How to Market to College Students

It is no secret that Ithaca is a college town. In fact, there is even a section of the city named College Town right off of Cornell University’s campus. With the tag of a college town, Ithaca experiences an influx of college students that arrive every fall. With this influx, local businesses often try to bring in extra cash flow from students. You may be asking, what is the best way to attract students to your business and keep them coming back?


The one thing to consider when trying to sell your products or services to the college demographic is their budget as most college students have very little spending. So, how does a local business leverage a typical college student’s low spending into customer loyalty? There are a few things that can be done to get students to spend their money at your establishment.



1. Offer a “College Discount”


Discounts always have positives and negatives. On the negative side, you may lose some potential profit initially. However, on the positive side you begin gaining the trust of consumers who make up a huge portion of Ithaca’s population for the majority of the year.

2. Giveaway

Alexander Kovacs Siyywoqxonm Unsplash

Giveaways always promote business. This is especially the case when dealing with college students on a budget. Whether it’s having a taste test on the Ithaca Commons or giving out samples of a product, giveaways can be a quick and easy way into the hearts of Ithaca’s college students.


3. Utilize student populated events and community engagement

The Ithaca community is always hosting events. Students at both Ithaca College, Tompkins Community College, and Cornell University are heavily involved in their communities and are always looking for businesses that make an effort to impact the community. Whether it’s being involved in the numerous festivals in town such as Apple Harvest Festival, Porchfest, or Chowderfest having your business represented at community events will give you exposure to students from both schools.


4. Visuals

Austin Distel 2vcqh34pqws Unsplash

Creating captivating visuals, whether they be still shots or memorable videos, visuals can attract the college student demographic more than you think. In the digital age it is important to reach your audience in the right ways. The younger demographic tends to be more drawn to videos and images that have lots of stopping power. Using recognizable imagery from around the Ithaca area can also bring in a larger audience.

5. Social media use

7910370882 39d180fb66 B (1)Finally, using social media can be a critical tool in attracting college students to your business. Having quality content and keeping your followers engaged with each post can help create more buzz about your business among the students in town. Using Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to promote deals or giveaways are just some of the things that social media can be helpful with.

Reaching a big part of any population is the goal for most marketers. With such a large population of young people living in Ithaca, it is important to get your business’s name in front of them.

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