Truly wonderful, the mind of a college student is. Their brains are wired in a different manner from that of an adult or a kid. Students take time to change irrespective of the quality of product you are offering them. Therefore, you should not see marketing to college students as purely a profit turnover.
Rather, marketing should also be taken as a moral obligation to guide them to a better tomorrow. Marketing to college students can be a highly profitable activity providing you have unearthed great techniques to influence them.
What is Digital Marketing?
Using marketing techniques through your digital assets, platforms and applications is digital marketing. Combined with traditional marketing techniques, digital marketing can be quite useful in realizing results with a fast ROI.
The digital assets of any company that needs to be emphasized for students are your website, mobile app, social media pages and channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.
In recent days, digital marketing has gained ground and more companies are opting for digital marketing techniques to reach out to students.
20 Digital Marketing Tips
So let’s get started with the top 20 ways you can use digital marketing to promote your products and services to college students in India.
1 – Unique and Original Content
Google prefers relevant content that is original and uncommon to increment its marketing. Students (along with most people) will hit the back browser if the information doesn’t matter to them. Also be sure not to copy content from another website.
Choose your topics wisely as well. If anyone has seen it before then it may make less sense for them to pay attention. Of course, there are some topics that are written to death like cricket, movies, music, etc. but you can try to apply your own spin on them. Remember that it must relate to your website as well.
2 – Simple Messaging
The best way to reach students is to keep it short and to the point. Most teens and young adults have a short attention span, so don’t bore them to death with a 10-minute video or a huge wall of text. Stay simple so that the idea behind it may be easily understood.
Don’t use large words or phrases either, as this tends to confuse the reader. All age groups demand honesty and brands that are true to them about their product performance and features can have longer staying power.
3 – Integrate Images
A picture tells a thousand words, to use the oft-repeated statement. Pictures make posts memorable and can also help to draw in students. A picture can add a lot of flavor to your post and reduce the blandness. Be sure to add high-quality images to your blog posts and campaigns.
An attractive image makes an average post good and a good post great. Be it Facebook campaigns, Blog posts, or Google advertisements, use a picture to hammer your point home. You can try using memes as well, depending on whether or not they fit.
4 – Not Only Text
Don’t rely only on text to get your point across. Video and audio help a lot. Students love watching these much more than reading a bunch of words. Create a YouTube channel if necessary.
If you have a demo video explaining how your product is used and showcasing it in action, that is much better than a write-up. Try doing a weekly or monthly podcast on a particular subject. Interactive media is more enjoyable and more likely to remember.
5 – Mobile Marketing
In today’s technology-run world, most college students have yet to settle down to a routine. The best way to catch them up after college is through mobile marketing. Students are using mobile a lot more to browse the internet as they can do it on the go.
As such, make sure you optimize your website to be mobile-friendly. It is a strategy that may help to target a large portion of college students on the move.
6 – Involve Them
Meeting with college students and discussing with them may help a lot keeping in mind their likes or dislikes and in getting valuable inputs on what’s missing in products already in the market. If you go to the campus and interview them, you can get them to use their contacts to gather information that may help target individual students or segments.
You can conduct seminars, workshops, or presentations at the college. You may also hire college students, as interns helping provide accurate insights into current happenings
7 – Engage Through Social Media
Places, where students have their own community, may prove to be helpful in influencing them. Facebook is the number one destination for college students and they spend hours on it. You can also look at Twitter and YouTube.
Social media promotion is a very effective way of targeting teens and young adults, which is the age range of college students. Browse through forums and blogs to get an idea of what students are looking for. You should use your social media tools to respond to queries and talk to users, not purely for advertisement.
8 – Organize Social Media Contests
A great way to engage is through competitions. Contests bring about people’s competitive spirit, and this is especially true for college students. Considering that they often think of winning or taking part in a contest as a fun, it may not take much effort to get them started.
Offering them opportunities to win prizes will fascinate them. Interesting contests are sure to grab their attention. It is a good way to engage your audience and promote your brand at the same time.
9 – Micro-targeting
You can create separate landing pages, social media accounts, and use mobile apps to segment your message. Furthermore, use A/B testing.
This ensures that you keep tweaking your messages and arrive at the best-fit to focus on the target customer. Too much tinkering is not good, but you do want to find out where you went wrong so you can fix it.
10 – Proceed with Caution
College students may be a marketer’s dream, but remember that the internet is a double-edged sword. Just like you can generate goodwill online, you can also court controversy. People are more likely to complain about a product on social media than they are to appreciate it. Plus, it gets the word out. If this happens to you and someone takes to the internet to speak ill of you, do not panic.
11 – Accept Your Flaws
Some companies have the impression that accepting a mistake will lead to losing a lot of customers. However, it is better than doing nothing at all and ignoring the problem. Assuming the claim is legitimate, own up to your mistakes and issue a public apology.
Reply in a polite manner and remain calm. Avoid being hostile at all costs. Work to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.
12 – Damage Control
Sign up for Online Reputation Management services from a reputed digital marketing firm. They may be unable to remove a negative review but manage to quell the inferno that ensues when your reputation hits a downward curve due to an inappropriate comment or action from one of your employees.
13 – Provide a Real Incentive
You need to convince the students to go out and buy the item. The ultimate goal of every business is to make money, but you need to talk about how your products or services benefit the students. Whether it is for entertainment, education, or a combination of both, you have to state it.
Why should they purchase this product? Of course, offering a coupon or promo code to test out your product or service works more often than not!
14 – Differentiate Yourself
Once you have the incentive figured out, there is another question you must answer: Why should they purchase from you rather than a competitor? Find out what your USP is and use it to your advantage. It could be premium quality material or customer friendly service.
Alternatively, you could also exploit what you perceive as your opponent’s weakness. For example, you could sell your product for a cheaper amount if you feel theirs is too costly.
15 – ‘Free’
Some words that students like to hear are ‘cancelled’, ‘no test today’, and ‘postponed’, but the most attractive word of them all is ‘free’. This word creates excitement in them whether it’s a free product or service or anything where someone can get a discount or save some money. If ‘free’ seems too spammy, try using ‘no cost’ or ‘no expense’.
Throw in freebies as it creates that initial buzz that may be required to propel your product past that user acceptance barrier. One word of caution, though. Make sure that ‘free’ in your product messaging is not synonymous with ‘cheap’.
16 – Funny Does It
You want to create content that is interesting, and humor is a great way to do that. Funny posts stick on for a long time either on your website, social media posts, or app. Of course, not everyone finds the same things hilarious, but it is a great way to connect with the users.
You can add in pop culture references or current affairs if you feel like it. Cartoons, memes, or short video snippets can make your product or service go viral especially if it latches onto the current trends. For example, the Amul Butter team has a great knack for coming up with wordplay that gels with the current mood of the country.
17 – Create Conversation
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Students are always looking for new topics of conversation and your new product or service could be it. They tend to talk more about what’s going on currently, be it sports, movies, TV shows, or events. Holding activities and putting your brand out there will lead to you getting more attention and students will do your job for you.
18 – Get Personal
A personal touch is important in your digital marketing activities. Some companies fear to take this route as they want to remain professional. The personal and business realms are slowly blending, however, so it is in your best interests. Students themselves prefer personal communication.
Use their actual name in emails and reach out to them personally. This will make them feel comfortable with you and they feel that they aren’t just another customer. We know about email promotion and can craft a quality email for you.
19 – Don’t Intrude
You should always remember that your digital marketing efforts should not clash with the students’ good times. Be careful not to step on their toes. If it happens frequently, then the students get restive and feel disinterested towards the product.
After this, it becomes an impossible task to get their attention back. Keep your distance and don’t go out of your way to get in contact with them or message them. Pestering a college student is the worst thing you can do as a marketer.
20 – Cater to their Limited Budget
This is huge, as most college students in India aren’t able or allowed to freely spend their money. When marketing items to students, you need to offer discounts or assure them of value for money. If the students perceive your offer as too expensive or not enough value for the amount paid, they just may not be able to afford it.
Try targeting the parents along with the students so both parties are on your side. If you can deliver a high-quality product at an affordable price, you will be seen as a God in the eyes of college students.
Digital Marketing from Opteamize
Those were the twenty tips you should follow when marketing to a college student. Remember that these students will shape the future, so make sure you use your skills to guide them on the path to success.
Opteamize is a digital marketing agency that specializes in technical SEO and strong content. We manage websites for a multitude of clients and have helped them surge to the top of the rankings. Opteamize can work with you to help your website and company improve to be more friendly to Google as well as users. We can help you rank, run ads, and market to college students. Contact us for more.
Update: Opteamize now offers College Event Marketing services and we can help you promote your next college event. Get more registrations and sponsors with our services. Check out our College Event Promotion page for further information.