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COLLEGE MARKETING and How It Pays Off

College marketing provides you a wellspring of new customers

Engage students where they go to school, shop, and socialize

Align your brands with Gen Z - your future consumers 

Reach is wide, 200+ colleges and universities across the US

Receive a continual flow student engagement content for social

Gain insights on rising trends and preferences before your competition

 

 

What is college marketing?

College Marketing consists of brand advertising and activations where students go to school, live, shop, and socialize. 

College students are your future consumers, so dedicating ongoing marketing initiatives to engage this audience is essential for growth.

Marketing options range from street teams to poster initiatives to mobile tours.

Reaches 200+ colleges and universities throughout the United States. 

 

 

Benefits of college student marketing 

 

Engage thousands of students daily near big universities

Students tend to embrace new brands and experiences 

College is where many first-time and lifelong opinions are formed

Students typically have parent-funded disposable income

Students are your future customers, reach them before your competition

It's rare in this marketing world to find a place where potential customers gather in large numbers, like at colleges and universities 

 

 

Best cities for college marketing

 

Boston is the number one city for college student marketing. You can reach upwards of 150,000 students near Northeastern University, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and dozens of other schools. 

Chicago and Philadelphia are probably tied for second place as both have a plethora of universities and colleges. 

Other cities where one can easily engage with thousands of students are day are Washington DC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

And even small cities like Columbus are fruitful when they have a 20,000+ student school. 

 

 

Strategies for brands to engage college students

 

On-campus marketing - Schools restrict which companies can be on-campus, plus often limits on your event space and activities, but if you can gain access, it is a wonderful place for brand activations 

Just off-campus marketing - Activating on public sidewalks offer the opportunity to connect with thousands students without a cumbersome university approval process - these activations often taking the form of street teams, sampling bikes, and experiential vehicles

Partnerships - Partnering up with cafes, nightspots, student housing operators, and local events is an excellent way for your brand to show up and introduce yourself to students

Pop-ups - Hosting a pop-up shop in student heavy footfall neighborhoods is always a good way to shine 

Wild Posting - Postering is a long-time favorite to market brands, on and off-campus

Student groups - Aligning with on-campus student organizations is the indirect way to get on campus

Sports - Tapping into sports culture and tailgating is super smart as often stadium have brand activation opportunities

 

 

How to create a student marketing initiative 

 

1.) Share your college marketing ideas and goals

2.) Provided a city or region(s) of interest

3.) Let us know if you need to activate during the first few weeks or anytime during of the school year

4.) Approve a college student marketing plan 2 or more months before desired rollout date

 

If you'd like to explore on-campus marketing in more detail, be sure to read our On-Campus Marketing Challenges blog post

 

 

And, if you'd like to receive a complimentary recommendation for your brand, just introduce yourself! 

College Marketing approaches and information:

Examples consist of posters and flyers placed on-campus as well as at retail shops, cafes, and other locations students frequent, plus outside on street poles, public bulletin boards, and other visible streetscape locations.

The most popular posters mediums for college posters programs are 11″ x 17″, and flyers are typically 4″ x 6′ in size.

Typically initiatives consist of placing posters on and around campuses over 2 to 3 weeks. 

College student experiential activations typically consist of off-campus street team activations, product sampling vehicles, food truck marketing, nightlife activations and a variety of other student engagement activities.

Activations tend to occur  just off-campus on public sidewalks or at locations popular with students (e.g. cafes, student housing, etc.) as universities tend not to approve branded events.

Typically the only way to activate on-campus with permission is if the activation is sponsored by an academic student group. 

College football tailgating marketing is a common approach for reaching college students.

Most schools offer packages for brands to activate on stadium grounds within a 10' x 10 to 20' x 10' footprint. 

A low-key football tailgating marketing approach is for a street team to engage people on their way to the game or activating in the parking lots.