We all know college women are busy. They have classes, extracurriculars and social events filling up their days (and nights), so they’re not going to read the newspaper cover to cover or turn on the evening news (let’s be honest—they probably don’t even have a TV). So how do college women consume news? Let’s take a look.
1. They get their news through social media—and they’ll be reading on their phones.
Traffic at Her Campus comes predominantly from mobile devices, because college students are on their phones constantly. While they’ll break the laptops out for writing papers, they’re much more likely to come across news while scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. So to attract college women’s attention, news articles should be packaged to stand out in a cluttered news feed, not just on the outlet’s homepage. And all articles should be optimized for mobile. If an article looks better on a desktop than on a phone, that’s a problem!
2. They hate misleading or clickbait headlines.
College women do not want to feel like they’re being forced to click on an article to find out the real story. While it’s obviously impossible to fit an entire news story into the headline, college readers want to know the gist before they click. We write our headlines to be conversational and straightforward, not overly cutesy or exaggerated. Speak to college students the way they speak to each other, and they’ll appreciate your authenticity.
3. They want to know how the news will affect their lives.
College women want to know why news matters—to them. For some topics, the “why” is obvious. Stories about Starbucks are always going to do well with the female college audience, because it’s a brand they buy frequently in their daily lives. Same thing with stories about college students doing amazing (or terrible) things. But college women care about so much more. They want to understand what’s going on in the Donald Trump White House, for example, because his policies could end up affecting their rights. World news matters to college women, but they want to see it through their lens.
4. They don’t just want bad news!
There’s so much going on in the world, and it’s tempting to focus on death, destruction and scandal. Those are the stories that usually end up dominating the headlines each day. But college women want to see positive stories, too. They love uplifting tales of people helping each other out and triumphing in the face of adversity, and they’ll reward those stories with shares and clicks. Even just a simple story about a student getting extra credit for his whole class can capture the hearts of college readers—it’s a much-needed antidote to the rest of the news!
Katherine Mirani is the News Editor at Her Campus Media.