10 Best Marketing Strategies to Reach College Students to Maximize Business Opportunities

marketing to college students

Marketers often need to pay more attention to one of the most lucrative groups of consumers: college students.

Millennials are a powerful force to be reckoned with in terms of their spending power and influence over other generations. They’re also less likely to respond to traditional advertising methods like TV ads or billboards. 

So how do you reach these savvy shoppers?

You need to think outside the box and embrace new marketing strategies for colleges and universities that appeal directly to this group’s interests and preferences.

  1. Turn Parents Into Brand Advocates

Parental influence is a powerful way to reach college students. Parents who are happy with your brand will be more likely to recommend it to their kids. Here are some ideas on how to turn parents into brand advocates:

Discounts and Offers

Offer them something in return for their support. For example, discounts or free shipping on purchases made through their child’s school.

Include an easy-to-find reference link on your website that connects directly. Leveraging the parent portal of your platform (like Blackboard), you can make it easy for parents to redeem any offers you provide.

Invite parents who use your service at home (e.g., Amazon Prime) or elsewhere (e.g., Netflix) into the conversation.

  1. Engage With Like-minded Millennials On Social Media

Social media is a great way to reach college students. You can use channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to engage with your target audience. 

Fine-tune your writing process to create social media content that’s relevant to college students. Engage them by responding to their comments and questions.

Use hashtags like #college or #university when posting on Twitter, Instagram, and other hashtag-friendly platforms so that it will be easily searchable for people looking for those keywords.

  1. Collaborate With Student Groups

Student groups are a great way to reach college students. Student groups have a lot of power and can help you reach your audience.

Find out what student groups exist on campus by contacting the Office of Student Life or other relevant departments. They can help connect you with student organizations interested in your content. 

If you have a product or service that would interest student groups, it’s worth reaching out to them. You can find student groups on campus by checking out the student life section of most colleges’ websites or even digging through social media. Once you have identified some student groups, send them an email about how they could enjoy collaborating with you. 

If you’re a brand looking to collaborate with student groups, try reaching out to the different student groups. And ask if they’d be interested in working together.

You can collaborate with them on projects and events, or you can even sponsor their activities. Contact your local college or university to get in touch with a student group.

If you are a vendor or business owner, consider working with student groups to promote your products and services.

For example, if you own a clothing store, find out if there are any fashion-related student organizations on campus. If so, be sure to reach out and offer them discounts or freebies in exchange for promoting your brand. Student groups are a great way to reach college students.

  1. Ask For Feedback And Reviews From College Students

Have students write reviews of your products or services on websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook. Get them to share photos of their experiences with your business on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Ask students to give recommendations to friends or family members who might be interested in what you have to offer.

You can also ask for feedback on your website or social media pages. The more reviews and feedback you have, the better.

If you have a product or service that is new to the market, it’s essential to get feedback from students as soon as possible. You want to know what they like about your product and how they think it could be improved before it hits the shelves.

  1. Use Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are great ways to reward your customers and attract new customers. They can be free or paid, digital or physical, used for customers and employees, etc.

Here are a few examples:

Restaurant meal giveaway

A restaurant gives away free meals when you bring in a friend. This is an excellent way for the restaurant to get more business from its customers’ friends who have yet to try the place!

Carwash loyalty discount

A local carwash offers $10 off any service if you show them your student ID card at checkout. This helps keep the local students loyal. while also bringing in new business from their fellow students’ friends and family who want to save some money!

Student ID discount at a coffee shop

A coffee shop offers every student with an ID card $1 off every drink they buy during finals week (the busiest time of year). This helps get extra traffic into the coffee shop while encouraging students to study there instead of elsewhere on campus.

  1. Send Targeted Email Marketing Messages

Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with students, get feedback, and send coupons and discounts. To reach college students, email marketing should be used in the following ways:

Weekly Newsletters:

Send newsletters highlighting new products or services. Upcoming events and interesting facts about your brand should be included. If you are having a sale or promotion, let students know so they can also take advantage of it.

Special offers/coupons:

Send special offers and coupons on certain occasions such as holidays, birthdays, or special occasions (e.g., finals week).


Ask questions that will help you better understand what your customers need so that you can provide exactly what they want when they want it next!

  1. Create Fun and Interactive Content

You can create fun and interactive content by creating comics, infographics, and videos. These are all great ways to reach college students because they are easy to understand. 

The best way to share this content is on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Use advanced marketing strategies for different types of content to reach college students. It would be best if you used a variety of formats so that you can cater to different learning styles and interests. Your goal should be for the content you produce or share with your audience will be more effective when reaching out to your target audience.

  1. Take Advantage of Mobile Messaging App Opportunities

You must use a mobile messaging app to communicate your message to students. You can use these apps for customer service, marketing, or brand awareness.

Here are some examples of popular mobile messaging apps:

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app and one of the world’s most-used messaging apps, with over 1 billion active users.

It’s trendy among college students because of its excellent features, like having end-to-end encryption and an option called “Secure Chats.” Which allows users to set expiry dates for their messages so that they disappear after a certain period. 

All this makes WhatsApp more secure than other platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, or Telegram. Which do not always have these safeguards in place yet still boast large user bases among younger demographics.

  1. Offer Discounts, Coupons, and Freebies

One of the best ways to reach college students and increase your revenue is by offering discounts, coupons, and freebies. Customers who see that they can save money on your products or services are more likely to buy them.

Offer discounts and freebies to attract new customers. Offering a discount on your product or service will attract young people who are always looking for ways to save money. You also need to include information about it in all your marketing materials so that current customers know about it.

  1. Start a Referral Program

A well-managed referral program is one of the most effective ways to reach college students. There are several ways a referral program can be structured, but they all involve earning rewards for referring new customers.

The main goal of any referral program is to incentivize people. Especially those who have relationships with potential customers to refer those customers to you. People participating in your referral programs can access special discounts and offers. making them more willing to help spread the word about your business.


As you can see, there are many ways to reach college students. Some of these strategies will work better than others for your business. 

Still, the key takeaway is that you should always keep up with the latest trends and developments in your industry. So, when one opportunity presents itself (such as social media), you’re prepared to take advantage of its potential impact.

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