Are you looking for affiliate marketing tips? Well, you've come to the right place! We dug into our own metrics as well as industry statistics to share what the landscape today looks like for consumer brands and B2B companies leveraging affiliate marketing. And then we cornered our in-house affiliate marketing experts to give us all their best tips, tricks, and tools to help marketers succeed in their journey.
The Affiliate Marketing Landscape in 2020
The data doesn't lie: And what the numbers tell us is that affiliate marketing is poised for enormous growth. In fact, total affiliate marketing spend in the U.S. is predicted to grow 10.1% each year, which means, spend may rise to $6.8B this year.
According to Google Trends, search interest in the term “affiliate marketing” has become almost twice as popular as it was five years ago. With an increasing amount of consumers turning to online shopping, affiliate marketing is quickly becoming more useful than ever.
And affiliate marketing is not just a U.S. trend. In fact, it's a global industry worth well over $12 billion dollars. From software to fashion, marketers are noticing the interest in online purchasing from their customer base. So it's no surprise that more than a third of marketers stated affiliate marketing as one of their top customer acquisition methods.
But affiliate marketing isn't just useful in attracting new prospects. In fact, the majority of marketers are using affiliate programs throughout their sales and marketing process.
Here’s the breakdown of how successful marketers today are using affiliate marketing at every stage of the buyer journey:
- 83% in the discovery and awareness phase
- 79% during conversion or purchase
- 79% for ongoing customer engagement
What does all this mean?
The data proves it is increasingly important for marketers to know how to make best use of affiliate marketing spend.
19 Affiliate Marketing Tips Proven to Work
Whether your company is looking to get started with affiliate programs or revamping an existing strategy, here are 19 affiliate marketing tips for marketers that want to be successful:
- Create an affiliate marketing strategy and include key players across the organization. This ensures the channel is effective and leverages strengths from different departments.
- Display a link to join your affiliate program prominently on your site’s homepage.
- Dedicate a landing page that explains how your affiliate program works.
- Make the landing page to join your program easy to understand, yet cohesive with your brand website.
- Optimize your affiliate program landing page (don't be scared to run A/B tests for conversions.)
- Actively recruit and manually vet affiliates that enroll/submit to join your program. Ensure their online presence is aligned with your brand. (For more on this, check out our blog post on affiliate program management.)
- Have a plan in place to grow the number of affiliates in your program. Customers are an overlooked segment, are you engaging with this segment when recruiting affiliates?
- Use catchy email subject lines to recruit new affiliates to join your program.
- Share a "welcome kit" with new affiliates containing educational materials on your product/services, unique share links, marketing assets, resources on how to drive traffic, examples and best practices, and of course, the incentive structure.
- Segment your affiliates to run targeted campaigns with varying commissions.
- Provide affiliates with a portal that houses the assets, insights, and reporting they need to optimize engagement.
- Share your most engaging pieces of content with your affiliates to encourage prospects navigating through your buying cycle.
- Leverage social media, video content, and email marketing to attract new affiliates to join your program.
- Update display banners, share links, and assets to match every new sale and promotion being displayed on your website.
- Educate your affiliates on who your ideal customer is. By sharing information about your target demographic, affiliates are better armed to seek out customers on your behalf.
- Proactively reach out to your affiliates with potential content or topic ideas. For example, leverage holidays and seasonal events to create fresh, relevant content.
- Keep an eye on analytics and always be optimizing your program.
- Structure different payout models based on affiliate type, sales generated, or special promotions.
- Whether it is real-time or scheduled, automated cash payouts to your affiliates is one of the best ways to keep your program members happy and sharing.
With online channels rapidly growing, it is up to marketers to understand how consumers are seeking out information, filtering out the noise, and digesting content. Affiliate marketing can be a strategic solution for brands looking for a trustworthy introduction to digitally savvy buyers.
How about a real-world example? Let's take a look at at one of our clients, a subscription-based pet food company.
Affiliate Marketing Success Stories: 81% of New Customers Acquired From This Channel
On the surface, this company in the Home Goods, Services, and Pets industry might look like most other eCommerce brands. This pet food company doesn’t just deliver fresh, healthy food to its pet-loving customers. It also strives to improve the lives of those customers, their pets, and a wide network of other people who support its brand.
And it does that, in large part, through a unique affiliate marketing strategy.
The brand’s biggest sales and marketing assets are its network of charitable organizations — animal rescues, humane societies, and veterinarians. And while the company is thrilled to have these groups advocate on behalf of its brand, they are equally motivated to make sure everyone is rewarded for their efforts. That’s why the brand decided to implement an all-in-one affiliate marketing technology that would more accurately track and compensate both affiliate and customer referrals on one platform.
Because the company’s affiliate and referral programs have both offline and online components, it was important to find a marketing vendor with the flexibility to help manage, track, and optimize every aspect of its multi-program campaigns. By creating multiple campaigns, the company can offer cash to charitable organizations and recurring discounts on subscriptions for customers who refer. Meanwhile, the marketing team can still run offline campaigns and manually manage them via its Ambassador portal.
After two years of leveraging Ambassador, the company has generated 8X more in new revenue than its total investment in the software. Just as important, it’s helped build better customer relationships and positively impacted the brand’s network of ambassadors.
Ready to Use These Tips to Boost Your Affiliate Strategy?
A recent survey revealed that 88% of people say they would like some sort of incentive (money, product or service, loyalty points, early access, swag) for sharing a product via social media or email. Whether you plan to set up a unique reward system or stick to the cash payouts that most affiliates prefer, automated affiliate marketing programs are a strategic way to manage campaigns.
Just like the pet-food brand mentioned above, Ambassador's affiliate marketing software allows companies of all types to upload customer information and create individual affiliate profiles. Affiliates can track their sharing progress and access company-approved branding material to share throughout their network all from one easy-to-use portal. With images to post on social networks or offers to send in emails, affiliates can share your brand with their networks.
Interested in learning more about this strategy and how affiliate software can take your marketing efforts to the next level? Read our free eBook, The Definitive Guide to Affiliate Marketing!