Affiliate marketing is an ideal model for companies looking to expand globally. The low-risk, performance-based model can deliver high ROI, minimising the financial risk involved when venturing into untapped markets. It is essential to dedicate the necessary time to research and develop your global affiliate activities. A domestic affiliate strategy cannot be simply rolled out on a global scale. For global affiliate marketing success, strategies need to be tailored to each local market whilst linking back to an overall global strategy.
The following blog is a best practice guide for any brand looking to run global affiliate marketing activities.
Conduct in-depth local research
Prior to taking your affiliate activities global, the first step is to conduct thorough research into each market you wish to expand to. Research areas include; the market’s consumers, competitors, cultural nuances and customs, specific regulations affecting your affiliate activities, and the level of maturity and understanding of affiliate marketing.
Then, put this local knowledge in relation to your brand’s context – is your brand new, emerging or established in these markets? These insights will not only help you to identify which geographical areas are best to launch but also to anticipate the performance volume and help in setting your strategy and market-specific goals. For example, an advertiser with high brand awareness in the UK, where affiliate marketing is well established could expect far lower performance in a smaller market with differing economic circumstances and level of digital and affiliate maturity.
Localise your affiliate programme
All consumer-facing materials should be translated into the local languages and maintain consistent messaging with your global campaigns. In non-English speaking markets, communications with affiliates and local stakeholders would require local speaking programme managers or at the very least translation support. In terms of payment, make sure that you can deliver fast payment and pay in the relevant currency.
Partner with the right local and global affiliates
In addition to partnering with local affiliates, do not overlook global affiliates as they can drive high volumes of traffic across various markets and boost your brand awareness, which is often 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
Do not miss out on the key seasonal events in your regions as they can be a good opportunity to gain presence in the market and boost your revenue. A global strategy can be rolled out for international sales peaks such as Black Friday whilst you would also need to plan for regional events such as Single’s Day in China or Three Kings’ Day in Spain. Plan ahead for these events by scheduling placements with key affiliates and providing strong offers and/or promotional messaging.
Our free, downloadable guide to taking your affiliate programme global shares the latest best practice and guidance on expanding your programme into new regions.