3 Tips for Successful Back-to-School Video Ads

According to eMarketer, back-to-school spending is on a steady climb — up to $828.81 billion in the U.S. last year. More than ever, consumers are turning to digital video to research products before hitting the stores.

It’s a major opportunity for video advertisers. But even still, many campaigns miss the mark due to bad targeting, unpredictable viewability, and vanity metrics that mask poor performance.

Read on to see how you can avoid common mistakes and take advantage of this important retail season.

1. Build Your Brand

Whether you’re launching a new product or promoting your current offerings, the awareness phase is core to any video ad journey. Target new customers — students and parents alike — with explanatory content or find unique ways to repurpose user-generated content. Then, encourage social sharing directly from the video with one of ViralGains’ Social Connector Engagement Cards. These custom end screens pop up at the end of your video ads and offer further interaction between the content and the viewer. Finally, encourage shares from the Engagement Card by offering an incentive to your audience, such as a coupon.


2. Drive Foot Traffic to Brick-and-Mortar Stores

According to a 2016 Deloitte survey, roughly two-thirds of the budget for school supplies, clothing, and accessories were to be spent in-store. The majority of shoppers said they would research online before making a purchase in a physical store.

Embrace this consumer habit. To drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, host a sales event and get consumers involved in the campaign.

With a phased approach, announce the event with a video. Gather viewer feedback through Survey Engagement Cards. In Phase 1, use the surveys to determine the type of discounts most preferred at the event. In Phase 2, reveal the offering that customers wanted the most, and invite viewers to the event.  



3. Cater to Mobile Researchers and Shoppers

There’s a strong connection between digital video, mobile research, and back-to-school shoppers.

According to Google, consumers shop in micro-moments throughout the day, and more of these searches are happening on mobile. Last July, three out of five back-to-school searches happened on mobile, and there were 35% more mobile searches than in 2015. In addition to serving as a helpful research tool, mobile connects shoppers to stores. Plus, back-to-school shoppers turn to video to get ideas. Watch time for back-to-school videos increased 70% on YouTube last year, with DIY and dorm tours gaining popularity.

How can video advertisers translate these trends to sales? Provide incentives to buyers (and better tracking for your brand) with mobile wallet coupons. Using a Rich Media Engagement Card*, you can provide a variety of creatives and discounts to gauge which message works best for your audience.


The back-to-school retail season is the second most popular shopping time of the year, so it’s a major opportunity for marketers.  How can you make the most it? Start early and consider the full purchase funnel. According to Deloitte’s survey, consumers who shop earlier will spend more, with shoppers starting before August spending 26 percent more than those beginning in August. Drive product discovery with ads that drive an emotional response and inspire the consumer to learn more. After segmenting and qualifying viewers, drive in-market consumers directly to stores for coupon redemptions or to participate in other sales events. 


How are you thinking about your back-to-school video advertising campaigns? Let us know in the comments!

*Check with your rich media provide to see if they have a mobile wallet ad option

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