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Millennial students – a new type of brand?

Prospective students are often considered potential ‘customers’ when creating recruitment & marketing strategies for your institution. You usually map the student journey and see where your branded content can impact the most but your content travels and you will not always necessarily be the source of your own communication. But who is?

Millennial students.

Millennial students are your best ambassadors and message ‘likers/sharers’, but one thing to keep in mind is that they don’t like & share for fun or for no reason. No. Every Like, Share or other engagement is well thought out, calculated, sometimes planned in advance and measured, with an implicit strategy – just like a brand.
All of this can happen in a matter of seconds, often without even realising it.
Millennial students are building a personal brand and want to be perceived as smart, funny, and in control. They will carefully select the content that fits their desired image, try to build a community around it and seek acknowledgment from their peers. Like a brand, by liking and sharing specific content, they expect to be ‘liked’ and ‘shared’, thus building their own brand in the process.

Jonathan Perelman, Vice President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, explains that, in order to build this personal brand, millennial students will rely on 3 pillars:

  • Information – Informative content based on new, unique, unexpected texts, facts and figures, ‘the humble brag’ – It helps students understand a specific topic and adds value to what they believe to be true.
  • Emotion – Content based on storytelling – Mood, hero content, awkward or inspirational moments, stress reliever – It represents a huge part of the social web, especially in creation of video content.
  • Identity – Content based on location, gender, occupation, hobbies or sexuality – This speaks to who they are.

This generation, also called Gen C is a powerful new force in consumer culture. They care deeply about Creation, Curation, Connection, and Community. It’s more than an age group; it’s an attitude and mindset.

What does it mean for your institution?

  • Not only consider your prospect students as ‘customers’, but also as ‘individual brands’
  • Your content is travelling. When your institution is creating content, think about the fact that distribution is likely going to come from someone else, on social, and from mobile.
  • With more than 2.8B internet users and more than 5.2B mobile users in 2015, There is millions of potential individual brands sharing your content every day; create content which is not only to be consumed, but to be shared.
  • Tailor your message according to the 3 pillars for a bigger impact on your targeted audience.
  • Make sure you gather the right data about your audience for a better recruitment/ marketing strategy.

You will only be able to communicate effectively to your audience if you know who you are ‘talking to’. Make sure you gather the right data from the start to map your audience and adapt your strategy accordingly. Gecko Labs helps more than 55 universities globally capture the right data, at the right time to make sure they understand who they are speaking to and especially… what to say.

Contact us to discover how Gecko can help your institution!