This blog post details the business plans for a student advice website called “Studentlyf.com”, a vlogging/advice website that helps students going to university with topics such as budget tips, recipes, lifestyle and instructional videos. The unique selling point for this idea is that students who make content for the website would be paid a flat rate for their videos.
Through my experience the move to university is seen as one of the big transitions in life, and when that happens, you want to have as much help and advice as possible. When our target audience seeks help, they go online because of the free exchange of unbiased information that can be obtained there. Here is a video that explains this more.
When looking at this issue and how students obtain information, they would usually type their line of inquiry in Google.com. This search would spill up various websites that would give information with one being StudentRoom.co.uk.
This website has been established now since 2007 and is forum-centric. The problem that this site has is that there is an expansive set of posts about many topics, which date back to the websites inception and is therefore out of date. If the student has a limited amount of time then why go through years of information to get to the right source?
More Google searches into the subject gives us StudentBeans.com, a news website which has irrelevant stories and nothing giving a student serious advice on this transition but it has very focused advertising and offers which we can utilise to identify potential revenue streams.
So where can students get their information from or where do they look first of all for the information about this dramatic change. One phenomenon that has come over the Internet is the rise of the “Vlogger” in which people talk to a camera or webcam and dispense advice about life or their personal feelings. These people, who predominantly post on YouTube, have gained a following such as Zoella and have become quite influential to a generation.
YouTube has a high percentage of Internet traffic going into its site, as demonstrated below, and is the first placed video sharing site on the list.
Getting the message out there.
To promote this website, We would identify universities in the local area of Birmingham with strong media courses so that students who have a passion for making content can also make videos for us. If we use Birmingham City University as an example, we can see that there are more than 5300 creative students are learning at the campus. These students are our video makers and our target audience so we need to talk to them directly to give them the unique selling point of being paid for their thoughts and advice on the student experience.
For example, Birmingham City University’s media scheme has many opportunities available online and are always looking for more employers to help their students get real life media experience.
We shall also be attending fresher’s fairs and setting up stalls in student unions highlighting the message of paid work for vlogging. From these events, we shall collect names and email addresses of interested parties to start a mailing list and a newsletter. If we pick a university with a strong media faculty such as Birmingham City University, then we shall start using the communication with the potential content provider as a ‘commissioning process’ of which a media student will be aware. The provider can then use this professional work for their CV. The newsletter will serve as an indicator of what we are looking for inclusion to the site over the next few weeks or months.
In order to produce this website, I will need to start to create video content to get the ball rolling. I have experience in this area and will have no problems generating content. I will need the help of a web developer and a forum moderator to make the online pages and thereby show a passion to make this project a success.
Strengths and Weaknesses
• Defined target audience of students
• Payment of a flat rate for the creation of content
• Subjective information being delivered by students who have experienced the university life which sets us apart from the competition
• Encouraged interaction with business, student and audience will help us gain a reputation for good information sharing.
• Starting this website from scratch, so we will have to gain popularity
• Initial promotional costs by going into universities and delivering the selling point face to face.
• The business model will not make money for 6-12 months.
If this website and idea is successful in it’s initial 6-12 months, we can expand into other areas of the country using the same promotional tactics detailed earlier on. The website will also look into endorsements and advertising revenue that affect students which Studentbeans.com have on their site.
• Hire website developers and moderators to create the online website.
• Make an initial set of ten videos, which highlight the issues of university students
• Contact universities and colleges about promoting the website on campus.
• Create contacts from said promotional campaigns
• Identify potential advertisers and endorsers to put on our website