Best Practices

Best Practices: Back to School Marketing Campaigns 

By Editorial Staff

School’s out for the summer, but that only means one thing: back to school is right around the corner. While students both look forward to and dread the first day of school, let’s go over back to school marketing campaign best practices!

Back to School Marketing Practices For Starters

It is essential to connect with creators and influencers, even fundamental. However, a great marketing strategy for your brand’s back to school campaign is foundational. This strategic base is what will keep the campaign from falling flat. Additionally, it will also ensure that you will achieve your campaign’s goals.

Before you get started coordinating with influencers and planning an effort to reach out: 

  • When do you plan on starting to advertise your product/service/event? Is it relevant throughout the school year? Are there specific times where it makes sense to promote it to customers? 
  • Are there certain social media platforms that best suit your brand’s customer demographic? 
  • What strategy would best capture your audience/demographic’s attention? 
  • Are there any trends your audience is interested in or engaging with? How can you utilize those trends with your brand to gain traction with your specific demographic? 
  • Is there an influencer niche that best suits those trends, your brand, and the general back to school marketing strategy/campaign? 


When Should You Start Advertising? 

The perfect time to advertise for back to school is late summer into early fall (between late July and September). Most students, parents, and teachers are preparing for the upcoming school year during those months. You’re less likely to let potential customers fall through the cracks as you promote through various venues during these times. 

If you’re tailored towards a wider audience of teachers and students you could consider advertising throughout the school year. This strategy would look like advertising during intervals throughout the year like holidays, when people are willing to spend with the right sales and advertising. 

Make sure you choose wisely! Choosing the time of year you plan to advertise could make or break your back to school campaign. Also, ensure you utilize Google Trends to see where other brands advertising similar products/services reach peak interest – that can easily help to inform your window for the strategy. 

For example, in a more general sense, if social media savvy high school students are looking for the “trendiest new backpack” online – they might search something like “Trendy Backpacks.” Being that this search is most popular from late June to early September, it makes the most sense to utilize this time frame and tailor your product to relevant searches and keywords. 

Via Google Trends

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What Platforms Should You Utilize? 

Depending on your audience, their general demographic, and overall tendencies – which you should investigate in your strategy plan beforehand – different social media platforms will make the most sense to utilize. For Gen Z and young millennial audiences, platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube might make the most sense for back to school marketing campaigns. 

Most social media platforms’ users, at least according to research from Spocket, are dominated by younger generations like these – so tailoring your content to appease your unique audience will depend on where they fall. Millennials, aged 25 to 43, make up almost 70 million of all social media users, while Gen Z accounts for over 60 million. Baby Boomers are just over 35 million of them. 

Outside of social media platform demographics, considering the certain sites that are most popular during the back to school season could be influential as well. Being that TikTok quickly became, and has continued to be, one of the most popular platforms and others like Twitter have grown less so – it’s important to recognize that it makes less sense to promote on one, if it’s started to slip in relevancy and reach. 

Even with endless research and the right voices in the mix, you won’t be able to make these decisions in just one day. Take your time crafting the right strategy of social media usage, including what demographics, age-groups, and audiences you’re hoping to reach. 

Have you ever wondered about the power of utilizing other posting techniques, like hashtags? Check out this NeoReach blog for answers.

Publicity & Popularity – What Strategies Should You Prioritize? 

While many strategies yearn to be an overnight sensation or the object of a new trend, the truth is that many brands grow successful back to school campaigns by advertising sales. Whether it’s a 10% discount or a larger promotion for students, parents, or teachers – sometimes your best bet at attracting an audience is by advertising these sales. 

Contests, giveaways, and competitions can also close the gap when it comes to connecting with your target audience. Whether it’s purely for clicks or to encourage active participation. Coupled with influencer participation and creative marketing, contests can be extremely influential in building community and growing loyal consumers. 

When it comes to this stage of inviting influencers to create content, don’t forget the most important rule of thumb: give them creative freedom. If you’re choosing a specific influencer, it should be because you trust their eye – so let them infuse their personality into your campaign. 

Not only does it draw in their audience, it also promotes a more authentic sense of interest in whatever it is that they’re promoting. 

Finding the Right Influencer 

Without the engagement of an influencer, most back to school marketing campaigns would simply fall flat. Their creativity, audience, and authenticity is what makes these campaigns special and unique, even after the school year has passed. 

Being transparent with any influencer you collaborate with is essential. Additionally, provide a safe space for them to voice their opinions and any concerns they might have. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t help anyone, and will truly only hurt your back to school campaign. 

Some influencers may be perfect for your campaign while others might not be based on their demographics and niche. While you start your search for the perfect one, be sure to keep these few things in mind: 

  • Pick a niche. Find an influencer that fits well into that niche. Will the influencer be a good candidate based on the kind of content they post? Will their audience be interested in your product? Will the advertisement positively impact the influencer as well as your campaign? Does the influencer post a lot of advertisements and sponsored content – what kinds of content are those ads? 


  • Research any influencer you’re interested in thoroughly: when finding the right influencer, you want to make sure they have a solid reputation on the Internet and any social media platforms they’ve interacted with. Do they post authentic and trusted content? Does their engagement rate correspond with their follower count or are there concerning gaps to explain? Do they show respect and generosity towards their audience? 


  • Consider your budget during the search: researching goes hand in hand with budgeting. Make sure you prioritize setting your budget before you start, otherwise you’re sure to waste both yours and an influencer’s time in negotiations. Every influencer has a different rate, but larger influencers usually have much higher rates than the average creator does. While these larger influencers are often desirable from a brand’s perspective, with more followers, smaller micro-influencers with dedicated fan bases and communities are just as powerful for back to school marketing campaigns. 


Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, preparation, planning, transparency, and clear communication are the hallmarks of a successful back to school campaign. No matter what your product or service is, if you can confidently answer the questions and prompts above – you’re already well on your way to reaching your target audience and campaign goals.

This article was written by Zayda Slabbekoorn

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