While some may erroneously see libraries as relics of the past or a just a place to charge their phone, you know that your library can provide so much more. But how do you communicate this value to your students? They have information at the click of a button, at the tap of a screen. They may not have the best idea of how to use it, but they think they’ve got it under control. How can you make sure that you’re in their head? A great marketing strategy is often the first step.
While libraries may be hesitant to operate like a business – they must compete with businesses and so they must compete for students’ ever-shortening attention spans. Some libraries may be hesitant to change what has worked in the past, but student demographics, needs, expectations and mobile device types are always changing.
A recent presentation done at the University of Pittsburgh addresses student attitudes – that, in the past, students were expected to be “motivated enough to learn the rules” of the library. Academic libraries operated from the assumption that obstacles were inevitable and students could be taught to deal with them. But now there is often an increasing disconnect between what libraries offer and what students are looking for. It is critical think about your target audience and cater your messaging to what your library can do for the student, explicitly.
So with higher levels of competition, the stakes are a little higher but the end goal is the same – to reach and support your student body. Altering your approach need not be an exhaustive revamping of your systems though. As the presentation suggests, you might consider printed pieces with a unified look – consistent uses of logos, user testimonials, and promotional items. It’s important to gather information on what your users want and to have a unified marketing approach.
But the absolute best way to pull together a single cohesive marketing approach while simultaneously increasing your appeal to students is by getting a custom library-branded mobile app for your library. Getting an app with Boopsie is a great way to bring your content and functionality to your students with just a tap of an icon on their handheld device. The 24/7 accessibility in an intuitive format is a great way to target your students, but the fact that it is covered in your customized logo and colors is a surefire way to make a lasting impression.
And with over two billion people connecting via smartphone in the year 2014 alone and that number expected to rise to four billion by 2020, appealing to your students on their handheld devices is the way to go. Native apps, specifically, can deliver an unparalleled experience, as evidenced by the fact that the average US mobile consumer is spending almost 90% of their time there.
Listening to your students, reaching them via the devices they’re glued to, and getting your logo and messaging in front of them may be the right direction to go. But what about the execution? At Boopsie, we are invested in the success of your library and app, so we happily provide free marketing assistance and host regular customer webinars to help your library most effectively reach your students. Our homegrown Boopsie Analytics enables you to evaluate just how your students are using your app, which will provide invaluable information to your library. And while you have complete creative control over your app, we have a plethora of marketing materials available to you to get you started. Boopsie has helped over 4,000 library locations revitalize their relationship with students with a mobile app. Contact Boopsie for more information about how you too can market your library via a custom mobile app. Register for one of our academic library webinars, here.