Student marketing: how your brand can spread the word effectively

In terms of ROI, nothing beats cracking the student market. Millennials are now the most populous generation; however, they do not shop in the same way as their parents. Students as a cohort have enormous purchasing power and will be the big earners with large disposable incomes in a few years. Savvy brands know just how to harness this very picky generation, with word-of-mouth strategies the way forward. Here are some top ideas for how your brand can spread the word amongst this key demographic.

Brand ambassadors

Students are naturally drawn to influencers on social media; therefore, you can get your name and your products in front of a lot of eyeballs by recruiting some key brand ambassadors. Promotional agencies in the UK are great at identifying which influencers would be a good match for which brands.

It is easy to use software to identify which ambassadors are driving the most traffic to your websites and which are generating the highest rates of engagement.

Campus ambassadors and merchandise

The combination of ambassadors who are themselves students and a lot of free merchandise is highly effective. The ambassadors get the word out by distributing items such as T-shirts, hats and bottles so that your brand logo is present all over the campus. This is an effective way of raising brand awareness.

Target your campaigns according to what students are doing at the time. The student term is punctuated with significant events, such as enrolment, freshers’ week, revision, exams, and breaking up for the summer. Use your brand to help students with what is going on in their lives at different times of the year.


Every student loves a freebie, with things such as sweets, cookies and stationery always going down well. The trick here is to be clear that you want something in return. You could ask them to share a picture of the gift using your hashtag or simply ask for likes or comments on a social media post.

Match your values

Young people have a strong sense of social justice and care passionately about important causes, such as the rise in homelessness or the environment. If you really want them to engage with your brand and stay loyal to you as they graduate and start earning, it will help if you show that your brand has an ethical basis for how you operate. This could be how you source products, how you engage with the local community, or collaborations with charities. Promotional agencies in the UK can come up with plenty of ideas on how you can raise your profile amongst students.

Student marketing is potentially a lucrative activity for brands, but they have to get it right. Selling to students requires different techniques to selling to their parents, with social media and word of mouth important. By using a combination of carefully-selected brand ambassadors, merchandise and free gifts, you can nurture the next generation of loyal customers.

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