College students are one of the hottest and most desired consumer groups in marketing. A generation that thrives on self expression is also becoming increasingly more aware of the brands and products they use. Engaging with this group is that much more important, but can be harder than ever. We have you covered with 6 marketing trends for college students that are sure to have your brand standing out in a crowded market place. Let’s get to it!
Marketing Trends for College Students
As individuals, we are more unique than ever. And this is especially true with college students. Students are part of a generation who feel free to truly express themselves. While past generations identified as groups, this new generation wants nothing more than to be seen as an individual. Who they are, and not just lumped into a group. Your marketing message and design needs to reflect this. Making smaller, more personalized campaigns one of the most effective ways to market to the college audience.
It’s no secret that video content, from YouTube to TikTok has taken the younger generation by storm. Content creators are some of the most well known celebrities amongst college students. One reason for the popularity of streamers comes from their creation of such personalized content (see above). Combined with shortening attention spans, and video makes for the perfect way for brands to market to college students. And don’t worry, these don’t have to be high end shoots. Influencer style phone shoots with a more casual feel are all the rage in marketing and reaching this audience authentically.
User Generated Content
The only thing better than an ad is seeing someone using your product on social media organically. It represents a level of trust that typical ads have a hard time achieving. And the effectiveness of this user generated content that spawned the entire influencer industry. Leverage this style of content is a great way for your brand to promote actual users content while relaying a very personalized message.
The days where a brand can hide behind a slick marketing campaign are over. The younger generation wants more from the brands they buy. It is quicker than ever to find out everything about what a company stands for with a little digging online. Everything from what the owner tweeted 8 years ago to the non-profits the company makes donations to. Because of this, staying true to your company ethos and presenting an authentic image of your brand will go a long way to attracting the college demographic. Make more than just a fashion statement, provide depth and meaning to your message and brand ethos.
Student Clubs and Organizations
Targeting student clubs and organizations has proven to be one of the most consistent ways to reach college students for a long time. A few of the reasons being that it allows for very personalized and targeted marketing opportunities. Along with a direct line of contact with students from a trusted source. Everything from the Panhellenic community, fashion, movies, outdoors, and international clubs. With a little creativity, these offer brands a very unique opportunity.
I know it sounds like such a buzzword, but hear me out on this one. Omnichannel marketing is targeting one consumer set across multiple marketing channels. And of course almost every brand is doing this. If you are sending emails and posting on social media then you’re omnichannel marketing. Now let’s take this a bit further by segmenting these channels in smaller “micro” groups. For us this could be specific schools, or even specific student groups at a couple schools and target them specifically with personalized messaging across multiple marketing channels.
Conclusion – Marketing Trends for College Students
When looking at the latest marketing trends for college students, it can be easy to get caught up in what’s flashy and new. But the truth is that it all starts with the basics, building your brand, and staying true to your ethos. Focus on identifying your target audience on a personal level, and breaking them down into subsets to reach them with personalized target messaging. Then target them across multiple channels.
I know this is all easier said than done, and that’s where we come in! If you want help building and activating your next college marketing campaign send us a message here!