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September already? Think back-to-school
Posted By Dagmar King On September 2, 2010 @ 10:37 am In Public Relations | No Comments
Back to school. It’s a “season” typically greeted with dread and anxiety by students; joy and pride by parents. But if you’re a marketer, the dawning of a new semester is the perfect time to think about how your products and services can benefit college and university students.
The college population offers marketers a wealth of opportunities, especially because this year, student discretionary purchasing power is on the rise. The college years are also a great time to gain trust, because choices made during this stage of life tend to influence purchasing decisions for years to come.
Alloy Media + Marketing’s “10th Annual ‘College Explorer’ Survey” analyzed the spending habits of college students, ages 18 to 34. Conducted in conjunction with market research firm Harris Interactive, the survey polled 1,575 students enrolled in two-year, four-year and graduate programs during April 2010:
Because of the average age of the college crowd, social media is, hands-down, the No. 1 way to get their attention. It’s surpassed search engines as the research vehicle of choice for students contemplating a purchase or a commitment (such as, to a charity). But before you jump in, be wary. Young adults check out everything extensively, and that includes getting recommendations from people just like them. Do you want to build brand affinity? Then you must do your homework — and think creatively.
Remember, students trust each other, not brands. If they like your product or service, they will share it with their peers on social sites such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter flash polls. But don’t think you can get away with simply creating a Facebook page or a Twitter feed. They won’t come. If you want success in reaching this audience, follow these rules of thumb:
Once you get your messages down, consider sending a social media press release . But remember to follow the rules of thumb discussed above.
Campus newspapers and broadcast media are an often-overlooked path to reaching today’s college student. True, young adults don’t read traditional print newspapers, but college students do read their campus newspapers, and they tune into their campus radio and TV stations.
A single press release sent via Marketwire’s Collegiate Presswire  newsline can get your message to a potential audience of one million students. Collegiate Presswire also distributes your news to college media websites and user-generated online forums like Digg, Delicious, Newsvine and Technorati. Through September 17, Collegiate Presswire is offering a summer special that sends your stories to campus newspapers that publish during the summer months so you don’t miss the valuable early-September timeframe.
Consider taking advantage of both social and college media – use the same approach and multiply your efforts. It’s an ideal way to reinforce your brand. If you play by the rules, you can start building trust and brand equity among the lucrative college market.
Do you have stories or best practices to share about how you’ve successfully reached the college-age market? If so, we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re a member of the college-age group, please let us know if we’re on the mark and if there’s anything you’d like to add to our tips and advice.
Article printed from Marketwire blog: http://blog.marketwire.com
URL to article: http://blog.marketwire.com/2010/09/02/september-already-think-back-to-school/
URLs in this post:
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 How to Engage 20-Somethings in Your Cause: http://blog.marketwire.com/2010/08/06/how-to-engage-20-somethings-in-your-cause/
 Ice Rocket: http://www.icerocket.com/
 BlogPulse: http://www.blogpulse.com/
 FeedDemon: http://www.feeddemon.com/
 Sysomos: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/include.do?module=DIST&pageid=937
 creative storytelling: http://blog.marketwire.com/2010/08/16/blogwell-chicago-recap-big-brands-share-their-social-media-successes/
 social media press release: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/include.do?module=DIST&pageid=507
 Collegiate Presswire: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/include.do?module=DIST&pageid=652
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