Affiliate Marketing Trade Secrets: 5 Tips for Brands to Make the Most of their Affiliate Partnerships
With the highest return on ad spend of any marketing channel, affiliate marketing is undoubtedly the present and future of online selling. Currently, 81% of brands participate in affiliate marketing and, last year alone, spent upwards of $6.8 billion in the process. And things aren’t slowing down any time soon. That number is expected to increase to $8.2 billion by the end of 2021. Yes, this year.
With those kinds of projections, the channel is more incentivized than ever to continue to adopt new technologies and ways of meeting the ever-changing needs of brands of all sizes. But, of course, brands can’t expect the channel to do all the work.
Here are five things every brand can do now to optimize their affiliate marketing efforts:
Hot Tip #1–Provide a budget with options
As with any marketing program, an affiliate program requires a budget, and different affiliates have different payment structures. For instance, flat-rate programs pay a flat-rate for each lead, sale, or click an affiliate generates for a brand. Performance-based programs, on the other hand, reward affiliate partners for conversions only. The better an affiliate converts, the more they earn. But payout models aren’t the only thing to budget against. Most content verticals, for example, require a flat fee to participate–and that’s on top of the affiliate payout. It’s helpful to discuss all opportunities with payout options up front. This way, the affiliate partner can customize a variety of packages that best suit your budget.
Hot Tip #2–Share your goals
Any affiliate partner worth your time (and money) is as invested in your success as they are in their own. It’s pretty straightforward, really. If you don’t reach your goals, they won’t reach theirs either–and they’ll likely lose their shot at becoming a repeat partner, too. When goals are clearly defined and communicated, everyone wins.
Hot Tip #3–Diversify your reach
Over the last few years, a big trend in affiliate marketing has been to focus on full funnel opportunities–and for good reason. Not only will a diverse affiliate portfolio help you maximize results at every stage of the customer journey, but it will also help you reach a broader audience and broaden your revenue streams. Hanging your hat on content-only affiliates will not only hinder your reach but also increases your risk of losing a potential buyer in the purchasing funnel. Make sure your affiliate portfolio has a good mix of anything from content, deal and coupon affiliates to loyalty, search and conversion optimization partners.
Hot Tip #4–Regard every affiliate as an extension of your brand
The job of any affiliate is to promote your brand, and in turn, your job is to give them the assets they need to be successful. Arm them with the right messaging, quality creative, and compelling offers to help them convert their audience. Also, it’s important to remember that it’s your brand’s reputation on the line. Making sure messaging across affiliates stays consistent and in line with your values is essential to not only converting leads into customers and customers into advocates but also to protecting the integrity of your brand. Bottom line? You’re in this together, and your success is tied directly to that of your affiliates.
Hot Tip #5–Keep an open mind
With more consumers shopping online than ever before, affiliate marketing remains a very viable and scalable engine for growth for your business. But that doesn’t mean the same old tactics will produce meaningful ROI as we move into a post-pandemic world. Take time to look at a wide variety of affiliate sites within your brand niche–and far beyond it. Now, more than ever, there are some unique and creative ways to build out your affiliate business and you never know where you might find inspiration. Whatever you do, don’t let a simple tech implantation or outside-of-the-box affiliate stop you from pursuing a partnership with them. You could be leaving money and new customers on the table.
At PartnerCentric, we don’t believe in doing things simply because it’s the way things have always been done. We’re changing the channel from the inside out with our award-winning account management and purpose-built, proprietary software tools we call Control Suite.
In addition, our account managers have the highest experience level in the industry. Over fourteen years, on average. That’s a big deal, especially right now. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is everything in this space. Our team has the experience and relationships they need to find the right partner opportunities for you and, if necessary, to quickly make strategic changes.
And we’ve got the results to prove it: 98% of our current clients have experienced significant program growth since working with us. For every dollar our clients spend in fees, they see a sevenfold return on ad spend.
Schedule a call with us today and find out what PartnerCentric can do for you.