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I can’t believe how fast summer is going by! It’s almost time to go back to school!

For marketers, this means getting ready for the back-to-school rush with some efficient and effective social media tips.

In this article we are going to look at some of the opportunities the back-to-school rush is bringing. We will focus on primary and secondary school students.

1. Showcase your Deals

How much does an average family spend for school?

According to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU via The Journal, 16th July 2019), Irish parents are spending an average of €999 and €1,379 for getting their children ready for respectively primary and secondary school.

Irish families with primary school children are spending €50 less year-on-year, while families with secondary school children are spending €20 more 2018 vs 2019.

In the US families with children in elementary or high school spend an average of $697.

What drives back-to-school shopping?

Not surprisingly, one of the key drivers for back-to-school shopping is pricing.

Irish parents bear a back-to-school-related debt of €274 and €357, respectively for primary and secondary school items (The Journal, 16th July 2019).

53% of American mothers say back-to-school shopping ‘strain the budget’ (Social Media Today, 9th August 2019).

chart about pricing driving back to school purchases

MDG Advertising via Social Media Today, 9th August 2019

What school items do families spend their money on?

In Ireland, it seems primary students’ biggest expense goes to extracurricular activities, followed by clothing and uniform. Secondary school student spend most of their money on books followed by clothing and uniform and extracurricular activities.

In the US elementary or high school students spend their money mostly on electronics and clothing, respectively $235 and $149.

Opportunity

While focusing your online strategy entirely on pricing might not be very effective, make sure pricing is an evident part of your digital marketing efforts:

  • DISCOUNTS – Showcase discounts, special offers and pricing in general in your banner and search ads
  • SPECIAL OFFERS – Use different marketing techniques such as 3×2, buy X and get a free Y, etc.
  • MAGNET – You might also want to consider using a heavily discounted item as a magnet to attract shoppers to your store or ecommerce website
  • COUNTDOWN – Consider including a countdown or timer in your banners and on your website to create a sense of urgency for the buyer
Social Media Tips

If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer or the resources to hire one, you can simply use Canva to create your social media banners:

  1. Head over to Canva.com and create an account (you can also login via Facebook or Google)
  2. In the app search bar, type the type of ad you want to design, for example ‘Facebook ad’ and click on the corresponding option
  3. Choose one of the many templates and customise it according to your needs.

2. Make your website mobile-friendly

It comes at no surprise that more and more families, mothers in particular, are using mobile for their back-to-school shopping.

Where do families buy school items?

According to a survey by MDG Advertising (MDG Advertising via Social Media Today, 9th August 2019) 56% of North American families buy school items in-store while 44% say they buy online.

The same research forecasts that 60% of back-to-school shoppers this year will use mobile for their back-to-school shopping, while 74% of American mothers are going to use Amazon as their main point where to buy school items.

chart about the rise of mobile and Amazon for back to school shopping

MDG Advertising via Social Media Today, 9th August 2019

 

Opportunity

It goes without saying that if you want to target online shoppers you need a fully-responsive, fast and attractive website:

  • MOBILE FRIENDLY – To see if your website is responsive, you can simply visit it from a mobile or tablet device. To check how your website adapts to different screen sizes and devices, head to Responsivedesignchecker.com.
  • FAST – If your web pages takes longer than three seconds to load, visitors will run out of patience and move away from your website. Check how fast your pages load on Gtmetrix.com or Google Test My Site and follow the corresponding recommendations.
Social Media Tips

One of the main reasons for a slow website are images not optimised for the web. In a previous article we wrote about how to optimise images and improve your website speed
.

3. Choose the Right Platform

Who decides what to buy for school?

Depending on the item, there are different levels of influence that children and students in general have on their parents. Their influence is a high 56% when it comes to buying clothes and shoes. It drops to 23% when it comes to buying school supplies.

What social media platform do I choose for my social media marketing?

If you decide to target secondary decision makers like students, then Facebook might not be your best bet and you want to invest your time and money into platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube.

According to Hamarketingpr.ie (H+A Marketing+PR, n / a) [accessed on 9th August 2019] ‘Snapchat and Instagram are the most popular social channels for Irish teens (96% and 92% respectively)’.

In the US, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular. Youtube is the social media platform being used the most, while Snapchat is the one being used more regularly.

chart with stats about what online platforms US teenagers use the most

Pew Research Center, 31st May 2018

If you are targeting parents you need to make sure you take into account Facebook for your advertising on social media. If you are targeting mothers, then Pinterest is your best bet:

chart about how to use the right social media platform for your business

Angie Gensler via Social Media Today, 24th July 2019

 

Opportunity

Identifying the decision maker could play a very important part in your digital marketing strategy.

In a previous article we looked at how to choose the social media platform that is most suitable for your business or brand.

It really boils down to two questions:

  • is my audience on that platform?
  • does the platform fit my style / the style of my brand?

If you can answer yes to both, then you know you have found the social media channel for your back-to-school marketing efforts.

Social Media Tips

Use Facebook Ads Manager to get a sense of the size of your audience:

  1. Head over to Facebook Ads Manager (it’s generally under ‘Explore’ on Facebook left sidebar)
  2. Create a new campaign
  3. Under Ad Set, select your audience by adding location, demographics, behaviour and interests
  4. Check the  number of the right hand side to see what reach to expect. Adjust if  the reach is too low / broad

APPENDIX

When is the best time for back-to-school advertising on social media?

The simple answer is…now!

People are already searching school-related items on Google. Depending on the search query, you get different search volumes at slightly different times:

Search volume for ‘School books’

chart from Google Trends showing search volume for 'school books' in Ireland

Image from Google Trends [accessed 14th August 2019]

Search volume for ‘School uniforms’

chart from Google Trends showing search volume for 'school uniforms' in Ireland

Image from Google Trends [accessed 14th August 2019]

Indirectly related to the back-to-school shopping are searches for the clothing allowance in Ireland:

Search volume for ‘back to school allowance’

chart from Google Trends showing search volume for 'back to school allowance' in Ireland

Image from Google Trends [accessed 14th August 2019]

I hope you like this article folks! As usual, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch via our contact form or directly through email at info@increasily.com.

 


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    • Pasquale Mellone

      Hi Angie, you are very welcome and great infographic! If you have an article that you would like to push, feel free to reach out. Same for guest-posting

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