THE STUDENT LANDSCAPE 2022
The euphoric return to IRL 2021 Freshers events brought footfall numbers of up to 8,250, exceeding all expectations, with not only first years attending but also second years that missed out in 2020, eager to experience IRL freshers for the first time.
While COVID may have cast a shadow of uncertainty to the start of 2022, we are in constant contact with our youth network to understand how students are feeling, and what their plans are for getting back to campus. Universities have continued with a hybrid approach to lectures, offering both in-person and virtual learning. As a result, we’ve seen 92%** of students return to campus for the term and 79%** excited to get back to University life without fear of covid.
To help brands navigate 2022, we have combined Seed’s 10 years of student expertise with the latest on the ground student insight, to map out the year, outlining key opportunities for brands to engage with this revitalised student landscape in 2022.
STUDENT BRAND AMBASSADORS ARE A POWERFUL WAY OF CONNECTING WITH THIS HARD-TO-REACH AUDIENCE
Student Brand Ambassadors (SBA's) are confident, entrepreneurial youngsters who have credibility and influence both online across social platforms and offline within their own peer groups and communities. They offer direct access to a wider youth group via their friend groups and followings. Their role is to deliver and support all campaigns at their university.
Whether they are a social secretary & rep for the business college, or heavily involved in the DJ society and play at club nights regularly, we will ensure we recruit a wide cross section of students, with varied passion points to ensure peer-to-peer recommendation reaches far and wide, across campus and throughout the year.
When briefed to work with a brand, we select SBA’s (from our roster of over 10,000) who are hyper relevant to the brand, and can achieve the aims and objectives of the brand campaign strategy. Seed works with the SBA’s as co-creators and collaborators, offering them ownership of the work that they do, empowering them to create something authentic to them and their audience.
It is crucial to understand the student mindset in the moment when you will be looking to reach them as this will determine if your message is successfully on- boarded or rejected by the audience.
At Seed we have 7 rules for success when working with SBAs
#1 ALWAYS DESIGN AUDIENCE FIRST
Students live in dense tight-knit communities, with unique lifestyles and schedules. To ensure brand campaigns authentically engage & resonate with students, it’s imperative to take into account key student moments & the impact these have on the mind set.
#2 CREATE THE PERFECT VALUE EXCHANGE
We always recommend using a combination of financial & lifestyle incentives to reward & motivate the SBAs.
#3 BUILD WITH THEM
To ensure your campaign has impact, you need to build with this audience - which is a balance between your business objective vs student needs at a given time. We ensure you have brilliant campaign ideas, that will connect with the student audience in that central sweet spot, benefitting both your brand and them as an audience.
#4 LET THEM OWN IT
Use SBA’s to consult & co-create for the best results. They are an agile tool, so we use them as such, listening to feedback and adjusting the campaign to deliver the best possible outcome.The foundation of SBA is peer-to-peer communication so we allow them to use their tone of voice and customise their approach to ensure it resonates.
#5 FIND YOUR DREAM TEAM
SBA’s are an extension of your brand. So having the right students represent you is really important. At Seed, we make sure we recruit SBA’s who are well-connected, genuine brand fans, content creators and people who are passionate about your brand and being an SBA.
#6 TRACK AND ENSURE THERE IS ACCOUNTABILITY
Designing campaigns with intrinsic and suitable metrics and clear KPI’s is key to ensuring you can track a campaign’s success. With our SBA’s we set them clear missions and key goals to reach which we track via our bespoke management platform.
#7 INVEST AND DO IT RIGHT
SBA is not a channel for mass reach or for a short sharp overnight spike. Instead, it is a channel that rewards over time, SBA’s help to build relationships with audiences and brands that can last way beyond campaign timeframes and even beyond the time when students leave campus, growing exponentially year on year to increase the reach & impact for your brand.
INFLUENCING AND CONNECTING WITH STUDENTS AND GEN Z ON CAMPUS, IN CULTURE AND BEYOND
We are a new generation agency built around the audience we create for students + youth.
With over 10+ years of expertise, Seed can help brands understand, influence and connect with students and Gen Z on campus, in culture and beyond. Whether it's creating a secret music festival or a touring experience, designing a hype-building campaign with TikTok creators or increasing sign-ups through ambassador activations and paid social, Seed’s knowledge can help brands to build lasting relationships with the next generation.
GET IN TOUCH
If you want to discuss your student brand ambassador campaign please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org