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Back-to-School 2021: Top insights to win your audience on TikTok in MENA

The back-to-school season has always presented unique opportunities for brands. But the return to classes this school year will be unlike any other year. Today the pandemic situation is improving across the region and with lockdown measures easing off, students are excited to be heading back to school, to see their friends and embark on a new academic year.

However, that last-minute rush to upgrade wardrobes, get new hairstyles, and stock up on all the much-needed supplies is a feeling that is all too familiar. All of these things are necessities before the start of the school year but what are back-to-school shoppers looking for? Here are some top insights to help brands better understand TikTok users as they prepare to return to their classrooms this autumn.

Parents are the gatekeepers

First things first: Find the parents and guardians. Did you know that more than half of TikTok users in the region are parents of a school-age child? In 2021, TikTok has become a platform for everyone. Marketers are turning to our community to reach the gatekeepers who make the household purchasing decisions—and who have the money to spend. Parents look to TikTok to get new ideas for their kids, scouring the platform and discovering new products for their families to enjoy.

Did you know:

More than 50 per cent of TikTok users in the region are parents.

More than 58 per cent of those parents fall in the medium to high-income segment, with the majority falling within the high-income bracket.

Students search for inspiration

It’s not just the parents that turn to TikTok for new ideas—so do the mobile-first generation. From cute accessories to high-tech school supplies, TikTok makes it easy to find the biggest trends and must-have gear. Some of the students’ favourites in MENAT include:

  • #Student –737 million views
  • #SchoolLife – 325 million views
  • #CollegeLife – 166 million views
  • #الدراسة (Studying) – 66 million views 
  • #BacktoschoolCheck – 14 million views

Getting started on TikTok is easy

For businesses that want to take advantage of this year’s back-to-school season, here are a wide range of easy-to-use solutions —plus all the guidance needed to create successful marketing campaigns that truly connect with parents and students on TikTok.

Best practices on targeting: Parents

  • Raise awareness with TikTok Creators. Parents trust other parents. On TikTok, brands can find amazing creators who excel at making content geared towards families and parents. Leveraging their talents for a campaign can help brands break through and connect.
  • Inform them with personalised tips and tricks on how to get school ready this term with your brand.
  • Drive action through In-Feed Ads. Discounts are particularly effective for back-to-school because parents are trying to make their budgets stretch. Brands can highlight discounts and drive traffic to their websites with In-Feed Ads. Bold call-to-action buttons and visually appealing display cards help to grab attention and increase the number of clicks.

Back-to-school is different with TikTok

That excitement of the first day back to school after the long summer break, of seeing friends and plunging back into the swirling social dynamics, for kids feelings are even more amplified than usual. TikTok helps the younger generation find that place where they belong by connecting them (and their parents!) with a community that shares their interests and passions. And it’s in this magic moment of connection where brands can truly shine by providing the inspiration that the TikTok community is looking for.

Whether your business sells clothing, laptops, shoes, or snacks —you can reach your target audience with popular hashtags and powerful solutions. By using TikTok to transform consumers into participants and ambassadors, brands can turn back-to-school into a brilliant marketing success.