The clocks have officially gone back – marking longer days, warmer evenings, and for students around the UK, the countdown to the long-awaited April loan drop.
What is the April loan drop?
Well, if you’re unaware of this certain event, it’s time to familiarise yourself, because it’s a big deal for students in the UK. Every April, eligible students will receive a third of their annual maintenance loan in one lump sum. Some students will receive as much as £4,222 in one single drop.
When does the April loan drop take place?
Loan drops take place at the start of every new term: January, April and September. All students are eligible for these payments, but the amount they will receive is impacted by where they live, their family situation, what they study and a few other factors.
However, it’s important to remember that once this payment has been made, students can spend it on whatever they want!
Capturing the attention of students during the April loan drop
With such a big lump sum and so many options on where to spend it, it’s crucial for brands to get ahead and capture the imagination (and spending power!) of these savvy students.
Driven by digital
Gen Z are digital natives – they’ve grown up surrounded by technology and are largely reliant on it in their day to day lives. Social media plays a huge role here, used frequently by students to inform purchasing decisions (#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt springs to mind!).
However, it’s important to remember that today’s students aren’t always an easy sell. They want to see sincerity in digital marketing, with clumsy corporate attempts at authenticity being called out quicker than you can say “unfollow”.
So, what can brands do to attract these digital natives during the April loan drop, and win that ever-important brand loyalty?
Check out our three top tips below…
1. The power of user generated content
User generated content (UGC) is original, brand-specific content that is created by consumers and published across social media or other channels. UGC can come in many forms – reviews, written testimonials, images and of course, videos.
Because UGC often comes from a user who isn’t an official brand representative, it feels more authentic. People trust people – with 93% of marketers agreeing that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands.
One successful example of using user-generated content to generate sales comes from vegan brand Lime Crime.
Lime Crime launched a partnership with Student Beans, offering a 20% discount alongside a stackable 10% discount via a media campaign.
You can check out one example of user-generated content that a Lime Crime user created below.
This campaign was a huge success, leading to a massive 60% increase in conversions for the brand as students clamoured to get the best make-up products at a bargain price. We love!
2. Work with industry experts and brand influencers
Unlike previous generations, today’s students don’t have a huge amount of trust in brands.
One way to build credibility (and secure purchasing power!) during the lead-up to the April loan drop is to partner with influencers and creators. Gen Z specifically has more of an affinity towards creators.
Creators already have devoted followers and communities on social media, who are willing and ready to listen to their opinions.
One example of a brand killing the game with their creator campaigns is TALA. TALA is celebrated for being a sustainable fitness brand that doesn’t break the bank, frequently offering users exclusive discount codes.
TALA uses their Instagram and TikTok page to re-share content from well-respected fitness influencers, such as Holly Brooks and Jade DeLaHunt – including how-to videos on training techniques and activewear styling.
Because TALA works with creators that have a passion for fitness, they’ve been able to build brand credibility: making their content not just about selling but about establishing trust in their niche. We expect TALA’s sales to be super popular after the April loan drop – student spending on fitness brands has stayed consistently high, after all!
3. Remember to offer discounts during the April loan drop
The April loan drop will be coming at a welcome time for many students. The cost-of-living crisis is front of mind for many, with 72% of students surveyed by Student Beans saying they feel stressed about their current financial situation.
A massive 97% of students also said the cost-of-living crisis was affecting their mental wellbeing, whilst 96% of students shared they will be cutting down on spending.
Winning brand loyalty here has never been more crucial. Students today are looking for an incentive when they purchase, and the April loan drop will be no exception.
Specifically, student discounts are making all the difference for young people trying to navigate financial uncertainty, with 74% looking for cheaper versions of products they usually buy. Capture their attention with exclusive and regular student discounts, and remember to personalise your offers during the April loan drop.
You can find more information in Student Beans’ guide to student spending during the cost of living crisis here.