Student recruitment is vital to your college. Holding a college fair that incorporate college giveaways is one way to help attract and retain students at your institution. However, as with all leads, you need to turn them into conversions. Getting people to your college fair is only the first step.
Colleges and universities used to not worry about marketing to students. In fact, they had people kicking down their door to get in. However, those times have changed. Now, students who are looking at multiple universities are recruited the same as professional athletes.
In addition, schools now face heavy competition because of online education. In order to stay in business, these schools need to attract new students on a regular basis which means heavy recruiting. One way to do that is through college fairs.
“…one of the key differences in who survives won’t be the academic output of the faculty or the amenities available to students. It will be a factor seemingly unrelated to the schools’ mission: branding.” – Forbes
The ultimate goal of a college fair is to convince potential students that you are the institution that is right for them. To do so, you need to show off your brand. Not just the school colors, but what your institution stands for and what you have to offer.
Why Your Brand is Important
Branding is important for any business. However, colleges and universities traditionally have not used the same marketing methods. In fact, branding did not really become part of a school’s marketing strategy until the turn of the century.
“…due to increasing competition for private and state funding and the proliferation of school choices including for-profit and online learning options, colleges have been turning to branding and marketing as a tool to compete more effectively and drive enrollment and donations.” – Fast Company
Brands outlive products. That means that the education you provide needs to survive past the degree that is granted to a student. According to Deluxe, there are 6 reasons why having a strong brand is important:
- Branding Improves Recognition
- Branding Creates Trust
- It Supports Advertising
- Branding Builds Financial Value
- Branding Inspires Employees (or in this case, students)
- It Also Generates New Customers (e.g., students)
As a college or university, these reasons alone are good enough to build your brand. In order to create brand recognition with potential students, you can have cool giveaways for college students. By doing so, you can likely increase the number of students enrolling at your institution. How so?
Well, according to ASI, people remember brands that give them a promotional item. In fact, they are also more likely to do business with that brand. They also do more research on and remember the call to action message for those who give them promotional items.
Using College Promotional Products for Branding
Now that you know how important your brand is, what is the best way to get people to remember it?
As the heading suggests, you can use things like career fair giveaways to get people to remember your brand. By using some of the best career fair swag available, prospects can go home with a constant reminder of your brand and what it stands for.
Promotional giveaways for college students are also a cheap way to get your message across. Many of the items used for college giveaways cost less than a penny per brand impression. That makes using such items the cheapest form of advertising available (cheaper than television, print, online ads, etc.).
So, what is some of the best swag for college students? Well, lucky for you we put together a list of the top 9 college fair giveaways that will help set you apart from other colleges and universities.
USB flash drives are very useful items for students. And, according to statistics, usefulness is the number one reason why people keep promotional items. They are also kept longer than most swag, averaging a life cycle of two years or longer for nearly half of their recipients.
Branded flash drives get around 700 brand impressions during their lifetime. Based on average cost, you will spend less 7/10th of a penny for each time your brand is seen by a potential student. Flash drives can be customized with your school colors as well as logo and/or mascot.
If you are wondering the best USB flash drives to use for your college giveaway, check out our list of top 5 flash drives for schools. These include wristband flash drives and lanyard flash drives which are both common items used by students.
2. School Branded T-Shirts
T-shirts are a walking billboard for your brand. In fact, custom t-shirts get an average of 3,400 impressions throughout their lifetime. You also know that prospective students will wear them as many younger generations report owning five or more promotional t-shirts. Why not have your school imprinted on one of them?
The cost for using t-shirts in school giveaways is less expensive than you think. In fact, they are cheaper than flash drives at a cost of roughly 2/10th of a penny per brand impression.
You also have a lot of versatility with t-shirts. Choose from many different colors, all of which can be customized to your school. You can also print on the front, back, or pocket area of the t-shirt. Its up to you how much (or little) you want to be displayed.
3. Smartphone Accessories (cases, popsockets, etc.)
It’s a part of life. And, while we never recommend using your smartphone while in class, college students will always have one on them. Show them that you are less of an authoritarian and more of someone who understands their needs to have a phone. Use smartphone accessories as a way to have them remember you.
Mobile phone cases and covers make the perfect college giveaway item. Everyone entering college has experienced at least one cracked screen in their lifetime. Help them out by protecting their most prized possession with your college logo.
Popsockets are a unique product in that they allow for easy handling of a cell phone. They attach directly to the back of a phone and expand to fit anyone’s hand. Your brand will be seen each and every time that phone is used (and let’s face it, that will be quite a bit).
You cannot go wrong with customized drinkware. And, one of the most used items among college students is the tumbler. It keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The design also allows for no spilling and something easily identifiable (they won’t have to ask whose water is whose).
The numbers don’t lie. With an average of 1,400 impressions, your cost is about ½ a penny per impression. They are also kept for approximately 12 months which means this college giveaway item will be sitting around for others to see.
If you really want to make an impression, then power banks are the way to go. Customized with your college motto and colors, you will receive approximately 900 brand impressions at one penny per impression.
Power banks are kept an average of 12 months, with forty percent of recipients keeping them two years or longer. Don’t think people will use them? Well, you’d be wrong. According to ASI, forth-one percent of consumers use a power bank at least once per week.
One of the great things about power banks is they are not big and bulky like when they were first introduced to the U.S. market. Most are now small enough to fit in your pocket or even the small pouch on your backpack.
For college fair giveaways, tote bags can make a great impression. Chance are, those visiting your college are going to pick up a lot of information along the way (brochures, class schedules, etc.). Why not give them something to keep it in?
A promotional tote bag customized for your brand can generate 3,300 brand impressions at approximately 2/10th of a penny per impression. These bags are kept for an average of 11 months so your college will be seen for almost a year thanks to the recipient carrying it around.
Another great statistic is that 50 percent of those who receive a tote bag are more likely to do business with you (e.g., enroll in your college) than those who don’t.
Speaking of bags, backpacks can make some of the best swag for college students. They are stylish and useful to the point they are worn both for school and away from school. Even executives carry backpacks nowadays.
There are many styles to choose from when it comes to backpacks. Depending on your budget, you can go with a leather backpack or something as simple as a drawstring backpack. The styles, colors, and sizes are endless.
Before you go thinking that people don’t use promotional pens, bear in mind that 89 percent of consumers own one. Not just a pen, but a promotional pen. With that in mind, why not customize one of those pens with your school logo?
Promotional pens are perfect for college giveaways as they cost you less than 1/10th of a penny per impression and get approximately 3,000 impressions in the nine months that people keep them. This allows you to get more impressions for less money than any other promotional item available.
With so many different styles to choose from, we recommend you first look through our ultimate guide to promotional and customized pens.
9. Desk Accessories
Last but not least, consider giving away desk accessories such as letter openers, erasers, staplers, and rulers. Those coming into college are no doubt studying for high school exams and college admission tests. They are going to be at their desk for an extended period of time and it is only fitting that your brand is right in front of them as they study.
Desk accessories get more than 1,400 impressions and cost approximately 3/10th of a penny per impression. There are also hundreds to choose from depending on the style you choose. Contact one of our education promo specialist today to get started.