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Why All Brands Need 'Campus Influencers'! If you're a brand that is building for the future, and the youth is an important target consumer for you either today or tomorrow, then this article, and Campus Influencers, should be of increasing interest to you

By Pranay Swarup

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Campus influencers are also known as College Ambassador or Student Brand Managers or Advocates; simply said, Campus Influencers are your brand's early adopters and evangelists. They're typically in the age bracket of 16 to 25, male or female, extremely active on social media (like most youth), trendsetters and already emerging category experts in their areas of choice, be it Fashion, Technology, Sports, Music, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Travel, Health & Fitness, etc. They also just could be average college students who happen to be passionate about your brand and hold the power to influence their friends and family members positively at scale.

Why do brands need "em? We live in an era where consumers wear the crown. Brands from almost every field want to cater to the varying needs of the discerning consumer with their innovative products and solutions. The opportunity hasn't been bigger, and the market more competitive.

In order to get the attention of consumers, brands invest time & energy in elaborate marketing campaigns, which more often than not, end up being costly affairs and provide little ROI.

This is where Campus Influencers or Micro Influencers come in: They are nurtured, highly engaged communities of advocates who are genuinely excited and motivated to talk about your brand or category. Enough studies indicate the word of mouth and recommendation are the biggest influencers for consumers. It has to be done right, and the content must be authentic and people-powered (user-generated).

Pioneers of Campus Ambassador campaigns in India, Influencer Marketing agency & platform we share insights on how and why brands must plan and invest in Campus Influencers:

The Youth is the Present & Future: We've seen it across brands and all categories, that college is that significant point of change for a young consumer, which also brings about changes in brand preferences, habits and buying capacity. They are no more dependent on what their parents buy, nor meagre pocket-money. This is when they take pride in repping brands of their choice. Unlike before, they're also super connected to digital wallets & comfortable in spending online.

Early Adopters & Trendsetters: GenZ or today's youth was born into social media. They're not shy to talk about brands online nor participate in user-generated campaigns and contests. There are over 1 Lakh college influencers In India, they're most active now on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc (in order of priority). This doesn't include Whatsapp of course. We're also seeing the youth most receptive to relatively new platforms like Musically. Their early adoption and influence is not limited to social media, e-commerce, apps, but cuts across fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, food, et all. The youth are also most influenced by their peers & in many cases their decisions showcase a network effect.

Last Mile Reach & Engagement: Setting up a college influencer network works wonders for the brand as they help talk about and promote the brand amongst their peers both online and offline. The influencer gains valuable feedback and opinions which help the brands to better their product and marketing campaigns.

Most Cost-Effective Network: Although these colleges influencers may have 500 to 5000 followers, they have a higher trust & connect, and hence influence. They also come at a much lower cost & are also easily motivated by exciting products, experiences & e-commerce vouchers.

Humanizes the product: Unlike a typical brand campaign where the brand message is pushed onto consumers through paid media, here the storytelling done in personal and unique ways. A college influencer embodies the essence of the brand, engages with the audience and shares valuable information, while getting feedback. As such, the audience is more receptive to the product and are more likely to purchase it.Only a few brands have managed to master marketing to millennials in a fun, non-intrusive way, and you will see most of these brands will market with their consumers and not at their consumers.

Starting August is the best time to set up your Campus Influencer campaign across India as the new college season has just started and sets up well for the festive season.

Pranay Swarup

CEO & Founder, Chtrbox

Pranay is CEO & Founder of Chtrbox . He previously co-founded (leading platform for college students to find internships in India) from 2010 until it's acquisition in 2016. From starting volunteering at the age of 14, to leading global teams at AIESEC through college, Pranay has always been most passionate about solving real world & business problems at scale. He loves talking shop (dhanda), new ideas & technologies, advertising, music, travel & everything cool. 


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