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5 Ways to Advertise to College Students

5 Ways to Advertise to College Students

Understanding college students and ways to appeal to them are essential in integrating your brand’s message into this elusive and somewhat suspicious demographic. Follow these tips on 5 ways to advertise to college students.

In a recent article by Eric Butterman, he quotes Sam Stahl, VP of Ad Sales at and shares 5 strategies to consider when devising a college marketing initiative. I’ve listed those below along with my brief insights.

1) Be authentic.

There is nothing worse than a phony and marketing to college students is no different.

“The worst thing that happens to us is when we water down our tone to fit the advertiser. Our audience knows that right away and will literally say in the comments section that the advertiser made us do that. It makes the content look bad and the advertiser can end up being viewed in a negative light.”

2) Transparency.

Don’t beat around the bush. College students will at least respect the messaging if you come right at them.

“This audience has grown up in the time of product placement—they know what you’re trying to do. It’s better just to say who’s bringing this product to you.”

3) Provide service.

This goes along with Transparency, a little honesty can go a long way in building trust.

“We had Axe help fund one of our greatest campaigns and we just told our audience up front that they were the reason we were able to do that. Our audience actually said, ‘Axe did that? That’s cool!’”

4) Don’t think that branded content is going to be better than non-branded content.

Let your content creator bridge the gap. Quality content trumps everything else.

“If you’re a brand working with a content creator like College Humor, it’s smart to let them have artistic license to give best practices for what the tone should be. The content, in the end, still has to be quality.”

5) Don’t stop their good time.

If you inconvenience them, they will see you as another intrusive corporate message and your chances of success are greatly reduced. Let them find you or at least inconspicuously get in their way. Do Not Impose.

“Because of the DVR, they are impatient by nature, so they won’t sit through a thirty-second ad just to watch a two-minute video. They will watch another one that doesn’t have an ad. We’ve realized you have to be clever when serving ads to your user, and develop different kinds of ad products that won’t hinder the experience. We’ve developed custom skins to take over the page, but only where it doesn’t affect what the user is there for. We do watch drop off and bounce rates, and if we see that we’re serving too many ads we have the ability to ratchet that down—and we’ll do that.”

While considering a branding strategy geared toward advertising to students in the college market, these are important factors to considers to ensure that you brand’s message is well received before considering the particular youth marketing services you will utilize.

Contact Marc Sorel for information regarding college marketing and advertising solutions!

Click on the following link to read Eric Butterman’s article: “5 Ways to Advertise to College Students”

About NAM Youth Marketing

NAM Youth Marketing employs 15+ years of experience connecting with the elusive youth and college markets, alongside proprietary networks and client programs, to reach over 77 Million tweens, teens, young adults, and college students monthly, nationwide. Partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, coupled with mastery of creative OOH, location media, campus postering, freshmen orientation, graduation, athletic marketing, sampling & promotion as well as event, on campus, and proprietary social media student group access, web advertising, event and experiential marketing, sweeps and promotions, café marketing, uniquely enable NAM to carry your brand’s message to the $400 billion youth marketplace. More Information:

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