One way of reaching college students is through cause marketing. Appeal to college students using emotional triggers, as well as factual statistics.
College students are highly aware of societal problems and global issues, as they’re learning and discussing them in their classes. They love to get behind causes and advocate progress and they’re willing to support companies that contribute to causes they believe in. However, college students are an inquisitive bunch; they don’t blindly believe claims, nor blindly support organizations. They will question and research how active your company is with an organization and they want the claims to be substantiated.
First and foremost, you should brand your company with the cause it’s supporting in the form of an icon, color, or badge. It needs to be easily recognizable and universally known, such as the color pink for breast cancer awareness. When advertising to students, it is important to show your company’s support. For example, if your company donates money to the homeless, consider participating directly with the cause instead. By having an event where your company provides coats to the homeless and photographing this charitable act, you will create an emotional response in the viewer. This is much more powerful than numbers alone.
College students value authenticity and honesty. When selecting a cause to get behind, make sure it is something your company actually believes in or better yet, support a cause related to your product. For example, if you sell environmentally friendly products, consider donating to or supporting an environmental organization. This will help contribute to your overall image, as well as making your company’s contribution more believable.
The next step is making your philanthropy known to students. It is important to document your charitable act and make it visible on college campuses, creating an emotional trigger. This can be accomplished through college advertising. Excellent venues for reaching college students include college board marketing, college street teams, college event marketing, and college newspaper advertising. Visual photographs showing your charity will get the emotional reaction required for students to act and become loyal customers. Appeal to their hearts first and then provide them with the facts. This will make the difference in your college advertising campaign.