To kick off the year, I traveled to Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West along with over 6,000 fellow affiliate marketers. After three days of listening to speakers from big brands like Facebook and eBay, as well as leading affiliate marketing platforms, several trends stood out— many of which we’ve also spotted here at Rise. Here are a few key takeaways from the event and areas to keep on your radar as you grow your affiliate program in 2017.
1. Expand and establish your mobile affiliate presence.
While your brand may be thriving at traditional affiliate marketing, the future lies in mobile. Make sure all your offers are formatted to accept mobile user clicks, and remember to test your mobile offers across all platforms. If your brand isn’t already investing in mobile affiliate, the good news is that there are a significant number of networks specializing in this service. With a bit of research, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. A few mentioned at the summit include Applift,MobPartner, YeahMobi,and MobileLeads.
2. Develop your content affiliate marketing.
Content is a growing priority when it comes to digital marketing in general — and affiliate is no exception to the rule. Niche affiliate marketers can provide high quality content for affordable rates by writing about their positive experiences with your brand or product. This enables their readers to learn about your brand, helping you reach a wider audience of prospects. Find ways to use content to improve your affiliate efforts with networks like MagicLinks, a network of YouTubers, bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers. Keep in mind that it may be necessary to provide a specific set of criteria to ensure your content affiliates understand and convey a consistent brand image, especially if you’re a luxury brand.
3. Master the art of persuasion and negotiation in the affiliate marketplace.
Being able to successfully persuade and negotiate with your affiliates is important to ensure you’re creating an efficient program. Keep the following in mind:
- Be persistent. Distinguish hard no's from soft no's when negotiating with your current affiliates or trying to add a new affiliate to your program. Keep trying — and when necessary, find creative solutions to work around roadblocks.
- Take a data-driven approach. Placement trackers, historical expectations, ROAS analysis, YoY goals—these are all key performance indicators to help inform your strategy and encourage your affiliates.
- Allow for flexibility. Try not to limit your focus on cost-per-acquisition, but instead, try hybrid placement models (i.e. flat fee + commission) in order to persuade sites to join your affiliate program who have not shown interest in your program in the past.
4. Ensure your programs are following FTC guidelines.
It’s vital to learn Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for your industry. If you don’t know them, watch webinars and do your research to ensure you’re not violating any important rules. If ad disclosures are not on affiliate sites, your company is at risk of not only confusing customers with your brand message, but also facing legal and financial implications with the FTC.
The affiliate marketing landscape continues to evolve, providing great opportunity for advertisers to reach audiences in new and effective ways. For more information about Rise’s affiliate marketing services, click here. To receive more information about trending topics in digital media, sign up for our monthly newsletter.