10 Tips for Affiliate Marketing I Learnt in 10 Years
Affiliate Marketing is an ever-evolving channel, and there’s been a flood of innovation since pioneer William J Tobins of PC Flowers and Gifts introduced the first affiliate marketing scheme back in 1989. We didn’t even have dial-up internet back then, never mind broadband or 5G, so he was well ahead of his time.
Our newly-appointed Associate Director, Nicholas Yates recently hit his 10-year Silverbean milestone, which got us thinking, how different is the world of affiliates now to when Nic started out a decade ago as an Affiliate Marketing Executive, and what are his top tips for affiliate marketing professionals today?
10 Tips for Affiliate Marketing
- Relationships trump Transactions – In a world where affiliate and partner marketing managers focus on campaigns and short term metrics it’s easy to forget that affiliate marketing is based on relationships. Having strong relationships across the partnership economy will help to form the best long term partnerships, built on trust and transparency.
- Traditional is king but diversification is queen. Although many brands focus on traditional affiliate marketing techniques (collaborating with voucher, cashback, closed user groups, employee benefits etc), most brands are attracted to the additional opportunities within the channel such as; commerce content, influencer marketing, brand to brand partnerships and app opportunities.
- Reward prior to and past conversion – mature affiliate campaigns support brands across the full user journey. Look to reward/ utilise partnerships across micro conversions both online and offline.
- Value, Value, Value – businesses are often driven to promote their individual proposition within the market, by taking a step back and understanding the value that you can offer to brands, partner managers, and publishers etc, you will help more.
- Networking is not just for events – the affiliate marketing industry thrives on connections, being visible at events and making connections is important. Developing and maturing those relationships in day-to-day life however is key.
- Take a step back to understand people’s motives – once you understand another’s motives and business model you can understand if it’s a good fit or partner. If your strategic objectives match it’s more likely to be a longterm successful partnership.
- Tracking is fickle, it changes with the times – be ahead of tracking requirements across the affiliate and partner marketing sector. By having a good understanding of how the channel is technically integrated it will help you to manage data to optimise relationships further and also build wider stakeholder support.
- Strategic Partners are those that offer less friction to your own business model. There are often a lot of partners a business can have but those that are strategic offer less conflicts and will organically grow.
- It’s a small world – affiliate marketing is often built on referrals within the industry, so protect your personal brand and make sure you add value to others within your sector.
- Have a voice – LinkedIn is a powerful tool within the affiliate and partner marketing industry. Spend time to grow your personnel network and share your thoughts on the opportunities within the industry. By engaging on social not only will you build new useful relationships but you will increase your own knowledge within the sector.
- Be Holistic – take time to understand the principles of other digital marketing channels like SEO, Digital PR, PPC, CRM etc. By understanding their strategies, tactics and pains you will be able to create an affiliate and partner marketing strategy which supports and integrates with other channels. The industry will grow by working collaboratively alongside other digital marketing channels.
If you enjoyed reading these top tips for affiliate marketing and want some more, why not check out our blog on affiliate marketing for luxury brands. Or if you’re looking for advice that’s a bit more bespoke to your business, why not get in touch and have a chat with Nic today.