Back-to-School 2023: How to Ace Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Back-to-school season is just around the corner — but this year, it’s looking a little different.
While this exciting shopping season has historically rivaled as one of the biggest retail holidays of the year, back-to-school spending is expected to fall for the first time in 9 years as shoppers across all income levels pull back on non-essential purchases and prioritize necessities amid sticky inflation. In fact, Deloitte predicts consumers will spend 10% less this year, with average spend per child falling to $597, while the overall back-to-school market is projected to shrink to $31.2 billion, compared with $34.4 billion in 2022.
With economic uncertainty and changing consumer behavior, this back-to-school season will be all about building brand loyalty and meeting shoppers where they are. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do so through influencer marketing. Here are our top influencer marketing strategies to ace your back-to-school campaign this year.
1. Provide early bird discounts through affiliates.
According to the same report by Deloitte, consumers are looking to save by shopping early, searching out deals, and prioritizing their spending on essential school supplies. To create cost-saving opportunities for your shoppers, run an influencer-affiliate campaign and give your influencer partners unique discount codes to share with their audience.
It’s a win-win for all parties involved. Your influencers’ loyal followers will be excited to shop with your brand at a discounted price, allowing your brand to boost sales even amidst the economic downturn. Meanwhile, your influencer affiliates will benefit financially from the commissions you pay them for driving conversions.
The best part is that you can easily track all of the sales from your influencers through their discount codes and prove the impact of your work to your executive team. If you’re using Aspire, you can even automate link tracking and affiliate payment by using our sales tracking tool.
2. Lean into lo-fi.
In this new era of “lo-fi” content, consumers don’t want to see overproduced ads — they want to see relatable video content that almost feels like they’re on FaceTime with a friend. By leaning into lo-fi video content, you’re able to clearly convey how your products can provide value this back-to-school season in a way that feels native to each platform and, more importantly, authentic to their audience.
So, work with YouTubers, TikTokers, and Instagram Reels creators to produce back-to-school haul videos. By working with these talented video creators, you can provide social proof and position your products as a necessity this back-to-school season.
Allow creators to pick a few products from your collection that they’re excited about trying out and have them open up the products in a dedicated “must-haves” video. This creates an interactive experience for the creator and their audiences, all while increasing awareness and establishing trust in your brand. Make sure to provide each influencer with a code or link to provide a frictionless path to purchase from their content.
3. Host a back-to-school giveaway.
Giveaways are an easy and effective way to increase your brand’s follower count and engagement, all while providing value to your community. So, lean into giveaways as a brand building opportunity to build a buzz around your back-to-school sales.
Promote a sponsored giveaway by partnering with 10 influencers who align with your back-to-school audience demographic, whether they’re parents, teachers, or students. Set rules to enter, such as following your brand account, leaving a comment on the giveaway announcement post, or sharing it to their Stories.
4. Run a Branded Content Ads campaign.
Economic downturn has also impacted brands, with 30% of marketers cutting their ad budgets. Plus, the money that marketers have been putting into ad spend hasn’t been going as far. The truth is, in today’s saturated advertising world, better creative leads to better ad performance. So, what’s the secret to a back-to-school ad campaign that actually drives impact?
The key to any successful marketing initiative is to know your audience and customize your assets to resonate with that audience. So, leverage the influencer-generated content (IGC) from your back-to-school campaign in a Branded Content Ads campaign to stretch the impact of content you already own and to boost performance.
These IGC-based ads allow you to personalize your ad creative and messaging to each of your audience segments — whether you’re targeting parents or students — leading to better results. In fact, Meta’s studies have shown that Branded Content Ads drive 53% higher click-through rates and a 19% drop in CPA.
You can view our partner webinar, Meta + Aspire Present: How To Lower Ad Costs With Branded Content Ads, for a detailed overview of Branded Content Ads.
Ready to get started? Download A step-by-step guide to running an influencer campaign to learn how to run a successful back-to-school campaign from A to Z.