Back to School Audiences

Yesterday in our 300 Seconds piece, I asked you to make a list of the services you offer educators. August traditionally means “Back to School” for parents, students and educators. Now I want you to look at that list and think about all audiences who might benefit from each service. For example, let’s say you carry student text for area high school English classes. Here’s how you can break down that message for each audience:

  • Teachers. List this service along with an explanation of how it works everywhere you have a list of educators services. This list should appear in a variety of locations:
    • On a dedicated website.
    • On an informational flyer to be distributed to in-store shoppers. (“Oh, you’re a teacher? You’ll want to know about our educator discount and other services.”)
    • In your store newsletter. You can focus on a different service in each issue by creating information content in a blog-post style. Be sure to include a link back to the entire list of services on your website.

When considering ideas for this specific service, think about what will help teachers which, in turn, will help your sales. Do you have the list for the year? Create a page on your website with the name of the class, teacher, and books with buy buttons. (Be sure to give the link to the teacher and ask him/her to include it on their school webpage.) Would an order form work better? Offer to create one for in-class distribution.

The most important thing is that educators know about the service. If they don’t order the text books through you, you don’t need to worry about the next two audiences.

  • Parents. I’m speaking from my own experience as a mom, but my assumption is that most parents want to be attentive and on top of things. It’s difficult to do so when your son or daughter announces at 10:30 p.m., “I need a book for English tomorrow. ‘Jane1185053_10151847846561558_1211027461_n‘ something.” “Jane Eyre?” “Um… something like that.” “Jane Austen?” “…”

Many of the same resources created for teachers can also be beneficial to parents. The next time you receive a phone call from a frantic parent, send them to that page on your website which contains all of the reading assignments for the year. And if your offer a discount, be sure to mention that little bonus.

  • Students. It would be nice if there were an easy way to text reminders to students about buying their next book. (I’ll look into that.) In the meantime, create a list of assigned reading on a bookmark and insert it as the students buy their copy of  ‘Jane’ something. Include the address of your web link on the bookmark. And if they’re at your counter, hand them an extra bookmark and tell them it’s to post on their refrigerator.

This “text book” scenario is just one example of how to look at the services we offer from different perspectives. My “Back to School” list is extensive, so we’ll be touching on a few more items in the coming weeks. It’s going to be a fun August.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she’s a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type.

@BethGolay