Start thinking about the different types of students enrolled at your school. These can be very broad generalizations like Undergrad, Graduates, and Commuters, or it can be very niche categories like Basketball Players, Law School Applicants, Business Students - Working Full Time, etc. I find the niche categories more helpful, but if you are just getting started with a plan, they may seem too daunting. It may be useful to identify a particular category of student that every librarian typically encounters, and approaching this exercise as a team; after you've successfully completed one exercise as a group, each librarian can work on a mapping exercise for their particular group(s) of patrons. At Loyola, almost every reference/instruction librarian teaches in at least one section of the University Core Writing Requirement, UCWR, taken by every freshman and transfer student. This would be a great example of a shared population we could "map" as a group. As the business librarian, I should also take the time to "map" part time grad students, international students, and students returning to academia after years of absence.
For demonstration purposes, I'm going to do an experience map of a college junior basketball player. He is taking mostly classes for his major now, and it's been two years since he's taken UCWR. He has had no library instruction since that freshman class. He rarely spends time in the library because he is traveling frequently for his team. He wants to get into law school so grades are very important; he is looking for ways to stay ahead in school, but is unaware of many resources available to him outside of the athletics department.
This is our basketball player's "experience." Now, as a librarian - isolate all of the "touch points" where your marketing efforts may, or may not, intersect with him. For example, if you advertise heavily inside your library and on your library's social media, you may miss this person entirely; we know he's not spending much time in the library and statistically libraries miss most of their enrolled students on social media. He knows the library has a catalog and some databases, but he maybe does not remember the most efficient way to use those resources (as it's been two years since his last instruction) so using open web resources seems easier. Plus, the generic databases covered in UCWR are no longer helping him as he moves onto research projects specific to his academic major. As librarians, we know it is unfair to simply assume we will have him in an instruction session before he graduates; as much as we would like to be embedded into the curriculum, the typical reality is our invitations to classrooms come randomly at best. We know he values education and is an excellent candidate for many library programs, but has not been reached by ongoing advertising methods.
Now that you've been able to identify all of the missed touch-points, try and find a valuable way to close those gaps without deviating from your core competencies. For example, work with the athletics department to hold an annual workshop for all student athletes on off campus access to resources. Develop a series of web tutorials demonstrating "best practices" with databases, and embed them into libguides for easy access. Consider creating a libguide for student athletes, with a chat box embedded for easy access to research help. Email a monthly reminder to student athletes (through the athletic department mailing lists) about new resources, upcoming workshops, and study tips to help keep the students on track. Not only have you been able to increase touch-points with these students, but you're also doing it in a way that has increased your relevancy with athletes, collaborated with a campus partner, and increased convenience for these particular students.
Creating an action plan for each individual type of student at your school is borderline impossible; if you have the staff and faculty to reach each student on a 1-to-1 basis, you've earned an honorary excellence medal! Most of us do not have the resources for that level of engagement; however, by isolating groups of people that share similar experiences we can aptly identify missed opportunities, made connections, and point of need for services, resources, and business models. Later on I will be sure to blog about the importance of assessment and marketing; at this point all I will mention is the importance of creating benchmarks so you can measure the success of your efforts. Each campus will be distinctly different and uniquely challenging. Try this exercise with a sample group, large or small, and see what missed connections or successful touch-points your library has made with students.