Generation Z will dominate the freshman population of higher education for the foreseeable future, which will force a shift in marketing and recruitment strategies to match the generation’s preferences. User Generated Content AKA Student Generated Content in our case.
) Clear data on what Gen Z wants or can require. They claim authenticity and practicality and rely on the opinions of their peers rather than admissions or school advice when choosing a college ( NACAC ).
Research outside of the higher version supports these findings. According to a global consumer survey from Bazaarvoice, 73% of 18 – 34 – age respondents prefer when brands use user-generated content in social media channels (CSA).
User-generated content is not new, but organizations still miss the opportunity to pivot their content strategically towards authentic student voices. I know “authentic” can be an overused word in marketing, but hear me out. Students don’t want a polished, scripted, otherwise content talk video. From the words of Dan Mote please order the cliché lab coat, mug, and nice filtered shots of the campus ( How to market a university ).
Students want to find themselves in content-producing organizations, and they want to meet other students who are like them, share similar values and dreams, and represent the real student experience.
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How do you start or increase students -content generated? Get started with inspiration from these great examples on social channels:
Twitter and the University of Delaware
As I scrolled through the university Twitter accounts, I came across the University of Delaware. Compared to other Higher Ed accounts, @UDelaware regularly shares and posts content created by their students. I love how they use multiple sources of student-generated content to alter their feeds.
Re-subscribe from a student’s own Twitter account
Can you name a more beautiful sight at 7am? pic.twitter.com/JM9QIyNXbo
– BlueHenLindsey (@BlueHenLindsey) January 12, 2021
Content from Instagram
– Univ. by Delaware (@UDelaware) February 4, 2021
– University. by Delaware (@UDelaware) November 9, 2020
First week of school ✅
IG: shannajaninne pic.twitter.com/xztpvh7MyX
– University. by Delaware (@UDelaware) September 6, 2020
Post real photos
Saturday off school with pod pic.twitter.com/J1efIUxOgj
– Univ. by Delaware (@UDelaware) January 30, 2021
– Chelsea Chatterton (@BlueHenChels) October 26, 2020
– Gina Cantatore (@BlueHenGina) October 20, 2020
TikTok and the University of Georgia
So if you are #TeamTikTok, student- the content created is perfect for the platform and the University of Georgia proves it with their student videos. I love how the University of Georgia uses student-generated content to discuss and represent important public health needs. Check it out on theirs TikTok account and in this example below.
@ universityofga Reply @michaelcbanks // cause South Campus needs love too ## UGA ##University ## tiktokuniversity ## GoDawgs ##college campus ♬ Campus – Vampire Weekend
University of Georgia
Pinterest and Duke University
Pinterest isn’t just for decorating inspiration, in fact, there are tons of popular boards out there maybe you didn’t know existed consists of university related things you can certainly do it at your own facility.
When I pass Duke University Board of Trustees I’m amazed at how much student-generated content is being used.
Facebook and McGill University
Taller than Ed also has a love-hate relationship with Facebook, but this channel is still a great way to reach Gen Z . It is also a leading channel to reach alumni and sponsors. That’s why this video of the daily lives of McGill University students caught my eye. This is a great way to show a wide audience of McGill Univeristy. Test !
Instagram and Babson University
Instagram is the leading social platform for Generation Z in terms of everyday use, so it’s an obvious choice for institutions of higher education to embrace. Instagram also has multiple ways to post content including stories, a favorite among the higher-ups to showcase student work. I love how Babson University delivers their Instagram stories to current students so they can answer questions and provide insights to prospective students.