How to Leverage Influencer Networks in the Affiliate Channel
In recent years, influencer networks have seen a significant rise in prominence, becoming an increasingly essential component of marketing strategies. The influencer market is projected to reach a staggering $21.1 billion by the end of 2023, underlining influencer as a valuable partnership strategy within the affiliate marketing landscape.
To harness the full potential of influencer marketing, it’s crucial to have a marketplace that offers pre-vetted influencers for brands to connect with. This not only grants you the ability to closely monitor campaign results but also provides the opportunity for seamless integration with your existing network.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the three key steps for maximizing the potential of influencer networks within your affiliate channel.
Step one: Identifying the right influencer network
Tapping into influencer networks can be a daunting task, but we’ve outlined key points to help you get started:
- Define your objectives: Begin by setting clear goals aligned with your affiliate program’s objectives. Create a list of what you need to achieve and visualize your targets while also considering a preliminary strategy.
- Align with brand needs: Ensure that the chosen network attunes with your brand’s requirements. Review your list of objectives and establish criteria for your ideal influencer network by assessing what you need from influencer partnerships to meet your goals.
- Research and evaluate: After defining your goals and criteria, research different influencer networks to determine which one best suits your objectives. Many networks offer the option to work with a dedicated point of contact (POC) who can help tailor your strategy within the network to align with your goals.
Step two: Integrating influencers with your affiliate program
In the past, influencers and affiliates were often managed separately. However, the real potential for success lies in integrating these two channels within your affiliate program.
Here are some ways to go about this:
- Influencer integration on your platform: Instead of trying to manage these two channels independently, most platforms now offer integration with influencer networks. This integration allows you to track, report, and evaluate performance using the same tools, streamlining your efforts.
- Attractive commission structures: Influencers are typically motivated by commissions, so it’s crucial to provide them with attractive incentives. To do this effectively, it’s important to understand the average commission rates within your industry and ensure that your offers align with industry standards.
- Influencer policies: Recognize that influencers may have different working styles and preferences. Develop terms and policies that specifically address their unique needs while also incorporating your existing policy requirements.
Feeling overwhelmed? It doesn’t have to be complicated!
Here’s a top tip: with Acceleration Partners (AP), influencer programs can be fully integrated with your existing affiliate tracking. Our expert team can assist in scaling your influencer program, managing complex relationships, and helping you achieve impressive results.
Step three: Overcoming common challenges
Let’s explore some of the most prevalent challenges that brands encounter when collaborating with influencers and how you can navigate them by being diligent:
- Misalignment with brand values: Some customers may feel disconnected from influencers who don’t fully align with your brand. While it’s tempting to choose influencers based on follower counts or reputation, it’s essential to ensure that influencers consistently reflect your values and resonate with your target audience in their online behavior and content.
- Mismanaged expectations: Poorly managed expectations can strain relationships with influencers. Before launching any campaigns, it’s crucial to establish clear expectations regarding how the influencer will promote your brand. Transparency is key to maintaining a positive influencer relationship.
- Poor brand representation: Losing control over how your brand is portrayed can be a concern. Prevent this by maintaining open and consistent communication with influencer networks, ensuring they convey your message accurately. Creating guideline documents to share with influencers in advance can help set clear expectations.
- Lack of innovation: To stay ahead, it’s essential to continually innovate your influencer marketing strategies. As influencer marketing evolves, diversify the types of influencers, platforms, and messaging you use. Adapt and refine your approach based on results to prevent your campaigns from becoming stale.
When partnering with AP, you’ll benefit from a dedicated POC with extensive experience and expertise in this field. They’ll guide you to proactively avoid potential pitfalls and ensure the success of your influencer marketing efforts.
Influencer networks in action
To illustrate the effectiveness of influencer networks, let’s examine a recent example of AP’s partnership with an influencer network brand that exceeded expectations within a short timeframe.
Our collaboration with the brand was characterized by close alignment on campaign visions and a commitment to continuous improvement through testing and learning.
Here are some key takeaways that contributed to the success of this case:
- We ensured effective communication of the brand’s objectives to the influencer team, fostering alignment on campaign goals.
- Proactively identified relevant promotions for influencers to feature, creating additional incentives for our target audience to engage.
- Streamlined processes by sharing brand guidelines with influencers in advance, reducing turnaround times and maximizing efficiency.
- Ran thoughtful post-campaign reviews to identify valuable learnings and insights. This iterative approach allowed us enhance performance further by adapting and incorporating these lessons into subsequent campaigns.
The result? The brand saw an increase of 1,210% in revenue from the second campaign we ran compared to the first initial test campaign, and an increase of 957% in clicks!
Embracing influencer networks for affiliate success
Influencer networks have emerged as a powerful tool for affiliate success, offering a dynamic way to diversify your partner mix and drive growth. As this marketing channel continues its rapid global expansion, it’s a trend worth embracing.
At the heart of this success lies the importance of cultivating robust relationships between brands and partners. Here at AP, this ethos is central to our approach. Our team of experts stands ready to guide you on the journey to elevating your affiliate channel through the strategic utilization of influencer networks.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to tap into this dynamic landscape and propel your affiliate marketing efforts to new heights.
By: Sandy Bayomi
Helping brands unlock growth through partnerships.