If you are someone – even a company or organization – who is used to receiving a flat fee compensation from a brand, and you want to continue partnering with brands in the future, then an important step in ensuring that you’re evolving alongside the changing landscape of marketing and business partnerships is understanding what it means to be a Performance Partner®.
What is a Performance Partner?
An individual, company or organization that has a relationship with a brand and is paid by that brand after producing a specified outcome.
Who Can Become a Performance Partner?
Performance Partners can be content creators (social media influencers, podcasters, bloggers, YouTubers, etc.), other brands (e.g. a popular online costume store), schools, gyms, pet stores, mass media sites, etc.
Individual Example: A content creator (e.g. someone with a podcast) promotes a brand’s product or service and provides their listeners with a special code that will give them 15% off a purchase. That promo code is tracked via a partner technology platform and, if/when a listener of that podcast makes a purchase, the podcaster is compensated.
Company Example: Two non-competitive brands form a partnership to promote each other’s products or services via dedicated emails to their subscriber bases. If/when a desired action is produced from that email marketing initiative (a sale, email sign-ups, lead, etc.), then each brand is compensated. This can be a great way to test out new partnerships and create a new revenue stream.
School Example: An elementary school partners with an online costume store prior to Halloween. The costume store provides the school with a 20% off discount for their students and parents to promote. In exchange for promoting this offer schoolwide, the school receives 15% of each and every sale.
What Do I Need to Become a Performance Partner?
The ability to reach an audience that a brand would like to reach.
The willingness to get paid for an agreed upon action and price and use the necessary tracking technology to facilitate tracking conversions, reporting and payment.
An existing or potential partnership where both sides are open to monetizing based on performance.
Why Should I Become a Performance Partner?
You can earn significantly more, especially long-term.
If you’re in a partnership where you are already adding/driving value to an advertiser and driving results for them, but are only getting compensated with a flat fee, you’re missing out on substantial monetary potential.
With a flat fee, you have a cap on how much you can earn. As a Performance Partner, your upside potential becomes unlimited.
For example, if you’re a podcaster and you’re receiving a $2K flat fee from an advertiser, your earnings are capped, even when your listener base grows and the brand continues to realize increased sales/leads from your promotional efforts.
Conversely, if that partnership was structured on performance, the more your podcast listener base grows and the more your listeners become customers of the brands you promote, the more your earnings skyrocket because you’re getting paid over and over every time a conversion occurs (e.g. sale, lead, etc.).
Another example is if you have a blog with strong readership and develop a blog post promoting a product or service for an advertiser. As your blog post gets indexed by Google and starts showing up in search results – and continues to do so for years to come – you’re able to earn commissions year after year from a single post – versus if you were only paid a one-time flat fee for the same post.
You’ll attract larger brands.
The more you partner with other brands on a performance basis, even small and mid-sized brands, the more you’ll attract the attention of larger brands who are likely to overlook smaller flat fee partners (influencers, bloggers, podcasters, etc.).
By setting yourself apart as a Performance Partner – even if you’re small – larger brands are more likely to work with you because doing so aligns with their interest in working with transparent partners (especially content partners), realizing measurable outcomes, clearer visibility into performance and high return on ad spend.
It’s a smart business move.
Diversifying your revenue stream is simply smart business. No person or business should put all of their eggs in one basket. As a Performance Partner, you’ll be able to establish multiple streams of revenue, from paid sponsorships and CPA Performance Partnerships® to third party display advertising and free products. If one revenue stream disappears or declines, you’ll have others to fall back on.
How Does One Become a Performance Partner?
- Identify the brand you want to partner with (or the brand might identify you).
- Negotiate the terms.
- You enroll/plug into/get set up in their technology platform for their partner program.
- Start promoting the brand in the same ways you have been.
- As the data reflects the performance you are driving for the brand, you get paid.
How Does a Performance Partner Get Paid?
Brands select partner technology platforms. These platforms track performance and facilitate efficient and prompt compensation to Performance Partners.
Examples of different types of compensation:
- Commission in the form of a revenue share or flat fee per sale.
- A flat upfront fee along with a commission and/or lead payout (what’s referred to as a performance plusbasis).
- Payment for an email sign up in the form of a flat fee per email lead.
- Payment for any other desired action.
Compensation Example #1 – Podcaster sends listeners to a brand’s page to sign up for their email newsletter and is paid $2 per new email subscriber.
Compensation Example #2– Blogger is paid a 15% revenue share on every sale they drive to an online children’s clothing store during the Back-to-School season along with a bonus if they hit $5k in sales during the month of August.
Compensation Example #3 – Two brands work together to offer discounts to their customers as a “thank you for purchasing” customer appreciation initiative. In exchange for the discount, each brand forgoes commission but keeps tracking in place to understand performance.
Compensation Example #4 – An influencer with 500K followers is paid an upfront flat fee of $5k for a series of social posts over six months and then receives an additional payout for every new customer they drive for the brand during that six-month timeframe and beyond.
Influencers outside of large celebrity influencers can work with brands of all sizes on a performance or a performance plus basis. A performance plus structure is where an influencer is paid a flat fee plus a commission, a flat fee plus a product for review, or a flat fee plus commission plus product. Smaller influencers, under 50k or so, more frequently work with brands on a performance basis and as they grow their following may be able to move into a performance plus. Larger influencers will want to secure a flat fee upfront for their time as well as a performance fee so that they can get paid well after the contract has ended.
Why Should I Become a Performance Partner Sooner Rather than Later?
Because you don’t want to fall behind.
In the sea of marketing and business partnerships, the tide is turning.
Today’s leading brands are increasingly prioritizing return on ad spend (ROAS) and budget allocation has become more focused on trackable, measurable outcomes. In other words, brands want to ensure that what they are paying their partners is based on an actual or quantifiable result.
Access to these performance insights has become ubiquitous in the last few years due to significant advances in partner technology platforms, especially Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.
As more brands realize how simple it’s become to manage all their partnerships (content creators, influencers, business development, podcasters, other brands, etc.) on one platform, efficiently track, measure and optimize their partners’ performance and compensate them accordingly, the more they are restructuring their budgets and compensation models to reflect performance (i.e. cost per action).
What’s a Good Next Step?
To learn more about how to become a Performance Partner, here are some simple next steps:
- Check out the resources on Performance In. This publication offers a wealth of information for Performance Partners.
- Reach out to our Performance Partnerships team.
- Attend a conference. For example, Affiliate Summit offers conferences designed specifically for Performance Partners.