Want to attract more clients to your business? Your fellow students could be the perfect client base. Being a student yourself, you may access to various services on campus that could help you to tap into this market. Here are just a few tips for advertising your business to students.
Network by joining societies
Societies are great places to meet passionate people who might be interested in your business. Whether you’re printing t-shirts or offering writing services, you may just find someone who is interested. The type of societies you join depends on the type of business you’re running. Some societies may charge you for joining, which is something you may want to avoid if you’re only there to meet people.
Print off flyers
Flyers are a reliable way of spreading the word about your business. You may be able to find a company that can print these off for you. Alternatively, you may be able to print them off yourself to save money – sites like 123inkjets offer cheap printer ink, whilst many stationary shops sell flyer paper. There are lots of free programmes online meanwhile for designing flyers.
Find places to strategically place these flyers where students are likely to congregate. Your student union and various university buildings may have noticeboards where you can place your flyer. You can also hand out flyers to passers-by around campus. You can even go door to door and post flyers through letterboxes in areas that have lots of student housing.
Get featured in the university newspaper
Every university has a university newspaper. They may not feature conventional adverts, but you may still be able to contribute an article about business or get somebody at the paper to interview you. Inspirational articles about starting a dormroom business are likely to be welcomed – you can then name drop your business in with a possible link to your website (if you have one). Find out who the editor is and contact them about your enquiry.
Advertise on the university radio
Many universities also have their own radio station. As with the university newspaper, you may be able to contact someone that runs the radio and get featured on a show. Avoid music-heavy shows and focus on talk shows where students may regularly be invited on as guests. There may be a website for the student radio where you can find this information. Don’t forget to try other university radios too – it could be a way of turning your local business into a nationwide business.
Get involved in social media
Your fellow students are likely to use social media a lot. Get involved in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – these can be a great way of spreading awareness of your brand.
When it comes to Facebook specifically, try inviting your various coursemates and friends to like your page. If your business is a product, you may be able to sell this directly through your Facebook page. You can also launch paid ads through Facebook – these come with options to narrow your audience such as age and interests.
Twitter and Instagram can also be used effectively by making use of hashtags. You may be able to find hashtags related to your university to feature into your posts to get fellow students interested.
It’s possible to also use Youtube to advertise your business. You may be able to start a channel offering tips to students such as how to start your own dormroom business and in these videos you can mention your brand.
The key to successful social media marketing is to keep things entertaining or educational in some way. Too much promotional content will put people off – especially students with little money to spend as it is. Keep things fun by using images, anecdotes and memes.
Host an event
Those that are ambitious could consider hosting an event to help market their business. This is likely to cost a little more than other marketing methods, so set yourself a budget. You might be able to find a free space on campus – your student union or one of the university buildings may be able to give you a space, although there are likely to be rules concerning what you can and can’t do. You may want to buy event equipment such as marquees and banners from companies like Huttie Hire. On top of this you’ll want an incentive to attract students, whether its offering free food and drink or inviting along live musicians – something that’s likely to also cost a bit of money.
You may be able to co-host or sponsor an event, which may allow you to use a more attractive venue. For example, you might be able to team up with a local independent bar aimed at students, offer some live music and maybe even offer people a free drink if they buy your product or sign up to your service.
Cross-promote with other local student-targeted companies
Cross-promotion involves promoting a company in exchange for them promoting yours. You then both get the benefit of attracting one another’s existing clients. For targeting students, consider other businesses similar to yours aimed at students. You don’t want there to be a conflict of interest – if you provide photography, you may not want to cross-promote with another photographer, as you could steal one another’s business rather than sharing it.
There are lots of methods of cross-promotion. The two of you could agree to both promote one another on social media through retweets and shared facebook posts. You could both advertise one another’s services on your website. You could even co-host an event together that allows you both to split the cost of hosting it whilst both getting the benefits.