College students are spending their money in different ways in comparison to previous generations. Studies consistently express that college students prefer buying experiences over purchasing tangible objects. They enjoy collecting memories and sharing them with their peers over social media. Concerts, traveling, musicals and other exhibitions are just a few events that college students enjoy spending money on, and will go out of their way to promote them. Experiential and event marketing allows consumers to engage with products or services, develop connections, foster memories and ultimately develop a positive relationship. It is important to ensure events leave a positive impression on potential and current customers.
Promoting an unforgettable experience
The events people attend often create powerful and emotional memories that last for a lifetime. Almost 80% of college students believe the events or live experiences they attend are some of the best memories they’ve had, and almost 70% report that attending these events give them a better sense of connectedness with their community, their peers and the world.
“To reach customers in an unforgettable way, brands should make personal interaction a recurring and foundational element of their marketing strategies,” says Jeff Snyder, founder of client development and audience engagement company Inspira.
- Segment market through psychographics
Psychographics targets a consumer audience by examining different values, attitudes and motivations. Dividing targets into simple demographics is not enough – awareness of psychographic differences can create a higher response rate, as different messages resonate with different consumers.
- Focus on giving something to the consumer
A campaign designed to educate and share with your customer will resonate better than ones designed just to get something out of them. Sometimes, brands can just simply get away with educating the consumer without promoting a product or selling something.
- Use contests or sweepstakes to attract attendance to an event
Guiness ambassadors spent a couple weeks in bars around the United Kingdom wearing branded flight attendant uniforms and offered guests entry into a sweepstakes for ordering a pint of Guiness. Each night, a single winner won the grand prize of a flight to Dublin on a private jet with four friends. The event attracted attention mainly for the enticing possibility of the grand prize, not the advertising.
- Hand out freebies
A golden rule of attracting college students is offering free swag. They are also avid social media users. Adweek reports that 81% share photos at branded events and 71% use event-specific hashtags, especially if they have something to show off when do it.
- Take videos and photos
Hire a photographer or a videographer to capture the event and post it on social media so attendees can share and tag themselves. Instagram and Snapchat are especially important to use during the event as they deliver authentic and enviable content. College students will value the memories created from the event and share it with their friends.