As UCAS reported, 230,320 18-year-olds have so far applied to start their undergraduate studies at UK universities this year. The influx of new students, known as Freshers, makes September the most important time of the year for any brand looking to reach young consumers.
Through our experience in student marketing, we’ve learned that it’s never too early to start getting ready for the Freshers period. After all, incoming students will be spending the pre-uni months working through their University checklist, preparing for the biggest change in their lives so far, and there’s plenty to do. Here are five things new students will be focused on in the months ahead, and how your brand can maximise your exposure to these Freshers-to-be.
1. Refresh their wardrobe
Making a good first impression is key, so new students want to begin university with a whole new wardrobe of cool outfits. Starting uni can be a chance to reinvent yourself, experiment with different styles, and try out new brands, so it’s a fantastic time for fashion brands to up their student marketing efforts to win new customers These student customers could soon become their on-campus champions. Running a student discount with Student Beans is a smart way to reach incoming Freshers, as we can verify college and A-Level students as well as those already at uni.
2. Move into a new home
Many students move to a new home in a new city, away from their parents for the first time, when they start uni. That means buying items both fun and useful for the first time, from choosing a new duvet cover to household goods like washing up liquid and toilet roll. This is a great opportunity for brands of all kinds to create lasting brand loyalty by marketing to new students specifically as a part of their overall marketing efforts.
3. Research student discounts
Our latest research, the 2018 Student Shopping Report, revealed that two-thirds of students use student discounts at least once a month. Getting special offers on their favourite brands is one of the things Freshers look forward to about starting university, so they will be researching all the brands on offer, and looking out for extra special deals, such as the boosted discounts we regularly run with our Student Beans brand partners. It’s also worth considering on campus marketing activities, as many of the students we speak to rave about the brand freebies from Freshers fairs and events.
4. Join social media
For students who want to get a head start on making friends at their new university, social media and online forums are the ideal way to meet people who will be on their course or in their halls. Facebook groups and students union accounts are sources of info and a connection to their future uni lives. Many students will even make new accounts to be part of the community, which means social media is an effective platform to gain followers and potential customers at this crucial time of year.
5. Learn about their new city
Students who are moving to a new city will want to know all the cool places to eat, drink, shop and hang out before they arrive. That means it’s the perfect time for shops, restaurants, cafés and other physical venues to reach future students and win a place on their Freshers Week to-do list. Targeted social media ads, content marketing and working with student brand ambassadors are some of the ways to reach the relevant audience online and offline.
To find out more about the most effective ways to reach current and future students, get in touch with the Student Beans team today.