14 Back-to-School Marketing Ideas for Your Local Business
For some students and parents, shopping for new school supplies and clothes is just as important as holiday shopping in December. Kids need pencils, binders, and backpacks – and they want all of the coolest and most exciting options available. But, back-to-school isn't just about school supplies.
Brands, even those who don’t cater to kids, can take advantage of the back-to-school excitement for their own promotions.
Fall is coming sooner than you realize. Check out these 14 back-to-school marketing ideas for your business.
#1) Start Developing Your Strategy in the Summer
The time to create your back-to-school marketing plan isn’t when kids are already going back-to-school. Start developing a plan in June or early July for an August or September school return. This will give you time to develop graphics, iron out the details, and contact the necessary supplies or vendors for events.
#2) Know When Students and Teachers Go Back
This might seem like a simple step, but it is an important part of your marketing strategy. People might ignore your deal if it is too early or too late. You don’t want to seem irrelevant. Look at the dates for when students go back and build your marketing plans around them.
#3) Create Discounts for the First Month of School
Your back-to-school marketing plan doesn’t need to be limited to a week or day. Offer special discounts throughout the month on memberships or certain packages for your local customers. This way parents and teachers who are too busy to stop in can still take advantage of your back-to-school themed offers.
#4) Fundraiser for Local Schools or Students
Schools are always looking for fundraisers for supplies, extracurricular activities, and field trips. Use your platform as a local business owner to support students and teachers in your community with a fundraiser. You can ask people to donate in exchange for a discount or offer a portion of your sales to the school over the course of a night or weekend. Every little bit helps.
#5) Set Aside a Day or Week to Honor Teachers
Almost any business can honor teachers. Bars can offer free or discounted drinks, salons and spas can pamper teachers with massages or haircuts, restaurants can off food, and stores can offer teacher discounts. Use the weeks before the start of school to celebrate teachers or help them get ready to go back to the classroom.
#6) Offer to Pamper Parents
Of course, teachers aren’t the only ones who can be celebrated. Many parents are ready for their kids to go back after a long summer of keeping their children at home. Use your back-to-school space to encourage parents to celebrate or treat themselves as their kids head off to the new school year.
#7) Encourage Families to Send Off Summer
Many students love summer and even parents have a hard time saying goodbye to long days and lazy afternoons. Use your brand to say goodbye to summer and welcome the school year and fall. You could throw a party at your location or offer specials for the last few weeks before school starts.
#8) Become a Resource for Back-to-School Information
Information sharing is an important part of marketing. Parents often turn to retail stores like Target for school lists when buying supplies or looking for uniforms. Try to get information from the schools on what parents need and provide other relevant back-to-school information to help parents out.
#9) Set Deals Around School Hours
Create a marketing promotion that targets teacher, parent, and student schedules. For example, a smoothie shop could offer a “back-to-school study special” with BOGO drinks for students in the afternoon. A daycare near a school could offer “teacher hours” that run earlier. Look at the needs of students and teachers and see how your brand can fill them.
#10) Partner With Schools on Specific Events
Your brand might fit in with the existing back-to-school events and promotions. See if you can sponsor a locker night or serve as a vendor for a back-to-school celebration. This is a great way to support your community while getting your brand in front of hundreds of students, parents, and teachers.
#11) Find Seasonal Products or Services to Offer
Bars can create school-themed cocktails geared toward parents and restaurants can offer a “back-to-school" breakfast the weekend before school starts. See what unique products you can offer and promote that tie into the back-to-school theme. You can get creative with your branding to create something fun and unique.
#12) Update Your Social Media Banners for Back-to-School Season
Create unique graphics for your back-to-school promotions. Update your social media banners and share photos on Instagram and your other social timelines. It only takes a few extra minutes to create something professional and engaging.
#13) Tie Your Marketing Into Educational Themes
You don’t have to cater exclusively to kids or parents to tap into back-to-school marketing. Look for marketing opportunities that tie to themes related to school, education, and learning. For example, a bar could do a school-subject themed trivia night or a bakery could sell apple pies. Think about the overarching themes of school and how you can apply them.
#14) Reward Students Who Get Good Grades
You can let your back-to-school marketing plan run through the entire year if you want. Offer gifts, discounts or rewards to students who get good grades. These offers can be something small (like a free slice of pizza) or something larger like free admission to a movie or experience. Promote your “good grades program” throughout the year to attract students.
Ask the Experts About Back-to-School Marketing
It’s not too late to plan and launch a back-to-school marketing strategy. Contact the team at MyArea Network to develop a plan that works for your needs. We can review your target audience and brand goals to help you create a marketing plan that pays off.
Be Where Your Local Customers Are
Start connecting with customers near you. Join your local Area site today!