How to Market a New Product to College Students

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When you’re trying to sell or market a new product, it is worth exploring all the advertising options available to you in order to reach your target audience. If it’s applicable, college papers or bulletins are excellent places to advertise and usually have tremendous circulation. The cost to advertise on these are inexpensive considering the number of prospects reached. You’d be surprised (or not) just how much money are spent by students each semester.

College students, being natural trendsetters and more adventurous, are a great target market to test out your new idea or product. They are also the group of people who are more likely to make your product go ‘viral’. Word of mouth spreads fast in campuses, so you need to convince and convert a few students to like your product and share it with others. You’ll also find that college students are very social, sharing with everyone on the Internet about everything they do.

You can try running a test ad in one or more of the publications and see if you get results. You get to test your ideas and products on a receptive audience at a lower cost. Your test ad will let you know whether your offer is going to pull or not. If it’s successful then you can move to a larger ad campaign to include more bulletins, newspapers, or display-type of ads. Guess what, they’re also the cheap part timers you’ll be hiring to help distribute flyers and spread the word.

Another great way to get your product noticed is to advertise for a student on campus to represent you on a commission basis and be your dealer. You’ll usually find students who would love the opportunity to make some extra money, so setup some meetings and interview a few candidates before deciding. Students are excellent sources of feedback and innovation so listen to their ideas and make them your business partners. Repeat this on different campuses and you’ll have a wide network of dealers (the good kind!) to push your product.

To maximize your advertising in college bulletins and newspapers, try to order your ads to appear in the Monday to Wednesday editions. Thursdays are ok, but Fridays are less desirable as student minds tend to wander away from making purchase decisions when nearing the weekend. But then again, if your product fulfills a need (beer drinking games, etc.), it might make sense to advertise on Fridays and the weekends. The key is to use a test ad for a couple of weeks and tweak your ads.

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