The 2020 school year is, at risk of sounding cliché, utterly unprecedented.
As marketers, there was no way to predict back in January that the hottest items on the shelf in September would be face masks and antibacterial wipes.
But you’ve adjusted and stocked your shelves accordingly as schools around the country start up again, one way or another.
As back to school season rages on however what can you do as a marketer to remain sensitive to the climate while still driving sales?
We’ve got tips and tricks to help you forge through this tricky time while still keeping customers’ well-being at the forefront.
Here is your ultimate guide to marketing for the wild 2020 school year.
Every school around the country has adopted one of these three learning models this year:
The approach a school takes will impact the materials your customers will be shopping for this year.
Even the staples like notebooks and pencils may change if all the learning is online!
It may be too late to change your inventory entirely, so the best strategy is to optimize for the way customers will shop this year.
According to the National Retail Federation, most back-to-school/college shopping happens at department stores. The second most popular way to get school-related products is online.
Your website is optimized, your shelves are stocked. For the final leg of your back to school marketing journey, these nine tips are sure to edge you out over the competition.
53% of online shoppers will be visiting your site from their mobile phones. You want to be sure your site is optimized for a smaller screen meaning no cut off images, a responsive text size, and more.
We touched briefly on keyword research above. A great free tool you can use to help with that is Google Trends. Google Trends is a search volume tool that shows you how frequently a term is searched by Google relative to the site’s total search volume over a given period of time.
You can use Google Trends to find out what people are searching for the most this year and use that information to populate your homepage or targeted social media ads.
According to the same study conducted by Deloitte above, collecting coupons or discounts is the most popular use of mobile phones when it comes to retail. Texting has the other added benefit of sending personalized offers to the only inbox with a 98% open rate! Better yet, studies show that 39% of customers spend more if they received a personalized coupon. When it comes to discounts, mobile is just the right place to send them!
Most shoppers only stay on a site for 10-20 seconds unless they find what they’re looking for or something that captures their interest. A great way to entice people to stay is with banners or above-the-fold content advertising deals and discounts! Take the example below. Not only does the maroon banner at the top advertise free shipping on order overs $50+, but they also advertise an extra 50% off sale items. A deal so good it’s hard to resist a click-through.
Giveaways either on social media, email, or text-to-win are great ways to gather customers’ information for future marketing materials. Contest CTA’s have a 3.73% higher conversion rate when compared to other CTA’s, meaning you’ll even drive sales while you’re collecting customer information. Two birds, one massive stone!
As we mentioned in our introduction, nobody could have planned on things like face masks being the go-to item for backpacks this year. That being said, marketers can get creative by turning promotions around quickly on the school year’s new staples. For example, running deals on desk dividers, face shields, and headset microphones for teachers is a creative way to help your business drive sales and stand out by addressing the new needs of the educational community.
Did you know Facebook has rules for advertisements? For example, ads with more than 20% text will technically be approved but will be shown to a reduced audience giving you less reach then you want/need. Be sure you favor images over text and your ads will be golden!
Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers. The more you showcase your products through engaging photos and videos, the more likely you are to watch your sales rise. The unique climate COVID has created provides ample opportunity to show how your products can be used in unique and safe ways to enhance kid’s already disrupted school year.
Believe it or not the “mom blog” industry generates over 11 billion each year for retailers. Their success is driven by the trust consumers have for the authentic peer to peer content mom bloggers and Instagram personalities provide. Real people showcasing how products work in real life is one of the best ways to reach, you guessed it, real customers. Partnering with a blogger for something like an Instagram giveaway is a great way to both drive sales and awareness towards your brand.
The school year may look different, but think of it all as a fresh take on the traditional back to school advertising! There are boatloads of opportunities for your brand to come out of this as a frontrunner for both agile advertising and customer convenience!