Affiliate marketing is very beneficial to both the brand and the marketers. It is a non-traditional pay for performance form of marketing. Companies are becoming increasingly dependent on this form of marketing to reach consumers. That doesn’t mean your brand is ready.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just for huge multinational businesses. One person selling their handmade crafts as a side business can benefit enough to turn that into a full time business, as long as they have the resources to handle it and business plan in place to expand from kitchen table profitable hobby to big business. Affiliate marketing isn’t what you know, but who you know. It isn’t banner ads on websites, although that can form part of other marketing. Affiliate marketing relies on having connections. If you are making scrunchies at your kitchen table, you won’t have connections. You will need to hire a specialist. Affiliate Management Company have the expertise and connections to help your affiliate marketing campaign generate brand awareness and sales.
Before hiring an affiliate management company to run that part of the marketing, your business needs to be ready. You don’t need to have an already known brand, but you need to have a brand. The affiliates are selling the brand. If it isn’t a well-known brand, the affiliates will help generate trust for the brand. You need to know what you are selling and who the audience is. What does the brand want out of affiliate marketing? Is it sales? Or is it awareness? As much as other aspects of marketing need to be tailored to the brand and what the brand wants out of the campaign, the affiliate marketing also needs that.
Instant gratification needs to be saved for eating cupcakes. Nothing in life is instant. Affiliate marketing is no different. It can take months before a brand notices the campaign kicking into place.
The brand needs to be online. Some types of affiliates are bloggers and influencers, as well as larger websites. The bloggers and influencers don’t want to lose their audience for recommending an affiliate with an inferior website, especially if they’ve spent years organically building it up. Your business needs to do its part and already have a website up and running, as well as the various associated social media sites. The actual brand website needs a solid ecommerce platform with a shopping cart and clear returns policy. It needs to be a place to make secure purchases.
Your brand already needs to have some marketing in place. A good affiliate marketing manager will operate the affiliate campaign in conjunction with the other marketing.
Hire a manager
Once the brand is completely ready for affiliate marketing with a budget in place, which may include sending out free samples to reviewers and influencers or discount codes to coupon sites, it is time to hire a specialist affiliate manager.
An experienced affiliate manager isn’t a magician and can’t make the results appear instantly. You still need a good deal of patience. An affiliate campaign may take six months for the brand to experience results.
A good affiliate manager will have not just experience and expertise in this area of marketing, but will have the connections to the affiliates. A positive relationship with affiliates is more likely to generate results. A good manager will have positive relationships with potentially thousands of affiliates. Affiliate managers can negotiate with affiliates to get everyone involved the best deal.
The affiliates are ultimately the people selling your brand. They need to be vetted to make sure their ethics are inline with the brand’s ethics. The affiliate isn’t an employee but they’re representing your brand to their audience. The relationship needs to be beneficial for both parties for it to work.
There’s no point in selling scrunchies on a pet blog. Pet food would work very well on that blog. The scrunchies would do well on an influencer’s social media. Sending out affiliate requests to anyone and everyone isn’t going to result in the right sort of attention for your brand.
It works when a brand sends out a link to an affiliate and the affiliate promotes it to their audience in some way. The audience then click on the link. The affiliate gets paid either per sale, per lead or per click. It is performance-based. If the affiliate isn’t generating the clicks and usually sales, then the affiliate isn’t going to be paid.