Affiliate marketing is a very effective marketing and business opportunity, based on a relationship between a publisher and an advertiser. This model, which focuses on pure performance, creates a lasting partnership to promote a product or service, whether in B2C or B2B. Whether you’re a pure player in online sales or the web is just one of several channels for you, affiliate marketing is a low-cost, high-reward approach which helps to increase sales and to develop your branding. Allow us to explain.
Affiliation: back to basics
Content producers and publishers who develop real expertise in a particular subject through a blog, a website, videos or regular social media posts are an interesting opportunity for advertisers. Advertisers can collaborate with them to showcase their products and services, paying the publishers for generated conversions. It’s a performance strategy model. Advertisers only pay based on key objectives: a click, a purchase, a download (white paper, mobile application, etc.), a subscription to a newsletter, etc.
The advertiser, therefore, entrusts a third party with the promotion of a brand or product. This third party can be a news site, a blog, a micro-influencer on social media, a price comparison site, a deal site, etc. The monetisation of this audience enables the publisher to finance his/her content and his/her development projects. The advertiser, meanwhile, is guaranteed to reach a qualified audience.
The affiliate promotes the brand by various means: newsletters for their community, native content, videos, banner ads, etc.
Advice and best practices for a successful affiliate strategy
Affiliate marketing is simple to set up, once you have the right contacts. To save time, there are specialist agencies which act as intermediaries between publishers and advertisers, offering personalised support services and helping to set up a truly effective system.
Focus on evergreen content
It’s better to spend a bit more time on a quality text which can be amended and republished later, rather than quickly publishing a “low-cost” text, with very little, low-quality content. This evergreen content usually includes analysis and higher quality topics, which are explored in more detail, making it more interesting for readers. This content also responds to common, generic searches on search engines.
Pay attention to your message
To create a relationship of trust, the advertiser must want to work with you. So you need to have:
- quality design
- a professional approach
- clear, consistent messages (nothing provocative or scandalous, no conspiracy theories, fake news, clickbait, etc.).
The messages shared by the affiliate act as a showcase. The more attention you pay to it, the more appealing it is to readers.
Your community follows your content because it relates to a specific subject or area of expertise. If music’s your thing, don’t promote flights or car insurance! It’s tempting to want to monetise your audience but if you do it too much, your readers may change their minds and stop reading altogether. Publishers must constantly search for a balance between natural content and affiliate content.
Make life easier for publishers
Share information and content which is ready to use:
- email kits
- promotional material
- comprehensive product feed, etc.
The easier the work is for the publishers, the more likely they are to share your product/service. Especially given that your brand won’t be familiar to everyone. Wording is important, so save time with content which can be used immediately and is easy to understand.
Change up your offers
Some offers have a short shelf-life. This is especially true for well-targeted trading periods such as the sales, Christmas, back-to-school, etc. You need to update them frequently, both in terms of content and communication channels. This also helps to boost your visibility and to keep your audience interested.
A relationship with an affiliate goes beyond the usual relationship between a customer and a supplier. Above all, it must be a genuine partnership which is based on trust. To ensure that this partnership is effective, make sure that you communicate in advance with regard to the commission, payment terms, etc. Advertisers must focus as much on taking care of their publisher network as they do on taking care of their customers.
As a way to drive sales, to accelerate business, to facilitate connections and to catalyse creativity, affiliate marketing is an essential part of your toolbox. It rewards publishers’ personal investment and is non-intrusive, personalised and performance-oriented. Whether you’re an advertiser or a publisher, affiliate marketing is a win-win approach.