Now it is about the time for students to get back to school after enjoying their summer, so it is the time that retailers are busy with advertising and promoting back-to-school shopping. According to the recent 2015 National Retail Federation’s consumer survey, the total back-to-school and college spending is the second largest expense after the winter holidays in the US.
From parents to students, back-to-school shoppers of all types are researching online, comparing prices and looking for deals before actually buying. They are also seeking products on their smartphones and then shifting to other devices, such as tablets or PCs to make purchases.
Today with more consumers spending more time on digital media than TV or magazines, it is important for brands to make their back-to-school marketing campaigns optimised for the Internet and mobile. Also, back to school is not a one-off marketing campaign. Instead, it has become reoccurring real-time conversations with audiences which span over two to three months.
In addition, studies show that more and more back-to-school shoppers plan to use social media to find promotions, as well as look for reviews and recommendations. So if you are one of the back-to-school retailers, one of your top priorities is to capture these consumers – parents and students.
The following are a few ways to ensure that you are reaching your target audience:
Since more consumers are relying on multiple devices to search products and make online purchases, you need to make sure that your online, smartphone and tablet advertisements are optimised with innovative ideas and compelling creatives. Also make sure that the ads are effectively targeted to your intended audience to help drive visibility of your products and services on different channels. Meanwhile, don’t forget to consider the touch driven trend and the impact of the ad’s features towards the user experience. A good mobile website will enable shoppers to easily checkout and complete the transaction.
Going back to school can be expensive, so parents and students are constantly looking for special offers, coupons and discounts. Think about promoting same day sales, free shipping, special events, countdown offers and local offerings on different social networks with an inbound link to your online shop. You can also offer location-based coupons online to attract shoppers to enter your physical stores, which in turn provides an opportunity to entice immediate action. Besides, implementing hashtags on social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Weibo can provide consumers another convenient way to find the latest deals.
You can create content or feature promotions or contests that encourage Likes, comments or shares on social media networks. A contest about back-to-school is a great way to promote your products and provide the necessary supplies and items to parents and students at the same time. It will also drive more traffic to your website. So this type of endorsement makes social advertising more effective from a click-through and conversion perspective.
While text-based social sites are still popular, visuals are a critical part of solid content strategies. Images and videos get more click-throughs and shares from younger audiences, which almost automatically expands your reach. Share experiences, humour, culture or news — anything that helps your brand naturally fit into real conversations.
Too often marketers run back-to-school campaigns that don’t speak to the right audience, or they try to engage with them in the wrong places. Keep in mind that consumers are increasingly using multiple devices and channels to shop. So offer something valuable and keep it simple. If people see a clear benefit, they will share it. If it is a simple message, it will be more engaging. Start leveraging a combination of relevant content, technologies and approaches to reach out to your target audiences, which in turn drive mobile, online and in-store sales.