The student market is sometimes neglected because some business owners believe that it’s not profitable, which is not true. From experience, the student market is buoyant in the UK, with many high net worth students flooding our universities from other countries because of the quality of our education system.
Students often have time between classes and lectures to relax, and many seek out new experiences and products to arouse their senses. So, how can you tap into the student market, and where can you find them? Read on.
At University Campuses
There are many brands out there, especially in the high street industry, that have gained trust from students via discounts. Engaging them with a discount and free delivery results in immediate student engagement. Even at the higher end of the spectrum such as Apple who sell most of their products at a minimum of £600 have awarded students the offer of an ‘educational’ discount – even though students still need to purchase Microsoft Word to install this into their laptop.
Restaurants and bars are always providing student offers of buy one get the other meal free. Overall, cities that have university campuses must acknowledge the fact that most students are on a budget (or at least think that they’re on a budget).
This is an ever changing platform that can be hard to keep up with, but it should be a part of every marketing plan, period. Trends are very much influenced by the bloggers of today.
Entrepreneur and social media expert Alex Smale highlighted at the BDO Event earlier this year that micro-influencers of Instagram are today’s most powerful weapon to enter the student market. These influencers are the ones that aren’t your typical famous blogger with millions of followers. There are the individuals that have between 0 to 10,000 followers who engage with their followers by replying to comments.
The conversations between the bloggers and their followers are now a trendy form of communication (one that Facebook encouraged years ago on their platform). Interacting with your audience on social media is essential. Students are very responsive, and will effectively tell you what they want, so you can create and target products to them accordingly.
Ryan Levesque talks about the Ask Method, where you literally ask what they want, and this has been proven to increase profitability. A good way that businesses can do this with the student market is through social media, and by listening and asking the right questions.
Going back in time to when students didn’t stare at their phones, there were things called ‘events’. Our team believes that to successfully tap into the student market, brands must have some real contact with students. This means that face to face contact is the best, where students can truly understand the brand, get to know the team of that brand, be offered or consulted on the products and receive perks of attending such events. (Usually in the form of a free goody bag).
We believe that slowly students will go back to ‘how it used to be’. Being invited to exclusive events and exclusive nights and VIP launch parties is exactly what students will soon need.
The student market is alive, profitable and buoyant. Don’t be afraid to venture where others are afraid to tread.