The Ultimate Guide to using partnership ads this Back-to-School season

The Ultimate Guide to using partnership ads this Back-to-School season

The Ultimate Guide to using partnership ads this Back-to-School season
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minute read
Feb 1, 2024

The back-to-school season is right around the corner, an exciting time for students, parents, and advertisers alike. Although this retail opportunity is often overlooked, with customers typically focusing on last-minute physical store visits, it's the perfect chance for advertisers to harness the potential of creators and paid media. Dive into our ultimate guide on pairing Creators with Paid Media for an A-grade back to school (BTS) campaign.

Unravel the power duo

Creator marketing and paid media have both proven their significance individually in the industry. However, when married together, their combined efforts create an incredible marketing force that far exceeds their individual capabilities.

This practice can be referred to as partnership ads, which allows advertisers to run ads using a creator’s or other partner’s handle to expand the reach and scale of their collaborations. It involves integrating the content or posts created by the influencer into advertisements, providing a mutually beneficial opportunity for both the creator and the advertiser.

There are a few benefits of partnership ads worth mentioning before we deep dive into how you can use them to make this back-to-school season a success.

1. Creators maintain control

Creators typically maintain control over their content, with advertisers requiring their permission to run partnership ads. Partnership ads involve integrating a creator's organic post into an advertisement, resulting in increased engagement and visibility for the creator.

2. Advertisers get expanded reach.

Partnership ads offer businesses the advantage of reaching a wider audience. Businesses can tap into the influencer's audience and create customized look-alike audiences (LAL). This precise targeting allows brands to enhance the accuracy of their marketing efforts by reaching potential consumers who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. For instance, during a back-to-school campaign, the LAL would share similarities with the influencer's engaged followers in terms of their interest in back-to-school topics, shopping habits, and preferences. By targeting this LAL, brands can effectively reach potential customers who are more inclined to be interested in their back-to-school offerings. LALs also enable the creation of custom demographics that combine the audiences of multiple influencers, further expanding brand visibility and increasing the chances of attracting the right customers.

3. Increased content longevity

By leveraging partnership ads, we can extend the longevity of the content indefinitely, ensuring consistent momentum and maximizing the success of the influencer program. Our friends at Meta have shown that campaigns that combine partnerships ads with business-as-usuals (BAU) drove a 53% higher click through rate, a 19% lower cost per actions, and a 99% probability to outperform BAU ads alone. You can read more on The Cirqle’s success stories adding creator ads to the mix below:

Scaling influencer efforts is thus imperative for several compelling reasons. The act of scaling ultimately results in a more favorable return on investment for influencer work, and this back-to-school season is no exception. So let's delve into the ‘Ultimate Guide to using partnership ads this Back-to-School season’.

Here's how to use Partnership Ads for a successful Back-to-School season

1. Understand target audience

Before diving into partnership ads, it's crucial to understand your target audience at a deep level, including their main interests and preferences. In the context of a back-to-school campaign, your primary audience will likely include students of various age groups, ranging from children to teenagers and young adults, who are either returning to school or starting a new academic year. Additionally, parents or guardians play a vital role in the back-to-school shopping process, and educators or teachers may also be part of your target audience. By recognizing these demographics, you can tailor messaging and content to address their specific needs and interests effectively. Understanding their main interests and preferences is essential for engaging students, parents, and educators in a meaningful way.

After reaching out to creators, it’s important to request partnership permission. Ensuring influencers have a clear understanding of partnership ads and know how to grant the necessary permissions is paramount.

Streamline the process and eliminate confusion with automated solutions like The Cirqle's.

These user-friendly tools simplify the partnership ads process, making it effortless for influencers to grant the appropriate permissions to brands. By embracing partnership ads and harnessing these intuitive solutions, brands can tap into the power of paid media while preserving the authenticity and trust associated with the influencer's persona.

This innovative approach supercharges campaign performance, delivering optimal results for both the brand and the influencer.

2. Identify compatible creators

After your target audience has been identified, it’s important to look for creators whose values, products, or services complement your own brand. Influencers have built a loyal and engaged audience who trust their opinions and recommendations. In the realm of back-to-school promotions, influencers hold significant sway as many shoppers rely on their favorite creators for product recommendations. Working with influencers also adds a personal touch to your back-to-school campaign, which will help brands to establish a genuine connection with their target audience, fostering credibility and loyalty.

By partnering with creators, brands gain a distinct advantage - access to the influencers' expertise and their deep understanding of their target audience. The collaboration unlocks the opportunity to tap into the influencers' creative ideas and perspectives. During a back-to-school campaign, influencers can produce diverse content, like product reviews, back-to-school hauls, or study routines. Alternatively, brands can collaborate with influencers to showcase trendy and visually captivating looks using their clothing line, demonstrating how students can maintain a fashionable style.

3. Define campaign objectives

Clearly define your campaign objectives to provide direction for your partnership ads. Determine whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, boost sales, or promote specific products or services. Setting measurable goals will guide your strategy and effectively evaluate campaign success.

Working with influencers allows brands to explore different audiences and campaign types, leading to optimized Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and reduced Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). By leveraging influencers' reach and expertise, brands can amplify the impact of their marketing efforts, resulting in better results and maximizing return on investment (ROI).

An excellent example of this potential is our partnership with Color Street for which we did a campaign aiming to create engaging content to increase sales of the new Collegiate Collection from Color Street. An example of one of the creators we worked with for this campaign can be found in the screenshot of our dashboard below. Through targeted and relevant audience engagement in the United States we achieved an impressive 8.5x higher RoAS and an astounding 93% reduction in CPA. This success showcases how partnerships can slash CPA and fuel RoAS, unlocking new growth opportunities for brands.

4. Choose advertising channels

To maximize their visibility and engagement with the target audience during the back-to-school season, brands should leverage various digital platforms. By investing in paid advertisements on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, as well as utilizing paid opportunities on Pinterest, brands can tap into consumers' online presence and capture their attention. It's also important to consider audio-based advertising, targeting busy parents who often stream content or listen to podcasts during afternoon drop-off and pickup times. Exploring these digital avenues allows brands to effectively reach and engage with their target audience during the back-to-school period.

5. Track, Scale & optimize performance

To ensure optimal results, consider engaging a performance marketer to handle your campaign execution. Their expertise will enable them to fine-tune your ad spend during the back-to-school season and optimize ad copy specifically for the platform. Additionally, don't forget to optimize your content for each platform individually. This advice will help you make the most out of your paid media efforts and maximize the impact of your campaign.

6. Foster long-term partnerships

While the back-to-school season presents a specific timeframe, aim to build lasting relationships with your partners. Evaluate the effectiveness of your partnership ads and explore opportunities for ongoing collaborations. Nurturing long-term partnerships can lead to sustained success beyond the back-to-school season and open doors for future marketing initiatives.

So, what’s next?

As we look ahead to the future, brands and creators should prioritize the power of collaboration between creators and paid media. Harness the authenticity of creators to build genuine connections, driving brand awareness and conversions in innovative ways. Don't underestimate the impact of paid media in expanding your reach and targeting capabilities during the back-to-school season.

Prioritize partnerships ads to maximize your campaign's success. You are now well-prepared to ace your back-to-school campaign, good luck!

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