The Back-to-School Boom: Leveraging Influencers to Boost Brand Awareness

June 28, 2024

Have you started back-to-school shopping yet? If that question shocked you, it shouldn’t: according to the National Retail Federation, one in five consumers begin their back to school shopping in early June. Students, parents, and brands alike are contemplating the upcoming return to school and return to routines. As this year's back-to-school season closes in, not only are shoppers starting their lists earlier – they’re spending more than in previous years. Retail brands are planning for a significant increase, with a projected growth of 3.2% from 2023, reaching a record $81.16 billion in revenue¹.

How can brands capture this revenue and resonate with shoppers? The key is to reach their audiences on multiple platforms and tailor content messaging to each platform’s specific user demographics. While much of back-to-school marketing targets moms, Gen-Z students are not to be forgotten as they purchase new technology, latest fashions, and fun supplies to go back to school in style. And, this demographic wields an incredible spending power of $26.8 billion in the United States alone. This Gen-Z demographic values authentic content and transparency in the content they consume, prioritizing relatability of creators over aspirational figures. This generation more rapidly consumes content on TikTok and YouTube, whereas Millennials still prefer Instagram and Facebook. Understanding their target market’s platform preferences and collaborating with creators can help brands effectively engage their target audience and maximize their marketing impact. 

By July, the amount of consumers beginning back-to-school spending jumps to 49%, making now the perfect time for brands to kick-off back-to-school influencer campaigns.² For brands looking to target students and their parents this season, social media and influencer marketing are sure ways to spread brand awareness, inject authenticity into your marketing strategy, and boost engagement online. Connecting brands to students’ journeys through creators creates an organic link between your brand and the shared experience of going back-to-school. 

HOW BRANDS CAN ACE BACK-TO-SCHOOL THIS YEAR

1. BEING PART OF A ROUTINE

Summer is a time for spontaneity and travel, often getting thrown out of daily routines. As fall approaches, people recommit to their schedules and establish new habits. By working with creators to integrate your brand and product into these routines, you can ensure it becomes a part of their everyday lives. Establishing a presence during the back-to-school and fall refresh period allows your brand to seamlessly fit into the day-to-day activities of consumers, enhancing its relevance and usage throughout the season.

2. SET UP FOR SUCCESS

Positioning your brand as a tool for success helps moms, students, and anyone transitioning from summer to fall to achieve their goals. Whether it's returning to school in style, getting good grades, managing busy schedules, or chasing a promotion, your brand can support and enhance their journey in the new season. By aligning with their aspirations, your brand becomes an essential part of their path to success.

3. ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALITY, EMPOWER AUDIENCERS

Back-to-school jitters are real for everyone, and they can be especially intense for individuals and groups who have faced discrimination. By collaborating with diverse creators and taking a strong, supportive stand, brands can empower those feeling anxious—from LGBTQIA+ individuals to mothers juggling multiple responsibilities. Encourage their individuality and their “personal best,” positioning your brand as a trusted ally that helps them achieve their unique goals, whatever they may be.

Using authentic and engaging creators is a powerful strategy for brands wanting to make a significant impact during the back-to-school season. By leveraging the relatability and broad reach of these creators, brands can craft campaigns that resonate with their ideal consumers. As you plan your back-to-school campaigns, consider the benefits of influencer marketing: brands can amplify messages, and foster genuine connections to achieve their goals. Our team at Influencer is ready on deck to help brands navigate the creator landscape.

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The Back-to-School Boom: Leveraging Influencers to Boost Brand Awareness

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