Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again – back to school. And as much as we might like to think it’s all about the kids, it’s not. Ask yourself, is your content marketing campaigns ready for back-to-school shoppers?

No?  Well, don’t panic just yet.  According to the National Retail Federation, most consumers do their back-to-school shopping 1-2 weeks before school starts, which means that you still have a little time to create and launch your campaigns to drive more revenue this quarter.

Need a little inspiration?  Here are 8 content marketing ideas for your back-to-school campaigns:

  • Create Printable Checklists

Towards the end of August, everyone seems to be scrambling to get last-minute supplies for the upcoming school year.  Why not give your audience a helping hand with a back-to-school checklist?

Take college students, for example. These students tend to have a big list of items they need for their dorm rooms.  With a mobile-friendly checklist, you can offer them an easy way to get everything they need and even plug some of your own products in there if it makes sense.  For extra value, include a few handy tips in your checklist to help make their school year a success.

Don’t forget to write a blog post that introduces your checklist to your subscribers.  If you included any items from your store in the checklist, remember to link to them in the blog post to drive more sales.

  • Launch Video Campaigns Aimed at Teenagers

Teenagers can be a tough audience to understand.  However, we do know that videos are an effective way to get their attention.

According to a Think with Google survey, 71 percent of teen smartphone users spend at least three hours per day watching video on their phones.  It’s clear that if you want to market your product to teens, videos are a must for your back-to-school content marketing strategy. 

Try creating interesting that showcase study tips, school hacks or even tutorials on how to use your products.   These videos tend to be short, making them ideal for social media.  For extra visibility, consider promoting your content.

  • Leverage Your Email List to Drive Back-to-School Sales

Not only does email marketing generate the best ROI, but according to MarketingSherpa, it is the preferred method of communication for brands to communicate with their customers.  If you aren’t making smart use of your email list, then you are going to miss out on a lot of back-to-school sales.

Segmenting your email list is essential for your content marketing campaigns.  This allows you to send your subscribers personalized content that is tailored specifically to them. 

For example, you could segment your email list by purchase behavior and send them deals on items they purchased during this same time last year.  Do they need a new laptop cover or backpack for the new school year?  Not only can you drive more sales with email list segmentation, but you can also be extra helpful to students in need.

  • Draw Attention to a Cause

As fun and exciting as school can be, it also has its fair share of problems.  Whether it’s online bullying or eating healthy, your content marketing can be used to call attention to important issues. 

This year, launch a marketing campaign that aims to improve your local schools.  Not only is this good PR for your business, but it’s a worthy endeavor.  Consider donating a portion of your sales to a cause and use your content marketing to bring awareness to your efforts.  Get your entire team involved in the cause and share photos of your efforts on social media. 

Just be careful not to pat yourself on the back too much.  You don’t want people to think that you are only doing this for self-promotion!

  • Produce Targeted Guides for Back-to-School Shoppers

Back-to-school shoppers are a diverse crowd. 

To broaden your reach this year, try creating multiple guides that are targeted to specific audiences.  For instance, you could start by creating a back-to-school guide aimed at college students on a strict budget.  Then, create a guide for tech-savvy parents and another for teenagers going into their first year of high school.

Content that provides such high value will have your target audience coming back for more, so be prepared!

  • Offer Irresistible Deals

If there is one thing that back-to-school shoppers love, it’s a screaming good deal.  In fact, many of them are waiting until the very last minute to get the best bang for their buck. 

To make their day, and drive more sales for your online store, give them what they truly desire—special discounts and free shipping.  Few things spur consumers into action than the promise of free shipping.

Another way to generate back-to-school excitement with your content marketing is to run a contest on social media.  Have your audience submit user-generated content to your Facebook or Instagram page and share them with your followers.  This is a great way to lever user-generated content and reward your followers with a special prize.

Finally, don’t forget to reward your most loyal customers with special discounts and offers.  If you have a loyalty program, this is a pivotal time to send them VIP back-to-school offers and nurture them into loyal ambassadors for your brand.

  • Use Social Influencers to Gain Exposure

When parents need to make product decisions for their kids, they often turn to other parents for advice.  This is one reason why mommy bloggers have become increasingly popular over the years.

By partnering with these social influencers, you can significantly increase your brand’s exposure and credibility.  Mom (and dad) bloggers know exactly what will speak to their audience and can help you drive traffic and sales to your business.

Choose a couple of credible bloggers to run your campaigns with and don’t be afraid to ask them for advice on how to create content that resonates with their audience.  Just remember to follow FTC rules that require bloggers to disclose your paid partnership.

  • Connect with Your Audience through Emotional Storytelling

Back-to-school shopping can be an emotional process.  Students are excited, but parents may be feeling a bit sentimental about sending their kids off to school.

This is a great opportunity to convey these emotions through your content marketing. By sharing emotional stories with your audience, you can captivate them and stand out in a sea of back-to-school content.

If you have written a brand story for your business, then you know that telling a good story isn’t always easy.  It involves putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and selling an experience rather than a product.

It may be difficult, but try tapping into the emotional aspect of sending kids off to school when you create your marketing campaigns.  Or, ask parents to share their own stories and feature the best ones on your social media pages.

There are few things more powerful than a good story.  Whether you are using words, video, images, or a combination of the three, getting an emotional response from your audience is key to making your brand’s message resonate with them.


With school about to begin, retailers are kicking their content marketing into high gear.  There is still plenty of time for you to launch your own back-to-school content marketing campaigns, but you need to act fast!

Hopefully, the ideas listed above will give you a good starting point for your back-to-school campaigns.  Just don’t forget to track and measure the results of your campaigns to achieve better results in the future.