Marketing to Millennials
Educational marketers spend the majority of their time – and budgets – trying to deliver their message to members of the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000). In doing so, they often forget that marketers need to reach their target audiences when and how the audiences are most comfortable. For millennials, that’s usually online.
Students often look to peers via social media and other online communication for opinions when making offline decisions. Think about the Google +1s you see everywhere and the success of sites such as Yelp.
Students want to feel like they can trust your brand. And they want to do it by gathering the opinions of the online community.
Leveraging this knowledge, education marketers can use former and current students to reach a larger audience by creating an online community of brand advocates. Crowdsourcing can reach and engage your alumni and prospective students like no other marketing technique.
Consider the tactics below when you’re launching a new marketing campaign or livening your online presence:
- Reviews – Ask your former and current students to leave reviews about your university. These honest words can speak volumes and create a sense of trust in prospective students.
- Twitter outreach – Initiate a conversation with a campus-wide hashtag or reply @ students who mention your university in a tweet. Making your audience feel that they’re part of a community will spread your message, and you never know what you’ll learn!
- Social signals – Make it easy for students to follow your online activities by putting your social icons anywhere and everywhere.
- Facebook groups – If your alumni association doesn’t have its own Facebook page, make one. Now. Who better to spread your message than the people who already have pride in your university?
- Online polls – Want to know what your students are thinking? Ask them. Then use that information.
- Student photo submissions – Getting action shots of your students and campus, taken by your students, portrays the vibrancy of your university better than any photo shoot ever could.
Have you seen success with crowdsourcing campaigns? Leave your stories or ideas in the comments below.