Affiliate Strategies for Savvy Marketers
Marketers are under more pressure than ever to justify the business impact of media dollars. Fortunately, affiliate marketing can be a fast and useful lever for marketers to only pay for performance driving sales. Read more about affiliate’s advantages below.
1.) Affiliate is a low/no-risk channel. Brands only pay for conversions.
The entire affiliate business model is transactional—brands pay a commission only when a desired action takes place, whether that’s a sale, an app install, or a lead. While other marketing channels require investment based on impressions or clicks, typical affiliate programs do not. This means that brands on tighter budgets and with strict goals can be confident that their spend is tied to a business result. In a fast-changing economy, affiliate marketing puts the power in brands’ hands to determine how much they are willing to pay for a lead, an install, or revenue. eCommerce affiliate programs work using a commission percentage, which means brands can determine their own ROAS with spend that will only be paid when purchases occur. Similarly, brands can determine how much they are willing to pay for other conversion points like leads or app installations.
Brands operating on reduced budgets can choose to decrease their commission deals with affiliate partners. This will almost inevitably mean a decline in sales volume, but sales and conversions that do occur will be at a known cost set by the advertiser. On the other hand, brands that see opportunity for growth during this time may choose to increase sales commissions to drive volume. Bottom line: savvy marketers get the final say with affiliate programs.
2.) Future proof your program with integrated app to app tracking.
The death of cookies and the future of tracking is top of mind for most advertisers and digital marketing professionals. The rollout of iOS14 has inspired conversations around how to ensure marketers can measure the effectiveness of their marketing activity. Luckily, the affiliate channel is not expected to be drastically impacted by the death of cookies. With that being said, affiliate marketers can ensure all the valuable activity they’re driving is being measured, which can be difficult when sending traffic from an affiliate’s mobile app to your brand’s app. With the mobile share of ecommerce increasing every year, measuring in-app activity is critical to your program’s success. Studies show that people convert better, spend more, and abandon their cart less on mobile apps compared to mobile web, so having the capability to send users to your app and measure that activity is crucial. Integrating with a technology like Button can boost your conversion rate by up to 200% simply by creating a better user experience and ensuring end-to-end mobile tracking within apps.
3.) Let affiliates handle even more of the marketing for your brand.
Since affiliates are incentivized to generate results, they will often make their own investments in SEO, paid search, and other marketing channels on behalf of your brand. Typically, Rise helps clients determine which paid search keywords they do not want affiliates bidding on and driving up CPCs due to competition. However, there is opportunity to be a first-mover in encouraging affiliate partners to spend their own marketing dollars on keywords they usually are not allowed to bid on.
4.) Affiliate marketing can be a hassle-free tactic for a testing budget.
Brands have an increasingly more captive audience today with significantly more time spent on devices. For brands with apps that drive revenue or customer engagement, now is a great time to pilot an app install campaign. With the right partners, affiliate marketing can have a very low cost of entry to test out a new program on even the most sophisticated platforms. Rise has agency pricing with the leading affiliate platforms that often include significantly discounted pricing for the first year of use.
This is also a good tactic to try more time-intensive efforts like brand-to-brand partnerships, which are exploding in the affiliate space right now. There are opportunities with brands such as T Mobile, Planet Fitness, Samsung, Uber, and many more to show commission-based deals in their rewards portals. Since this space is far less saturated than traditional super affiliate sites (Rakuten, etc.), we’ve been able to successfully drive more efficient conversions to audiences that are often incremental or otherwise unavailable for many of our clients.
5.) Use content creators to expand and diversify your digital footprint.
Content affiliate networks are a great addition to a healthy affiliate program. They can reach individuals in a more native environment than traditional affiliate sites and drive impact from brand discovery all the way to conversion. Brands that are quick to engage with their content affiliate partners and brainstorm creative ways to develop more digital exposure will have a leg up on the competition.
Feeling inspired? Rise is ready to drive low-risk growth for your brand using affiliate marketing. If you’d like to learn more about any of these strategies, reach out to speak with us.