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(DIGITAL) Go Digital With Back-To-School Promotions


Do you know how much of an effect digital marketing has had on back-to-school shopping? It has shifted the bulk of back-to-school purchases from August (when I was growing up) to July.

According to research from Experian Marketing, retailers send 41 percent of their back-to-school outreach emails in July. A survey from the National Retail Foundation shows 37 percent of parents will comparison shop online before they make their back-to-school purchases.

Its not too late for radio to respond to these back-to-school digital marketing trends. Heres a few digital promotions your station can pitch back-to-school advertisers.

Pin It to Win It Promotion

Create a Pinterest board dedicated to cool back-to-school shopping ideas. Have your audience re-pin items from your board, entering them into a contest to win the items they pinned. Drive interest for this contest with your on-air promotion.

This Pinterest promotion can work for just one sponsor with multiple back-to-school products like a stationery shop, home furnishing store, or electronics store. You can also sell multiple sponsors into this promotion, so each advertiser has exclusivity over their niche like a clothing retailer, grocery store, or a gym.

Slideshow Guide

Every time I see a slideshow on a radio website it always features editorial content like news, weather, or celebrity gossip. Slideshows are a content management tool and your programming department doesnt have exclusive domain over them.

Imagine creating a 10-image slideshow with back-to-school shopping ideas. The photos and captions would come directly from the advertiser. This is a far more engaging opportunity than online display ads because your users are actively scrolling through all the images from your advertisers.

You could even link directly from the photo to the product for those advertisers that sell some of their products online.

If your website currently doesnt have a slideshow capability, check out

Deal Promotion

I know many radio stations think their half-off gift certificate programs, group deals, or daily deals are dead. Heres an idea to revive them. Theme your deal promotion around Back-to-school."

The back-to-school buying shift from August to July is being driven by parents and students looking online for deals. Collect special offers from local advertisers for every product and service students from elementary school to college could possibly need!

Remember, the unique marketing opportunity you are selling to back-to-school retailers is the power of radio promotion combined with engaging digital marketing opportunities that convert directly into sales.

Stephen Warley is the founder of, a research and training firm dedicated to helping radio broadcasters use digital tools to generate more qualified sales leads. He is also the founded of in 2008. Have a question for Stephen?  Email him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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