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Student Beans promotes The National Online Freshers Fair with social media

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 09 September 2014

Student Beans uses social media marketing for The National Online Freshers Fair campaign



Student Beans logoCampaign name: The National Online Freshers Fair
Brand: Student Beans
Audience: Students
Regions: UK
Duration: 25/08/2014 to 31/10/2014
Channels: Email, editorial, social and public relations


Social Media Portal (SMP): The full name of the brand


Student Beans (SB): Student Beans is a youth media brand that helps brands reach, access and engage students in a meaningful way.

SMP: What regions is the campaign for?

SB: Across the UK.

SMP: The official campaign name and why was it chosen?

SB: The National Online Freshers Fair from Student Beans.

SMP: What is the start and end of the campaign?

SB: Start 25/08/2014 with an end date of 31/10/2014.

SMP: The target audiences of the campaign, who are you trying to reach and why?

SB: Our target audience is university students – either those who are about to embark on their first term or returning students looking to get everything they need set up for the year ahead.

Student Beans campaign image

SMP: Briefly, tell us about your campaign

SB: Imagine a virtual freshers fair, where brands can put their message in front of hundreds of thousands of students across the country. For the third year running, Student Beans are running this award-winning campaign that features offers, competitions and content from over 100 brands targeting the youth market. Each brand has a ‘virtual stand’, designed to provide an online hub for their content and which hosts links to their social media streams and an option to host video content.  

The National Online Freshers Fair from Student Beans imageSMP: What are the goals / objectives of the campaign and why is it different?

SB: We want to give brands an opportunity to innovate their student marketing at this key time of year in the student calendar. We are always looking to innovate and create fun campaigns that engage our student audience and The National Online Freshers Fair was created to provide mass access to a traditionally hard to reach youth market, as well as form a hub where students could get everything they needed for the year ahead at university in one place.

The brands that feature have a range of objectives from wanting to increase customer engagement and brand awareness within the student sector to sending traffic to their own websites, collecting data and growing their social media channels. Using our platform as a channel for data capture, hosting content and engaging our audience with their student offering, brands are able to achieve their objectives and track the return on investment clearly via clicks, shares, likes and even sales.

SMP: How many times have you managed this campaign and what makes this different?

SB: This is the third year we have run this campaign and for the first time it is fully integrated into the Student Beans website rather than sitting on a bespoke digital platform. In line with a new redesign of the Student Beans website, the campaign sits on a fully responsive website so it can be easily viewed by students, no matter what device they are using. This year’s campaign is sponsored by NatWest.

SMP: What are the channels, platforms and methods you’re using?  

SB: Our campaign is supported by a widespread marketing campaign across email, social, editorial and PR. Student Beans has a database of over 400,000 engaged students who receive weekly top 20 emails ‘Freebies and Competition’ and ‘Discounts and Deals’ which feature content on The National Online Freshers Fair. The best content is also published on our social media channels Twitter @studentbeans and Facebook

Media partnerships are also an effective way of driving extra referring visits to the campaign. In return for a stand at The National Online Freshers Fair, our partners promote the campaign to their youth audience and this year we are working with NHSBT, AIESEC, The National Student Television Association, Festival Baby and Coppafeel!.

The National Online Freshers Fair from Student Beans image

SMP: Why is the website an important feature and what sort of impact do you envisage building a responsive site will bring?

SB: Our research shows us that students want content on demand, wherever they are and whatever device they happen to be using at the time. Users can clearly view the content whether they are on a PC, tablet or mobile device and they are able to consume content and digest information at their own leisure. In August, only one third of traffic to the Student Beans website came from a computer (desktop or PC), the rest coming from mobile or tablets. Our Freshers Marketing Report last year revealed that 31% of students spend more than 20 hours a week online, so our aim is to reach them in their natural environment.  

SMP: What do you hope to achieve?

SB: Last year the campaign had over 600,000 visits and over 1.4 million page views – we’re aiming to improve on that this time around.

SMP: How are you making the campaign social and shareable?

SB: Each piece of content on The National Online Freshers Fair is designed to enable easy viral sharing across social networking sites. We have also created a competition functionality, designed to get users to share content with their friends – sharing the competition gives students extra entries and the campaign really benefits from this referring traffic. We also have a team of over 50 campus brand managers who will be spreading the word round their universities once term starts.

SMP: How are you connecting with the brands for the campaign and amplifying the digital and social relationship with them?

SB: We’ve created a toolkit for all the brands involved in the campaign which includes badges and banners they can use on their own websites and social channels, as well as some ideas as to how they can spread the word of their presence at the National Online Freshers Fair to their own network.


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