Back to school time is always a busy, exciting time in the community. This new school year may look very different for everyone in the country, and what that school year looks like may vary from one person to the next. Everyone, however, is making plans to go back to school in some capacity. Are you prepared to leverage back to school time to your advantage this year? Consider these strategies for reaching out to parents, teachers, and students.
1.Create a commercial.
Design a TV commercial that shares your company's dedication to supporting students and parents in your community during the back to school season this year. Keep in mind that parents and students have dramatically different expectations and plans for the 2020/2021 school year.
Homeschooling has increased exponentially in many states, and 60% of parents feel that they are at least somewhat likely to choose an option, either virtual schooling or homeschooling, that allows them to keep their children home this year. As a result, you should consider a commercial that reflects the challenges of at-home learning as well as supporting parents and students who are planning to resume school in person this fall.
2.Target the back to school audience.
Consider what the back to school audience looks like for your business. You want to appeal to parents, students, and teachers. Keep in mind that during back to school time, students often have a larger-than-usual say in what their parents purchase. They're picking out supplies, choosing the colors and themes that they want, and begging for the latest clothes, shoes, or accessories. As you plan your advertising for the new school year, you must include those younger customers as part of your target audience.
3.Run digital ads.
This year, more consumers than ever--an estimated 41%--are planning to do their back to school shopping online. They're also putting off that school shopping longer, based in part on the fact that many parents still do not know when and how their children will go back to school. Running digital ads highlighting your school supply bundles and deals can help bring customer attention to your business as they make those buying decisions.
4. Offer supplies that support the "new normal."
School this year will look very different than it has in the past. Consider the needs of parents, students, and teachers as they face this reality. What sanitizing products can you carry, from hand sanitizer to cleaning supplies, that could be useful to students and teachers returning to the classroom?
Savvy business owners are also considering digital learning needs. Parents are currently trying to set their children up to learn from home. They need home seating that will make digital learning more comfortable, printers and other tech supplies, and items that will help support students as they learn in a unique setting. Consider what products and supplies your business can offer to support those needs.
5. Run a promotion.
Offer a special promotion in-store and online that will appeal to parents, teachers, and students. Consider:
- Bundles based on local school supply lists, which can help parents pick up supplies that might not ordinarily be offered online or streamline getting them out of the store.
- BOGO deals that will make it easier for parents to acquire supplies for their students.
- Discounts on the items families need most this year.
You might also choose to run a promotion allowing customers to sponsor a teacher, which can help increase community awareness and support. Offer a discount to families that choose to help purchase items on a teacher's wish list, for example.
6. Enhance your loyalty program.
Use your loyalty program to help bring interested customers into your store. Offer rewards and discounts for customers who come to you for their needs for this school year. If you offer services that can prove helpful throughout the school year, consider offering bundled deals and discounts to customers who use you all year long.
7.Run a social media campaign.
By the end of 2019, 79% of the American population had a social media profile. Your target audience for back to school season likely utilizes social media on a regular basis. Create a social media campaign that will appeal to your target audience. Thanks to the targeting available on most social media ads, you can customize them to the exact individuals you want to target.
For example, you might produce different ads for parents than those that show up in their teens' newsfeeds. Teens are also more likely to use different platforms: 25% of them use Instagram most often, followed by 25% of teens who use Facebook most frequently. Keep in mind that ads directed at teenagers may have fewer clicks directly from the ad, but may help raise brand awareness and increase the likelihood that the teen or their parents will later make a buying decision.
As a business, you must carefully consider the changes and challenges students and parents alike are facing this school year. By considering and planning your promotions carefully, you can increase your success and improve advertising ROI during back to school season.