Impact Group Marketing Blog

College students represent a huge demographic in the U.S. In fact, this 15 million group of 18 to 24-year-olds spend over $200 billion annually. As a local business, you’ll have 4-5 years to develop marketing and branding specific to this college group. And Gen Z is a digitally native generation – they are always online engaging with peers, shopping, and consuming content.

Here are 7 effective strategies for reaching college students through the power of marketing.

Top 7 Marketing Strategies to Reach College Students

1. Offer free samples and targeted discounts.

Everyone knows college students love free stuff. So, what better way to entice loyal customers than offering your product for free? Once you get their attention, chances are they’ll keep coming back.

Targeted discounts are another great way to attract potential customers. You can support your local college while building brand awareness by offering discounts to students who provide their student ID at the time of purchase. You can usually get these deals listed in a coupon catalog that’s handed out in Move-In Day packets or Student Unions.

Businesses that recognize and focus on college students with special discounts, services, etc., win them over as loyal customers.

2. Leverage social media.

If you’ve run social media ads in the past, you know how effective they are at reaching Gen Z and Millennials. So, when it comes to marketing to college students, make sure you’re leveraging social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

You can still engage college students on social media even if you don’t have the budget to spend on ad campaigns. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Like and comment on related posts to help the algorithms show your account to more potential customers.
  • Take advantage of user-generated content by encouraging your customers to tag your products or services in their posts so you can easily re-post them.
  • Use your social accounts to announce new products or releases.

Read More: 5 Effective Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Small Business

3. Host a giveaway, competition, or raffle.

If you’re trying to boost your social following, engage students with your business, or build your email listserv, consider hosting a giveaway. Make it appealing enough that college students will share their information and/or give away their money to win. Tap into their competitive nature by creating a friendly competition with an exciting reward.

4. Engage student ambassadors.

Notice the students who are loyal customers and acknowledge their loyalty. Think of these student ambassadors as nano-influencers. Regram posts from these loyal students to engage with potential customers.

5. Partner with college media sources.

Your target audience probably has a student-led newspaper, newsletters, or online student app. Consider sponsoring a post or display ad with these student publications. You can also offer sponsored posts to student-run social media accounts.

6. Appeal to their parents.

Care packages are a great way to appeal to parents. Show how your product or service will help their students thrive at college or excel on their midterms, finals, presentations, job interviews – you name it. The best time to target parents is move-in day and parent’s weekend.

7. Use QR codes.

QR codes are an effective and simple way to connect your student demographic with your promotion, offer, or service. A code can be printed on advertising materials and distributed around campus or to brand ambassadors. Students then scan the code, which takes them to a website or app where they can fill out an online form with their information. With the right messaging, QR codes can boost a brand’s presence on campus.

Bottom Line

College students love brand loyalty. With a little time and effort, you can effectively market to the college students in your area and boost brand awareness and revenue. Impact Group Marketing is a digital marketing agency with print production capabilities based in College Station, Texas. We provide small to medium businesses with digital marketing solutions, website design & development services, and business printing. Contact us today and let us help you make an impact so you can focus on your business!