5 Tips to Promote Your Student Hostel on a Budget

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Editorial Team

Students are always trying to save money. That’s why they stay at hostels! But as a hostel proprietor, you also need to save money to continue providing affordable housing to the students in your area. Marketing isn’t always cheap, but it’s a necessary part of running a business.

Luckily, there are several ways to promote your hostel without breaking the bank. Here are five cost-effective marketing strategies to promote your student hostel on a budget.

Harness the power of email

It might be the oldest form of internet communication, but email marketing still reigns supreme as one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing. In fact, the average email marketing campaign generates an incredible $36 for every $1 spent!

While email can help you find more students to stay in your hostel, it also needs to be done correctly. Your email messages are a representation of your hostel. What would students think if you sent them a text-only email asking them to stay in your building? They’d probably think your hostel is as barebones as your emails!

To make your hostel look as amazing via email as it undoubtedly is in real life, make sure you use professional-level email layouts.

Naturally, you’re busy running a hostel and probably don’t have time to design incredible emails from scratch. Find some quick inspiration with hospitality email templates on websites like PosterMyWall.

You can easily browse through thousands of professionally designed email templates to find one that best fits your hostel. Choose a template, customize the information, and you’ll be ready to hit the send button!

Build a great website

Your website is your hostel’s marketing home base. Every piece of marketing material you send out into the world should link back to your website, so potential renters can find all the information they need to book their stay.

Just like your email layouts, you want your email to look amazing to entice students to want to stay there. A bad website will make your hostel look bad!

As you’re building your website, be sure to include all the essential information students would need to make a decision about their renting situation:

  • Rates
  • Regulations
  • Amenities
  • Nearby attractions (restaurants, grocery stores, theaters, etc.)

It’s also crucial that you take high-quality property photos to showcase on your website. You want to make your hostel look as good as possible, so simple cell phone photos and videos won’t do. Take the time to capture amazing photos of the facilities to promote your student hostel properly.

Yes, building a website will cost some money. But there are several affordable website hosting and building sites out there. Some of them are even free if you build the website yourself and use a branded URL. How’s that for cost effective!?

Register with property rental websites

When looking for housing, most students head to the internet. They might stumble upon your well-designed website straight away, but more likely they’re going to visit a rental property or student housing database. Make sure your student hostel is mentioned on those websites!

Most property and rental database websites allow you to create a profile for your hostel at no charge. Just do a search for student hostels in your area and see what sites show up. Go to any database-type websites and see what it takes to get featured.

The more places your student hostel appears on the internet, the more chance you have of being found by students online.

Offer a referral discount

Who talks to the most local college students? Other college students! Namely, the ones already staying in your hostel. So why not encourage them to promote your hostel to their friends with a little referral discount.

For example, tell your current residents that they can get 5% off their next month’s rent if they bring in another renter. Since college students are always looking for ways to save money, they’ll run out and tell everyone in all of their classes about how amazing your student hostel is!

Referral discounts are a powerful marketing tool for any business on a budget. It might technically take away from your profits ever so slightly, but it also doesn’t cost you anything out of pocket — which is perfect to help you maintain your marketing budget.

Head to social media

The cornerstone to any successful marketing campaign is to get your messaging in front of your ideal audience. As the manager of a student hostel, you want to get your marketing in font of students. And where do students spend their time in 2023? Social media!

According to studies, 95% of college-age students are active on social media. That’s almost all of them! That means being active on social media is a great way to promote your student hostel to your perfect audience: students.

However, social media marketing isn’t as simple as making a quick post and throwing it on your feed. There are millions of posts uploaded to social media every single day. That means you have some stiff competition if you want to stand out. Make sure everything you post to social media is high quality.

Just like with your email layouts, you don’t have time to design social media graphics from scratch. Visit websites like PosterMyWall to find plenty of inspiration, like thousands of Instagram post templates.

And the best part is that all these templates are completely free to use — just like social media. You can post high-quality graphics to social media and reach up to 95% of students in your area all without spending a dime! That price is low enough to fit any budget.

Fill your student hostel without breaking the bank

Marketing might be essential for any business, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Running a student hostel is all about keeping costs down, so you can make your amenities affordable for the students. When you’re ready to start promoting your student hostel and don’t want to spend a bunch of money, start an email campaign, craft a great website, register with rental database websites, offer a referral discount, and post plenty of content to social media.

When all your marketing efforts work together, every bed in your hostel will have a student who’s eager to learn — and you won’t even have to dip into your business savings!