Affiliate marketing is often considered to be one of the best online marketing channels for companies to cost-effectively raise their brand awareness and gain new, high-value customers.
However, there is a common misconception that certain industry verticals may not cater well to the affiliate channel.
Although retail (traditional, direct-to-consumer, subscription services, etc.) is one of the most common verticals in the affiliate space, all companies in ALL industries can and should be able to take advantage of the pay for performance model that affiliate marketing is structured around to grow their business.
Below are five ways any company – regardless of the industry vertical they are in – can build and benefit from a successful affiliate program:
1. Know who your customer is
To have a well-performing affiliate program, it’s essential to have a clear definition of who your customer is. Age, location, interests, and company size or yearly revenue are just a few examples of categories to build out your customer profile.
2. Find the right affiliate partners
Whether it be a product review site that specializes in certain categories, fashion influencers, technology or loyalty sites, recruit partners who are considered “experts” in the market you are targeting. When reaching out to them, be sure to convey how your product/service will bring value to the affiliate’s site.Merchants must remember that affiliates — especially content affiliates — have spent a lot of time and effort building quality content that attracts their readers. As such, they aren’t interested in posting on behalf of just any brand that pays them; working with affiliate partners is not a one-way partnership. Merchants must bring value to the affiliate as much as they expect the affiliate to drive high-value leads and quality sales.
3. Break down barriers
Provide partners with compelling offers, creative, and content that is relevant to their audience. The less research and work that affiliates need to do for any given brand, while seeing strong conversions, the more likely your brand will be promoted.
4. Treat affiliates like the partners they are
One size does not fit all. Be willing to build customized creative and promotions that cater to your affiliate partners’ readers. Also, understand the time and effort it can take affiliates to create content and work with them to support their success in the program. Whether it be through commission increase opportunities and bonuses, or even exclusive content or promotions, take the time to reach out to partners to understand how to best support them.
5. Continue to find new partners
Depending on your company vertical, the list of quality affiliate partners can be limited. However, there are always new sites launching or adding content for their readers. As a best practice, continue to recruit new quality partners and sites that target your customer and cultivate those partnerships to build a successful program.
The above steps are universal when it comes to building and growing an affiliate program.
Whether your customer is a small business or a 25-year-old fashionista, a client’s success is found by identifying its customer, recruiting the right partners into the program, making it easy for their partners to promote their products, and supporting affiliate partner success in the program.
And, as always, continue to find new quality partners for continued growth.
Questions about how an affiliate program could benefit your company or business vertical? Reach out to our team!