The back-to-school season is exciting! Parents and their children are busy shopping for new supplies to get them through the school year and they’re spending a lot of money. In fact, according to Deloitte, the average back-to-school (BTS) spend per child is $519.

So, it’s wise to take advantage of this thrilling time. But, in order to get more BTS shoppers through your business doors or to your website, you need to grab their attention. This can be tough to do when just about every company out there is also offering BTS sales and promotions. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can use to make sure your business stands out.

Here’s how to create an awesome back-to-school marketing campaign.

Promote the right products.

First, in order to create a successful back-to-school marketing campaign, you need to focus on promoting the right products. If you choose products that don’t in any way relate to the back-to-school season, no one will pay any attention to your marketing campaign.

Of course, the most popular back-to-school products include:

  • Stationary supplies
  • Clothing/shoes
  • Backpacks/lunch bags
  • Food for packed lunches
  • Electronics (calculators, laptops)

But, even if your business doesn’t sell the typical back-to-school products, you can still make whatever you offer relevant to the back-to-school season. For instance, a pizza restaurant can offer an after-school pizza special. Or a fitness studio could promote a “Get Fit for the New School Year” gym membership targeted towards college students. The back-to-school season is much like New Year’s; it’s a time for a fresh start. Use that theme as inspiration when choosing what products you’ll feature.

Offer freebies to help your audience.

Instead of focusing only on selling your products, you should provide your audience with valuable back-to-school resources as well. Offering helpful freebies is a great way to increase brand awareness with your target audience.

For instance, like in the example below, you could offer a free meal plan to help out parents during this busy time of year.

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Other back-to-school freebie ideas could include recipes, calendars, planners, binder covers, checklists, and more.

Consider offering your back-to-school freebie to shoppers in exchange for their email address. That way, instead of just giving something away and never seeing those people again, they can become subscribers to your email list. Then, with email marketing campaigns, you can easily encourage consumers to visit your store or website again and turn them into customers.

Create a giveaway.

Speaking of freebies, another way to create a lot of buzz around your brand is by running a giveaway. The back-to-school season can be costly for parents. So, many would rush to enter a giveaway for a chance to win some great back-to-school supplies.

For example, a back-to-school giveaway with awesome prizes, like the one below, would attract a ton of entries.

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You can use a tool like RafflePress to easily create a successful giveaway. Plus, with RafflePress you can give users multiple ways to enter your contest. For instance, you can require users to follow your business on Twitter in exchange for extra contest entries. A successful giveaway can drive more traffic to your website, increase customer engagement, grow your social media following, and more.

Think about the kids, not just the parents.

Back-to-school marketing campaigns are usually aimed at parents, they’re the ones with the money after all. Because of this, many businesses focus on creating marketing campaigns in print flyers and email newsletters. But, according to research, more than three-quarters of parents say children have a direct influence on up to 50 percent of their purchases. So, when planning back-to-school marketing campaigns, think about targeting kids and teens too.

Consider where kids hang out online and what type of content they’re interested in. For instance, you could create posts or ads on social media platforms such as Instagram or YouTube, where a lot of younger audiences spend their time. Video content is especially popular with younger audiences. This year, eMarketer expects that 24.2 million kids – those ages 11 and younger – will watch digital video.

Don’t forget about teachers.

When you think about back-to-school marketing campaigns, you typically think of parents and their kids. But, don’t forget about teachers too. Most teachers are expected to buy their own supplies for the classroom, so don’t leave them out of your back-to-school sales and specials.

To attract more teachers to your business you could hold a few “Teacher Appreciation Days” throughout the summer like Staples does. On these specific days, teachers can get special deals and free samples.

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While teachers can participate in any regular back-to-school sale, having promotions specifically targeted towards teachers will make them feel appreciated.

Over to you.

Normally, you’d want to start planning your back-to-school marketing campaign early. But, there’s still time to create a successful campaign just in time for September. With a good back-to-school marketing campaign, you can impress a large portion of your target audience – teachers, kids, college students, and teachers alike – and turn them into lifelong customers.