Optimize Affiliate Partnerships To Optimize Affiliate Programs
We previously published an article that addressed how to support your affiliate partners. In this piece, we cover the basics of cultivating and maintaining mutually beneficial affiliate relationships. Additionally, we drilled down detailing how to manage your affiliate partnerships during different seasons of the year. Particularly during the height of the sales season in addition to slow sales periods. This article is a great resource to refer to but…
Today we want to address something we have seen time and time again. This is hesitation to pursue partnerships due to the perceived risks, a.k.a. a fear of experimentation.
Affiliate marketing has gained a false reputation for being a high-risk marketing channel. The reality is, every marketing channel has its associated risks. And while risks can never be eliminated, they can be effectively managed.
The Risk Associated With Affiliate Marketing
- Initial Investments – Like any other digital marketing channel, launching and maintaining an affiliate marketing program requires human and technical resources. Resources such as an internal marketing manager, graphic designer, website technician, product assets, site analytics, and tech integrations. Because affiliate marketing requires constant evaluation and optimization these resources will be called on regularly throughout the lifetime of the program.
- To ensure the investment of internal resources is all for not, consult with an affiliate marketing agency. They will be able to fully explain the scope of work and resources that will be needed for your affiliate program. Be sure to have realistic expectations before investing in this channel. Click here to learn more about managing your expectations of partnerships with content affiliates.
- The Affiliates – Affiliates have the capacity to impact a brand’s reputation. This is why it’s vital to vet the affiliates you invite into your affiliate program, particularly the affiliates you arrange campaigns with. You have to ask yourself: will this affiliate represent your brand/product in a desirable manner?
- Before inviting affiliates to your program you first need to be sure your affiliate program is being managed within an affiliate network that caters to affiliates who best align with your brand. Click here to read more into the topic of choosing the best affiliate network for your brand.
- Use the tools provided by the affiliate network platform to analyze eligible affiliates and then vet each candidate before sending an affiliate program invitation. This is a tedious process that can be expedited with the assistance of an affiliate marketing agency like Clique. This is because we have access to tools outside of the affiliate network that aids us in vetting affiliate candidates. Additionally, by virtue of working with so many affiliates over the years, affiliate managers know which affiliates to partner with and which to bypass.
- Request a media kit from the affiliate you are interested in partnering with. Affiliates are perfectly accustomed to providing media kits detailing their site traffic states, audience demographics, examples of their work, and additional benefits to working with them.
- Feels Like A Hit Or Miss – Affiliate Marketing is not a science but an art. This is because it is impossible to know with complete certainty that a particular partnership will yield a specific ROAS. There are innumerable factors that can affect conversions. Because there is no way to guarantee a partnership ROAS, finding success with affiliate marketing can feel like a hit or miss. You may partner with an affiliate who has a high-traffic site with stellar SEO ranking, caters to your ideal audience, and even has a history of referring sales, but the campaign doesn’t perform as expected. With this in mind, it is understandable why it could be nerve-racking to invest in an affiliate marketing campaign. But there are ways to manage this risk.
- Affiliate marketing agencies have a wealth of historical data that serves as a benchmark for performance metrics which aids in determining if a partnership is likely to be successful. Additionally, affiliate program managers have personal relationships established with affiliates and can better negotiate the terms of the partnership.
Willingness To Test
According to BloggingX, 65% of merchants report affiliate marketing accounting for 20% of their eCommerce sales per year. 80% of brands have affiliate programs. It’s obvious that affiliate marketing is an essential element of a robust marketing ecosystem. And while there are inherent risks of affiliate marketing, these risks can be mitigated. They should not discourage you from engaging in different types of campaigns and partnerships.
To learn more about optimizing your affiliate program through strategic partnerships, contact Clique today.