October 19, 2016

Schaaf-PartnerCentric Expands on Influencer Marketing Service

Author : Dana Pezzin

Dana Pezzin

Marketing Coordinator at Schaaf-PartnerCentric

Latest posts by Dana Pezzin (see all)

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Back in June of last year, Schaaf-PartnerCentric announced our influencer marketing service called REACH (Relationships, Exposure, Advocacy, Connection, Hype). We frequently heard from our clients how they’d like to partner with more content sites. REACH was developed to fill this need, by identifying and outreaching to highly influential content sites that target an audience a web retailer is seeking to engage with, and secure placements on their behalf. Since then, our service has evolved!

While the focus of our REACH service still centers around collaborating with content sites (such as blogs, review sites, news magazines, forums) that have a large audience and a strong social following, we have shifted to offering this service to our clients in a more proactive manner. The service has become an additional layer of support for our affiliate account managers that work so hard to expand on our client’s content partnership opportunities. Here are some examples of how we now provide content support:

  • Proactive outreach to identify content partnership opportunities, even outside of affiliate relationships, for full service clients to consider without any contractual obligations.
  • An additional layer of support for Schaaf-PartnerCentric account managers with clients that have placement budget for both affiliate and non-affiliate placements.
  • Performance based service fee for placements on non-affiliate contents sites, and no service fee for placements with content sites that are affiliates since this fuels program growth.

And, many of the service features remain the same! Client goals and objectives are clearly identified. Outreach is made to potential influencers and responsive influencers are vetted and partnership recommendations are made to the client. The entire process from placement negotiations to insertion order execution to placement proof are handled by our team. And, tracking a client’s KPI’s and delivering performance reporting is essential to properly determine the value of the placement. It’s also important to note that REACH can still be embraced by any web retailer, not just those serviced by Schaaf-PartnerCentric’s affiliate program management services.

Get in touch to learn more about why content marketing is an effective marketing strategy not to be missed!

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February 12, 2016

Why You Should Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing This Year

Author : Morgan Simon

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With Valentines Day right around the corner, you’ve likely seen more than a few gift guides floating around the web. Top bloggers and publishers leveraging holidays to promote their favorite products and brands is nothing new; and lately more advertisers have wondered how to get in on the action. This whole idea is called “influencer marketing” and its effectiveness has brands adjusting their marketing strategies to ensure they are adopting this powerful channel.

Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is simple, really. Instead of a brand seeking out an entire target audience (say, in the way a television commercial would), they seek out those who have purchasing influence over a group of individuals. In the case of retailers, these influencers often look like top publishers who write a blog with a highly engaged audience and/or have a large social following. Because the influencer is trusted by consumers, their recommendations and advice directly impacts the purchases their audience makes. The effectiveness with influencer marketing stems from the message coming from a trusted middle man who has vetted the product thoroughly versus a brand flaunting it’s own products.

How Do I Find These Influencers?
This can be the tricky part, at least according to 73% of advertisers. While almost all merchants buy into the idea of influencer marketing, finding the key individuals can be difficult. There are several things to consider, including:

  • Market Reach- How big is the influencer’s circle? Advertisers should be looking at page views, Facebook friends, Instagram followers, etc.
  • Engagement – Once you know how big the influencer’s audience is, you should consider how engaged they are. If a blogger has 500,000 monthly page views but a dismal comment rate and click through rate, they may not be the best fit.
  • Relevancy – Does the rest of their content seem like it would be a natural fit for your brand? Influencer marketing is a partnership, so when aligning yourself with an individual it is imperative to make sure they are a good match for your company as a whole. This is arguably more important than any other factor when selecting an influencer.
  • Expertise – Is the influencer going to take the time to become a product expert? Influencer marketing thrives on authenticity, so you will want a commitment that whomever you work with will truly get to know the features and benefits of your product line so they can accurately represent them to their audience.

How Does This Fit In With My Affiliate Program?
Believe it or not, influencer marketing and performance marketing go hand in hand. Often times influencers make fantastic affiliates, but because of their reach they are less likely to find your program on a network and sign up directly. Proactively seeking out these individuals and partnering with them at influencer level lays the perfect foundation for recruiting them as an affiliate later down the line.

Similar to other marketing channels, there is power in numbers. When consumers read about a product on an influencer’s blog, then see an affiliate link on another website they visit – your product, brand and messaging are all front of mind. For this to be successful, you have to ensure that the messaging is consistent among all channels – internal, affiliate and influencer.

How Schaaf-PartnerCentric Can Help
You may wonder where SPC fits into all of this. While we are proud affiliate management experts, we also recognize the need for strategic influencer marketing support for our clients. Last year, we took that need and turned it into a product offering we call REACH. REACH essentially covers all of the elements of influencer marketing for you: determining an appropriate offer, contacting and partnering with influencers, monitoring results and comprehensive reporting on activity. Interested in learning more? Let us know here or send us an email at reach@schaafpc.com. You can also check out some of our awesome REACH results. Nearly 60% of advertisers are increasing their influencer marketing budget this year, don’t get left behind!

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on influencer marketing and any questions that you have in the comments. And because no blog post is complete with out an infographic, continue reading on to see some impressive Valentines Day spending stats put together by another company who loves influencer marketing just as much as we do, The Shelf:

Courtesy of: The Shelf




February 08, 2016

Affiliate Marketing Trends in 2016

Author : Lisette Howard

Latest posts by Lisette Howard (see all)

Affiliate Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

As we transition into the second month of 2016, a few major trends in performance are beginning to emerge. Affiliate marketing is no longer simply capturing a sale on a publishers website; it has evolved into a much more complex space. Here are Schaaf-PartnerCentric’s top predictions for affiliate marketing trends to watch in 2016:

Influencer Outreach

The term “influencer” became a buzzword in 2015. It went from something progressive brands were testing, to a necessity when planning a marketing strategy. In 2016, we can expect to see the rise of influencer marketing becoming a focal point in overall online strategy. Advertisers understand the value of partnering with trusted content marketers to promote their brand – display ads are out, original content is in! It makes sense; people are influenced by those they trust. It’s no longer about what the brand is saying, but what others are saying about a brand. 90% of consumers look to friends and virtual strangers for advice when making a purchase according to Nielsen.

The big question becomes how to tie influencer marketing to performance if you aren’t tracking sales. Going back to the idea that affiliate marketing is much more complex than it used to be, it’s important to note where in the funnel users first saw a brand and where they were influenced in making a purchase (i.e. attribution). Users typically learn about a brand on an influencer site and from there the user begins to do additional research.

Mobile and Video

Mobile continues to be an important topic as there are still over 4 billion people who have yet to connect to the internet. More people to adapt equals more opportunity. Everyone by now knows mobile is important, however in 2016 we are going see the value of video on mobile. 50% of all mobile traffic comes from video and by 2018 experts believe this will grow to 79%. Mobile is often source of entertainment and the best way to capture a user on mobile is through video. Users are not only watching videos on a mobile device, but they are engaging with them. 65% of all video viewers watch more than 75% of the video. This year advertisers and affiliates need to make sure they are incorporating video until their overall strategy or there is a big chunk of sales being left on the table.

Online to Offline

Advertisers with a brick and motor location need to be doing online to offline promotions. An omni-channel strategy is essential and with today’s technology it is easier than ever to accomplish. Most stores with an online presence have enabled beacon technology to ensure they can send offers to customers while they shop in real time. No longer are the days where you have to cut out a coupon from the newspaper to receive a discount. Getting in front of customers is easier than ever and it’s important you are working with the right partners to do it.

 

Now that you know our top three predictions for 2016, we would love to hear yours! Are you ahead of the curve and already employing an omni-channel strategy? Or maybe you’re looking for help taking advantage of influencer marketing? Where ever you are at in the changing affiliate marketing landscape, we’re here to help – you can leave us a comment or send us an email at info@schaafpc.com.




September 29, 2015

What is Influencer Marketing?

Author : Jessica Griffin

Jessica Griffin

Senior Sales & Marketing Specialist at Schaaf-PartnerCentric

Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing refers to the process of identifying and leveraging key individuals that have influence over a subsection of a target market, as opposed to targeting the market as a whole.

Influencer marketing is about engaging with key individuals with an online presence, in the hopes of accessing and influencing their followers or subscribers, which will ultimately lead to more brand awareness and brand affinity. This type of marketing often calls for more personal engagement with the influencer, to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

An “influencer” is identified as a site or person that:

  • Has an online presence with strong influence over potential customers
  • Has a defined website audience reach or social media footprint
  • Can offer strong brand affinity based on their following and target audience
  • Is perceived as an expert and has credibility and trust on a subject matter
  • Is a conduit of modern day word-of-mouth marketing

If you’re interested in learning more about influencer marketing, you can check out our REACH Influencer Marketing Case Study




September 24, 2015

Case Study: Boutique Fashion Retailer Increases Influencer Engagement through REACH

Author : Jessica Griffin

Jessica Griffin

Senior Sales & Marketing Specialist at Schaaf-PartnerCentric

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Influencer marketing is an important component to any online content marketing strategy, especially in the retail vertical. REACH influence marketing services, provided by Schaaf-PartnerCentric, can help curate the outreach to, and provide guaranteed placements on, influencer websites and social outlets. REACH allows highly targeted messaging for specific markets. Read more about how REACH helped a boutique fashion retailer engage with a handful of high-value bloggers to effectively represent their brand.




July 09, 2015

Why the Affiliate Sandbox is Shifting in the US

Author : Stephanie Harris

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This article first appeared in PerformanceIN on June 8th, 2015.

The affiliate sandbox is shifting. The composite we have played in since the late ‘90s, layered with coupon, loyalty, data feed, and a smattering of content sites, has been disrupted. As the performance marketing industry matures, the perception of what a “valuable affiliate” is, and how it is measured, has evolved. Advertisers want more affiliate revenue, but only from sources and touch-points they recognize as incremental sales.

How many times have affiliate marketers found themselves in challenging conversations about those who “introduce” and those who “conclude” a sale, about “mommy bloggers”, about valuable content or niche sites, and “less valuable” traditional affiliate sites? Efforts are being re-directed to respond to this shift, and a cottage industry has emerged to address a clear gap. There are countless departments, specialist roles, processes, and software aimed at coaxing these high-valued content and blogger sites into the affiliate sandbox.

Initiators

One of the biggest indicators of this is the shift away from the last-click-wins-all and toward the multi-touch model, with the most valued affiliates pegged as the “initiators”. Advertisers seek to grow this bucket of sites, and to address this need a great deal of time is spent in the pursuit of recruiting potential initiators. Through these efforts, the insight we’ve gleaned is that, with some exceptions, the engagement we need to have with these types of sites is different from affiliate engagement, and requires a pivot in thinking, in workflow, and in the structural model in order to address it. We can still grow the relationships our advertisers have with these types of sites, but not necessarily through the affiliate channel, and not always by working within our own sandbox.

These sites, as a whole, don’t respond well to the pay-per-performance model. Anyone who has tried tirelessly over the years to forge relationships with these sites at their conferences and in their milieu, and drag them out of their box, over the line, and into an affiliate program can attest to this. They are of a different breed. Affiliate marketing is traditionally focused on the conversion of a sale, and the traditional affiliate role is the execution of that sale. To focus on influencing the sale is a different strategy. And it requires a different approach.

Motivations

To understand the most effective method is to understand the motivation. Why do advertisers want to spend so much time recruiting these sites? It’s not for the revenue they generate, or their sheer volume – typically these sites won’t do near the volume of the traditional affiliate, which is built more for mass appeal. What is valuable is their platform to speak to niche, targeted potential customers with a high customer lifetime value. And what are the sites interested in? They want to introduce brands to their audience, build enthusiasm, and generate content and sponsorships.

The essence of influencer marketing is the same as affiliate marketing: it’s about finding, creating, and fostering direct relationships with sites that advertisers care about. But we need to measure success, the ultimate sandcastle, in terms of reach and engagement, not on a converted sale. Sponsoring giveaways, contests, reviews, or creative paid placement, in exchange for an upfront fee for their time and access to their audience, gives advertisers the traction they’re looking for with these sites. Playing with a different set of guidelines for a different kind of sandbox will allow an advertiser to secure real estate on the coveted influencer sites, as well as foster relationships with site owners who have influence with target brand enthusiasts. This is a new day, and a new way to play.

 

If you’re interested in learning about how our new REACH program could help your brand, please request a consultation below.


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June 22, 2015

Schaaf-PartnerCentric Launches REACH

Author : Jessica Griffin

Jessica Griffin

Senior Sales & Marketing Specialist at Schaaf-PartnerCentric

Schaaf-PartnerCentric Launches REACH

We are excited to announce the launch of REACH, our newest service offering! REACH is an engagement solution that provides curated outreach and guaranteed placements on influencer websites and social outlets. Web retailers can now expand beyond performance marketing through Relationships, Exposure, Advocacy, Connection, and Hype.

The traditional performance marketing model rewards publishers for sale conversions, but REACH shifts that model to compensate based on the ability to engage with consumers, and ultimately influence their behavior online. Rather than rewarding influencers for the conversion of a sale, REACH tracks and reports engagement metrics like the number of shares or comments for each placement.

REACH can be embraced by any web retailer, not just those serviced by Schaaf-PartnerCentric’s affiliate program management services.

REACH helps web retailers:

  • Maximize brand exposure.
  • Build hype and exposure for new product launches.
  • Roll out targeted giveaways and contests to unique audiences.
  • Build a brand ambassador program with a troop of bloggers at the ready.
  • Open the door for long-term relationships with bloggers and influencers.
  • Increase a brand’s community awareness and engagement.
  • Build brand authority with original content.

We’ll be offering special launch promotions through September. If you’re interested in learning how REACH could help your brand, please request a consultation.


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