If you’re promoting your business through social media, you know the importance of balancing advertising with quality content. Content marketing is the tool of choice for 86 percent of B2C businesses, according to the Content Marketing Institute, and more than 50 percent of those businesses report that their content marketing is more successful than it was a year ago. The biggest factor in that success is a strong marketing strategy that tailors the content to the target audience.
Marketing to sororities is a smart choice on many fronts. Based on reports from the 2017 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), more than 400,000 current college students are sorority members, with another 350,000 remaining active as alumnae. National sororities have formed more than 3,000 individual chapters at colleges and universities across the country.
In her article for Canvas8, anthropologist Andrea Graham Richeson says, “Sorority culture embraces cohesive identities that reflect membership, social status and aspiration. Furthermore, members report feeling empowered by their role as a well-connected individual who can make things happen. Their reputation as popular influencers and their ability to mainstream trends on campus has helped many clothing, make-up and tech brands go from virtual unknowns to status symbols seemingly overnight.”
Katie Bulmer, author of Sorority Girls Can Change the World, concurs: “What was once considered nerdy, sloppy, or irrelevant turns into a multi-million-dollar business when sorority girls decide it’s cool.”
In order to produce content with that sorority coolness factor, you need to identify what these trendsetting sisters are talking about and join that conversation. SEOpressor.com recommends using the “Get Ideas” feature in Google Keyword Planner to find out what sorority members are already searching for online and then provide content that answers those questions.
The 80/20 Rule states that while 20 percent of content can promote your products directly, the other 80 percent should provide information that is interesting, entertaining, and useful to your audience, which often requires additional research.
In her article for Chron, Daria Kelly Uhlig recommends businesses “survey sorority members to find out what product characteristics influence their decisions to purchase—or not purchase. Extract information about other products and services they commonly use, activities they participate in, entertainment establishments they frequent and any other information you need to understand sorority members and their lifestyle.”
In Bloomberg Businessweek, Kim Bhasin describes how some sororities “share a signature fashion sense, built around a cluster of brands, to whom they are fiercely loyal.” However, Richeson argues that sororities “are not a monolith. Some chapters are more casual than others, and care little about designer goods and uniformity.”
Thomas Smith, owner of screen-printing company Graphic Cow, describes in an interview in Upstate Business Journal how the fashion needs of sororities are evolving. In the age of Instagram, sororities didn’t need to order his T-shirts to commemorate a specific charity event when photos of it could be immediately posted online.
Instead, they wanted apparel that made them stand out from every other Greek organization on social media. To meet that demand, Smith created Magnolia Designs, a separate division that prints Greek letter brands on everything from flowy conservative blouses to crop tops and bodysuits. “Sororities are looking for the most unique thing. My job is anticipating what the next thing might be.”
Bulmer notes that sorority members are passionate and dedicated to cooperation and staying connected, which is why they have “on average, 50 percent more followers on social media than their non-Greek peers.” They will expect a steady stream of content, regular updates, and quick replies to their comments. They are social media-savvy enough to tell the difference between content of genuine value and spam.
In addition to posting regularly, it’s important to post pieces that are timely. Get to know the cycle of sorority life from the beginning of fall semester to graduation. During spring recruitment season, for example, you can expand your audience and appeal to potential members by writing articles about pledging to sororities, choosing the right sorority, surviving the stress and excitement of rush week, or finding the perfect sorority dress for the spring formal.
Most importantly, create content for real sorority members, not the stereotypical vacuous party girls so often portrayed in film. Richeson points out that Greek women maintain higher GPAs and have higher graduation rates than their non-Greek counterparts. Chapters place great importance on academic excellence, leadership development, and philanthropy. The NPC reports that sororities raised $34,093,349 for charity and volunteered 2,484,069 hours in 2017 alone.
While your content can feature hair and makeup tutorials, it should also offer solutions to more pressing issues. For example, sorority members, like all college students, are concerned about managing student debtand finding a job after graduation; you can provide information on grants and scholarships, tips on budgeting, or strategies for resume-writing and job interviews.
Sisters are constantly planning events, so include content about fundraising, affiliates they might partner with, or causes in need of their support. An article about hangover cures will likely be a flop, but a well-researched piece on keeping fit while maintaining a busy schedule will be well received.
Don’t forget that you can use your content to pose questions and ask for feedback as well. SEOpressor.com suggests offering rewards for followers who post a comment or product review such as a chance to win a giveaway or free shipping on an order.
How have you made sororities your target audience? Let us know in the comments about your blogging strategies.
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