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Students want engaging content, says study

Recent research has found that a large portion of the student population wants brands to inform and entertain users, rather than focus on sales.

Carried out by studentbeans.com, the research suggested that companies today have to take a much more holistic, organic approach when it comes to building a brand and attracting new customers. Traditionally, businesses’ marketing strategies have focused largely on sales but, with today’s widespread use of social media and close consumer-company engagement, providing users with relevant content is proving to have a much more beneficial effect in the long term.

The study found that 87% of students, all aged between 18 and 24, wanted brands to inform or entertain users. Almost two thirds of the students said they will click links if they want to learn more about a particular topic.

A study by Econsultancy has shown that the younger market is not as receptive to traditional forms of marketing as other demographics; 27% admitted hardly noticing posters displayed on university grounds, while 66% said they don’t like taking flyers and 73% said they prefer not to receive mail from companies through the post.

Studentbeans.com editor Oliver Brann spoke about branded content’s widespread success, saying:

“Our users are familiar with our voice and tone and by working with brands to get the right message, they can access a number of students that they just aren’t able to normally reach.”

The Econsultancy figures also found that around 70% of businesses have plans to increase their marketing spends over the course of the year, so it is clear that an increasing number of companies are acknowledging the value of becoming a source for quality material – including videos, infographics and written content. Publishing a diverse array of content means more users will be engaged, and content will stand a greater chance of being shared via social networks and email.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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