On-campus paper advertising typically employs posters, handouts, or a combination thereof. While ideal coverage would dictate the use of both methods, a choice between the two must sometimes be made; I’ll weigh the relative merits of each.
Despite increasing use of electronic forms of information dissemination, paper advertisements remain one of the best college advertising solutions. This is true for several reasons: 1) Most college campuses offer numerous locations where such material can be posted or distributed; 2) Physical advertisements can’t simply be blocked like electronic ones can; and 3) Students, who are already familiar with the layout of their school, can be employed to distribute the posters or handouts at low cost.
So let’s look at some of the benefits of using campus posters to advertise to students. (By posters I mean any large paper advertisement designed to be hung on bulletin boards or the like. It might include features like detachable information slips or QR codes.)
1. Efficient. Most colleges are organized such that a given discipline will have its own building or group of buildings. What this means for student advertising is that you have ready made target markets—by hanging posters only in certain buildings, you can ensure that advertising dollars aren’t wasted on students for whom your product or service would be irrelevant. (For instance, if you’re advertising a medical school, you don’t really need to solicit philosophy majors.)
2. Durable. Since most schools have dozens or hundreds of bulletin boards especially intended for advertisements, posters will often remain up for weeks or months. I have even seen some last the entire academic year. In a high-traffic location, this means a single poster could potentially be reaching thousands of college students.
3. Less Intrusive. Posters are a passive form of advertisement, almost a subliminal kind of product placement. So students won’t feel harassed or put upon by them—interested parties can seek out your poster (and people definitely do read the boards to find things like apartments), while everyone else passing by notices it peripherally. Either way, the message gets out.