Working with a growing college publication has really opened my eyes to a key market that is often discarded as the “red-headed stepchild.”
I currently serve manage the advertising manager of The Murray State News (you should really check it out). Since taking the position in April 2012, I have struggled to explain to advertisers why the college market is so critical to every business plan.
Here are couple of top reasons of why college students should be involved in every marketing campaign from the fortune 500 to the mom and pop’s:
- Income: According to a re:fuel study, college students have the most dispensable income, second only to retirees. Think about it – college students receive thousands in financial aid every semester and still sponge of mom and dad. This key market has all the spending power of their parents, but without all the bills.
- Brand loyalty: This is the first opportunity a student is able to make a decision without requiring mom or dad’s approval. Many are still open to new brands but will likely start to placing their loyalties soon after graduating. This window of opportunity gives any brand the ability to lock in a lifelong customer.
- Low cost: College students are the cheapest market to reach: social media, online and college publications. College students spend an astronomical amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Spotify, you name it they are on it. Therefore, brands need to have a well developed, engaging social media presence on multiple platforms. Next, brands need to take it to the next level and develop a website that is user friendly and search engine optimized. College students google everything from research paper topics to how to clean a toilet; a good, clean website makes your product and company information at the finger tips of college students. Finally, brands need to utilize numerous college publications. Campuses across the country have publications that are struggling to find editorial copy and cheap advertising rates. Check out the rates and start to include college publications on your dissemination lists. All of these options involve little upfront costs.