Summer is almost over and it’s time for the kids to start gearing up to go back to school!  For business owners in college towns this can be a magical time of year for promoting your business and raising brand awareness.  With so many young people mobilizing in preparation for fall classes, now is your perfect opportunity; the only real problem can be finding the right way to spread the good word of your business.  Here are 5 great ideas for reaching out to the campus community.

Sponsor a club

Whether it’s a Greek Letter Organization, a sports team, a campus ministry club, or the AV club, they all need places to meet, t-shirts purchased, or donations to host events!  A simple call to the campus life department should render you with some kind of organization that could use any amount of donation or sponsorship.

Get involved with Back to School campus sponsored events

Most colleges offer programming and events to help familiarize students with the campus and community.  If there is a Fall Bizzaar or Welcome Freshman event, then you should be jumping on board to set up a booth as quickly as possible to be seen by the students.

Work with the campus sports organization(s)

College sports usually have great turnouts of students, parents, and general fans!  Businesses that aren’t trying to sponsor a game, or provide giveaway material are missing out on potentially hundreds to thousands of new customers.

Free stuff? Yes, please!

If you’re offering free giveaway merchandise (which you should definitely be doing), make sure that it stands out and is unique.  We all have received countless pens, pencils, foam footballs, and stickers; this year think hard and review some of the promotional products out there!  Make sure that whatever you give away is on target to your business and your audience, but never forget that quality always outdoes quantity.

Meet students on common ground

Economic times are definitely difficult for everybody right now, but try to move some numbers around to hire a part time college student.  Once you have student employees, treat them well, provide them with a valuable experience, and allow them to provide their input.  Not only will these students love getting a pay check, but treat them right and they’ll love the job and the company; when they tell all of their friends how great it is to be a part of your team, you’ll be gaining customers you never even knew existed.

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