How to integrate digital and physical student campaigns

In our latest guest post, Campus Commandos founder Adam Grant shares his top three tips on how to successfully combine physical and digital student marketing.

Utilize their habits

Students have their phones out. They are taking pictures. They are sharing these pictures online. Once shared online, the picture is reaching a wider audience of their friends and is integrating your physical campaign into a digital campaign. How is your offline activation encouraging pictures to play into these habits?  

One example is Refinery29, who for the last few years has created individual themed rooms as part of their 29Rooms campaign. People can experience uniqueness in each room.

Are you a sponsor of the school? This may allow you to use certain school imagery like mascots. Mascots present great photo opportunities, even if it’s just a cutout. Even better is to show mascot changes throughout the year and let students decide what version to take a photo with. Show students your school spirit!

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Mobile elements

Smartphones feature many documentation tools that can become part of your physical student campaigns. They can instantly digitize what is going on - through a picture, video, gps check in, screengrab. This digital documentation through a smartphone allows you to review your physical campaigns quickly and improve on them year after year. Your student ambassadors on the ground should be utilizing all the phone’s digital documentation tools to capture the moment. Our agency, Campus Commandos, subscribes to GoCommandoApp.

Get your point across

You want food services to carry your new flavor of yogurt? Do a sampling campaign. But make sure you get something in exchange for your sample. Most students will take most anything for free, but it doesn't mean your campaign will get anything in return. Have students take a survey to determine the winning flavor and tweet the results to the decision maker. Show the online world what they missed.

All the above examples incorporate physical with digital in a relevant way. The biggest mistake I see brands make is telling students what to post on their social media when talking to them on the ground at an event - “use this phrase,” “login and post this” etc. Think of their digital space as a lawn and they get to decide what signs to put in that lawn. Don’t give them a single sign choice. Give them multiple choices of what to post.

Follow these rules and soon you will see an extended online reach of your physical campaigns.

You can hear more from Adam at our upcoming youth marketing festival, YMS19 NYC. Tickets are on sale now, and other speakers include Instagram, Nike, Disney and MTV.