7 Ways to Market to College Students and Pitfalls to Avoid

You may be wondering why you should market to students, specifically college students. The assumption is that they don’t have jobs, and consequently, they don’t have money. This is far from the truth. Statistically, young adults between 18 and 24 years spend at least $200B annually. A large percentage of that demographic are college students. Not all these students have jobs or well off parents, but they are still willing to spend on products or services they feel are useful or worthwhile.

Now you may be wondering how you can tap into that market. Here are seven tips to start you off.

Leverage Samples and Trials

Everyone loves free stuff, and college students are no exception. If you are launching a new product or want to attract new clients to your product, consider giving them a free trial or a sample. If these students find your product or service worthwhile, there are high chances they will be return customers. For example, if you have a website like essayservice.com that offers to write essays for students, you can offer a trial at a discount so that the students can get a feel of what you have to offer.

Consider Their Income

You cannot market to students the same way you market to the working class. They do not make the same amount of money and would therefore not be able to pay high prices for your products. If it is possible, you should consider having offers specifically for students. One way to verify that someone is a student is to ask to verify their student ID. Chances are, if the students become loyal to your brand, they will stick with you even when you eventually start charging the normal prices.

Tailor-Make Your Copy for Success

The way students communicate is constantly changing. They have their own lingo. One way to attract students is to use their lingo in your ad copy. To know if your language is up to par with current communication trends among students, survey current students. Use their input to make your ad copy relevant to the students.

Social Media

Don’t expect to net the millennials by advertising in newspapers. The way to market to millennials is to meet them where they are. The best place to start is advertising on social media. Besides using pay ads, consider leveraging user-generated content to market yourself. There are fewer better ways to market your product than to have your users market it for you.

Consider Employing Student Ambassadors

Students will listen to other students. Start by spotting students who would be very influential to other students on campus. Approach them and ask them to be the product or service ambassadors for you. You can offer them starter kits or even set up a referral discount. Recognize their efforts (be appreciative), and there is a high chance of them being loyal to you.

Social Cause Advertising

You can market your products or services so that the students feel that they are making a difference in the world by buying from you. For example, if you convince your clientele that part of the money you are making is going to a good cause, there is an increased chance that they will buy from you.

Advertise in the School

The majority of students are versed with ad blocking software and may not see your paid advertisements if ad-blocking software blocks them. It is, therefore, crucial that you meet them where they are. Some ways of doing this include paying for advertisements in their school groups and newspapers and asking to host on-campus events.

Pitfalls to Avoid

There are many ways to attract the student demographic in marketing. However, there are some things that they would find off-putting. Here are two marketing pitfalls to avoid.


Suppose you are advertising a product that appeals to people of different demographics. In that case, it is best to break down your campaign strategy so that you are marketing to each group individually. Note that even within the groups, there may be differences, and you may have to market to the different subgroups separately.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

This does not necessarily apply to the students but you. There are many social media sites to pick from. The best decision you could make is to focus on specific social media sites that would give the highest returns rather than trying every social media site. This strategy may also save you money in the long run as you aren’t paying for advertisements on multiple sites.

Young adults, particularly college students, make up a huge percentage of the population. Your organization cannot afford to miss them during your marketing campaigns. Besides moving your campaigns online because that is where you will find them most of the time, some tips would help you attract them more. For best results, talk to other students to understand what they want to make your campaigns more successful.

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