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Marketing Tips

Does Gen Z Still Use Email?

Who is Gen Z? Ranging from ages 4-22, they are the youngest generation to take hold of pop culture, news and media. They’re slated to make a large economic impact too. Their spending power is currently valued at $44 billion, and by 2020 they will account for 40% of all consumers.

One of the key traits of Gen Z is that they’re eager to adopt the next big thing, whether that be new forms of media, new ways to be efficient, or new forms of communication. While this is a great opportunity for emerging businesses, Gen Z is often accused of killing off old time tested methods, even ones as widely trusted as email. And with new tools for both personal communication like Facebook and professional communication like Slack, is there still a need for it at all?

According to a recent study, 83% of Generation Z respondents believe their email usage will either increase or stay the same within the next five years, meanwhile 46% of Gen Z students consider email marketing to be an important part of a purchase decision.

Across all generations, 74% of people chose email as their preferred communication method for companies or brands to interact with them. This is good news for marketers who want to maintain as many points of contact as possible with their audience & customers.

However, just because the email platform may still be relevant, doesn’t mean that you should fall back into the same habits of a boring old promotional email. The same rules of obtaining high engagement with Gen Z still apply.

When creating an email marketing campaign tailored for Gen Z, the first step is to create a clear but natural brand awareness. Although social media is more commonly known as being a key content channel, email can be an equally effective and direct way to get your content out. This is especially important when you have limited brand awareness, and content can be used to showcase your brand image, as well as the kinds of products or services you can offer your customers.

The second step is where you want to gather as much information about your email audience as possible, and see the common traits of your audience members that might be interested in your brand. This includes a small ask from your audience, but for something in return. One strategy might be asking them to fill out a survey in exchange for the chance to win a $30 gift card.

After building awareness through content, and obtaining information about your target, this is your chance to drive engagement in the way that you feel is most appropriate for them. This could be anything from a follow on social media to a checking out your online store. Whatever you may choose, make sure that it is measurable, and relevant to your specific audience.

These aren’t the only way to engage Gen Z over email, but whatever strategy you pursue as a marketer, make sure you are giving them a chance to experience and interact with your brand as much as possible. Here at The Campus Agency, we have access to over seven million current student emails and we are experts at creating subtle, yet engaging email campaigns. Feel free to contact us today for more information.

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Ambassador Programs Influencers Marketing Tips

Micro-Influencers: The Best of Both Worlds?

If you have been paying attention to business news in the last couple months, you’ve probably seen some of the drastic effects that influencers can have on businesses. The prime example? A single tweet by Kylie Jenner contributes to the stock value of Snap Inc. dropping by $1.3 billion.

sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.

— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018

According to NBC, Jenner makes about $1 Million per paid instagram post, and is widely known as the highest paid instagram influencer. But are these brands really getting what they paid for? For $1 million, many of these brands could have easily gone the traditional route and launched an entire agency campaign.

But instead they’ve kept faith in the effectiveness of this costly influencer marketing trend for two simple reasons. The first is the belief that organic, trackable social reach is better than paid social media ads, and the second is that these influencers carry built-in credibility that simply cannot be bought through a traditional creative campaign.

If Jenner’s followers took her suggestions as seriously as analysts on Wall Street did, this spending might be worthwhile, but this isn’t the case. However, what if there was a way to get the same trackable, organic social reach without the enormous price tag? Enter the micro-influencer.

These social media personalities are often found on Instagram & Youtube. They range from having 2,000 to 10,000 followers, which is a high, but not quite celebrity-level follower count. What makes them special is that they have a higher engagement percentage than most celebrities, and they can be used to target specific communities or subcultures that they may be a leader in.

Many of these micro-influencers are used to creating and editing their own content, which means less work and a lower budget for you. Gone is the need for a production team or even a photographer to shoot content for your product; the micro-influencer will do it all.

While you won’t get the same massive reach by employing just one, by spreading out your social media reach to multiple micro-influencers, you can target multiple cities and communities. The best part, as mentioned before, is the lower cost. Your company won’t have to spend millions, or even six-figures to engage a wide, yet targeted audience.

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Influencers Marketing Tips Uncategorized

Personal Branding: Word-of-Mouth for Gen Z

Before social media, one of the most valuable promotions a brand could get was word of mouth. That is, real customers telling people they know about their favorite products, and why they like them so much. But it seems that recently, social media has now taken over this role in many ways. It’s on these social platforms that we notice what people wear, what they eat, where they go on vacation, and more.

Gen Z is especially talented at using these different preferences to curate their personal brand. They create and release content that represents them and all aspects of their personality. One of the ways they develop this brand is by associating oneself with popular corporate brands, in the hopes that an element of that tone or message is incorporated with their own.

Plenty of people on Instagram are willing to post themselves wearing the brand names they really like without being paid, it’s a natural occurrence not unlike word-of-mouth. The difference with social media is that the reach and impressions are much larger– and the communication is instant.

While people can involve a unique blend of styles and integrate the tone of multiple brands, corporate brands are limited in some ways to their own identity. Every brand has certain connotations that people associate with them, they also have the ability to embrace or resist new connotations, and new audiences as they come and go. So what makes Gen Z want to include a brand as part of their personal image? The key is getting them to identify with the brand.

Arguably the most important aspect of identification is personalization. Gen Z in particular wants to feel as though a brand is speaking directly to them, as individuals. This makes knowing and embracing your specific audience more important than ever. Blanket strategies simply aren’t effective for a generation made up of extremely individualized young people. If you want to see more people embrace your brand, your brand needs to embrace more individuals and their unique qualities.

Values are extremely important to Gen Z as well. You need to support the causes that your target audience supports, but more importantly, make these causes and values part of your mission and brand identity. If Gen Z can help support the causes they love by also supporting a brand they like, they are much more likely to integrate it into their personal brand and even help promote it.

Building this personal connection to members of Gen Z pays off. When a celebrity is paid to post about a product, your audience understands that they are being sold to, and they lose credibility and authenticity. But people understand that young people love to share what they love, and when they share on their own terms, they don’t lose credibility. This natural awareness and acceptance is a sign of brand success that could save you millions in creative and PR and it’s all part of positioning correctly and knowing how to speak to your audience.

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Ambassador Programs Marketing Tips Uncategorized

An Open Letter To Brands Considering a Campus Ambassador Program

Dear Brand Name,

Over the past couple of years, I’m sure you’ve poured countless money and resources into researching, studying, and trying to crack the code to reaching the Millennial generation. From their work habits to their ideas on buying, people have been fascinated with Generation Y for the past few years. After all, they are the biggest generation with the greatest spending power, right? While this fact remains true, it won’t be for much longer. All your findings on Generation Y and everything you thought you knew about reaching these buying powerhouses is about to become obsolete. This is because a new generation of spenders is about to come of age, and they’re even more powerful than the Millennials. This new breed of consumers is known as Generation Z and according to The Huffington Post, they will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020 (that’s a lot sooner than it sounds).

Generation Z, also known as those born after 1996, are much different than their older Gen Y siblings. According to BizJournals, some researchers refer to them as the “pivotal generation,” in contrast to the Millennial generation. This means they are pivoting back towards a more traditional view of personal success, work ethic, and money management. These are kids who came of age during the Great Recession, have seen their parents stressed about income and finances and have bared witness to the harsh realities of the global economy through digital media. Between this and the constant exposure to the internet and mobile phones since they were born, Gen Zers tend to value honesty, transparency, and authenticity

So now that you know a little bit more about the next generation of great spenders, ask yourself “how can my brand reach this generation and stand out from the rest? How can we begin to form relationships now to ensure brand loyalty in the future when their true spending power comes to fruition?” The answer is simple: a campus representative program (also can be referred to as brand reps, brand advocates, collegiate ambassadors, etc–you get the idea).

Since most Gen Zers are either already in the college space or are about to become co-eds, this puts them in the perfect, bubble-like atmosphere to show them how your brand can benefit their lifestyle. You already know that Gen Z craves authenticity and transparency. Therefore hiring a designated student(s) rep on campus who thinks, talks, and acts like your target audience will be your best bet for ensuring authenticity and generating brand awareness. If you begin to put your resources towards relationships and engagement, it will make interaction meaningful and your brand memorable. Here are a few ways campus ambassadors can help your brand resonate with Gen Z:

Authenticity

According to AdWeek, 77% of Gen Zers prefer ads that show real people in real situations. A campus rep program does exactly that. Students will respond much better to someone they perceive as similar to them, as opposed to a normal sales person. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for you to enlist students with personalities that fit the brand and the message you’re trying to convey–these will be your best spokespeople. And since Gen Zers prefer transparency, you can prepare your student reps with the direct messages you want them to convey to your target audience.

Brand Loyalty and Instant Gratification

By having a direct peer represent your brand, you can show students how your product would benefit their lifestyle and keep them coming back for more. Campus reps are the perfect agents to execute brand activations, marketing events, and make your brand a known presence. Also offering student discounts, deals, and premium items will further incentivize the audience you’re catering to and make them remember you. Not to mention, it allows for instant gratification (remember, these kids have the attention span of about 8 seconds). Utilize your campus reps to deliver that instant gratification–arm them with enough branded swag to reward loyal customers and to start generating a little buzz on campus. If you don’t capture their attention and begin to cultivate a relationship now, another brand will.

Social influencers

Simply choosing a student to represent your brand on campus isn’t enough; choosing the right student makes all the difference. This person should be considered a “social influencer,” meaning other students on campus look to them for what the latest trends are, and they do so through social media. Your rep should be the type of person who not only has a strong pre-existing network, but can also work to build relationships with other students. And because nearly 40% of Gen Zer’s say social media has a direct effect on their happiness, they should have a strong social media following. As a campus rep, they can post authentic content of your product and help students associate your brand with them. People will begin to look to your campus rep for information on your brand and new products. Their following will become your following. Not to mention, Gen Zers have their specific set of etiquette and rules on different social media platforms, according to BizJournals. They know how to leverage their Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter profiles to their advantage. And they’re smart enough to know that Facebook is for Mom and Grandma.

Collecting feedback

Finally, and possibly the most valuable asset to having a campus rep, will be feedback collection. Brand ambassadors are your built in source of information on campus. According to Fortune, Gen Z values consistent and honest conversations to help build relationships. If they know a brand is willing to talk with them and not at them, they’ll be more likely to trust it. Thinking of a new product or idea but not sure how students will respond? Ask your student reps. Have them ask their friends. Have them distribute a survey on campus. They are the best source of insight and they’re not afraid to be honest and critical. In fact, they actually revel in it.

So there you have it. Not convinced that your brand needs a campus rep program? Companies such as The New York Times, Google and Showtime have already all hopped aboard the Campus Rep train and they’ve seen great results from their respective Campus Rep programs. So what is your brand waiting for?

Sincerely,

The Campus Team

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Marketing Tips

Youth Marketing : 5 tips

Your business has an online presence and you want to reach young consumers. You’ve thought long and hard about your marketing strategy and you’ve allocated a budget. But do you have a strategy for youth marketing? Should the 16-25 year-olds be treated differently? We think so. Here are five tips that hopefully will make you think and perhaps even act when it come to youth marketing

Go Online

There are a lot of great tools out there. These tools can help you learn more about your demo and what they like, search for, and want. Take Google Trends, for example, or Google Insights for Search. Both of these tools are great for understanding which search terms are important, what is hot, and what is not.

But most importantly, don’t market far from your purchase path. What do we mean? Well, try to spend your marketing dollars online – where young people spend time. Newspaper, magazine and TV ads might help you build a brand, but they will most likely not drive clicks/traffic to your site. Think of it this way; your for sale sign needs to be close to your house, not four blocks away (not even if your sign has the address on it).

Put your benefits front and center

Attention span = hyper short. Tell them what they need to know, keep it shorter than what you think is short and tell them immediately. You have seconds to convince them to click, so think fast. No one reads, and any nested information is useless. Why should I care about you?

Don’t be everything to everyone

Hot tips; for your search engine marketing efforts – create a landing page that has younger language, images and services. Chances are all your customers are not the same. Remember if they have to look for the part that is relevant to them, they are gone before you even knew they were there.

Partner

You’ll get by with a little help from your friends. The art of partnering should be taken very seriously. Find other trusted sites, blogs, videos and marketers that can drive traffic to your site. This is nothing new, but you might not have a qualified traffic strategy. Do you partner for general traffic or traffic for a specific reason?

Take it easy

Don’t try too hard! Sites that only sell and never listen aren’t any fun. Young users are all about free, fun, fast. Think about it, they grew up with free fantastic services everywhere. If you can’t solve a problem for free, then offer them a taste of your magic for free. Also, keep in mind that these guys have very well developed filters. So go easy on the over-selling banners and “smart” distractions.

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Marketing Tips

College Students: Why your Brand Should Care

They have money to spend

Nearly half of all college students work. With tuition often covered by loans or parents, the money they do make is theirs to spend. They also carry plastic. 78% of students have at least one credit card. According to Sallie Mae, they are using it for more than just books: 84% of students use credit cards for food, 70% of students use cards for clothing, and 69% of students use cards for cosmetics.

They spend a lot prepping for college

Back to school spending is expected to reach $33.7 billion according to the National Retail Federation. This may not be considered discretionary spending, but if you sell electronics, dorm supplies, apparel, shoes or school supplies you know how important this time of year is to the bottom line. Make sure you are top of mind going into this shopping blitz.

They have time to waste

A full course load at most colleges can take up less than 15 hours a week. Even with a part time job, this still leaves students with a lot of flexibility. They are looking for ways to fill their time. They online shop, go out with their friends, and travel. In short, they have fun and spend money.

They document every moment of their lives

Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter… the list goes on. This generation loves to talk about themselves and share their experiences. Make a good impression and they will share it. Give them a great deal, they will share it. Sure, word of mouth is nothing new, but the word has never traveled this fast before.

They are in the beginning of their customer-life-cycle

They are away from home, making their own purchase decisions. Whether it is which brand of spaghetti sauce to buy, which coffee shop or energy drink will get them through 4 years of mid terms and finals, what type of car they will drive or what clothes they will wear, these choices could shape spending habits for the rest of their lives. Create valuable lifelong brand loyalists by getting your brand in their decision set now.

The Point

These emerging adults have the money and freedom to start choosing which brands will lead them through college and into adulthood. Attract them now or risk losing out on a lifelong customer.