Back To School Marketing

July Back to School Marketing Trends and Tips for Businesses

Jul 18, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing

It’s that time of year when the sun is shining brightly, pool days are a weekly occurrence and vacation itineraries are in full swing. You would think that in the midst of all this summer fun, that school would be the last thing on peoples’ minds but you would be wrong. According to Google Trends, searches for “back to school” peak around August, which means your business needs to be thinking about your school-focused campaigns early in July.  And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be in the education industry to take advantage of the back to school shopping boom. So you need to ask yourself: What is your business doing to gear up for the back to school season?

If you haven’t already come up with a plan to effectively market your product or services this time of year — don’t stress! DAE and Company has created this blog to give you tips and tricks for successfully gaining brand recognition, building loyalty and increasing sales by tapping into this lucrative back to school market.

1. Get a head start. Get noticed.

Launching your campaign early is key to getting the biggest bang for your buck on your back to school marketing efforts. As we just mentioned above, shopping for pencils, notebooks and a new wardrobe starts well before the first day of class. Keeping this in mind will allow you to more relevantly engage with parents and students who like to plan ahead. Creating content such as checklists, guides and tips for a smooth back to school transition that showcase the products or services you offer. It’s about promoting practicality in a strategic and memorable way.

2. Use mobile to your advantage.

There’s no denying it. We are living in a digital world and it’s imperative that your back to school marketing has a strong mobile presence and is optimized for every type of phone user. Playing favorites between iPhone and Android users is never a good idea. 

Fact worth knowing: One mobile commerce statistic states that 60.9% of the U.S. population are mobile buyers. That’s 167.8 million mobile shoppers — a number that is expected to grow to over 187 million by 2024.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your company website has user-friendly navigation, fast-loading pages, and an easy checkout process to improve the overall back to school shopping experience. Consumers nowadays have low patience thresholds and extremely short attention spans when it comes to making purchases online. Any technological glitches or poor UX design will undoubtedly lead these potential customers to shop elsewhere. Knocking mobile out of the park is pivotal for experiencing higher conversion rates and building brand loyalty during back to school season.

3. Exclusivity is a good thing.

Consider running exclusive back to school marketing promotions and bundles that will entice consumers to choose your brand over competitors. And if you haven’t already, provide discounts on related items so that when customers make a significant purchase they are encouraged to buy more while feeling good about saving more. In fact, 94% of people use coupons and 38% buy more than they intended because they have a coupon. For consumers, getting a good deal really does feel good. For a business, selling more is good, too. That’s what we like to call a win-win in the world of back to school marketing outcomes. 

Just remember when you’re running a campaign like this it’s important to expand your reach online. Be sure to leverage social media platforms, implement email marketing, and use your website to strategically display your products or services.

4. Influencers, events and experiences – oh my!

Partnering with educational influencers can be a highly effective way to stand out among the sea of back to school marketing tactics. Reach out to teachers, stellar student-athletes, student-mathletes, and other outstanding community members. There are so many creative ways for you to join forces in order to shed light on the importance of education while marketing the products and services you offer. Getting recommendations from real and relatable people can go a long way. 

Experiential marketing, such as planning a back to school event, is another great way to reach students and parents. Let’s face it, capturing and keeping the attention of consumers is becoming increasingly more difficult through traditional advertising. After all, we live in a world where consumers can actively switch off or opt-out of seeing ads altogether. So don’t be afraid to put your event planning skills to work.

Remember this stat: Around 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event!

Hosting workshops, seminars and webinars that address relevant topics related to education are great for creating buzz around your brand. You can use these forms of marketing to identify your brand as a leader in the education industry, while fostering a sense of community. Not to mention, you might get some free press coverage.

5. Authenticity for the win.

Utilizing user-generated content can be a powerful form of back to school marketing. Whether it’s running a contest or simply asking customers to share their experiences with your products or services, this type of content builds authenticity around your brand. There’s nothing quite like real-life experiences to build trust among consumers. 

Not to mention, these types of campaigns appeal to parents’ emotions. Especially testimonials and success stories — those have a reputation for tugging at the heartstrings. Seeing as moms and dads play an important role in back to school shopping decisions, it’s a good idea to create content that speaks to them. Highlight how your products can improve their child’s educational experience or show how your service can simplify their lengthy to-do-list during this hectic time of year. 

Bonus tip: If the age range of your target demographic happens to be high schoolers or college students, your back to school marketing messaging should speak directly to them. At a time when these students are claiming their independence, treating them like adults will likely lead them to make the adult decision to stick with your brand.

6. Doing good is a great idea.

These days, people are more conscious about what a brand stands for and supports. Knowing this allows you to implement back to school marketing techniques that call attention to your efforts of making the world a better place. So build a campaign around a cause.

Whether it’s related to sustainability, social responsibility, economic stability, or educational initiatives — people will purchase based on a cause they believe to be worthy of supporting. An Edelman Earned Brand survey of 8,000 people across eight markets found that consumers believe brands are a more powerful force for societal change than government. These belief-driven buyers are now 59% of the U.S. market. 

There are countless ways for businesses to make a positive impact. The important thing is to remain true to the identity and mission of your brand. Today’s consumer knows how to tell when a brand is trying too hard. Instead, aim to try just enough. 

Back to school marketing: There’s always room to learn more.

As with any marketing campaign, it’s crucial to monitor the performance of your back to school efforts regularly. From tracking key metrics to soliciting customer feedback, you’ll want to use this information to refine your strategy moving forward. Evaluating and adjusting accordingly is necessary for improving outcomes. The back to school season is bursting with opportunities for businesses to connect with their target audiences, to build brand recognition, and to become ROI masters.

Once you have a better understanding of what we do, you’ll see how our team of experts can take your back to school marketing efforts to the next level. So make the educated decision to contact us today!

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