How to use social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, wikis, Instant Messaging, text messagin, and video-sharing websites in a College Access Marketing Campaign.
New media methods empower consumers by allowing them to select which services they want to learn more about based on their interests and lifestyle. New media also allow for innovative marketing opportunities such as peer-to-peer testimonials and “viral marketing” where users recommend products to their friends based on their own positive experience, a form of word-of-mouth marketing but on a much larger scale.
The terms “New Media,” “Digital Media,” or “Social Media” typically refer to:
- Video sharing Web sites such as YouTube
- Virtual worlds—Computer-based simulations in which users interact via “avatars” (such as the Internet game Second Life)
- Social Networking Web sites such as MySpace, FaceBook, and LinkedIn
- Wikis—collaborative websites which can be directly edited by anyone with access to them (examples include reviews on Amazon.com or Wikipedia)
- Blogs—Online commentaries, articles, news stories, or personal diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other web pages or media related to the topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs
- Interactive television such as real-time voting, in which the audience impacts decisions that are reflected in how the show continues
- Mobile phones, which can be used for sending and receiving email, accessing the Internet, text messaging, and photo and video sharing
- Podcasts—the distribution of digital media files over the Internet. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added
- Internet Forums and Message Boards
- Instant Messaging
Read CAM’s New Media Whitepapers
- Achieving College Access Goals: The Relevance of New Media in Reaching First-Generation and Low-Income Teens. This brief explores the meaning of new media and what research tells us about how underserved students use it. It also recommends ways to use new media to communicate with these students on the actions they need to take to prepare for college.
- How College Access Marketing Campaigns Can Utilize Social Networking Web Sites. Viral marketing is a powerful way to reach consumers with high school graduation and go-to-college messages. This brief provides an overview of social networks and shows how College Goal Sunday Massachusetts Framingham used a combination of social media to increase attendance at its annual event.
Using New Media in a College Access Campaign
New media can be highly effective in reaching your target audience with your message. Many consumers who are inundated with traditional commercial marketing—especially in the 17-35 year old demographic—prefer New Media because these channels are consumer-driven and empowering; the consumer selects which products and services he or she wants to learn more about based on his or her interests and lifestyle.
Below are just a few ideas about how these sites could be integrated into a college access marketing campaign:
- Set up a profile for your campaign on a social networking site and use it to interact with your audience.
- Delaware’s Yes, You Can MySpace page
- Offer information and advice (such as definitions, timelines or tips) through video or audio files posted on the profile.
- Create a daily or weekly campaign blog. Enlist students or others to write post about their experiences in a variety of college preparatory activities.
- Financial Aid Podcast
- Create some kind of “viral” game, Web application or video that is fun, so that users share it with one another.