- May 18th, 2018
Affiliate marketing traditionally consists of a business model inwhich brands pay online content creators a commission for the direct sales they bring in via their blog and/or social channels. Content partners are identified based on a contextual fit with a brand and the brand sets up a link or code that content creators share with their audience. When the audience makes a purchase, the content creator gets paid. Pretty straightforward.
Brands sometimes like this approach over the influencer marketing model because with affiliate marketing, content creators or influencers are paid based on performance as opposed to an upfront payment for a post like influencer marketing.
In order to make your affiliate program worthwhile, here are 5 tips to strengthen your strategy:
Make it Worthwhile
Tip: Content creators will start dropping from your campaign like flies if you ask for too much of their time than balances out their reward. Make sure that your “ask” is fair and that reword for said ask is tangible. You may need to adjust the percentage rate you give your influencers and make sure they are stocked with free product from your brand.
Example: Say a fashion brand wants to partner with content creators to show off the durability of a pair of hiking pants. The brands has the great idea of challenging the influencers to wear the pants to different places and photograph the variety of places the pants are worn. This brand would need to realize how much time and effort goes into going different places, taking photos and writing content. They could compensate by offering a set financial compensation rate up front in addition to commission.
Identify the Right Affiliate Partner
Tip: While some marketing strategies are best owned in-house, affiliate marketing can be technical with creating and monitoring links. And let’s not forget that there are FTC guidelines to follow. Having the right agency not only ensures that your legal and technical needs are taken care of, but, they also bring strong relationships to the table as well.
Example: A beauty brand may be ready to hop on the affiliate marketing bandwagon but everyone on their team is spread a little too thin. This brand may want to contact Versa Marketing or do some research to identify an affiliate marketing agency who can develop the creative and maintain the relationships for a strong affiliate marketing strategy with beauty influencers.
Seed Content Creators with the Right Assets
Tip: When your content creators succeed, your brand makes sales. So, make sure that you’re helping them succeed with the right brand information and assets. Here are few examples of assets brands should equip their content creation partners with:
- Engaging content about the brands
- New and fresh information about the brand or upcoming releases
- Easy to trace links so both your brand and the influencer can see how they’re performing
- High quality images
- Downloadable resources
- Give a creative campaign theme or challenge
Example: A software brand may want to consider paying per lead and generate leads with a downloadable piece of content that their brand produced such as an ebook or white paper on a topic that shows thought leadership.
Keep a Pulse
Tip: It’s key to keep a pulse on your relationships with all of your content creators. This will allow your brand to adapt a strategy based on what is working and converting. You need to be able to know who is succeeding and who needs new content and approaches.
Many brands make the mistake of sending out links and implementing a “hands-off” approach to their affiliate marketing. It’s important to remember that these relationships need to be nurtured in order to keep your brand on the brains of content creators so that they’re mentioning your brand multiple times.
Example: A craft brand may keep a spreadsheet of all of their content partners and include a column for their birthdays. On their birthday, the brand could send them a special gift—something simple but highly effective.
Design a Strategy Across Many Platforms
Tip: Of course, blogs are great for their longform content and their potential to convert sales for years to come. But, social media mentions can reach different audiences and create a quick spark for your brand. When you’re giving your content creators a theme and a direction, make sure that this encompasses social media as well.
Example: To elicit visually appealing posts on social, a fitness brand could add a layer to their social strategy by offering influencers a reward such as a gift card for the most creative Instagram post. This incentivizes the influencers to add an extra creative layer to the photos they put out for your brand.
Do you have any affiliate marketing tips? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
- April 13th, 2018
You’ve probably seen how explosive influencer marketing can be for your average B2C brand. From fashion to tech gadgets, putting your product in the hands of social media stars can result in a quick turnaround in exposure, engagement, and, ultimately, sales.
However, what a lot of businesses don’t always realize is that the shift to a B2B campaign isn’t really that different. People are simply people when they’re making a purchase: they research, they compare, and, most of all, they ask their trusted friends and respected experts in the field what they think. More and more the opinions of others, often sourced online, directly determine buying decisions. With a few subtle differences, using this type of marketing for your B2B campaign can be just as effective.
What is an Influencer?
Let’s make a distinctive point here. Many of the successful B2C influencer campaigns are based around flashy celebrities, eccentric YouTube personalities, and sultry fashion mavens on Instagram. That said, in the business realm, it’s really not that different. An influencer, basically, is a person who has a degree of power over potential purchases through experience, authority, or a mutual trust with their followers. That applies to a lot of folks in a myriad of various genres. In fact, one of the defining successes in these campaigns is the ability to target content creators in their particular niche…pretty much a marketer’s dream. Believe it or not, there’s thousands of bloggers that specialize in your niche; the trick is to locate, vet, and hire the right fit for you.
Make It Clear
The Internet is a fairly apt microcosm of human nature. Every post, social piece, and shout out expresses one’s emotion and opinion on every imaginable subject. You name it, it’s there; you want information on raising pygmy goats, crocheting for social causes, or how to convert your lawn mower into a hot rod? It’s there. Aand, likely, with multiple differing opinions on how to do it best.
From a home-based situation, this is an incredible resource for people who might be unsure on how to proceed with whatever endeavor they are embarking on. Now, just convert and adjust that standpoint to your specific business niche. Find an expert in that field, whatever it is, and let them review and vouch for your product, software, office supplies, whatever…businesses do all their due diligence when making an informed decision, and that includes checking expert opinions. Make sure they’re out there.
Find Your Fit
There are many ways to employ influencers to promote your brand but doing it in the professional world takes a few adjustments. Always consider your audience. Posting content on LinkedIn is a great idea, but interviews on Snapchat will likely miss you mark. Likewise, having experts and authors speak at your conference while other influencers live-stream and share content is an ideal use of influencer marketing but trying to squeeze your brand into a music festival just doesn’t fit.
Now, this doesn’t mean these campaigns can’t have a light-hearted or humorous tone. Most clever writing and funny content will give a campaign visibility and increase the likelihood that it will be shared. Whatever the tone, just get it placed in the right spot. These content creators are professionals, and it’s probable that they know when and where to promote your brand, and who to target it to.
Don’t Forget the Other Departments
Many successful marketing endeavors tend to utilize other departments. A smart influencer marketing campaign can impact several areas of the sales funnel, from lead generation to customer experience. Any time trusted voices can tell their thousands of readers how your brand impressed them, you should use it. When you see 4 stars in a review section on Amazon or how many people booked the same hotel you are considering on TripAdvisor, you’ll tend to feel better about your potential purchase. That’s social proof and having a team of influencers weave your messaging in their own words is a very effective way to get that same effect. Check in with your sales and customer experience departments and see how it can help them, also. After all, you’re all on the same team.
In short, B2B marketing isn’t that different than any other marketing. Give yourself an extra edge by specifically targeting your desired audience with expert content from authorities in your field, and your brand can benefit from influencer marketing like everyone else.
Do you have any influencer marketing tips for the B2B world? We’d love to hear from you!
- March 1st, 2012
The Versa Marketing team of affiliate recruiters is busy doing outreach to super affiliates and building relationships by creating mutually beneficial partnerships for merchants and publishers. We know that without affiliate publishers marketing our clients programs, Versa wouldn’t have much success growing sales.
When the founders of Versa Marketing Inc. decided to focus their attention on growing affiliate programs, the impact of the marketing partnerships that Versa had in the rolodex was exciting. Versa works to engage current affiliates that are seeing already good CTR and EPC to leverage that traffic into even more profitable traffic for both the merchant and affiliate. Then Versa moves onto find out which affiliates aren’t in a program, but should be and usually finds an extensive list of versatile affiliates that they want to bring on board. Some programs require special detail be assigned to content niche specific affiliates that will have a high conversion rate and will represent a brand well.