By Eric Groves, Alignable
Do you know what’s different about the “back-to-school” shopping season from most holidays throughout the year? Take a look at these two charts and see if you can tell the answer. Both charts map the search traffic around holidays.
On the left you have the curve of search traffic around the top 7 national holidays celebrated in the US. On the right you have the back-to-school curve.
They are different… nicely done! But what causes the curves to have different shapes? The top 7 national holidays all have a specific date on which they fall while the back-to-school “holiday” doesn’t. In fact, the start dates for schools range from early August to mid-September. So here is what that means with regard to how you market your business during this time. ”:
1) Check out the websites of schools in your area. Most schools publish their calendars well in advance. Be sure to research public, private and secondary schools nearby to get a full picture of when kids will be heading back.
2) Post your promotions and events early enough to capture at least 80% of the search traffic. In most cases that means you should have posted them on your website by early July.
3) Use social media (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to remind your followers leading up to your events. It’s best practice to post a week and in some cases also a day before your event to re-stimulate interest.
4) Create longer running events with featured offers that are for a specific weekend or day to keep your content interesting and fresh. For example, consider a back-to-school promotion where a different brand or set of products are featured each week.
Back-to-school season is a great opportunity for all types of businesses, not just those that offer products and services for students. Spas can feature survival packages for parents, restaurants can offer specials for a parent’s night out, and financial planners can hold events around college financial planning. It’s a unique season to promote around for many reasons and I hope it now means more to you than just getting the kids out of the house.
Eric Groves is the co-founder and CEO of Alignable (www.alignable.com), the free social network for local businesses and organizations to connect and collaborate with others nearby. Eric has been a local marketing expert and enthusiast since 2001, authored The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing, and believes that local businesses are always stronger together.