The summer months can be known as a make-or-break time of the year for many businesses invested in the college market. In addition to the inevitable shrinking of one’s target market as students leave campus and—in many cases—the city, it’s also a time where new businesses are moving in, existing students are exploring new options and established customer relationships are flimsy at best.
However, it doesn’t have to be a scary, profitless season. There’s plenty of potential to capitalize on the summer situation and even build a foundation for a successful fall with some surefire marketing tips. Here Study Breaks, a leading college media entertainment company, presents businesses with must-know strategies for engaging the college demographic in the summer months.
Connect Through Social Media
One of the trickier aspects to summer marketing is maintaining the relationships one has already established by continuing to reach out to out-of-town students while simultaneously staying relevant and appealing to those who remain in town. Being flexible with one’s social media platforms is a great way to transform a marketing/communication tool into a CRM device.
Promoting new contests, giveaways and deals through social media avenues gives students still in town an incentive to try out one’s product while offering much needed content to remind those who have left what they’re missing.
Summer presents an excellent opportunity for marketers to reinvent their brand. It’s no longer enough to post once a day or once a week and rely on students walking by one’s business every day or attending their much-loved trivia nights every Tuesday. “Out of sight, out of mind” is an applicable phrase in this situation, and it’s important for a business to stay on students’ minds through captivating posts and updated content on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Host/Sponsor An Event
Hosting and/or sponsoring a big summer party is a surefire way to put one’s business on the map. And given the smaller market and less-packed student schedule that typically comes along with the summer season, word about an exciting event is sure to spread even more quickly.
Although hosting an event can easily turn pricey, the added content benefits along with the giant promotional push gives marketers strategic ammo to use on every level of their marketing mix. One can even gain some social media fans by making it necessary for guests to “like” one’s page for entry or “check in” on Facebook or Foursquare. And if the potential cost of throwing a party is still daunting, co-sponsoring an event with other businesses is also a viable option that allows costs to be split and potential relationships to be formed with other companies, perhaps even setting the foundation for future collaborations throughout the year.
Another perk of hosting an event is gathering content that can allow one to engage with studetns long after the actual party is over. By taking photos, posting them on social media and encouraging attendees to share the photos and tag themselves, one will continue to get their name out there and reap marketing benefits long after the party is over.
All in all, just by being part of the right event, businesses can engage those still in town while simultaneously reminding students who left what they are missing.
Going mobile is one of the most effective ways to communicate with students during any time of year (as witnessed by 2013 mobile trends).
Students thrive on apps, texts and Google search connections, and by stretching one’s marketing past social media alone and branching out into the app world, one could provide the extra communication needed to retain a customer and continue to communicate with students via the item they have on them nearly 24/7: their cell phone.
Posting products peeks and exclusive coupons on popular mobile platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat ensures that one’s message connects to the students, wherever they decide to go.