Using Influencer Marketing in the 2020 School Year Back to School Campaigns

influencer marketing for back to school campaigns 2020

Back to school marketing campaigns are looking much different than in years past, thanks largely to the current global pandemic. And while overall consumer back-to-school spending is not less, it has changed dramatically.


For eCommerce brands (like yourself) trying to anticipate and boost back-to-school spending, your marketing approach is likely to change. Because many influencers are also parents, they have already begun producing creative content addressing the altered needs of this 2020/2021 school year.


Seasoned influencer marketers are taking notes from these parent influencers and collaborating with them to redirect the brand’s back-to-school marketing efforts. In this guide, we’re going to discuss what impact COVID-19 will likely have on your target market and back-to-school spending. Additionally, we’ll show you what influencers are doing in preparation for the 2020/2021 school year.

The COVID-19 Impact on the 2020/2021 School Year

A significant part of school year planning for parents is knowing what supplies their kids will need. Secondarily, parents invest in products and services that make their quality of life manageable while they accommodate school and extra-curricular schedules.


Back-to-school spending is rising, but that spending manifests itself differently than pre-COVID-19 purchases, like school clothes and paper supplies. 


Everything seems to be going digital, and with it, back-to-school spending. Influencer marketing is shifting to promote products/services that empower our students and teachers to meet these new school year challenges. Back-to-school consumers are looking for headphones, mobile devices, distance learning apps, and even blue light reflective glasses.

Image via CNBC


But while “hands-on” product purchases – such as pens, pencils, paper, etc. – are unnecessary for today’s elearning environment, extra-curricular activities at home keep these items in high demand. 


Parents working from home are also rethinking the way they’ve employed childcare in the past. Overall, most families have more downtime, and as a result, consumer spending seeks to fill that extra time with bonding activities.


Several types of influencers have a great deal to offer the 2020 back-to-school crowd. Perhaps the most vibrant back-to-school influencers are the arts and crafts influencers. These online personalities are enjoying rapidly growing online communities and engagement.


But anywhere you see parent influencers interacting with their kids, your brand has an opportunity to try campaign approaches never before seen on social media. The impact will not only sustain your cash flow but scale your business in ways you never thought possible. 

What Kind of Influencers Impact Back-to-School Consumer Spending in 2020?

Virtual education has one obvious benefit – parents and kids enjoy more time together. For some parents, this is exciting. But for a lot of parents, this change is a severe stress point.


As a result, influencers from many different categories are strengthening communities of parents and students trying to make the most of education during a global pandemic. Here’s how they are doing it.

Ideas from Arts and Crafts Influencers

Parents are more excited than they’ve ever been about the volume of amazing ideas from leading arts and crafts influencers. Your brand can achieve notable ROI in its back-to-school marketing campaigns by partnering with these creative influencers.


Karina Garcia creates and cooks with her kids, demonstrating all the ways parents can enjoy hands-on craft projects with their kids. 

back to school influencers craftcitylife
Image via Instagram


Brands that collaborate with arts and crafts influencers will find new ways to bring families together during downtime. Arts and crafts products can also enhance the elearning experience as students take a break from the screens.

Ideas from DIY Influencers

Parents with older children are interested in more intensive projects. More time at home means finding things wrong with the current living space. Families are bonding together over more appealing room layouts, and (in some cases) full renovation projects.


Lindsey Dean is busy year round with her home renovation projects, and don’t be surprised to see her young children join her. Many families are learning how to tackle home projects together – and learn in the process!

back to school influencers frills
Image via Instagram


That’s why we foresee DIY influencers continuing to grow in popularity after the summer concludes. These influencers introduce parents and kids to critical home improvement skills that bring everyone together and offer satisfying results. Plus, elearning takes on another dimension, not unlike the shop classes of twenty years ago. Except, this time, parents teach their kids and grow deeper relationships with them in the process.

Ideas from Fitness Influencers

The fitness influencer space has been exploding in 2020. Gyms are weighing the pros and cons of maintaining their pre-pandemic operations, and many have closed, even if only temporarily. As a result, people are clamoring for home workout ideas.


With parents and kids at home, families are working out together. A new batch of rising influencers, such as Brittany Meadows (find her on Facebook and Instagram), are popularizing family workout routines and bonding in the process.

back to school influencers wife

Image via Instagram


Brands related to health and wellness will also find new profitable partnerships among fitness and nutrition influencers in the upcoming 2020/2021 school year.

Ideas from Mom and Dad Influencers

Parent influencers are more popular than ever since news of the current pandemic produced lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Influencer followers find inspiration and positivity from these dad and mom influencers.


Influencer marketing spend has diverted significant funds toward these influencers to appeal to wider audiences. Ilana Wiles, for example, showcases a million different ways to connect with kids, neighbors, and extended family in the midst of back-to-school preparations and COVID-19 constraints. 

back to school influencers mommyshorts
Image via Instagram


The most outstanding benefit to partnering with mom and dad influencers is that they represent nearly every influencer category. Traveling influencers showcase brands while their kids learn abroad or during family road trips. Fashion influencers design and play “dress up” with their kids after their classes. The possibilities are truly endless, and back-to-school influencer marketing campaign styles in 2020 are as vast as the combined creativity of brands and influencers. 

5 Examples of Great Back to School Influencer Marketing Campaigns for 2020

The pre-COVID school day included commutes to school, class breaks, recess, after school programs, and the commute home. This upcoming school year eliminates more (or all) of these factors and gives kids more time for other things.


Influencer marketing campaigns that leverage opportunities for families to be creative, play, and enjoy quality time will connect with their audiences in ways they couldn’t in the past. Back-to-school spending is already reflecting a drastically-altered lifestyle where families have more time but fewer ideas to fill that time.

“Just Playing and Laughing”

back to school influencer life with benjamin

Image via Instagram


Graphic design influencer @life_with_benjamin partnered with Fisher Price to encourage parents and kids to play and laugh together. Aside from encouraging parents to buy better toys for their kids, Fisher Price’s 90th Anniversary campaign urged parents to laugh and connect with their kids during their formative years.


Another compelling angle in the Fisher Price campaign above was the encouragement for parents to simply laugh more often. Laugher immediately lowers stress, a factor not foreign to today’s parents.


The point is not purely to collect more stuff but to find products that allow parents and kids to connect. Since the 2020/2021 school year offers more downtime at home, back-to-school spending will surely accommodate more recreational activities.

“Creating Art is Always a Good Idea”

back to school influencers glitter and bubbles

Image via Instagram


Probably the most popular back-to-school influencers today are the arts and crafts influencers. Instead of buying paper, folders, pens, and pencils for the classroom, parents are buying paper products and art supplies to create fun, hands-on projects with their kids.


Instagram’s @glitter_and_bubbles is filling the home (and their newsfeed) with art. Some of the creativity merges the efforts of parents and kids (as shown in the campaign above) while others showcase child imagination.

“Snack on the Go”

back to school influencers minutritionist

Image via Instagram


Before the global pandemic, parents packed lunches or depended upon schools to provide meals. Today, kids need nutrition at home. Unlike previous school years, parents need stocked fridges and pantries to keep up with the kids’ appetites. 


Nutrition influencer Amanda Hernandez (@mininutritionist) partnered with Vital Proteins to promote healthy snacking at home or on the go. These nutritional bars alleviate the pressure for parents to buy junk food (that kids love) or cook every meal/snack. Other food and beverage brands are adopting the same influencer marketing campaign approach.

“Dance Party”

Image via Instagram


Home workouts necessarily involve the family. Whether the kids watch out of curiosity or imitate their parents, fitness influencers are showing moms and dads how to incorporate the whole family in their daily workout routines.


Alexa Jean Hunt (@alexajeanfitness), for example, demonstrates home workout circuits that allow kids to be involved without compromising the quality of her workout. This fitness influencer proves that you can stay in shape without having to go to your local gym or employ extra childcare.


Of course, one of Alexa’s most endearing campaigns journals the family breaking from the usual circuit to have a “dance party.” Kids love to dance, and they can stay active without the benefit of school recess.

“Allow Her to Create and Use Her Imagination”

back to school influencers censiej

Image via Instagram


Another representative from the arts and crafts crowd is Censie Sawyer (@censiej). Surprise Fantasy Friends introduced a toy/craft hybrid product, and Censie’s daughter put them to good use.


Brands that offer imaginative products and services can greatly benefit parents and kids this upcoming school year. Students need a break from the screens, particularly as school districts across North America shift classroom instruction to virtual environments.

What is the Future of Influencer Marketing and Back to School Campaigns?

While speculation can be dangerous, marketers have enough data to draw reasonable conclusions about back-to-school spending and the role of influencers. 


Your back-to-school marketing campaigns can offer you more insight into ongoing consumer spending beyond the current season. Everything is changing, from the way we work to the way we spend our free time. 


Influencer marketing provides eCommerce brands with an up-and-close look at the problems consumers experience and their expectations when searching for sustainable solutions.


For more insight into how COVID-19 is changing the consumer landscape, check out these additional resources from GRIN:


1 Comment

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