Affiliate marketing is increasingly being used by brands to promote their products or services at a low cost based on partnerships with influencers. Affiliate marketing represents more than 10% of advertising since 2010, to set it up, approved, and convenient for advertisers. Affiliate is popular with all advertisers, whether in the high-tech, fashion, or marketing sectors. We explain the benefits of this marketing strategy and how we can successfully integrate it into your overall strategy.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing, also known as performance marketing, involves partnering with influencers to recommend your product or service. In exchange, affiliates are remunerated in proportion to the number of leads generated or to commission, by receiving a percentage of the reported turnover.
The interest of affiliate marketing is to take advantage of the affiliate audience to generate leads, at a lower cost since as long as the operation does not generate leads or no sales, you do not have to pay the affiliate.
Widely used by large companies like Amazon, affiliate marketing is accessible to all sectors of activity.
Affiliate Marketing: How Does It Work?
Before we delve into the interests of affiliate marketing, let's take a look at how it works. A brand (the seller) wants to promote one of its products or services: it will contact an influencer with a certain audience (the affiliate). The affiliate will promote this product and he will be paid via a commission on each reported sale.
Often, the seller will set up an affiliate link for the affiliate to use, so that they can track sales or conversions made. In other words, each time a customer clicks on the promotion link made available by the affiliate, if it turns into a lead, the affiliate will receive a percentage of the amount thus generated by this conversion.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing for your marketing strategy?
Affiliate marketing offers several benefits to advertisers:
- The marketing campaign will only cost him money if it brings him money: thus, the ROI is maximized and the risk of losing money on a campaign is minimal.
- An affiliate marketing campaign offers the same visibility as an advertising campaign but at a lower cost.
- Thanks to affiliate links, the results of the campaign, as well as its ROI, are very easy to measure and rectify.
- An affiliate marketing campaign can be very targeted - just contact a niche influencer as an affiliate.
How to set up an affiliate marketing strategy?
Do you want to set up an effective marketing strategy at a lower cost, to gain visibility and increase traffic to your website? Affiliate marketing is a great place to start. Here is a short guide to the different steps to follow to set up an effective affiliate marketing strategy.
1 - Choose your affiliate platform
To begin with, you should know that there are several types of affiliate platforms. These platforms allow the seller to have a reliable system to measure the sales made by the affiliate, which is very useful especially if you have several affiliates! Thus, you will be able to more easily measure the results of your campaign but also determine the amount of remuneration of your affiliates.
So when you start an affiliate partnership with your affiliate, you will first need to set up an affiliate program: what will the payment be? What media to use for the campaign? Once this affiliate program is in place, it's up to the affiliate platform to manage it and provide you with the statistics you need for the remuneration and monitoring of your campaign. Most often, it is via this platform that payments to affiliates will be made automatically.
On the affiliate's side, the affiliate platform allows him to follow the number of sales made to know where he is in terms of remuneration.
We recommend that you choose your affiliate platform from the start, as this is the heart of your campaign and your relationship with the affiliate. Only after that, you will be able to create your campaigns and promotional items.
To choose your affiliate platform, make sure that it provides you with:
- A dashboard to follow the progress of your campaigns.
- An intuitive interface for you and your affiliates.
- Reports to analyze the results of your campaigns.
- An invoicing system for the remuneration of your affiliates.
If you want to create several affiliate marketing campaigns, make sure that the platform allows the creation of several programs simultaneously, because this is not always the case! Sometimes the prices for several campaigns are prohibitive.
2 - Determine the pay system for affiliates
To remunerate your affiliates, you will have the choice between several remuneration systems:
- Compensation on commission (CPA), the most widely used type of compensation: each time a conversion is made, the affiliate will receive a percentage of the sale (set in advance by the affiliate program).
- Pay per lead: your affiliate receives money each time their affiliate link generates a lead. The recognition of a lead is most often based on conversion via a form.
- Pay per CPC (cost per click): your affiliate receives money each time a prospect clicks on their banner or affiliate link.
- CPM Compensation (Cost Per Mile): Your affiliate receives money for every 1000 impressions.
Whatever remuneration system you choose, make sure your affiliate platform supports it.
As for the amount of remuneration, it is important to strike a balance: if the amount set is too low, you will have difficulty finding affiliates; If the amount is too high, you can risk the ROI of your authorized marketing campaign.
If you choose to pay your affiliate per click and you have multiple affiliates, you will need to decide whether you want to base the pay on the first click or the last click. Indeed, if a visitor clicks on several links, the affiliate program must indicate which affiliate link will be counted as having generated a conversion: the first link visited, the last link visited, or just before the conversion?
3 - Check the quality of leads
It could be that your affiliates generate a lot of leads, but those leads are not of good quality. However, what you want is qualified traffic that will be a source of conversions and will generate sales!
Affiliate platforms allow you to check the quality of leads according to the criteria of your choice. We recommend that you filter the leads generated and pay your affiliates only on the basis of quality leads to encouraging them to generate only qualified leads. This will make your campaign more effective!
4 - Recruit affiliates
Once the affiliate marketing program is in place, when you have chosen the affiliate platform, configured the program with filters, and determined the compensation system for your affiliates, all you have to do is recruit affiliates.
To do this, you can canvass the influencers that interest you. Either because their audience is as qualitative as it is quantitative, or because they are positioned in the niche you are targeting. Remember to continuously promote your affiliate program: the more affiliates you can welcome into your program, the more effective your affiliate marketing campaign will be!
An interesting strategy is to recruit several affiliates, and after a few weeks choose the most effective to keep only those. The most effective affiliate will be the one that brings in the highest volume of leads. But not only that: their leads must also be qualified, this is very important not to waste time and money.
Affiliate marketing strategy: the keys to success
To be successful with your affiliate marketing strategy, you will need to maintain a quality relationship with your affiliates. To get started, make sure they understand the issues of your campaign and your brand values. It is best to send them an advertising kit from the start, with the elements to promote and to send them regular newsletters to keep them informed of your new products, your events, etc. The affiliate must be part of your business because the closer he is to your brand, the better he will be able to talk about it and promote it.
Maintaining a good relationship with its affiliates also means offering them advantageous remuneration (the commission program is often preferred), and an affiliation platform that is clear, intuitive, and pleasant to use. Thus, they will take pleasure in advertising your brand and it will be reflected in the results of your campaign!