Affiliate marketing is an ideal, low-risk, performance-based model for companies looking to expand globally. That being said, it is essential to research your global affiliate activities to ensure you get the most of your budget. A domestic affiliate strategy cannot be rolled out at a global scale. For global affiliate marketing success, incorporate these tips into your strategies.
Conduct in-depth local research
Before launching an affiliate programme in another market, conduct thorough research where you wish to expand. Consider areas such as the market’s consumers, competitors, cultural nuances and customs, specific regulations that may affect your affiliate activities, and the level of maturity and understanding of affiliate marketing. Put this local knowledge in relation to your brand’s context – is your target audience familiar with your brand, or are you already established in these markets? These insights will not only help identify which geographical areas are best to launch, but also to anticipate the performance volume and setting market-specific goals.
Localise your affiliate programmes
All consumer-facing materials should be translated into the local languages. In non-English speaking markets, communications with affiliates and local stakeholders should have local speaking programme managers, or at the very least, high-quality translation support.
In terms of payment, make sure that you can deliver fast payment and pay in the relevant currency.
Consider employing local expertise. An account manager who can speak the local language and has market-specific knowledge will help grow your programme.
Assess and partner with the right local and global affiliates
In addition to partnering with local affiliates, brands should not overlook other global affiliates as they can drive high volumes of traffic across various markets and boost brand awareness - especially helpful at the early stages of expansion. For each market, first partner with the relevant top affiliates before recruiting niche affiliates, including content sites and influencers that will help drive local engagement and build brand awareness.
Take advantage of local and international retail peaks
Don’t miss out on the key seasonal events abroad as they can be an excellent opportunity and time to gain presence in the market while boosting your revenue. A global strategy can be rolled out for international sales peaks such as Black Friday, while also planning for regional events such as Single’s Day in China or Three Kings’ Day in Spain. Plan for these events by scheduling placements ahead of time with key affiliates and providing strong offers and/or promotional messaging to gain a competitive advantage. For a handy guide on which holidays are observed globally, download our Affiliate Programme Guide to Global Holidays and Observances
For best practice on running multi-region affiliate programmes, download the EMEA affiliate marketing handbook.