I have a service that targets the university student demographic. Where can I find them online without paying for ads?
Tough to answer in full without knowing what your service is, but there are plenty of ways to get in front of college students.
A few ideas:
- Build a blog with useful/interesting content, share on social, build an audience
- Incentivize current users to invite their friends through a referral program or a campus rep program
- Find sites where college kids spend a lot of time (think: Reddit), or posts relevant to your service and get involved in the conversation
- Are there on-campus clubs or groups that would find your service particularly useful? Try reaching out to see if they'd be willing to give it a try
Let me know if you want to hop on a call & discuss more ideas.
While working as a promoter at my University campus (quite a few years ago!), I can promise you that your best options are:
- A popular facebook account
- Campus reps (usually attractive female students)
- Society/club presidents
For this to work, you'll find it much easier to start somewhere hyperlocal where you can physically get face-to-face with people. Once you've established strategies and processes, you can start scaling out locally. However, the promotions team I worked with *still* physically visit each University campus around the UK and Europe at least once a year to keep the relationships going with their regional managers.
It's not coincidence that Facebook started at Harvard, and it's where the founders attended...
Sign up for all of their newsletters then respond with your brief pitch. Many are do-not-respond emails, but you will be suppressed at how many are not. Secondly, type in words related to your product and put the name of the newspaper, media that you want behind it in the search. For example, (type of product) WSJ. Then contact the writer who wrote a similar story as yours. Their email address will usually be at the bottom of the article. I have been featured in NYT, WSJ, ABC News and other media by doing this.
Best of Luck,
From the Trenches to the Towers Marketing
College students are a huge demographic in the US, consisting mostly of 18 to 24-year-olds. That means you have a lot of time to develop branding and marketing specific to this group to see what will really stick. They are constantly online, consuming content, shopping, and engaging with peers.
If you want an easier, more direct way to get feet in the door, offer discounts if a student provides their student ID at the time of purchase. You can often get those types of deals listed in a coupon catalogue handed out in Student Unions or in Move-In Day packets. Since college came into existence, kids have been creating their own lingo for academia and partying. While I would not recommend trying *too* hard to speak their language, catching students’ eyes with clever marketing and ad copy is a must. If you have run social ads before, you probably already know that it is a great way to reach Millennials and Zillennials. There are easy ways to engage college students on social media.
College kids are still pinning coupons to their fridge or digging them out when it is time to order food. I cannot tell you the number of coupons just like this that were stacked in my kitchen drawer in my college apartment. If you are trying to build up your social following or your email listserv, or simply get a lot of students engaged with your business, host a giveaway. Just like emphasizing exclusive discounts for colleges, if you have more than one university in your area, make a little friendly competition like this 5K did.
Pay attention to the students who are loyal patrons of your business. Think of your student ambassadors as nano-influencers. While not college-student-specific, Aerie is great at leveraging user generated content on their social accounts. Meet college students where they are and with what they are consuming. Most likely, the students you’re targeting have a student-lead newspaper, weekly newsletters, or even a popular online student forum or app. Similar to reaching out to student ambassadors, look for student-run social media accounts to offer sponsored posts.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath