According to Nielsen’s Global trust in Advertising Report, 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family when it comes to making a purchasing decision. These days, college students are some of the savviest purchasers, relying not only on their friends’ feedback but also on online consumer reviews, and cross comparing ratings or prices between products. This makes a college brand ambassador key to tap this market.
The benefit of marketing to college students is that they live in extremely social communities. It’s not just the opinions of friends and family that influence their purchasing opinions. The community they live in as well affects their decisions. The solution for marketers is then to use college brand ambassadors. Other students living within the same community as their target market who can showcase and bring excitement towards their product or service.
Knowing that college brand ambassadors are such a pivotal part of advertising to college students, how exactly to you go by picking the right student to represent your brand?
Define Your Objective
What is it exactly you want to take out of the brand ambassadorship campaign? Do you want to increase your social media presence? Do you want to advertise your product or service directly to the student body? Or do you need someone to answer questions or concerns that the potential customers might have about you?
Having a solid idea of what you need prior to reaching out and recruiting brand ambassadors is vital since different students might provide different skillsets, as well at come at different costs. Influencers with high follower counts for example will cost a lot more than students with low follower counts. If you’re planning to just poster and maybe hand out flyers, many students would be willing to do so for a small fee. But again, you can’t know until you’ve fine tuned the objective of your campaign.
Pick Your Advertising Medium
Now that you have your objective, you need to figure out how you plan to advertise to the students.
If the focus is to build brand awareness, you might want to go for a social influencer approach. College students are very internet savvy and spend a lot of their time on apps such as Twitter or Instagram. This allows for a much more widespread outreach with relatively little effort.
On the other hand, if you want to advertise deals or new products on campus, you could hire a college brand ambassador to poster, install wall cling or attach door hangers in dorms. We’ve had plenty of success with these types of campaigns during move in week or orientation. This allows our clients to take advantage of first mover’s advantage.
At the end of the day, focus on choosing an advertising medium that best compliments the objective you’ve defined initially.
Searching for Ambassadors
Take advantage of the power of social media. Firstly, find influencers or social media users who have a voice or style that matches your own. You want brand ambassadors who won’t clash with your image, but who will instead incorporate well with it. If possible, choose students that already follow you on social media, or who have shown previous interaction or passion for your brand (taking pictures with your product, or talking about online), as they are more knowledgeable about your company and are more willing to talk glowingly about it.
Obviously, the requirements for each brand ambassador will vary from one campaign to the other. Depending on whether you need influencers or someone who just has to poster, don’t forget that recruiting actual students in the specific college campuses that you want to market in will have a more convincing impact.