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Marketing to College Students

Student Campus Marketing
Robert Andrew
Written by Robert Andrew

Reaching the student population with your marketing may feel like roadblock you can not get through but it is possible with some persistence and strategy.

On-Campus Marketing
Marketing directly to students on campus can be extremely effective. Depending on what you sell, you may be able to work out a relationship with the school to allow you to put up posters, set up a display or table on campus, put out flyers etc. While every school is different, if you find something that works at one school, attempt to replicate it at another and then another. Marketing on campus can be tricky and there may or may not be lines you do or do not want to cross. Lots of companies put out flyers and other marketing materials without permission. While this can be risky, it can also be effective and many companies find the reward outweighs the risk in many cases. While we do not recommend doing this, is most definitely happens on a regular basis and we are writing about methods that work in this article.

Social Media
The average student spends hours each day on social media platforms. Why not promote your products to them here where they are easy to reach? Facebook allows you to drill down your marketing to get as specific as you want with your audience. Target them by school, age, interest, gender and just about anything else you can think of. We’ll get into specific Facebook advertising methods in another post, but Facebook does make it pretty easy for you to set up an account and launch your first campaign with little to no headaches.

You can also use social media to target students at specific schools to recruit them as brand ambassadors for your products. Your ambassadors can help share your content and get it out to as many other students as possible.

Guerilla Marketing
This type of marketing can be extremely effective if you are doing it right. Street teams and promoters can get print marketing out to the masses very quickly while not costing a huge amount of money. Flyers all over campus can do wonders for your marketing, but be careful where you are putting them. Trespassing can be an issue here so be careful where you tread. Something as simple as writing your website URL in chalk on sidewalks in a high traffic area on or around campus can expose your brand to thousands of potential student customers in a single day! The key here is repetition and frequency. While you may get an immediate response from some students, you are not going to reach the masses without getting in front of them several times. The more you can promote the better.

If you do not have time to do it yourself, you can hire students or look for college promotion companies in your area who can handle it for you. Some of these companies have relationships with the schools and can help get your brand deeper into campus.

Student Ambassadors
Recruiting students to promote your products on campus is a no brainer. The key is finding the right ones. You want kids that are deep rooted within the campus that will get the word out to as many of their classmates as possible. Giveaways can be great, but they can also make or break you depending on your product or service. Today’s student likes what they like, and a lot of them do not appreciate new products being pushed ion front of them. With the right approach however, you can get a large mass of students to like your product and help get their friends interested as well. You can also offer your brand ambassadors commissions and other incentives to keep them motivated and pushing your brand as hard as possible around campus and the surrounding communities. Popularity is important with this one too. An outgoing social butterfly with tons of friends across campus, at other schools and campuses in the area and beyond can help get your brand out to a massive student market fast!

Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a good option but is only as good as the list you are using. Most purchased email lists are junk, don’t bother. They are usually old, outdated or flat out fake and your hard earned money can be better spent elsewhere. However, if you do have access to a good solid student email list it is definitely worth trying it out. The best email lists are ones that the members having opted in to voluntarily. Nobody likes getting buried in spam and this is no exception. Sending unsolicited email is against can spam act laws so be careful with the lists you are marketing to. Permission based lists should be the only lists you are using.

Reach Them Through Their Parents

When all else fails, it’s still possible to reach the students you are targeting through their parents. If you can target specific demographics on social media platforms, direct mail and email marketing you can broadcast your message to a wide audience of parents with the intention of it trickling down to the students you are after.

Have a question?

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