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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 23, 2019

Top 4 tips to improve BTS strategy

Most back to school purchases are still made in-store, but more and more consumers are using smartphones, laptops, and tablets to influence their purchases, to check pricing, and find deals. Here's how to build a strong back-to-school strategy.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you watching in BTS marketing?

Gabriel Herrera, VP - Americas, We're keen to see what role video will play in this year's back-to-school marketing. We've looked at our platform ad spend data from previous back-to-school periods of 2017 and 2018, and video spend has grown by 23% - we're expecting this to continue. Stories Ads, both video and static, will be integrated into the ad format mix in Back-to-School campaigns as 69% of consumers report that they find Stories to be a great way to discover new brands and products.

Kristina: How important is video to BTS campaigns?

Gabriel: From our experience, advertisers can expect incremental results from adding video creative into their campaign, but they must have a user-first approach, meaning the ads should be tailored to fit mobile screens and include elements of personalization, such as dynamically updated prices and the right language to better stand out from competitors.
For example, our customer, the travel group TUI automated video creative by taking their existing video assets and repurposing them to fit mobile-first consumption. By testing a few different creative approaches, they were able to cut cost-per-purchase by 36%.

Kristina: What about special sales - are these an important part of BTS strategy? And how can brands make sure they're promoting these sales correctly?

Gabriel: Everyone is looking for a deal during back-to-school; the trickiest part is to get your brand to stand out from the noise. You have to catch your shoppers when they're in the right mood and mindset. Early shoppers spend $100 more than late spenders, and, alongside the rise of online shopping, people now start back-to-school purchases in July which means you should already be out there promoting your brand.

On paid social, smart marketers are not only capturing attention with lucrative deals, but they're also using ads to drive foot traffic to stores by showing interactive maps that can help guide the user to the nearest location.

Kristina: What are your top 4 tips to improve BTS strategy?

Gabriel: At, we believe that your creative is your best bet at differentiating your offering from the competition to drive preference, performance, and sales. While there is no magic pill, there are a few best practices we've found to work across the board during sales' high season:

1. Product shots perform better than brand or lifestyle imagery - yet this doesn't mean you should only target your audience with product shots on a white background. Use creative overlays or animated transitions to liven up the product and bring your brand to life. Run influencer-generated product content or shoot your own to inspire new buyers.
2. Localize and personalize: with creative automation, retailers can display local offers and relevant products to evoke interest.
3. Grab their attention early. Make the value proposition clear by displaying brand, offer, and product - all within the first two seconds of a video ad.
4. Timing matters: experiment with 8-second video or loop your message twice if it's a 15-second ad (such as the Stories-format).

Tags: back to school advertising, back to school shopping, BTS trends, ecommerce, mcommerce

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