Think for a moment about some of the biggest brands you know. Nike. Amazon. Disney. When you think of these brands, what immediately comes to mind? For me, it’s Nike = Just do it. Amazon = Customer service. Disney = Joy and childhood. Now, take it a step further. What feeling is evoked when you think of each of these brands? I’d venture a guess that you can name a specific emotion that comes to mind.
How do these brands communicate their messages so effectively that millions of people have similar ideas of them? They repeat themselves. Constantly. Nike sponsors athletes who represent them. They take out ads during sporting events and their imagery is consistent and compelling. Every time Amazon talks about themselves, they start by talking about their clients. Disney evokes a sense of magic and childhood in everything they do, from their commercials to the font of their logo.
You may say, “But I’m a one-person study abroad office and I don’t have the budget of Disney!” To which I’d say, “Yes AND, we can learn from the formula that many of these brands have implemented.” Here are a few places to start:
Know your core message
Bounty paper towels are the “Quicker Picker-Upper.” L’oreal is “Because You’re Worth It.” Western Illinois University’s study abroad office communicates that students can “Achieve Their Dreams” when it comes to study abroad.
It’s more than words
You can consistently communicate your brand through more than words. Incorporating imagery, video and multimedia into your approach helps you spread your message. The University of Houston’s Learning Abroad center does an amazing job of incorporating light hearted visuals into their social media messaging.
Use multiple channels
Multichannel marketing, or reaching your audience through a variety of channels (such as social media, email and print) is a term that’s almost fallen out of fashion, because, these days, if it’s not multi-channel it’s not really marketing. In 2017, the average person spent over 4 hours on their phones.That’s A LOT of time. Share your core message in as many places as you can. An advantage that many study abroad offices have is that you have a physical audience who is on-campus. Your channels can include visiting classrooms, capturing email addresses and following up through your CRM. Or, in our case, TRM (Traveler Relationship Management).
And, most importantly…Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
You’ll know that your efforts are effective when your audience starts to share your message. “Oh yeah, the dream-makers, that’s the study abroad office.”
What resonates with your students? We’d love to know your messaging. Share on social media #EveryStudent.