Your Brand Story, Strategies + Affiliate Marketing

Many merchants view the affiliate marketing channel as just another marketing channel, though they are missing an important point. There is no marketing in the affiliate channel unless the affiliates CHOOSE to market your brand.

As an agency it is our job to market your affiliate program to affiliates as if your affiliate program was the product! A product and a brand that they trust and will buy INTO as a partner. The strategies surrounding affiliate marketing accompany understanding all of the minutia as far as strategizing a program so that all marketing methodologies utilized by affiliates come to fruition.

Your Affiliate Program as a "Product" * Will affiliates like your commission rate? * Your terms of agreements what do they include? * What type of media assets do you have for them? (Video? Datafeeds? Coupons?) * What types of affiliates are you allowing into your program

Is your affiliate program competitive? Do you have a tiered commission? Is there SKU based sales commission rates? How inventive is your brand in this space? How can you help affiliates convert their traffic? Where does your affiliate media funnel the traffic?

the list of strategies and opportunities is as inventive and as endless as you can imagine as far as affiliate program structure! ...

Before you climb the affiliate channel mountain a brand needs the following "gear" in place to be successful.

Strong Brand Voice

* Does your brand have a strong brand voice position in your vertical?

What differentiates your brand from your competitors? How does your brand interact with and communicate with email affiliates? PPC Affiliates? Blogger affiliates? Coupon Affiliates? Sub network influencers? What brand content are you willing to create and to offer all the different affiliate marketing types so that they are successful?

* Is your brand voice established in social media? In Paid search? In Mobile?

You need to have all of your brand channels covered before you open an affiliate program or they will take over that channel and capitalize on your missed positioning. Some brands actually prefer to have affiliates manage specific channels such as ppc and a brand can learn a lot from affiliates sales by having affiliates test channel waters for them. Is this part of your brand expansion strategy to Europe? To Asia?

* Example - Brand A ships to Germany, Brand A doesn't have anyone on the PPC team that speaks German or understands the german market. Brand A awards all PPC privileges to PPC affiliates for Germany only and a non compete in their terms of agreements for USA PPC traffic.

Brand Preparedness

* If you do not have inventory to supply a large amount of sales you are not ready to launch an affiliate program.

* If your conversion rate is under 2.5% you need to rethink your brand strategy as well as your sites funnel process and UI design before asking affiliates to market an underachieving brand or product.

* There is no such thing as a "standard" affiliate commission, affiliate program strategies mean getting inventive, prepare before you go live by speaking to an affiliate marketing expert; you will be surprised how much more you can leverage from the channel as well as attract affiliates to your program with strong strategies that are a win win.

Would you just go buy camping gear and try to climb a mountain alone in the winter? Contact and have a chat with us first!

Happy Holidays!


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