Seeing ads regularly surge up on YouTube is just one example of how startups continually target students. College students are the desirable demographic for most startups, but why so? Statistics say that younger people haven’t formed brand loyalties and therefore are easier converted than older people. Brand loyalty is critical to a marketing strategy.
As a startup, it’s important to understand that and connect to this demographic. More importantly – continue connecting throughout their lives. But with so many giant corporations already several steps ahead, what can your startup do to connect better with college students?
Most Marketing Is In Videos
Reading and looking at billboards is too 20th century. Most students spend their time on their laptop because they use it to write and study. Therefore, creating YouTube ads which can captivate a student from the first second can be extremely effective. Besides, videos are a lot of fun.
Videos have proven to be the most effective way of communicating with students. Lots of educational channels students watch have set up affiliate links where they promote various startups. Using affiliate marketing and collaborating with popular YouTubers can be a great alternative to paid ads.
Affiliate networks like AWIN, CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) and Rakuten Marketing make it easier for creators to connect with high-quality companies to promote their products.
Old school Baby-Boomer advertising styles just don’t cut it anymore. Looking at any successful startup targeting students; they use simple and friendly language as if talking to a friend. Your visual, or writing must hook the student in a mere second.
Therefore it’s handy to hire an effective student copywriter – preferably one with a Communications major. These students are masters of understanding mediums and how to communicate within these mediums. If you’ve got an ingrown copywriter and you need to boost their work, you’ll do well to refer to an essay writing service for proofreading and editing purposes. Although these writers specialize in essays, they communicate with students daily and could make your writing more student-friendly.
Find a Student Ambassador to Promote Your Brand
In many American colleges in Europe, there is a notorious scheme that nightclubs use to get more student customers. They hire students who promote parties throughout the college and get people on lists. These are the kids who are present at every college night in the local club, and they make huge money for the organizer. Student Ambassadors are a great way to get traction from any college.
Similarly, you could find a way to make your product popular within an individual group of people. Ambassadors bring the product to the group and convince others they should TOTALLY get it. Might seem like a bit of a “drugs” scheme but it’s standard practice with startups.
Make The Product Useful and Cheaper
Lots of startups nowadays are like Jehovah’s Witnesses – they pop up randomly like, “Do you have a minute to speak about this wonderful natural toothpaste?” And that’s an instant turnoff. Students are busy people – they won’t have time for you unless the product is actually useful. Just head to Kickstarter and look at the top startups – you’ll get the idea.
Also – the price matters too. Students are very limited on funds, and they like products which are reasonably affordable. If you can create something within a student’s budget – you’re in the game.
Befriend Student Newspapers
Not all students read the school newspaper – most schools don’t put lots of effort into it. But those who do, they get every copy as they come out. These newspapers will lie around the cafeteria, student dorms, and be accessible to almost anybody when they’re bored.
Hence, they’re a great place to put your ad. YouTube, and Facebook paid ads are way too easy, and there is a certain authenticity in print. Placing your ad in a student mag isn’t hard and could be helpful
Support a Cause
There’s this startup which turns recycled leather into handy multi-purpose bags. Lots of students will get behind ideas like this – they are creative and help the environment. Since college is all about being aware and in the middle of modern problems and solutions – creative marketing through supporting a cause will gain you an audience.
Expose Your Corporate Culture on Social Media
Wolf of Wall Street is an excellent example of corporate culture – when the company gets together and does crazy stuff, wild parties or fun quests together. Startups are the modern rockstars in the business world, and having a startup can be a lot of fun.
To connect more with college student, you can quickly get viral through promoting your corporate culture on social media. If you’re fun, people will follow and like you just for the laughs – and that can form great brand loyalties.