It's 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Affiliate Marketing Program Stands?
Newsflash: Affiliate marketing is here to stay–and in a pretty major way. By 2022, affiliate marketing spend in the United States industry is forecasted to hit the 8 billion mark. Yes, almost double what it was worth in 2015.
It’s no secret that affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and drive sales. Even though industry experts agree that achieving those things requires a highly targeted, strategic approach, the misconception that affiliate is a set-it-and-forget-it solution is still out there.
Guess what. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Here are five reasons why putting your affiliate program on auto-pilot is a big mistake:
1. It only counts if it converts
Spoiler alert: All partners are not created equal, and they are not all a fit for your brand. Figuring out what works–and what doesn’t–requires testing, testing, and more testing. Not only do you have to strategically evaluate potential affiliates and build a foundation with those who are consistently getting your brand in front of your target audiences, but you also have to keep an eye on conversions. All the traffic in the world doesn’t mean anything without conversions from the right people. Bottom line? Fine-tuning your strategy requires constant optimization.
2. Your competitors are not sitting still
As you know, every bit of traction you can get in the marketplace counts, and the same holds true for your competitors. Like it or not, they are always trying to stay one step ahead of you, and if youa’re not always optimizing your strategy, you’re giving them an open invitation to do so. And don’t forget: New competitors are always entering the marketplace, and they’re watching your every move, too.
3. Technology and tactics are always evolving
In digital marketing, the only constant is change, and a static strategy won’t get the job done. Even the most proven tactics, tools, and strategies that worked last week won’t necessarily work again next month. Technology and algorithm updates happen all the time, too. That’s not a bad thing as long as you are staying up-to-date and capitalizing on the latest trends and best practices.
4. Information is power
In order to keep ad fraud and compliance issues at bay, digging into your affiliate marketing data on a regular basis is a must, especially when there are tools that do it for you. Added bonus? It’s also a goldmine in terms of understanding customer demographics and behavior and informing your ongoing strategy. For instance, every click of an affiliate link lets you know if your target audience is (or isn’t) engaging with your brand and shows exactly what they are purchasing. The data also reveals whether a product offer or promotion you’re pushing is performing as expected so you can make any necessary adjustments.
5. Dead weight doesn’t drive sales
No matter how thorough your affiliate vetting process may be, the reality is, not every affiliate will end up performing as expected. And that comes with an opportunity cost if the problem isn’t addressed. Sure, affiliate is a pay-for-performance channel, but you can’t ignore the potential ROI you may be sacrificing if you don’t get the right partners in place.
Ready to maximize this effective marketing channel? Check out our quick "Horror Stories from an Affiliate Marketing Insider" video. We've covered a lot of ground in this short 10-minute video about things like:
- Why your affiliate program isn’t performing as well as you think it is
- Compliance issues–and why you might be having them
- Attracting qualified traffic–and avoiding the rest
- High quality content–and the value of quality publishers
- The best tools to measure the most meaningful metrics