By
Daniel Conn
,
CRO @ ThoughtLeaders
August 27, 2020


Back to school is one of the major annual events in the retail calendar. Its seasonality is wrapped up in the phrase itself as the end of each summer brings a rush of activity to send students of all ages into their new semesters fully equipped.



Back to School YoY

Back to School is all about August, hardly surprisingly but the extent to which the month dominates the topic is dramatic:



Back to School can mean the start of the educational year from kindergarten all the way through to finishing higher education in college so its no surprise that the term can be split amongst creators of various ages.


If we look at the data breakdown we can see that of the 6531 creators recorded in the ThoughtLeaders platform who have talked about back to school in their content 2110 have discussed back to school and mom in the same content , 2055 back to school and college.

Keyword : Creators

Back to School : 6531

Back to School + Mom : 2110

Back to School + college : 2055

Back to School + High School :1743

The mommy creators talking about their kids going back to school like beingmommywithstyle below represent an entirely distinct creator and audience group from...


High school creators like Mia Dinoto…..


Or college creators like Sophie Pruett.



What this means is that Back to School is a major seasonal event for a large spectrum of consumers that brands can tap into.


Are people going back to school this year?

As we have looked at already, the Back to School spike is an annual event but it doesn’t take too sharp a pair of eyes to see that this year there is a marked difference this year. 


Of course August isn’t finished so we would need to do some apples to apples comparisons.

Number of mentions of Back to School between Aug 1 - 26 :

2017 : 1415

2018 : 1458

2019 : 1405

2020 : 881

From an average of 1426 Back to School mentions from 2017 through 2019 this year it has dropped to 881 mentions a 38% decline YoY. A simple reason may just well be that less people are going back to school this year or producing back to school content on the back of Covid 


But in every data valley there is a peak of opportunity and we have seen an enormous spike this year in the concept of the virtual and this extends to schooling. The below chart is the mentions of “school” and “virtual” in the same content. 


So whilst this might not be a great sign for lunchboxes there are plenty of brands that can tap into the virtualisation of education. Anything consumer software and consumer tech from VPN’s, education platforms to tablets and blue light blocking glasses can benefit from the shift in what it means to go back to school in 2020.