peers (the brand’s customers).

woman participating in college marketing

  1. Sampling with Purpose

Sampling has long been an integral part of any consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand’s college marketing or student marketing strategy—whether they’re reintroducing a favorite product or launching a brand new line, getting samples into the hands of consumers is an important step to building a customer base. In 2017, brands stepped up their game by sampling with the purpose of creating a meaningful interaction—and being sure that every sample was distributed with a purpose and a message.

Based on the key trends of 2017, we have some predictions about the kinds of college and student marketing we’ll see from brands in 2018—some of which brands are already implementing. Keep a close eye on the following trends and predictions as the year progresses:

Personalization in Everything

Personalization is the biggest trend we’re seeing in student marketing and college marketing heading into 2018. Brands and organizations are personalizing everything including products, experiences, content, messaging, and interactions to create a better user experience. Brands like Levi’s have already incorporated personalization into some of their retail store locations!

This even trickles down to employment marketing and recruiting. Brands like Spotify are working at the individual campus level, through peer-to-peer channels personalized to each school’s culture and environment, to identify and court highly sought after tech talent with a hands-on and fun approach. Most importantly, they’re letting their strong consumer brand play inform their employer brand messaging.

Levi's college marketing includes on-campus retail

Investment in Live Events

The next logical step to take after investing in long-term experiential assets is to increase investment in live events, which represent another incredible way to build meaningful interactions with end consumers. In the world of college marketing and student marketing, brands like Victoria’s Secret PINK are investing in the development of their own live events like campus concerts and Spring Break parties.

college marketing through live event advertising

Less Ads, More User-Generated Content

If there’s one thing we know about Millennials, which is even more obvious with Gen-Z, it’s that they hate ads. Even the most relevant, clever, and cool brands are struggling to resonate through traditional channels. That’s why the smartest brands and organizations are empowering their brand ambassadors, social influencers, and customers to create compelling content for them. The value of that content? Just imagine getting 100 amazing pieces of photo and video content for Instagram simply by asking permission. Think about how much you just saved by skipping a few photoshoots!

social medial marketing to college students by Harry's

You know you want your brand on campus but aren’t sure how to get started—what next? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!

Being a student brand ambassador isn’t always a simple task—especially when you’re going to class, studying for midterms, working a part time job, and trying to see your friends! Although it seems challenging, being a brand ambassador can be an incredibly rewarding experience that helps you develop the skills needed to enter the workforce. Here are six skills you’ll master:

1. Communicating remotely

Brands hire student brand ambassadors from all across the country, and because of this, you typically communicate with your supervisor via phone, text, email, and social media. A lot can be lost in translation when you’re unable to see someone face-to-face. As a result, you’ll be challenged to learn how to refine your remote communication skills, which is becoming an increasingly more important aspect of work in our digital age.

2. Working within teams

You don’t work in a vacuum, and in most careers, you never will. Typically, student brand ambassadors work in groups of two to four. The success of the program on your campus depends on your ability to collaborate effectively within your team. Learning how to work with others is a vital skill that you’ll develop and perfect over time. Because of this, the data shows us that student brand ambassadors have a leg up on the competition as they enter the workforce. After all, the key to being a successful student brand ambassador is clear and continuous teamwork.

3. Being responsible and deadline-focused

Being a student brand ambassador can be a really fun and rewarding opportunity, but at the end of the day, it is a job. The program’s completion and success is on you and your team. Brands invest a lot of time and money into selecting, training, and trusting student brand ambassadors to complete tactics when they themselves cannot be present. If an event doesn’t happen, the opportunity is lost, money is wasted, and the brand cannot meet their goals. As previously mentioned, your supervisor is typically not in your same city, so the responsibility is in your hands. Learning how to work on your own schedule and still meet deadlines is a critical skill.

4. Representing a brand or company

As a student brand ambassador, you become the face of your brand on-campus. Beyond having to know everything about their service and/or product offerings, you’ll be communicating their brand messaging everyday. What’s their story? What makes them unique? And why should students care? You’ll learn how to share key messages through both verbal and visual techniques—from talking about products and services, and demonstrating their value, to looking the part through what you wear and how you present yourself. For example, if you’re representing Apple but using a PC, people won’t believe that you’re a true advocate for the brand—they’ll assume you’re just doing it to get paid. Learning that sometimes it not what you say, but how you present it, is a valuable lesson.

profiles of student brand ambassadors

 5. Telling a brand’s story on social media

As a Millennial, you might already think you know everything there is to know about social media. You have 10,000 Facebook friends, 1,500 Instagram followers, 500 friends on Snapchat, and even 1,000 Twitter followers—that’s awesome! But do you know how to utilize these followers to build a brand? As a student brand ambassador, one of your weekly responsibilities is to create on-brand and engaging content. You’ll develop an understanding of which posts resonate with the followers and which posts fall short. If you do an exemplary job, you may even get featured on the brand’s social media channels! So, how do you shift from telling YOUR story on social media, to telling the unique story and sharing the unique voice of the brand you represent? As a student brand ambassador, you’ll learn what it truly means to use social media to represent a brand and their key messages.

6. Planning an event

Student brand ambassadors complete on-campus tactics. In other words, you’ll be helping plan and execute events. While it may not be your life’s ambition to be an event planner, you’ll learn how to work with vendors (ordering supplies) and negotiate deals (reserving a venue). Lastly, you’ll learn how to “read a room”—making sure event attendees are having a good time and engaging with the brand. This experience is an important one; teaching you how to approach and interact with new and diverse people.

Being a student brand ambassador is an incredible opportunity to gain valuable and applicable work experience, while allowing you the freedom and responsibility to develop your skillsets across multiple fields. Plus, you usually get paid and are given free product! Win-win!

Interested in becoming a student brand ambassador with YMC? We constantly have opportunities arising throughout the school year, to be considered, please create a profile on The Hub and check back often! Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram to see with what’s happening on-campus with our brands.