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5 Paid Media Strategies for an Efficient Back-to-School Season

Although the school year doesn’t typically start until September, most back-to-school purchases are made months before. Most U.S. parents are making the majority of their back-to-school purchases in July and August, so brands need to make sure to have their paid media strategy on lockdown before then. Here are 5 tips for creating an efficient paid media strategy before that “it’s back to school time already?!” feeling sets in.

Target moms but don’t forget students

Sure, moms are the ones buying school supplies but students are the ones asking for the coolest new things. Develop a unique paid strategy for each target audience that includes platforms and messages tailored for Moms and students. By doing this you’ll create a better experience for each, which in turn, can lower the cost of reaching those people.

Focus on sales and discounts to engage with moms

Moms are looking for the lowest prices when it comes to back-to-school supplies. In fact, finding the lowest prices on back-to-school items is the primary factor in deciding where U.S. parents shop for back-to-school. So focus on what will have the greatest impact on mom’s purchase decision instead of wasting your message on something she won’t care about.

Reach Moms on Facebook and Pinterest

Focus on promoting content on platforms that moms spend the most time on. Like using Facebook to communicate savings since that’s where the majority of U.S. internet users share back-to-school promotions. Furthermore, with Facebook’s advanced targeting capabilities you’ll be able to reach the audience that is more likely to find your content valuable. Target different types of moms (Moms of Grade School Kids, Big-City Moms, Stay-at-Home Moms, etc.) and interests such as retail locations and print and online publications.

Moms are also looking for back-to-school inspiration, from clothing to lunch ideas. Use Pinterest’s Promoted Pins to reach moms looking for ways to make the back-to-school transition a bit easier and get their families excited. Target specific topics by using interest and keyword targeting to reach users who have engaged with or searched for back-to-school content.

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Help students dress to impress

The first day of school can feel like a fashion show, so students are looking at content that will help them set a great first impression. This means you should focus on creating content that will get students excited. Not all students are looking for the same items so segment out the different types of students (middle school, high school, college, etc.) and focus on products and tips that matter most to each of them. Developing different messages around these different segments will ensure that your content is relevant to your audience.

Use Instagram to engage with students

Engaging with students can be a challenge so use the platform(s) where your audience tends to spend most of its time. If you’re looking to engage with teens and young adults, consider using Instagram. Similar to Facebook, Instagram has advanced targeting capabilities that will ensure you reach the right audience. You can target by education level (In College, In High School, etc.), schools, interests and media publications.

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In summary, relevancy is the key to an efficient back-to-school paid media strategy. Use unique strategies tailored to moms and students to ensure that you’re not only reaching the right audience but doing so in a way that will influence their purchase decisions with messages that address what’s most important to each of them. Which strategies are you planning to use this back-to-school season? Tell us in the comments!

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