Prioritize peer-to-peer marketing
A peer-to-peer marketing tactic goes hand-in-hand with how students and their parents currently navigate the process. They seek to understand what others in their position are doing in an effort to better understand what they need to do during this tumultuous time. Consumers tend to trust recommendations from people living the same experience or who have already gone through it. Consider establishing student or parent ambassadors to help spread the word.
Create online communities
Create a place for students to connect to ask questions or gather to collect information from others like them. Engage with these communities by providing helpful information and solutions.
Don’t forget Mom and Dad
While it seems obvious to target students directly, students are turning to their parents both for advice and financial support. Brands should produce blog posts, videos, podcasts or infographics that offer advice, practical solutions, budgeting or financial information.
In addition, there are opportunities for authentic voices in a plethora of categories including budgeting and financial matters, scholarships, health care, travel, technology, food and cooking and safety education.
Brands should step up to this tremendous opportunity and be strategic and targeted, employing college marketing ideas to increase conversions and build loyalty, not only among a Gen Z audience but among their parents, too. There is also significant year-round potential with college tours, orientation week, family days, spring and summer breaks, among others.
Consider that the conversations must start earlier than the traditional back-to-school marketing timeframe as there’s a lot of planning taking place in the months leading up to high school graduation. Marketing outreach at the beginning of spring and into the summer months might be a safe bet—and would come in time to be helpful and constructive as families finalize their plans.