how to target students through advertising

How to Target Students Through Advertising

With over 2.5 million students currently in the UK, its student population is incredibly diverse and reactive. Whilst students may seem an easy option for bigger brands and businesses with household names, knowing how to target students through advertising may initially seem like a difficult option.

As students comprise a mass demographic for companies to appeal to, everybody is unsurprisingly trying to get their prized attention. Walk down Oxford Road during a mid-week lunchtime and you’ll see representatives of countless clubs, restaurants and fast-food eateries handing out flyers, all marketing their student discounts and offers. The problem, however, is that even if your flyer isn’t thrown away in the nearest bin, it’s likely to be as disposable.

Whilst flyering can provide cost-effective marketing, students are constantly looking for fresh and trendy alternatives, something they can engage with that will add some rewarding credibility to your brand, but also drive traffic and generate leads. Although online advertising seems like the obvious option, there are other successful alternatives that can be achieved with a strategic advertising strategy.

In this blog post, Buy Me Media have comprised 7 extremely effective ways of advertising to a student demographic, ensuring that your brand stands out in a vastly crowded market.

Here’s how to target students through advertising

  • Be relevant – Even if your brand isn’t entirely affiliated with a student demographic, there’s no reason why you can’t appeal to them. Relevance is key here, as the contextual message of your advertising needs to provide value for students for them to engage with you.
  • Be local –This is particularly useful for businesses considering OOH advertising, as researching available advertising space near colleges and universities will give your brand targeted ad-space with frequent dwell time.
  • Build trust – Allow your business to stand out by building a sense of trust and familiarity with different students. Brands such as Coca-Cola and Monster are frequently seen in populated student areas giving away free products, and whilst this may not be as commercially viable for smaller businesses, it can be great for building trust and PR.
  • If possible, make the most of student events and freshers fairs. The Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale thrive on student lock-ins, with many brands selling products at heavily discounted prices. These nights don’t come often, however, but expect to see companies advertising for student sales as new freshers arrive in September.
  • Bus and tram advertising – Recent statistics from the Department of Transport show that nearly 35 million people use the Metrolink in Manchester, with the frequency being a key factor in this. Buses are also a popular method of commuting, especially for students on a tighter budget. Bus passes can be as cheap as £8 a week, which points to a high number of commuters heading to university.
  • Make sure your content is easily shareable – A no-brainer really with students, with a key focal point being online and social media advertising. Reinforce the share icons on all of your blog posts and online products, and ensure that your content can be shared across a variety of platforms.
  • Be responsive – If online advertising is the route you choose, it’s essential to be responsive to your audience. Prioritise responding to queries and customer feedback as inclusive of your social media strategy, and generate positive rapport and a sense of community with your customers.

The possibilities when it comes to student advertising can seem daunting, but applying these strategies can be completely rewarding with an appealing audience. Where students were once stereotyped as penniless, the majority of students are simply seeking out both value and quality which can put your business in a prime position to advertise.

With summer soon approaching and followed closely by the start of the new semester, planning early for your next advertising campaign can be pivotal.

Buy Me Media work directly with a wealth of businesses from SME’s to household jewellers such as Boodles. If you are looking at targeting students for the 2018/19 semester, now is the time to give our in-house team a call today where we would be delighted to provide expert advice.