Mistakes to Stay Away from in College Marketing

Brand Ambassadors1 - Sampling and Flyering at the University of Georgia sororities for Ulta
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Adopting a college marketing strategy for any brand is a tried and true method to obtain some of their lucrative share of wallet. According to RetailLeader, this generation has a spending power of over $200 billion annually. Numbers this high certainly verify the attractiveness of this market, however, not everyone is successful in capturing this audience.

The majority of the college student generation has grown up in a world constantly filled with flashy advertisements, with many now just five inches away from their faces with the popularity of mobile. According to Content Science Review, 74% of this generation spend at least five hours a week engaging with online content. The onslaught of media has led marketers to turn to more unique and unconventional ways to inform them of their product. Below are some mistakes to avoid in your college marketing strategy.


  1. Oversimplify the generation

College students are often oversimplified as one cohesive group of trendy hipsters with their smartphones attached to the hip. This description only fits a very small percentage of the millions of college students out there. College students are comprised of many races, cultures and ages. Therefore, when planning a college marketing strategy, it is important to narrow your target to a smaller, specified audience.

  1. Misunderstand the purpose of emojis

Trying to implement text-talk such as emojis into your product where it otherwise might not fit is a marketing blunder that shows that your brand does not know the purpose of them. Older generations may believe that the ubiquitousness of emojis is a sign of an aversion to reading. However, college students aren’t averse to reading; emojis are fun accessories to a lighthearted conversation. They enhance online conversations by adding a fun tone and better context to a message. However, for more serious conversations, it is best to discuss over text only. If your brand or product’s content fit the more lighthearted tone that emojis complement, they will be well received.

  1. Be careful in using contemporary slang

Marketing 101 demonstrates that brands should consolidate messaging in tone and writing style so your business is easily recognizable to consumers. It is tempting to use words like “bae” and “lit” in your branded content, but if it looks completely out of place or laughable in context, it is best to stay away. However, staying true to brand persona doesn’t necessarily mean promotional content can’t be entertaining and up to date. Balancing humor in the right context can provide an engaging conversation or interaction with college students.


Now is the time for your brand to start a college marketing strategy that conveys a comradery of friendship and transparency that aligns well with your brand’s image. It won’t necessarily be an easy task, but it will be worthwhile in the long run.


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