It seems that as soon as summer rolls in, consumers are already thinking about school starting up again. In fact, 48 percent of consumers start back-to-school shopping online three to four weeks before the first day of school, and about 31 percent do so two months before (according to PM Digital’s, "Back To School Trend Report").
Even if you don’t have a business that specifically sells to the school market, you can still get in the spirit. Here are five ideas to help you ace back-to-school marketing:
- Offer back-to-school specials. Any business can discount products or services and call it a back-to-school special. With millions of kids and parents shopping for school supplies (e.g., computers, clothes, and paper goods), mark something as a back-to-school special or use those keywords in your online product description, and you’ll get their attention. For example, if you own an IT business, you could offer a special on computer tune-ups or new computer setups.
- Hold an end-of-summer promotion. Think, “Say Goodbye to Summer,” or, “Make the Summer Last,” or, “Endless Summer Savings.”
- Use social media. Don’t forget about social media promotions. Back-to-school ideas include appealing to fans of local college or high school sports teams, getting fans to upload their best chewed pencil photos, or offering discount codes for becoming a fan. Because summer is a great time for visual social media promotions, you can also ask your fans to submit their best summer or vacation photos.
- Get a jump on holiday promotions. Once summer comes to an end, consumers know the holidays are just around the corner. Don’t procrastinate on your holiday promotions. Offer early bird specials or appeal to consumers’ need to take care of business before the holidays get too busy.
- Give back. The Southern Education Foundation reports that nearly half of all public school students in the nation are considered low-income. So make it part of your back-to-school strategy to give to your local schools. You could do everything from volunteering your time in a school’s computer center, to contributing to the PTA, to donating new school equipment. Talk to school administrators and parents to see where the greatest needs are, and then adopt a school to make a difference.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.