Inspiring Marketing Ideas for Back to School in 2023

At this time of the year, you can come up with inspiring back-to-school campaign ideas and boost your sales.

Many companies are profitably engaged in the fall semester of schools and colleges with their back-to-school marketing actions. Numerous kids and their parents have already begun purchasing school supplies, clothing, and technological devices. 

2023 back-to-school spending forecast

According to NRF, back-to-school spending reached 

  • $33.9 billion in 2020, 
  • $37.1 billion in 2021, and  
  • projected to reach $36.9 billion in 2022. 

And back-to-college spending was 

  • $67.7 billion in 2020, 
  • $71 billion in 2021, and 
  • projected to reach $73.9 billion in 2022.

After two years of disruptions caused by the pandemic, parents and students are ready for a more “normal” school year shopping experience. 

Where do people buy school supplies?

Back-to-school shoppers also plan to spend:

  • $187.10 on electronics such as computers, calculators, or phones
  • $138.66 on shoes
  • $122.13 on supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes

Unlike back-to-schoolers, college shoppers will spend the most on electronics ($229.21). Besides electronics, they also plan to spend:

  • $153.32 on clothing and accessories
  • $109.29 on dorm or apartment furnishings
  • $102.82 on food
  • $83.41 on shoes
  • $78.70 on personal care items such as skin and hair care
  • $69.46 on school supplies such as notebooks and backpacks
  • $62.61 on gift cards
  • $53.34 on collegiate branded gear

Compared to their habits prior to the pandemic, back-to-school and college shoppers intend to shop at a single location as opposed to multiple ones. The top five destinations for back-to-school shopping are;

  • Online (50%), 
  • Department stores (45%), 
  • Discount retailers (40%),
  • Clothing stores (37%) and 
  • Electronics stores (28%). 

That means online shopping leads shopping experience. With proper e-commerce marketing, you can become a success story. With the aid of e-commerce marketing agencies in the USA and education marketing agencies in the USA, you can find a suitable education marketing strategy.

Back-to-school marketing ideas

It’s beautiful that you can readily advertise your products and services on the internet today. Customers can also purchase your goods with a single click. The current difficulty is that these tasks are simple for all businesses. 

Therefore, you must develop innovative marketing strategies to convince clients to choose you.

Top ideas:

  • Meet customers’ needs
  • Consider offering back-to-school promotions
  • Provide back-to-school packages
  • Think about influencer marketing
  • Organize social media contests
  • Sort your customers into distinct groups
  • Check your mobile purchasing experience
  • Engage your audience with email marketing
  • Get noticed with giveaways

Meet consumers’ needs 

Every student enters the new school year with a unique perspective. Although the majority of students have returned to full-time, in-person education, some still face a hybrid remote/in-person education system.

Keep this in mind when designing and selling your items. Demonstrate how your items may benefit students and fulfil their needs. Personalize a variety of things, including backpacks (for school) and mouse pads (for at-home learning).

Consider offering back-to-school promotions

Every company must provide a convincing reason for clients to choose them over their competition. This is referred to as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your unique selling proposition can be found by completing the statement, “Customers will purchase from me because my company is the only…”

Your USP might alter as your firm or industry evolves, and you can create unique USPs for various consumer types.

For instance:

  • A stationery store might offer a free same-day delivery service to local businesses such as schools and colleges – a compelling USP for firms that require quick delivery.
  • The same stationery store may give a discount as a back-to-school promotion to clients who spend over a specific amount; this would be a USP for price-conscious consumers.

Provide back-to-school packages

Back-to-school shopping might be daunting due to its lengthy checklists. You can bundle deals for clients’ convenience. These packages may contain essential school supplies, snacks, high-tech devices, and sporting equipment.

Back-to-school packs appeal to the busiest consumers. This is because they save buyers money and reduce the amount of time required to find what they require before the start of the school season. Also, product bundles alleviate the stress associated with completing a lengthy back-to-school shopping list. This is one of the simplest and most effective back-to-school promotion ideas.

Think about influencer marketing

As more consumers go to their favorite social media stars for product suggestions, influencer marketing plays a more significant part in back-to-school campaigns.

A recommendation on an influencer’s feed adds a personal touch to your back-to-school marketing effort. Influencer marketing can also enhance the legitimacy of your products and increase brand recognition among your target audiences.

This is due to the fact that social media influencers, such as family blogs, have frequently established a robust and genuine connection with their followers. They can assist you in reaching a younger, social media-savvy audience through back-to-school posts and back-to-school advertising.

Organize social media contests

Contests are one of the quickest ways to engage your audience and increase brand recognition. A win-win situation. It generates significantly more interest than a typical social media post.

Here are some Facebook contest suggestions to help you get started:

  • Friend-tagging contest
  • A present giveaway
  • Photo contest
  • Caption writing contest

Sort your customers into distinct groups

Back-to-school buyers come in a variety of sizes and forms, including:

  • Parents 
  • Students in elementary and secondary school
  • College students
  • Teachers
  • Professors

Always customize your back-to-school marketing campaign initiatives to your target audience. You may even tag them in your CRM so that you can send them tailored offers. The channels, strategies, and promotions may vary based on the preferences and demands of your target audience.

Whether you are attempting to reach back-to-school buyers in elementary school, high school, or college, tailor your marketing to the prevalent fashions of your target audience. You can also connect with the parents by empathizing with their problems or feelings. 

If a product resonates with consumers, they are far more inclined to purchase from your company than the competitor. 

Check your mobile purchasing experience

Note that back-to-school sales will not be limited to in-store and online purchases. This season also sees an increase in mobile commerce. You must ensure that your customers have an exceptional mobile buying experience. 

Optimize your website, remain vigilant for flaws and attempt to offer a unified experience across channels. Another reason to take mobile-responsive design seriously is that Google will ignore your website if it is not mobile-friendly, which will at the very least have a negative effect on your SEO.

Engage your audience with email marketing

Email marketing strategy is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience, despite the fact that there are several alternatives. 

There are specific advertising types that work particularly effectively for e-commerce stores. Included are:

  • Re-engagement: These initiatives target subscribers who have not engaged with the brand within a given time frame.
  • Upselling/Cross-selling: Occasionally, upselling and cross-selling are more effective than customer acquisition. With upsell marketing, you aim to persuade the user to acquire additional products in addition to their initial plans or premium versions. Cross-selling methods encourage consumers to purchase complementary products that are relevant to their purchase (e.g, accessories).
  • Exclusively for loyal customers: Offer exclusive promotions to your email addresses list to boost sales. Display to your audience products they may be interested in based on their website activity or previous purchases.

Get noticed with giveaways

Back-to-school giveaways and gift cards could be an excellent way to create excitement and interest. Consider holding a giveaway that you can promote on social media or in-store if you have the time and resources. Perhaps you could put together a pack of your favorite back-to-school products and distribute it to brand-engaged individuals.  

And to promote your contest further, consider forming partnerships with social media influencers and brands. Find ways to connect with their audience to generate enthusiasm, exposure, traffic, and purchases.

The back-to-school season is an excellent opportunity to boost your sales. You can do a great job with the right strategies and campaigns.