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6 Effective Back to School Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

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Here are some back to school marketing ideas to promote your business.

Schools are now in session but how do smart businesses leverage this season to drive more sales?

Well, let find out.

But first, let’s take a look at a few statistics.

In 2018, back-to-school spending was expected to reach $510 per household from $501 in the previous year.

The total k-12 spending in 2017 for schools and college combined was $83.6 billion and this was projected to reach $82.8 billion; 0.96% less than the amount spent the previous year.

Perhaps, you might find it interesting that 50% of dads with kids under 18 years plan to take part in back-to-school shopping.

I guess, this sounds counter-intuitive.

The same study found that when compared to mums, dads spend 10% more in back-to-school purchases than mums.

These stats were compiled from SocialToast and some of the other stats in the latter part of the article, you might want to check out the full statistics here.

But what do the above stats mean for businesses today?

Of course, continue reading…

In today’s post, after briefly explaining what back-to-school marketing is, I’ll walk you through amazing ways you can skyrocket your small business using 6 incredible back-to-school marketing ideas and then, I’ll go ahead to answer the question.

So, let’s get started,

If you find this article useful, kindly share to friends and I will be super grateful.

What is back to school marketing?

cool back to school marketing ideas for small businesses

Back-to-school marketing is a marketing campaign that aims to create awareness and drive sales from students and parents preparing for school supply purchases for the upcoming school year.

Back to school period varies according to countries depending on the time of the year their new school sessions begin.

In Nigeria, the USA, Europe and Canada, back to school period usually start from August to early September. In Australia, this usually occurs in February while India and Japan have theirs around June and March respectively.

What I find particularly impressive about this period especially in the US, is that many states offer a tax-free period; usually for about a week for school supplies and children clothing.

Of course, this usually leads to…

  • Crazy rushes for school supplies by parents as a result of the free tax
  • Cut-throat competitions among retailers who compete against each other for the attention.

But, how will your business stand out from the rest of the competition?

Let’s find out…

6 back to school marketing ideas to skyrocket your small business

To ensure that everyone walks away from this post with some inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of 6 amazing tips for back-to-school marketing.

For each one, I’ll break down what makes it an amazing choice.

I am sure you won’t be bored. So, let get started.

First, create a back to school tie-in

Of course, you don’t have to deal with school supplies or children clothes to attract back to school shoppers.

Though traditionally it has always been associated with those that deal on products that are school-related, the truth, however, is any discerning business can partake in this excitement.

With a bit creativeness, you’ll certainly find a way to associate your business with the back-to-school season.

Of course, this might require you stretching your brain but here are a few tips to get you inspired.

  • A hair salon might offer special prices for back to school haircuts.
  • Packed lunch shops could offer back to school discounted prices for the first 50 purchases.
  • Businesses selling alarm clocks can focus on running a “be on time for school” social media campaign.

But whichever one you decide to go for, the most important thing is finding a relevant tie-in to the back-to-school buzz that will resonate with your audience.

Leverage social media

If you go through all my post on this blog, you will certainly notice that I am an avid fan of social media.

Perhaps, these few stats would help you appreciate my reasons for that.

A lot of data has shown that there are over 3 billion active social media and a recent study revealed that average users spend about 142 minutes daily there.

This means that 1 out of every 3 persons in the world spends about 142 minutes every day on social media.

Of course, this shows that social media holds boundless opportunities for businesses.

In one study, Buffer found that 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been very effective for their businesses.

So, leveraging this could help you to send your back-to-school messages across and connect with the right audience.

Let’s take a look at few other stats.

A study shows that 25% of parents consult Facebook for back to school shopping inspirations while 27% of BTS shoppers use Pinterest to organize their shopping lists.

I guess these have said it all.

Give special discounts

Do you know that 89% of parents say that the availability of mobile coupons will determine where they shop?

I guess not.

In the same study, 33% of parents say they will be actively searching for coupons shopping in-store.

So, always leverage special discounts to drive in more back-to-school sales.

Use Influencers

Almost a third (30%) of parents are willing to spend more on an item of clothing for their child if it has been endorsed by an online influencer and more than a quarter (27%) of parents have bought an item after seeing a celebrity’s child wearing it (Source)

The truth is the role of influencers in shaping perceptions cannot be over-emphasized.

To get started with influencer marketing, research teen influencers that students are following and collaborate with them to give your brand shout-outs, publicity or endorsements.

You could get them to use your product and share the images or videos on their social media channels.

A study shows that 70% of teens trust influencers over traditional celebrities, 40% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendation and 6 out of 10s teens follow advice from influencers over celebrities.

A different study revealed that 67% of marketer promote content with the help of influencers and 71% of them believe that influencer marketing is good for business.

Luckily, platforms like HYPR, Scrunch and others can help you to find influencers.

Get the kids involved

Back-to-school is all about the kids, so make it fun by getting them involved.

And one amazing thing is the kids have got the magic touches to push things around for good.

A study by Deloitte revealed that children will likely influence over $21 billion in back-to-school spending while Citigroup found that parents that bring their children with them to BTS shopping spend almost 33% more.

If there is anything these stats show, it is, of course, the need to involve the kids in the campaigns.

You can start by organizing kid-related contests.

Pick a theme that is school-related and get as many kids as possible involved. It could be online, it could be at your storefront or anywhere, just make it fun.

And don’t forget to hand over flyers with coupon code to the kids when they are leaving.

Give away branded gifts for purchases

This is perfect for businesses that don’t sell products that are related to back-to-school.

You can join the buzz by giving out branded back-to-school related gifts for every purchase. Communicate clearly to your buyers that the gift is your little way of supporting their kids’ back-to-school preparations.

You might tie this to a social media campaign that will promote this effort.

Another amazing thing with this type of campaign is apart from the excitements it would give to the kids and their parents; the branded gifts would also generate organic and free advertising for your businesses.

And I am also sure that extremely happy parents or kids won’t mind recommending you to friends without you asking.

Getting started with back to school marketing

One huge mistake you would be making is taking this list to be exhaustive. The truth is, I have only scraped the surface.

However, the tips are enough and battle-tested to get you started immediately.

Nevertheless, you might still want to consider other options and if yes, then below is a round-up of other options you might want to consider.

  • Partner with local schools for school supplies.
  • Run giveaway campaigns targeting the parents and teachers.
  • Put together a school supply project to support kids who don’t have access to what they need.
  • Use brand activation campaigns to drive brand connections
  • Or get in touch and we will help you develop ideas that will resonate with your audience.

Now to answer the question I raised at the introduction.

Back-to-school is a fantastic time to drive foot traffic to your store through promotions, events and other BTS-themed engagements

And don’t ignore fathers in the marketing efforts. Of course, the data clearly showed why.

So, that will be all for today.

Please don’t forget to always check back for related posts. But, in the meantime, share this post to your friends and I will be super excited!

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As the Lead SEO Specialist at WorkPlace Digitals, Ferderick has worked with brands across countries to 3.5X their sales using custom SEO, content marketing and sales conversion campaigns. He also writes articles for businesses that either want to see their organic search ranking to surge or support business growth using content marketing. When he is not working, he enjoys watching #ChelseaFC decimate teams.

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