After having little success with previous marketing efforts on campus, Intrepid Travel contacted us to develop a new approach to marketing to students and deliver some real results. Intrepid provides global adventure travel focusing on small group adventure travel. They help their travelers experience real people, real cultures in incredible locations like Egypt, Bangkok, Thailand, New Zealand, Africa, and roughly 100 other countries.
Challenge: Convince college students to travel with other young adults to alternative trip locations that they might not otherwise consider.
Campaign Goals: (1) Promote and give away a 13-day trip for two to Chile and Argentina. (2) Increase new trip sales among students 18-24. (3) Increase brand awareness of Intrepid Travel to college students.
Media challenge: Utilize media that college students consume to share the opportunity for unique travel – all on a limited budget.
Campaign Reach: Promoted on 32 colleges and universities across the U.S. in the spring of 2011. Total enrollment of all schools involved was 864,000+.
Media used: Targeted student email blasts, Facebook ads, and college newspaper inserts
Campaign Message: “Find a bigger world in smaller places…”
Increased Facebook “Likes” 265% over the duration of the campaign
Delivered a 891% increase of leads for their “Enter-to-Win” trip program
Increased new travel bookings 155% from the previous year
“Over the years we tried varied tactics to reach the college market with no success. We worked with Campus Media to develop our Spring campaign and saw the best results we’ve ever seen for this segment and blew all of our KPI’s away!” – Gina Kelly, Intrepid Travel
This Fall during back-to-school we coordinated an 11 campus tour for Amethyst Jeans. Here are the facts and what we learned.
Goal: Get 11,000 college girls to “Like” the Amethyst Facebook page and give away 600 pairs of jeans at each campus.
The Amethyst brand had potential reach of 298,000 students at 11 campuses.
Amethyst averaged 1,084 Facebook “Likes” from new female college fans.
More than 6,000 pairs of jeans were given away free to students who may not have ever considered this denim brand.
Countless other giveaways were given to students who met Amethyst along the tour.
The brand garnered media buzz during the tour from college and mainstream media.
Amethyst benefited from increased brand image by giving away stylish clothing to cash-strapped students who need it!
Students were given a scratch card after they “Liked” the FB page. That card indicated if they won jeans or a secondary prize like a tote bag or a t-shirt. Make sure your secondary prizes are quality and worth the long wait in line.
Be prepared to address angry students on social media who didn’t win the main prize at your event. Amethyst did a great job of responding to the few students who didn’t win jeans and complained about it on Facebook.
Pick schools that have a good location near the main traffic areas of campus (i.e. dorms, Student Union, major lecture halls, etc.). If you have a vehicle, note that not all schools have a good place for you.
Have something to entertain the students waiting in line. We didn’t expect the crowds to be at the levels we saw. Some students waited for more than 1 hour to get to the Jean Machine. Having a street team interact with them can help make the time go by faster.
The largest state schools were the hardest to book for this tour. The bigger the school, the more red tape and hoops you have to jump through. Consider smaller colleges. They get less attention from brands and are much more welcoming when hosting an event on campus for you.
Have a back-up list of places you can stop along the tour. You never know when a school may pull the plug on your event at the last-minute.
A small % of people are going to unlike your Facebook page after getting the deal. Sometimes this happens right away, but it could also happen over time. Be sure to keep them engaged after the event to reduce attrition.
Schools not part of the tour took noticed and the students were jealous. Have an extension of your event happening online so those not part of the physical event can still participate online and win!