It may still be sweltering hot outside but by August, kids and their parents can already sense an impending new season. Signaled by summer tax holidays and increasingly pervasive marketing campaigns, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school.
It’s not only students and teachers who need to get ready for August and September, but brands as well. Now is the perfect time to launch a back to school marketing campaign, especially for vendors in the clothing, shoes, and accessories categories.
For marketers looking for the best return on investment, the numbers are in: video campaigns just might be the best bang for your buck.
Back to School Videos Earn Amazing Views and Engagements
The same study predicted that most of this shopping will occur online, with 60% of consumers planning to shop on their smartphones and 19% also looking at social media to make shopping decisions.
A similar study from Taboola found that one of the best click-through-rates for back to school marketing comes through video (second only to text-based), and their data also shows that video campaigns drive the most engagement.
Taboola’s data matches our insights, which show a combined 6M views for brands’ back to school videos in the last 90 days alone.
Here are how some of the top brands are capitalizing on the back to school season and converting it into social video content that’s climbing the traffic charts.
Trend #1: Make It a Deal
All three of the top-viewed back to school marketing videos of the last 90 days come from just one brand: Famous Footwear.
Each of these brief clips advertises the vendor’s back to school special: buy one pair of shoes, get another pair free. Ranging from 15 to 30 seconds long, these YouTube commercials have between 1M and 2M views each.
Aside from being short and catchy with an instantly rhythmic beat that times with the shoe models’ footsteps, Famous Footwear’s ads work because they inform customers about a timely, valuable deal.
According to RetailMeNot’s insights for 2019, 1 in 3 back to school shoppers will look for a discount every time they make a back to school purchase. Famous Footwear got ahead of that inclination by showcasing the deal on video before consumers search for it.
Trend #2: Partner with an Influencer
Want to give your brand back to school clout? Work with a social media influencer who already has some.
Dozens of the most-viewed back to school videos on Tubular’s charts show that partnerships with actors, musicians, and YouTubers are paying off big time for brands.
One of the most high-traffic examples is teen apparel brand Hollister’s team-up with YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain. The 18-year-old has made her mark as a casual and relatable video personality.
Here, she brings viewers “behind the scenes” at Hollister with a phone video she filmed in her car: no frills, no planning, no makeup. The low-budget clip netted 354K views.
It makes sense that the most popular back to school influencer videos aren’t about production values, but about showcasing young influencers the same age as the brand’s student customers.
You can see this with Hot Topic’s team up with Yungblud and Bunny Jeans’ brand ambassador, Joshua Garcia — both 21 years old. These young faces bring clout to brands’ back to school marketing campaigns while making them relatable to young shoppers.
Trend #3: Give Back and Do Good
Not to get too “after school special” on you, but customers know there’s more to life than acquiring new stuff. That’s why some savvy brands are combining their back to school offers with opportunities for customers to do good.
Zappos and Amazon are two brands that are trying to make giving back part of their back to school marketing campaigns. A Facebook video that features both brands supporting “Shaq To School,” the charity from NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal about making sure every child has the school supplies they need this year.
When brands reach synergy with charity giving, it’s a feel-good purchase and a lesson for K-12 students all in one.
While it may seem like going in reverse to market a product based on giving away a portion of the earnings to charity, the increased attention it elicits from customers on social and in stores make it well worth the effort.