Let’s start with a cool stat: Google searches for “Influencer marketing" grew 1500% in the last three years. In 2019, the term "Marketing influencer" was searched 70,000 times a month! This according to Savica Dimitrieska and Tanja Efremova in their article, “The Effectiveness of the Influencer Marketing” published through Southwest University in Bulgaria.
Think YouTubers and TikTokers – content creators who are generating significant followings and translating that work into cash as they promote various products.
The question is: can this concept work for academia?
Our answer: yes, IF you can achieve true authenticity. If not, no. Full stop.
Academic administrators around the globe may be leaving a gap in their marketing strategy: the power of an influencer, but in the case of education, we are really talking about brand ambassadors who have influence with your target audience. In our view, true influencer marketing, which is growing globally, is a risky bet for the education market. But the concept, if adapted, has merit.
What we are saying is, recognize that you are not marketing alcohol, luxury vacations, apparel, or cosmetics and adjust the concept of “influencer marketing” accordingly. If that is unclear, give us a call.
When it comes to advertising and building trust, gone are the days of faceless testimonials and promotional brochures promising the ultimate educational experience. Generation Z values the opinions of social media influencers and bases their decisions on whether people they can relate to on YouTube give it a thumbs up or down.
A note of caution: marketing today is lightning fast and fickle. Your campus can be in the limelight one second, and culture canceled the next.
Read on for a few more relevant stats and perspective on how to make brand ambassador marketing part of your approach to student recruitment.