Top Ten Things You Should Know About Marketing to High School Students
Thanks to technology, after-school jobs and the influence they hold over their parents, high school students have become an increasingly important market. They have tremendous buying power by themselves and even sway their friends and families to make certain purchases based on the efforts of targeted marketing. Once you grab their attention, you can bank on increased business.
High school children are connected via cell phones. QR codes form an integral part of their decision-making processes. QR codes, which stands for Quick Response, are fast becoming the marketing media of choice for colleges and universities around the world. Essentially a barcode, by snapping a smartphone picture of the QR, the teen is sent straight to a web address.
Teens feel they are a part of the marketing process when they can interact with marketing platforms, especially when a celebrity is involved. Provide high school consumers with live chat rooms and interactive games in your marketing campaigns.
As part of their development, teens in high school search for role models and success stories they can emulate. Tap into that need for self-confidence by giving teens a brand with which they can identify. Use celebrities and image-related messages to build your brand recognition among teens.
Hire a trend-spotter or a team member who identifies with this target market to come up with trends before they become passé. High schoolers in particular are shaped by the “coolness” of a brand. Once it becomes mainstream, trends are tossed aside for newer ones.
In addition to needing interaction with a company spokesperson, teenagers value the opinions of their peers. Provide feedback forms that allow customers to see the reviews and related opinions from others about your company and its offerings.
Once you attract their attention, you need to find ways to keep it. Social media sites that provide continuously fresh material offer abundant opportunities to reach your target audience. And teenagers are connected to those sites, which they can subsequently share with their own friends and followers.
While written messages and celebrity endorsements are powerful tools used to reach teens, give them video as well. Create and post videos on your website and on social media platforms that show, rather than tell, your story, how your products and services work and who is using your company.
You need to reach your audience through the right venues too. While teens may not be as tied into print magazines as in the past, they do watch television. Place ads on shows that attract high school students, such South Park and the Simpsons. Provide online links to the shows where you can further exhibit your ads.
Expect parental interference if your marketing efforts play on the cravings of high school students for acceptability. Ads and brands heavy on sexuality, body image or smoking and drinking may put you in the bullseye for angry parents and their advocacy groups that monitor the media for exploitive marketing.
It’s during high school that many people develop brand relationships that last a lifetime. Build that loyalty by being honest with your market and delivering on your promises. Teens are especially alert for fraudulent claims and dishonest advertising and are quick to turn when they feel deceived.