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The back-to-school season will be here before you know it! While 40% of parents and students wait to start shopping online until August, you may be surprised to learn that 52% plan to begin buying school supplies, clothes and tech before then. Starting your advertising campaigns early means you’ll be getting in front of these early browsers – and fine-tuning the effectiveness of your ads well before the last-minute rush in September.
Capturing back-to-school shopping revenue requires more than a head start. Here are five strategies to consider as you plan and roll out your back-to-school online ad campaigns for the 2016 season:
Prices are on parents’ minds when purchasing back-to-school products for their kids. In fact, more than half mention “lowest prices on a majority of products” as the main deciding factor when determining where to shop for school items. Because cost savings is so important to back-to-school shoppers, emphasizing your own deals and bargains is a great way to speak to customer needs.
Try infusing your ads with language that emphasizes the deals and discounts parents can find when shopping online with your brand. Wording like “New low prices!” and Llimited time sale!” will draw parents to your ad and get them clicking to shop on your site. Because back to school advertising can be a crowded marketplace, use creative that emphasizes the quality of your products and prices vs. your competitors. Establishing your brand as a cost-effective option can help your brand drive even more revenue during the competitive back-to-school shopping season.
Because back-to-school shopping spans several months, parents and students will have time to search the Internet for the best possible products and deals. Remarketing is your best weapon for re-engaging and driving sales from audiences who have shown an interest in your back to school items, but haven’t yet made a purchase.
Dynamic Ads on Facebook and Instagram give you the power to retarget users who have looked at products on your site. With this ad unit, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of a purchase. Cross-device targeting means that you can reach a back to school audience on any device they use, regardless of their original touchpoint with your business. If a customer has already made a purchase with your brand, you can also use Dynamic Ads to drive additional sales by sending them ads that display products that are related to the items they bought, such as promoting chargers or cases that go with a new laptop.
When planning out back-to-school advertising campaigns, you can’t afford to ignore the importance of mobile. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are a significant factor in back-to-school shopping. Failing to include mobile ads in your ad campaigns means that you’ll miss out on reaching increasingly mobile audiences.
There are plenty of ad units that are ideal for mobile viewing. Mobile video ads are on the rise, with a 47% increase in ad spend going towards this ad unit in 2016. Carousel ads are also a great, mobile-friendly way to showcase multiple products all in one interactive ad unit. One of Facebook’s newest offerings, Canvas, is also ideal for providing back to school customers with an immersive mobile shopping experience, combining video and Carousel into one powerful ad unit.
Expanding your advertising campaigns to new social networks provides you with the opportunity to reach a whole new audience of potential customers. With so many users spending time on a wide range of platforms, cross-channel campaigns ensure that you’re able to reach them no matter which site they’re spending their time on.
If you’re already advertising on Facebook or Instagram, you can easily expand your ad campaigns from one site to the other thanks to advanced cross-targeting options and the parity of most ad units. It’s also worth exploring Twitter, where advanced targeting options can help you boost advertising revenue by reaching a valuable audience of 310 million monthly active users. According to eMarketer, ecommerce purchases influenced by Twitter exposure to a brand have an average order value of $162.52.
While the phrase “back to school” brings school supplies, clothes and tech to mind, businesses with a less direct alignment to education can still benefit from the seasonal shopping boost. Here are a few examples of how subscription, delivery, and home services brands can participate:
Offering free shipping and easy returns means that purchasing from your brand will be a risk-free decision for parents who may be hesitant about ordering items back to school items online.
In addition, providing a simple and stress-free shopping experience is a smart strategy for endearing your brand to digital audiences, especially during the busy back-to-school shopping season. Making the entire shopping process easy will help build brand loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, repeat purchases –and get your foot in the door for an online marketer’s favorite time of year; the holiday season.
Learn how to reach high-value back to school shoppers in Marketing to Moms & Millennials: A Back to School Guide.
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