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Student marketing is more than just Freshers Week


Student marketing shouldn't stop when Freshers Week comes to an end.

Ah Freshers Week. It’s an exciting yet daunting occasion dedicated to students finding their feet, living out new experiences and shaping how the rest of their university years will be.

Campuses are swarmed with new students – all of which are likely to be more open-minded than they’ve ever been before. It’s no wonder that brands flock to these events.

However, there are two important things to keep in mind about students and Freshers Week.

  1. Freshers Week marketing only works with sustained follow up

According to Campaign Live (2013)[i], 47% of students say they remember the best advertising from Fresher’s Fairs. But if you want them to remember you, you’re going to have to keep reminding them that you’re about. This is where digital marketing cannot be boycotted for just one, single Freshers Week campaign.

Students are pretty money savvy nowadays and actively seek out the best deals. So if you want to keep them loyal, you need to remain competitive throughout the entire year and make sure they know about what you’re offering.

Co-op Food is a brand that has maintained a strong relationship with the student market. Not only do they stay competitive by offering a 10% student discount all year round, they also make regular digital content to complement the student calendar.

For example, last year Co-op Food partnered with Sortedfood to close the #CookingGap and help students learn basic cooking skill through tailored video content. Co-op also ran its own version of The Great British Bake Off on The National Student called The Student Cake Off!

Both platforms enabled Co-op to gain further reach and allow students more ways to discover tasty, yet affordable, seasonal recipes.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for when brands can market to students during the year:

Students’ Union Elections

In April, students are given the chance to decide how they want their students’ union run and also vote who should represent them. Students running for executive positions will be operating a massive campaign across their campus, speaking to students both face-to-face and through their own social media channels. They’ll also normally recruit a number of well-connected students to promote their campaign too.

Sporting events

University’s across the country get competitive and battle against one another through different sporting events - the most popular being Varsity, which takes place late April/early May. Summer balls are normally scheduled around this month too and act as a chance to celebrate the end of exams and often the end of university life! For most, it’s a rare chance to sport a black tie or ball gown to leave a lasting impression on their peers.

Holidays, celebrations and seasonal events

There are loads of events throughout the year that students get excited about. Here are just a few:

  • January: Chinese New Year & Refreshers Week
  • February: Pancake Day
  • March: St Patricks Day
  • April: Easter & summer term starts
  • May: Spring bank holidays
  • June: Festival season starts
  • July: Students go home for the summer
  • August: Summer bank holiday
  • September: Freshers Week
  • October: Halloween
  • November: Bonfire Night
  • December: Christmas & New Years Eve

While campuses may be chaotic during some of these events, the scope for brands to jump on the back of them through digital marketing ideas is endless.