Managing a luxury affiliate campaign for a fashion brand will keep you on your toes. Needless to say, each brand has a different aim, reputation and objectives. If the campaign itself isn’t enough to keep you on your toes, the competition to stand out will be, as there is a constant need to be fresh and ever changing.
Due to the ever evolving demands of eCommerce sites and the introduction of new onsite technologies, such as geographic banner re-targeting on site and targeted overlays, the focus on generating revenue and new customers is higher than ever.
I’ve personally worked with great brands such as oki-ni, Menlook and Aphrodite 1994, and have successfully helped build each into impressive campaigns, so I thought I’d be useful and share my best tips that I have learnt during the time that I’ve worked in luxury affiliate marketing.
My top tips for a successful luxury affiliate campaign:
Tip 1: Building Bridges
Arguably the most important point, so let’s start with this… it’s all about who you know.
By introducing yourself to key affiliates within the fashion industry and building on these relationships, you will put yourself firmly in place for when it comes to exposure, whether it be paid or free.
At Silverbean we are all about utilising useful content where we can but I regularly find that something as simple as sending a personal email, with a piece of interesting content, shows that I am interested in the relationship we are building.
It is important to make sure that the content is relevant for that specific site and that it will appeal to their readers for it to work best. I have found that this approach is always well received and the content is quite often pushed out to their audience.
The same goes for the client, by building a great relationship and increasing the trust that you share, it often increases your chances of gaining exclusivity, which in turn will give you insights into future campaigns and therefore help you plan ahead more effectively. Win-win!
Tip 2: Quality over Quantity
With luxury brands picking your moment is key. Instead of jumping on every opportunity that is passes your way, the key is to go for premium exposure.
If the exposure is the right fit, with a quality affiliate and shows the brand in the right angle, chances are the ROA will be better and therefore the ROI will be better, all the while maintaining the brand image within the sector.
For example, one of my luxury menswear clients, oki-ni, tends to run only 3-4 pieces of exposure a year, they stick to the golden rule, quality over quantity. The latest exposure piece was a collaboration with the No.1 Premium Menswear and Lifestyle blog Hypebeast, and it was a social media competition to celebrate the long-awaited sneaker release of the Adidas Yeezy Boost. This was all possible due to our strong relationship with Hypebeast, a relationship that we have nurtured over time, that allows us to receive the most exclusive opportunities first.
They were the first release from Kanye West’s collection and with only 10,000 pairs produced worldwide, they were the most sought after sneaker release in years. Stats showed for every pair sold, there was a staggering average of 1400 enquiries made. A later release of Adidas Originals Yeezy Boost’s also took centre stage in our competition that we ran with Aphrodite 1994, this competition also generated great exposure for the brand.
Tip 3: Recruit the best!
One of the most important components of a strong campaign is an effective affiliate mix. A premium brand campaign will contain on average 35 – 40% content affiliates. We make sure that we are regularly recruiting new, active, brand-appropriate affiliates, who are enthusiastic to promote and build mutually beneficial working relationships with aspirational brands.
Don’t feel restricted by the network your program is on, if the brand image is strong enough you’ll be able to cross recruit from different platforms.
Recruiting the very best is an essential factor and should be maintained to ensure your affiliate mix is ever changing. Always keep in mind that your affiliate mix is a vital area and represents the brands image and only recruit affiliate types which fit the brands business objectives. A high-end luxury merchant does not want to be seen on discount voucher code sites. If not discounted in the correct way, it damages the luxury brand image and no brand will stand for that.
Tip 4: Remain focused & organised, always.
It’s important to always keep your eyes on what’s coming, way ahead of time. By devising a detailed strategy and calendar you’ll never miss an important date, period or upcoming opportunity for a great offer. I advise you to set up a shared document which is accessible by your client too, so both are up to date, in the loop and know what the focus is at all times.
A luxury item is a considered purchase, in order to incentivise this you need to be producing detailed useful content, which is delivered to the right affiliates and within the right time frame. Being organised means that this is a simple task and very effective. How could you afford not to be organised?
Tip 5: Think outside the box!
One major thing any luxury affiliate campaign needs is CREATIVITY.
With regards to a high street affiliate program, it’s in keeping to run regular promotions and offer strong exclusive codes to affiliates, but because of the nature of high end luxury brands, this isn’t an option.
This means you need to be creative and resourceful, always thinking of unique ways that will drive revenue, while maintaining brand reputation. Look at brand partnerships, codes that offer savings on higher AOV, rather than a standard money off voucher that often derails the brand exclusivity.
One example is by identifying a key product and an affiliate whose audience will engage well with it. One content site we worked with recently ran an exclusive 10% off code with a luxury retailer on a jacket featured in the recent James Bond ‘Spectre’ movie.
By offering an exclusive code to a specific affiliate, we found a niche market and audience. This affiliate has always driven strong traffic and we knew that we needed the right offer to engage and capture their audience.
The promotion ran for 4 months and drove a phenomenal 26,000 clicks and generated over £24,500 in additional revenue.
I hope that these 5 tips aid you in the running of your own successful luxury affiliate marketing campaigns. My parting words and final advice is to remember three key points above all else:
1. Brand Image
2. Effective exposure with the right audience
3. Stay creative to ensure you keep the program desirable for affiliates and their audiences.
Stick with these and you can’t go wrong. If you have any handy top tips of your own for managing a successful luxury affiliate campaign, share them with us over on our Twitter feed: @silverbean. We’d love to hear from you!