How to Take Advantage of the Back-To-School Season for Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign
As the survey from international professional services network Deloitte shows, parental spending per child averaged $612 in 2021. This represented a 16% increase over the previous year’s back-to-school figure. The findings also show that sustainability and children’s mental health are top priorities for parents, while moms and dads are shopping more in stores instead of ordering online and generally relying less on social media recommendations.
The back-to-school season, which runs from mid-summer to early fall, is now known for record sales in Europe as well. In fact, the back-to-school hype with big parties and lots of deals originates in the U.S., similar to shopping experiences like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Of course, stationery is particularly popular with shoppers, but so are electronic products.
After two turbulent pandemic years, schools are now supposed to open regularly again. Even though the aforementioned rising inflation may make shoppers a bit more hesitant than usual, brands can still prepare for and profit from the season.
General Key Data on the Back-To-School Season
Naturally, the summer vacations of every country can vary greatly. For instance in Germany, they are determined by the individual federal states. While students in Hamburg can already shoulder their school bags at the beginning/mid-August, school does not start until a month later in Bavaria. Consequently, you can safely set a period from early August to mid-September for a back-to-school marketing campaign in Europe. Likewise, dates vary in Austria and Switzerland, while summer vacations in Spain last until mid-September, in France, Italy and Canada until early September, and in the U.S. from mid-July to mid-September. For more information on the start of school in other countries, visit schoolholidays.org.
The U.S. National Retail Federation (NRF) released some key data on last year’s season, which was still heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to that data, electronics, clothing and footwear were the most purchased items in 2021, with tech gadgets now becoming everyday and essential school supplies, just like backpacks and binders. At the same time, however, as a consequence of the health crisis, hygiene products such as cleaning cloths and disinfectants have become important to everyday school life.
Enrollment Vs. Student Discounts
Back-to-school promotions are particularly effective for products geared toward enrollment, but freshmen and students in general can also be a lucrative target audience. Logically, needs vary widely in this regard.
Marketing campaigns for first-year pupils should target both the children themselves and, more importantly, their parents. Students, on the other hand, are a separate target group that is primarily interested in special offers for everyday university life. Electronic products are particularly popular, which is why Apple and Microsoft, for example, focus on student discounts. In addition, students may be moving out and taking responsibility for themselves (perhaps for the first time), earning money, and possibly even wanting to reinvent themselves with e.g. new clothes.
Image via Apple
As the graph above shows, the purchase categories for high school and college students overlap in clothing and electronics, with shoes coming before furniture and home decor items for younger consumers.
While parents, students and pupils are obvious target groups for back-to-school marketing campaigns, teaching staff should not be forgotten, too. Hence, marketers should plan carefully who they want to target with their brand’s strategy. These aim definitions can change or overlap, of course, but targeted offers, coupons or discount promotions are definitely recommended.
Other ideas include 2-for-1 offers, free shipping, timed specials, giveaways, loyalty customer discounts, or pre-sales for newsletter subscribers, for example.
Influencer Marketing in the Back-To-school Season
When it comes to product recommendations, many customers trust the expertise of their favorite influencers. For your back-to-school campaign, you can work with different creators to generate sales and increase brand awareness in a personal way. Ideas for working with influencers are sweepstakes or promo codes.
For back-to-schoolers, it is advisable to approach parents first. Look for family bloggers who match your target group and can recommend your products to the right audience. As mentioned before, parents are also more focused on sustainability and the mental and physical health of their children, which is why you should make sure to communicate not only discounts but also your brand values in your campaign.
Kumiko Love, or @thebudgetmom, gives advice on budgets and housekeeping. She also gives tips on how to minimize spending during the back-to-school season. With rising inflation set to impact many families in 2022, Love could be a good partner in positioning yourself as a responsible brand in a long run as well.
Since 44% of Gen Z have already made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation, they are an attractive target group for your back-to-school campaign. As a result, college influencers can be extremely interesting for brands looking to take advantage of peer-to-peer marketing.
Advice and recommendations from the big sister may not be something you want to hear, but will you take it? At least the latter is certainly true for many of Lisa Phan’s 361,000 subscribers on YouTube. The American gives tips on learning, organizing and increasing productivity at school or university. She also compares products and shares her everyday college life with her followers. In her Moving vlog, she shows what she brought or bought for her move to the start of university. Brands can use this authentic content to increase their brand awareness and build a good relationship with their customers in the long term.