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The power of official student media

When brands and organisations think of official student media it’s easy to immediately think about coming onto campus or attending freshers fairs, but if there are positives to come from the last 12 months it’s that the need to reach students digitally has shown just how effective official student media routes can be. 

Whilst we are excited at the cautious planning starting to go ahead for the return of physical welcome fairs (we have over 40 confirmed dates already) the verified student digital channels available are a great option right now. There are some key weeks still to come through the summer term and realistically conducting any on the ground activity is still a bold move for any brand. With retailers, hospitality, gyms, cinemas and other sectors opening up again there is an opportunity to reach students in their homes and accommodation.

 

Within three recent client campaigns we saw open rates on solus email sends of 70% and 63% on e-newsletter campaigns demonstrating the huge value of official student media coming from a trusted source. From our recent conversations with Students’ Unions they have also highlighted the fact that their social media channels are even more engaged than ever before with an ever growing followership. One Students’ Union in the North West shared that they had doubled their social following on facebook and a key Scottish University tripled their Instagram following during the last year. Whilst we are really pleased to see the road map progressing the increased focus on digital channels is a small positive which has come from the lockdown. 

 

During the restrictions we have also run a number of successful digital brand ambassador campaigns harnessing the effectiveness of peer to peer. The key to successfully running digital brand ambassadors is all about engagement. We have found that we can drive excellent results using students with a small following of 300-500 friends because those networks are authentic. This micro influencer approach has outstripped content reshared from major national publishers. 

 

Our tips for landing your digital campaign effectively:

 

  • Solus Emails are perfect for delivering a direct response. Your message delivered straight to verified student emails from trusted sources

  • Grab attention quickly. Use competitions, share information which is useful, make students laugh, create some controversy. Whatever you do make sure it has high impact as you are competing in a noisy space particularly on social media

  • Use video content. We have seen campaigns using video content deliver much higher engagement and responses than static content

  • Using digital student brand ambassadors is a great way to build brand awareness over a longer period of time and carry a more involved message

  • Use an agency like Crowd to take the heavy lifting and collate all of the digital options for you. 
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