Back to School campaign ideas to boost sales online and in store

Posted in: EventsLast update: 30/07/19

With the end of summer comes Back to School season, when millions of children and students get ready to begin a new school year. It’s the perfect opportunity to grow your audience, build customer loyalty and boost sales… with these easy and effective Back to School campaign ideas.

The Back to School campaign is a tradition almost as old as school itself. Students always need new backpacks, uniforms, stationery, supplies and more!

Back to School purchases are now worth almost 30 billion dollars in the US alone. But the way we shop has changed. In 2018, studies show that 55% of parents research their purchases online first. And most importantly of all, customers are more likely to look for what they need on search engines than on your brand website.

So you need to make sure your brand, products and services achieve viral success with effective Back to School campaign ideas. Try these 6 powerful apps on for size.

  1. Show off skills with a photo contest
  2. Share memories with a writing contest
  3. Celebrate with Coupons
  4. Highlight with #Hashtags
  5. Educate with a Survey
  6. Increase reach with Recruiters

Get our full range of Back To School demos and templates. Click here to start.

Show off skills with a photo contest

Most people return from vacation excited to show off all their photos of beautiful places, fun activities and family time. And according to statistics, more than 75% of mothers create or curate online content every month!

So one of our most popular Back to School campaign ideas is a photo contest. Give your users the chance to contribute to your brand, and they’ll receive a prize in exchange.

Create an online gallery where participants can upload and share their summer memories. You can choose between a vertical or mosaic layout to achieve the best effect. The photo contest tool also helps you to pre-moderate entries. Activate the Easypromos voting system and use sharing features to increase your viral reach.

All you have to do is choose a suitable prize and award it to the winners! You could give away Back to School essentials such as backpacks, bookbags, or stationery. Another option is to share discounts for more expensive items such as laptops and clothes. If you want to distribute discounts, then coupons and codes are your best option.

Back to School campaign ideas: a screenshot of a photo contest landing page

Share memories with a writing contest

Another way for followers to share their summer news is through a writing contest. Ask them to describe the best day of the summer, an ideal holiday, or whatever else inspires you! Your brand’s fans can log in with Facebook, Twitteror Instagram to take part. All the entries will be collected together and published in a dedicated competition gallery. Then users can read, share, comment and vote for their favourite texts.

Back to School campaign ideas: screenshot from the gallery of a writing contest

Voting is really popular with followers, and a good way to show the community that you value their opinion. You can choose whether you want to select the winners of the giveaway based on votes, the decision of a jury, or a random prize draw.

Celebrate your Back to School campaign with Coupons

So far, we’ve looked at Back to School campaign ideas which focus on collecting leads and user-generated content. But what if you want to boost sales in the short term?

Coupon codes are an easy, quick and attractive way to award prizes and discounts. You can incentivize purchases, boost sales, and strengthen customer loyalty by sharing coupons. You can increase visits to your brick-and-mortar stores, share promotional codes which have to be redeemed in-store. Alphanumeric codes, QR codes and barcodes can be verified easily and effectively with our Validation Portal.

So here’s how it works:

First, users complete a customizable entry form. You can ask for contact details of all users who register. Use this to create a database of leads and customers.

Next, users receive a coupon or code as a reward for registering. There are various options for users to download codes: printing, saving as a PDF, or sending the code to an email address. Remember: the easier the promotion is to access, the more likely it is to go viral.

There are lots of different ways to share coupons. You can give a coupon to everyone who registers, or carry out a random prize draw to award a limited number of codes.

Back to School campaign ideas: screenshots from two coupon promotions

Highlight your Back to School campaign with #Hashtags

Hashtag contests are an easy, flexible option that followers love. Your brand’s fans can participate from any social network. All they have to do is share content with the hashtag you’ve picked out for your Back to School campaign and mention your brand.

Start by choosing a good hashtag. You can read our tips on designing a powerful, viral hashtag here. Then your customers can participate with the content of their choice. Family photos at the beach, their favorite song of the summer, videos of holiday adventures, drawings done by kids on vacation… the possibilities are endless!

Try to keep contest restrictions to a minimum. Give users the chance to win a Back to School haul by sharing anything that speaks to them personally.

You can import all content with your hashtag to a public gallery. But it’s up to you if you want to import everything, or specific types of content. For example, you can choose whether to import all entries from Twitter, or just Tweets which include a photo or video. On Instagram, you can choose whether to import photos only, videos only, or both.

You can embed the gallery on any website or blog using a widget, and present it as an application on your Facebook page.

Back to School campaign ideas: examples of posts by users in a hashtag contest on Twitter

In the example above, the brand organized a contest with the hashtag #HoopSchool. Followers could enter with tweets, photos and videos to win the prize.

Educate your Back to School campaign with a Survey

Your Back to School campaign isn’t just an opportunity to increase followers and sales right now. Seize the moment and carry out market research.Then use the feedback to inform your next promotional campaign, and make it even more effective!

Ask mom and dad about their habits, school routine, needs and preferences through a survey. Find out when and where they do their Back to School shopping. Learn where they find Back to School trends, tips, ideas and hacks.

Back to School campaign ideas: a screenshot of a mobile survey

You can offer discounts in-store or online, too. This incentivizes parents to fill out the survey and answer your Back to School quiz.  Make the quiz dynamic, creative and colourful with photos, texts and videos. And the latest update to Easypromos Premium includes emoji support to give the campaign an extra-fresh touch!

Increase your reach with Recruiters

The Recruiters contest app is designed to help you grow your audience and reach more followers. In this type of giveaway, your followers have a better chance of winning the prize if they invite their friends to take part too.

This is a great way to grow your base of followers through organic, real-life connections. In the example below, a brand is offering a Disney gift card as the prize for a recruiters contest. The brand’s followers are motivated to share with their friends, and the prize is targeted towards children and families.

Back to School campaign ideas: screenshot from the thank you page of a Recruiters contest

Want more? We’ve created a Back to School template to show you how to use a sweepstakes with an entry form. Try the DEMO or download the template.

All ready for the start of the new school year? We hope our Back to School inspiration helps! You can create your account in seconds. Remember, it’s free to create your account and draft promotions.

Click here to download the Back to School campaign ideas ebook pdf

Corinna Keefe

Content marketer at Easypromos

Publication date: 2015-07-23