Is brand awareness a key focus for your marketing strategy?

Posted: 25 Jun 2019 - 12:21
Brand awareness
With multiple channels available that engage students and achieve a sale, and by default an instant return on investment, why is brand awareness still so important?

Because it’s the first stage of the journey that moves someone from understanding the products and services we provide, to engaging with them. It sets the tone for the relationship they could expect to have with our brand, and the service they might receive. For brands that are all about the service they offer, and not just the product – it should be a pivotal part of any marketing plan.

Student accommodation is one of the largest expenditures a student will make at university – second only to tuition fees. And they are not likely to buy from a brand they’ve never seen before, or that they don’t feel fits with them. It’s just as much about emotional buy in – feeling they could, and should, be a part of the experience you offer. Student accommodation providers which use multiple marketing channels (inbound and outbound) should tell a far stronger story, that ultimately creates brand authority and converts to a sale.

Technology and privacy laws have changed how we obtain information, and as a result, marketing has had to evolve. Traditional outbound channels offer limited opportunities to be personal - and can be viewed by today’s savvy student as intrusive and irrelevant. Inbound marketing, such as social media, search engines, and word of mouth, are more accessible, can be highly personalised, add value, and provide a two-way communication channel.

So, what should you be doing to make sure you’re raising your brand awareness, and reaching higher occupancy levels for the 2019 cycle?

Social media – promote content and reach a large audience quickly. Get your brand message across, and ensure you tell a story beyond that of a sale.

Email – still a highly effective tool for building ongoing relationships with potential customers. And because it can be personalised, can answer the questions that you know that part of your audience need responses to.

Online retargeting – follow students who have interacted with your content but have not taken any further action.

We’re always talking to students – and our advice is simple. Think bigger than just acquisition campaigns to fill beds. Build a relationship, tell a story and then, and only then deliver the campaign to convert them. 

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