I'm a co-founder of a website that helps high school, college, and graduate students apply to schools by connecting them with highly-qualified mentors. We are currently planning our marketing channels. What specific advice could you give me regarding getting our name out there?
I would invest in Instagram advertising. Your target market uses Instagram heavily, so this will be an effective use of advertising dollars. Any kind of social media advertising will get you exposure with these age groups. You might set up a twitter account if you haven't already. You can promote your tweets and get your site out there. Maybe offer some kind of promotion for retweets, or special service or discounts through tweets that only your followers get or are eligible for. If you want an example- @HiddenCash on twitter. Hidden cash gains followers by tweeting out clues to where the cash is hidden in various locations. Best of luck to you!
I am a Consultant for Startups with 10 years in the Higher Ed sector, and as a former student mentor I would urge you to focus on two marketing tools - early adopter word-of-mouth and endorsement by influencers.
If you'd like to get on a call, we can talk about how a small, dedicated band (contacted through campus representatives IRL) and quotable endorsements (to be mentioned on landing page) would be an excellent way to start, and how these can be achieved.
The remaining approach I would be fascinated to help with if we could know more about your 'highly qualified mentors'. There are some people in similar spaces that are grant-funded which you'd be competing with, and they succeed with Professor and Instructor support.
Let's understand our model vis-a-vis these competitors and plan for success!
I would create a unique marketing plan for Instagram, Facebook & Twitter since that is where your target market is. You can do paid advertising through them and really target the people in your niche! I would really become engaged in communities in those social media platforms and do fun contests & build awareness. I help create marketing strategies if you are interested in talking!
Others have addressed social media here. Sure, that is important, but is only one piece of the puzzle. A comprehensive --- and tested --- marketing plan is the key. As a former CMO for an international higher education student-centric nonprofit that depended on direct/integrated marketing for 80% of its success, I suggest that looking at any and all channels is imperative.
If you do not have a quality direct marketing list, then going to where potential students --- and their parents --- are going will be the biggest key. On the web, that will be the most-visited relevant sites that enable you retarget via companies like AdRoll.
The other concern is the ever-expanding use of ad blockers. Therefore, simply "advertising" is not as powerful as it once was. Becoming a resource that will draw people to your site and blog will naturally increase your exposure via Google and other search engines over time.
This is just a cursory overview, since I do not know your exact product and business plan. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to further discuss your challenges.