How can you do better than most and effectively market to college students? Let’s look at five simple steps:
1. Admit you are old
Most decision-makers are too old or disconnected to adequately understand the student demographic. Having a kid in college does not qualify. Being older than college students is fine… so long as you do not pretend to speak their language, understand their tastes, or tell them what to do.
2. Keep things simple, and find someone young
Having common courtesy and sending short messages are better than trying to be hip. All age groups respect honesty and brands that are true to themselves. If you can afford it, hire someone who has an Xbox or knows how to play beer pong. If you cannot afford that, how about an intern who can provide some insight?
3. Embrace segmentation
Before all else, segment your customers and identify which ones are college students. Do you do that? Only when you have that information can your marketing become truly effective. Armed with information, you can change the message, send relevant emails, create college landing pages, and design campaigns that look like they were meant for students.
4. Provide an incentive
Amazon provides free Prime subscription to students. Apple offers students deep discounts on its products. But offering student discounts is not the only option you have. Could you offer better service? Better terms and conditions? A free trial? Whatever your differentiator for the student segment is, make sure it includes an incentive.
5. Use targeted marketing
Create separate landing pages, email marketing strategies, social media accounts, and mobile applications so that you can segment your message. Present your unique value proposition in a channel dedicated to students.