I originally wrote this post for Gazette Media & Marketing’s blog.
The academic year is quickly approaching, and soon communities will be filled with new, temporary residents — college students.
The arrival of students for a new year gives small businesses and organizations the opportunity to market their products and services to a whole new generation. But, what’s the best way to reach them?
What makes your product or service important to a college student? How can your business help a student through their stay in their new town? Think about what makes students tick and what products they’re excited about, and tailor your marketing efforts appropriately.
Videos are consumed online at a faster rate than ever before. According to a Forbes article, sites like YouTube and Netflix are extremely popular for students who stream video instead of paying for cable. Reach students with video in two ways: With content that draws them in, with subjects they’re truly interested in; and with advertising campaigns on popular networks.
Visit campus. Hand out flyers. Let students know where your business is. Give them free samples — because let’s be honest, college students thrive on free stuff.
Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t dead, and college students can be heavily influenced by their peers. By hiring brand ambassadors, young people can connect with prospective customers in a way that your employees may not be able to. Have these ambassadors post on social media, be present at campus fairs and activities and spread the word about your business.
More often than not, the current college-aged generation is visiting one of your social media accounts before they’re visiting your website. Make sure that you’re posting often, and posting interesting and engaging content.