The VPM Blog

How to Fundraise Using the 5 W's

Posted by Alexa Russell on Aug 8, 2018 9:00:00 AM
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Topics: higher education, higher ed, higher ed marketing, higher ed inbound marketing, higher ed social media, Giving Day, Giving Tuesday

How Your Business Can Benefit from Brand Ambassadors

Posted by Caroline Daley on Aug 1, 2018 7:59:00 AM

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of the term "brand ambassador." For those who don't know, a brand ambassador is someone who is recruited or hired by an organization to positively represent their brand and help spread awareness. These people are usually already fans of the brand they are promoting and are also usually unpaid. Companies of every shape and size have been leveraging brand ambassadors for years now, and it's about time you hopped on the bandwagon. If you need a little more convincing, we've pinpointed how your business can benefit from brand ambassadors so you don't have to.

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Topics: Brand Marketing, Brand Ambassadors

The ABC's of Marketing to Generation Z

Posted by Addison Folmar on Jul 25, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Watch out Millennials, there's a new generation in town. Generation Z has emerged and has been classified as "millennials on steroids". They are hyper-connected, young, and eager to dominate every industry. Marketers often times like to combine the Millennial generation and Generation Z to market them as the same group because both generations are in the digital age. However, the content being consumed by each generation is different. To say what a 35 year old is interested in is the same as what a 15 year old is interested in would be foolish. Marketers need to learn and research how to market to the new generation. So, how should you market to the next consumer powerhouse? Let's jump in!

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Topics: digital marketing, marketing to Generation Z

Navigating the Anxieties Caused by Social Media

Posted by Derrik Stoffel on Jul 18, 2018 7:58:00 AM

Social Media has become a staple of everyday life, bringing people closer together than ever thought possible. Brands and companies advertise on it, celebrities gain massive followings, and people post everything from recipes to life updates to selfies. It is truly unavoidable in today's world, especially if you want to stay up-to-date on news, current trends and so on. But there is a downside to the prevalence of social media, one that goes beyond online bullying, which is a serious issue. The rise of social media related anxiety is a growing problem, one that could have irreparable effects.

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Topics: Social Media, Facebook, Social Media Platforms

How to Get Students to Your On-Campus Events

Posted by Alexa Russell on Jul 11, 2018 8:03:00 AM

I know from personal experience that promoting on-campus events can be a daunting and tricky task. I spent 4 years in college working for Auburn University’s University Program Council. We planned all of the student-fee funded on-campus events for students. Our events included workshops, movies, carnivals, concerts and more. After promoting countless events over the years, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here are the 4 best tips to get students to your on-campus events.

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Topics: higher education, higher ed, event marketing

How 3 Major Brands Market Their App Well

Posted by Cody Lunsford on Jul 4, 2018 7:57:00 AM

 

Apps are everywhere! They're a daily (let's be honest - an every ten minutes) part of life. Using a focus group of myself, I found over 140 apps on my phone, which is a lot, but is also probably the norm for most people. Apps help us connect with friends, order food, play games, get rides, watch our favorite shows, keep up with our schedules, share documents, touch up our pictures, shop, check our finances, and on and on and on. There's pretty much an app for everything.

Why do we download the apps we do? Sure, we may stumble upon an app, read the description, and get interested in it enough to download it, but we primarily download apps because of good word of mouth (so make a great app!) and good marketing (which is what we'll dive into here). I took a look at the most popular iPhone apps and found 3 major brands that market their app well, from a variety of industries. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of time and money to get into the top 10, and the top 10 will be full of the usual suspects of apps. However, by looking at what some of these apps do well, you can still get your app in front of the right people. 

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Topics: app marketing

How to Attract Students to Your College

Posted by Addison Folmar on Jun 27, 2018 7:56:00 AM

One of the most common questions in Higher Ed is "How can I convince students to choose my school?" The answer to this question isn't simple. There are multiple steps involved. Steps that have to be planned out, strategized, researched, and executed. Luckily, we've done the research for you! The following 4 steps will help you attract and engage with prospective students and parents, while making current students and alumni promote your school. Let's get started! 

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Topics: higher education, higher ed inbound marketing, higher ed social media

Student Expectations Versus the Reality of College Life

Posted by Derrik Stoffel on Jun 20, 2018 7:53:00 AM

In 2018, there are over 3.6 million high school students expected to graduate. According to the New York Times, of that 3.6 million, roughly 65% plan on continuing their education. That is approximately 2.3 million students planning to attend some form of higher education or other. While there are those who are completely ready for the new experience, many of these rising freshmen do not know exactly what to expect. That is why we reached out to both incoming freshman and current students about the expectations and reality of college life.

To begin, we asked prospective students what they were most looking forward to about being in college. The resounding majority of responses revolved around finally being away from home or having freedom from their parents (which I am sure that parents love hearing). We then asked the opposite: what they were most nervous about. Surprisingly, we received similar responses to this question. While we heard the cliché response of adapting and meeting new people, several of the students said that they were worried about living without their parents. It is interesting that what most incoming students are excited about is also what makes them the most nervous.

We continued down this line of questioning, asking the students what they expect living away from home will be like. Again, most of the answers involved the parents; they were excited to be away from them, but at the same time nervous about not being able to rely on them at every turn. We did have one brutally honest student explain that he, "believes he’ll have too much freedom and will probably make some poor decisions during his first year."

At the end of our questions, we asked how well they thought they would be able to keep up with schoolwork while also maintaining a healthy social life. Not surprisingly, most of the answers we received were quite confident. Most students said that it would be easy and that they were able to do it throughout high school, so it shouldn’t be a problem. After talking with the incoming freshmen, one thing is clear: as stated earlier, most do not really know what to expect when it comes to college life.

And that is why we also reached out to current college students. We wanted to see if they could shed some light and help prepare the incoming freshmen for the reality of college life. First, we asked what the biggest change between high school and college was. Most of the responses had to do with workload and how the classes themselves may not be harder, especially if you have an engaging professor, but there is definitely more work. We then asked current students what they found surprisingly easy or difficult. One common answer that we received addressed the difficulty of maintaining both a social and academic life.

We finished our questions by asking the upperclassmen if they had any advice for the incoming freshmen and we received three good and relevant answers. First, don’t feel like you need to know what you want to study right away. While it’s beneficial to have an idea, it’s not necessary to know exactly what you want to do. Even if you change majors, you’re not alone. According to an USA Today article, almost 80% of students change their major at least once during their college career. Second, plan out your meals. One of the most challenging things for freshmen is maintaining a well-balanced diet. Lastly, find a balance. While it is obviously important to do well in classes, don’t seclude yourself from the rest of the world while doing so.

The biggest takeaway for universities is to help create a smooth and easy transition for incoming freshmen. As 30% of students drop out by the end of their first year, universities should prioritize making this number as low as possible. Let students know that academics are not the only aspect of college life. Make sure students have a place to reach out if need be.

A big thing that many colleges overlook is the students' connection to their dean. Most incoming students would welcome and benefit from a relationship with their college's dean.If you want to know more about how universities and deans can reach students, especially via social media download our FREE guide, The VPM's Digitial Deans Whitepaper. 

digital deans white paper

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Topics: higher ed branding

How Brands Market the Music Festival Experience

Posted by Caroline Daley on Jun 13, 2018 7:58:00 AM

As far as music festivals go, we've come a very long way since the days of Woodstock. Music festivals have rapidly grown in popularity over the past couple decades and have evolved to become much more than just a string of concerts. These days, people aren't just attending festivals strictly for the music; it's about the entire experience. Sure, the music is still the main focus, but now attendees can see their favorite bands while simultaneously shopping, lounging, and indulging in various foods and drinks. These festivals now have various facets; they’re a concert, fashion show, foodie event, and social gathering all in one. Brands have become aware of the growing popularity of the music festival scene and are leveraging these events to market themselves and their products in an extremely effective way. If you're wondering why and how brands are marketing the music festival experience, we’re here to enlighten you.

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Topics: social media marketing, marketing to millennials, music festival marketing

How to Create an Effective Instagram Ad

Posted by Melissa Cook on Jun 6, 2018 8:01:00 AM

You’re scrolling through Instagram, looking at pictures of dogs or friends and family on vacation, and then all of a sudden, you see an image that makes you stop and take notice. It isn’t until you click on the profile or the image that you realize it was an ad.

Good or bad, effective or not, they exist, and their usage is on the rise. But why? For a few simple reasons:

  1. Instagram/Facebook Integration
    1. As a business, you can (and should!) integrate your Facebook and Instagram pages (read more on this below). This allows you to take previously curated audiences, interests, forms, etc., and carry them over into Instagram ads.
  2. Aesthetic and Organic Feel
    1. Instagram ads tend to perform better because they flow naturally in your audience’s feed. They don’t feel disruptive and if done right will appear as natural and organic content, and not an ad.
  3. Audience and Engagement Rates
    1. Did you know that 80% of Instagram users follow a business? That means your business is more likely to have high engagement rates with your ads. 

Think you’re ready to learn how to create an effective Instagram ad? Let’s get started!

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Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing, social media analytics

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