Fresher’s Week. It’s the ultimate calendar event for students that are returning or starting university. Yet for brands, it raises the age-old question:
How can we stand out during Fresher’s Week?
With a staggering 750,000 new undergraduate students taking their first steps into university life, a number that continues to rise annually, it’s definitely time for all brands to activate their influencer and experiential marketing campaigns to tap into the opportunity Fresher’s Week brings.
Capturing students at the beginning of their buying cycle is an art form, but once secured they can be lifelong brand advocates. Easier said than done right? Social is becoming a one-stop-shop in Gen-Z’s purchase journey, and overtaking search engines when it comes to product research. Combined with the statistic that a whopping 29% of the student demographic are likely to block ads on their devices: making noise in the right way has never been more important for brands.
So we ran a live focus group. We called up 6 students from across the UK to find out exactly what they could remember from Fresher’s Week (almost 8 months later!) and soon found that the brands who offered immersive experiences scored the highest for continued advocation by the students. Interestingly, half the participants named Domino’s as their standout brand. The reason why? Apart from the discount (!), the brand remained consistent throughout the calendar year.
Our biggest takeaways: students look for relatable content, engaging experiences and consistency.
So what are some of the methods your brand could use to stand out?
Collaborate with authentic Gen Z influencers: Partner with influencers who align with your brand's values and connect with the student crowd. Their genuine voice and relatability will drive engagement and credibility.
Craft Immersive Experiences: Let the creativity flow and design memorable experiences during Fresher’s Week that incorporate elements of fun, education, and personalisation. Gamification, interactive booths, and product demos are just a few ideas to consider.
Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC): Gen-Z loves to be a part of the content creation process. Encourage UGC during your experiential marketing campaign and leverage it to extend your reach across social platforms. It truly is a win-win.
Social Media Amplification: Amplify your Fresher’s Week efforts through social media channels to get everyone talking about your campaign. Leverage influencer partnerships to increase visibility and engagement.
Create Evergreen Content: When planning your campaign, think beyond Fresher’s Week to make sure your brand leaves a positive, lasting impression. You want them to remember you, talk about you, and keep coming back for more.
So let’s delve into the details. What are the data-backed metrics that determine the success and tangible impact of your campaign?
Track Social Media Metrics: Key metrics include engagement rates, likes, shares, comments, click-through rates and conversions. These numbers tell you how far your campaign's reaching and how it's hitting home with the audience.
Influencer Feedback: By understanding influencers' insights, observations, and recommendations, you can refine your approach, identify successful tactics, and strengthen relationships with influencers who align well with your target audience.
Audience Sentiment: By using a data-driven approach, brands can monitor social media mentions, comments, and reviews to determine whether the campaign is generating positive responses or facing challenges.
Target Comparison: Compare campaign results against predefined targets and benchmarks. These may include sales figures, website traffic, lead generation, or brand awareness metrics. This way, you’ll know what's working and adapt for the future.
… So what are you planning for your Fresher’s Week campaign?
P.S. did we mention that we’re running a Fresher’s Week discount for brands? 🤩
Find out how we help brands who are ready to make a lasting impact on the student community by emailing: