Teachers bring the world into their classrooms, so it’s no surprise that they like to get out and see the world in their free time. Each year, about half of all teachers travel internationally, and 83 percent travel domestically. And, they tend to spend more on their vacations than other travelers. (Given the nature of their job, it’s not surprising that teachers need to relax a bit more than the rest of us!)
With lovely chunks of time off built into their schedules, like the upcoming winter holiday break, teachers have ample opportunity to travel. Many teachers are figuring out the details for their trips now — where they will go, what they will do, maybe what beachside cocktails they’ll order — and that makes this the perfect time for you to market your product to them.
While teachers are more adventurous than other travelers in terms of where they’re traveling (think Colombia, Greece, Israel, and Africa), their vacation activities are fairly typical. They go sightseeing, visit the beach, eat at nice restaurants, and participate in a variety of outdoor activities — totally relatable vacation stuff. Here’s how you can meet teachers where they are while they’re enjoying their travel adventures:
If you want educators to see your sights, you can entice them with ideas for sharing their experiences with students later. No matter how far removed teachers are from their classrooms, they often still have their students in the back of their minds. The idea that they might find something special while sightseeing — a fascinating historical site or art exhibit — might pique their curiosity.
What can you offer them that they can photograph and show to students when they get home? What kind of inexpensive, easy-to-carry souvenirs might be available for them to bring back to the classroom? If the idea takes root, you might find teachers seeking out enough items to build their own mini-museum to share with students after Christmas break. Every teacher loves interesting desk-orations!
Teachers know the value of visual aids for their lessons and appreciate extras like downloadable infographics or posters, educational tips, or even suggestions for activities they can do with their students next semester. Market your destination specifically to teachers by making some of these options available.
2. Beach time
If you want to draw teachers’ attention, offer a tropical vacation giveaway. Create a contest in which teachers take pictures of your product in an interesting setting and post their funniest (or most beautiful) images on Instagram. The flood of images tagged with your product name will boost your visibility on social media. A recent study from Tailwind found that contests are a great way to grow your Instagram following, in particular. In fact, contest photos receive 64 times more comments and more than three times more likes than other posts.
To really get your name out there, you can offer a contest in which everybody wins. For example, each person who posts an image might receive a free 30-day trial of your product or some other small-but-exciting freebie.
If you want to draw teachers into your store or entice them to buy your product, offer discounts exclusively for teachers. “Show your teacher ID for 20 percent off” advertisements are sure to catch the eye of the teacher who’s trying to decide where to start.
A number of successful stores already use this approach. Loft offers teachers 15 percent off all in-store purchases, as well as special teacher appreciation nights and other benefits. J. Crew and West Elm offer online or in-store discounts, and at least two official Disney resort hotels offer year-round teacher discounts. Discounts and teacher-focused promotions can take many forms; craft the right one for your business and goals.
4. Fine Dining
Linda Lancaster, a teacher from Oklahoma, pays close attention to the culinary history and culture wherever she travels. When she was in Hawaii, she learned that it is the only U.S. state that produces cacao — the seeds that eventually turn into sweet, delicious chocolate. After she returned, she was able to roll that information into a lesson about the major products of American states. And she sweetened the deal by including a chocolate tasting.
Every destination in the world, including every city in the United States, has its own culinary history. To draw teachers into your restaurant, emphasize what makes the food you serve and its history unique or noteworthy.
Food can also be important when marketing a destination. Almost half of all travelers surveyed by Expedia Media said that food and drink experiences play a major role in their travel plans. For teachers, the quality of the food is important, but so is its story.
Regardless of whether you’re marketing a location, a product, or an experience, you can draw in teachers during their time off. They’re already planning their winter break travel, so there’s no better time to start than now.
If you’re ready to reach teachers as they’re preparing to travel, check out our “Teachers as Consumers” report.