High School Influencers & the College Selection Process

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Matt Diteljan, Co-Founder and CEO at Glacier, joins the podcast to talk about identifying and partnering with university influencers and content creators who are still in high school.

Selecting the right influencers absolutely crucial and you nailed it. The authenticity is the number one thing, so we're looking for luncers that are genuinely interested in the school and they're going to be a good ambassador for that school. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network. I'm Eric Olson with Helix Education and we're here today with Matt Little Jam, Cofounder and CEO and glacier. Matt, welcome to the show. Right to be here. Thanks so much for having me on. Thanks so much for coming. Really excited to talk with you today about identifying and partnering with University influencers still in high school. But before we dig in, can you give the listeners a little bit of background on glacier? Sure, so, we are the experts in advertising to high school students and youth. So what we do is we find really unique and effective mediums to get in front of high school students to really build brand and drive weeds. So the products that we have are high school ads. We place ads directly in side of high schools in high traffic areas. We also have influencers, which is what we're going to be talking about today. So we actually have high school student influencers all the way up to larger microinfluencers that have hundreds of thousands of followers. And then we also do display advertising and programmatic advertise things, so that's static and video, and also do social advertising, so that's everything like ticktock and snapchat and that kind of a thing. So excited to dig into this conversation today, especially as the college selection you know, the college selection process for our undergrads just keeps...

...on changing and so fundamentally over the last few years. Man, maybe to kick us off today, can you give us a high level overview on the influence of high school influencers on their peers college selection process? Sure, so we started seeing influencer marketing really explode onto the scene a number of years ago and being in the space of higher education, advertising to high school students is for recruitment marketing. We just kept asking ourselves a question. How can hire red really take advantage of this trend of influencers? And so we started testing with different groups, some larger influencers, some some college influencers and then also high school student influencers as prospective students, and we found that high school student influencers were very effective because they have a very captive audience. You know, a lot of the time they have a thousand or two thousand followers, which is essentially their entire high school and so thought it would be really effective to get them to become a rand ambassador and actually promote different universities and colleges to their peer network, and we found it was very, very effective. And so we started doing that and, and I mean we also started seeing influencers really start coming to this game. I mean look no further than some of those day in the life videos on Youtube for some of those content creators, and they're getting hundreds of thousands of views. So we started seeing influencer marketing really become effective. And then we start doing research too, and we saw that eighty percent of high school students talk to their family, which is the the largest group that they talked to. And then the next is eighty four percent speak to their friends, their peers, and that's where we also saw the impact that these high school student influencers could have. So let's when we started doing it and we start doing with clients. That was about three or four years ago and we really saw this as an effective medium to get university in college messaging to the hard to reach high school student audience. So logically, everything you said makes sense, this idea that the wellnetworked high schooler owns the attention of their entire high school, and what a marvelous audience. So...

...for a university, obviously am looking for an influencer who has some sort of authentic affinity with my institution. How can a university identify potential content creators or influencers before they ever come to campus? Yes, this is where ninety five percent of the battle of wonder loss is in this it's like hiring anyone on your you know, it's really ensuring that you've done the due diligence and selected the proper influencer, and so that's why we have a very stringent process that we follow, including in person interviews with each influencer because you selecting the right influencers absolutely crucial and you nailed it. The authenticity is the number one thing. So we're looking for duncers that are genuinely interested in the school and they're going to be a good ambassador for that school. So if they're not, you know, if they've already made their selection decision, or if they're more interested in a trade school and we're looking for a UUNIVERSITY, then it's just not going to be a fit. So we're looking for those students that are genuinely interested in the school or would be interest in the school. There's have you even heard of it yet? So that's what we're really looking for when we're trying to find these students. And then, I mean the other thing there is is high school students are one group of influencers, but existing college students are also fantastic influencers as well, and there's also other influencers that we've used to. You know, we have this one clients right now who has a student on their campus and their name is violet cooks and it's a cooking influencer, but she is one point three million followers on ticktock, though they're trying to create different content. They're trying to find ways to collaborate right now that she can create content on Ticktock, and she's such a perfect one because she's already a student and so you know that she's already sold on the brand and she's going to create great content. So selection is absolutely everything. I like the Metaphor You provided that this has like you're hiring someone on your team in terms of the diligence require to do a well. It's when you think of that kind of formal relationship. What is a successful partnership, agreement contract...

...look like with these student influencers? What are some common structures? Generally, the longer the term. The longer the term of the agreement, the better you know, if you think about it from any kind of service provider, who are you more likely to provide a better service for? The person who does a one off buy from you and then never talks to you again, or the person that you that buys from you on a longer term period and you know that they're going to be paying your bills essentially for a longer period of time. So the longer the term of the agreement and the and the bigger the partnership, the better we're going to see with the content, and that's that's something that we always like to harp on is is don't think of this as a one and done kind of campaign. Think of this as a genuine partnership, because these students, they're going to be creating content over, ideally over a long period of time, and you're going to build your brand and your trust with them and they're going to go over and above. You know this. This really makes me think of one influencer we worked with. They actually were in astronomy influencer. There were student and they had hundreds of thousands of followers and they were just so excited that we approached them to do a campaign for this one particular university that they went so ober and above. I think the contract was for five pieces of content. They end up creating ten and we blew the campaign of the water by ten acts and it was because we wanted to do a longer term agreement. So that's that's the mindset to go into this. It's not a vendor, a vendor buyer agreement, the partnership agreement. That's those are the ones that do the best and make the most sense is there any range of, you know, per follower, per engagement CPM that you think about in terms of understanding, well, this is a microinfluencer and just the time required to establish this relationship versus the more macroinfluencer? And is there are there math calculations that you use to understand, you know, what kind of offer to make? So nanoinfluencers, they range from zero to a thousand followers, and then microinfluencers can range from anywhere from,...

...you know that one thousand to Tenzero follower range all the way up to half a million, and then as soon as you get into the half a million to two million, you're looking at the macro influencers and then above that, above the million or two million, you're looking at celebrity influencers. And generally the larger the following, the more expensive it's going to be. and where we find the sweet spot in terms of the Best Bang for your block, it's in the Nano to microinfluencer range. So nanoinfluencers, which are these high school influencers, they're very inexpensive because they're not getting a lot of brands that are reaching out to them, and that's really the the sweet spot you want to find is these influencers that don't have a ton of demand yet they produce good content. If you can find those ones, that is the best bang for your buck in terms of influencers and they produce the best content. They're the least expensive, you know, because some of these influencers, if they have a hundred thousand plus followers, they'll charge anywhere from one Thousan fifteen hundred to five thousand dollars per post. But if you can get these smaller Nano or microinfluencers, then you're going to be looking in a much, much more inexpensive price range. So that's that's where we like to look for, is in that sweet spot of the Nano to microinfluencers. What does your content strategy look like in partnership with these influencers? How free, terrifying and how constrained do you want them? Insist on them being in order to create the most on brand content, but trust the fact that they developed this following because they're engaging. How do you strike that balance in a way that feels like a win win to both parties? That's exactly the way to think about it. Is a balance. The more constraints that you put on influencers, the worst the contents going to be. So it's all about giving them the minimum amount of constraints necessary for brand safety and giving them the Max amount of creative leeway to do what they want. So I like to think about it like a sandbox. You know, that's and that's basically the campaign brief is the sand box. You got to give them the constraints, which are, you know, the barriers on the sand box. You got to give them the...

...sandbox to play and you does that do not the purpose of the campaign. This is the general vision of the campaign. They we want to go with, and then let the influencers and that stand box and create the sand castles. You know, we see clients try to word Smith or try to be too intrusive into the campaign or the content creation and it just never feels authentic and it doesn't go very well. And the influencers don't enjoy working that kind of environment either. So it's all about finding that balance of giving them the brief and not putting too much constraints on them and letting them use their creative genius, because that is exactly how they built their following. They know what they're doing, they know what resonates with their audience. So let them build that content. And then what about once those high school influencers enroll? How do you think about using current college students as content creators? So current college students are also fantastic content creators as well, and this is something that we have really see a lot of test with on to talk, and the reason being is because when a student rolls in your college, you know that they're already they're already on board, they already loved the brand, they've already enrolled and therefore they can be fantastic tick tock content creators. And so what we've done, and we started experimenting with this, is is enrolling some of these students on campus to eat tick tock content creators. We started seeing this pop up all over the place on campuses across the country, where these marketing directors or whoever might be, are realizing we don't get this platform. Students are exceptional content creators. They're doing it for free already because they love it, though, why not enroll them and get them to be content creators? And so we're seeing tremendous success with this, and one of the phrases that I heard from one of our universities and colleges that we like the partner with. Sometimes we interview them on a podcast. Verbatim, this is what he said. He said, I'm going to do some things that are going to be pretty weird, but you really need to trust me. Terrifying. This is...

...him. Yeah, exactly. So I can hear the the be suite exacutives that the universities and colleges just, you know, getting fringy because it's uncomfortable. But that is the nature of these platforms like like Tick Tock is you have to take some brand risks. You have to because they're so new and the content is so fast, so fast moving. By the time you go up the chain and get approval, the trends already past and if you post it it's going to do worse for your brand than not doing anything at all. So you really have to give these creators some leeway to do their thing. It'll be interesting to see if, long term, this might be having. Unofficially, right now I haven't had any of my friends admitted to me, but we have our academic scholarship students, we have our athletic scholarship students, and do we have influencers scholarship students based on the inordinate value they can create by providing us with content based on that scale? It'll be interesting to say. I think that is a brilliant comment and I think that it's absolutely where high read needs to go. Is I mean, like I said, some of these day in the life videos they get hundreds of thousands of yews. That is better marketing than any marketing budget that you can throw, you know, through a media and it's just this one student creating a youtube video that's four minutes long or these tick tock videos that are just really fun videos, but they capture the trend and then they get hundreds of thousands of views like that. That this is just brilliant content and this is something where I I really do think that's a good move, is giving influencer scholarships. I love that idea, Matt, really really great stuff. Leave us with some next steps advice for those listening to this thinking. Boy, this isn't a lane that we've explored very much. If at all they want to start thinking better about influencer partnerships at the university, where should they start? I really think it's worth getting the team together at the marketing team and really thinking about an influencer strategy to begin with and just thinking how are we going to play...

...in this space? And one of the first things to do is take inventory of the resources currently at hand. Has the team done a full search and seeing do we have current influencers on our campus right now? And I guarantee you most colleges and universities do and they just have not found them yet. So finding them on ticktock or Instagram, and it's not hard to find them because, I mean so give you an example. This one university that we found. They had this student on campus who had a three hundredzero person following and they had no idea. And that happens all the time. Like like this other college like I just mentioned, they have by the cooks with one point three million followers. You know, like these, these are just unbelievable assets at your disposal. And every single time we've reached out to them they've been overjoyed about the prospect of working with their college or university, though, and a lot of the times they do it for free, just because they love that college university because, guess what, they go. They're already so I think step one is really getting the teams together and step two is taking inventory of do you have resources at your disposal currently that you're not even tapping at all? And it doesn't have to be that big of a following. They could be just five or tenzero followers, but they've just demonstrated an ability to create great content that resonates with an audience. And then harness them, give them a job, make them tick tock content creators, and just give them let them, let them go create content. That's what we're doing for our clients right now and we're finding amazing content creators and they're doing great job. So that's what I would say is as the next steps to get started. Matt, thanks so much for your time today. What's the best place for listeners to reach out to you your team if they have any follow up questions? Sure, we are glacier dot org is our website and if they want to reach out to me directly they can email me at Matt Dot diddle, Jen at we are glacier dot org. Or if that's way too much of a moful, then hello at we are glacier dot org will get them into our team too. Awesome, Matt. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you so much, Eric. That was a blast. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven,...

...enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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