5 Steps to Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Strategy (For Advertisers)
Some estimates suggest that the value of the affiliate marketing industry has already surpassed the $7 billion mark in early 2021 and the industry shows no signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that affiliate marketing contributes at least 1% of the UK’s overall economy, making it one of the most popular forms of advertising used around the globe.
Affiliate marketing isn’t popular because it’s easy or fun, but because it works. Every 4 out of 5 businesses across the globe have used some form of affiliate marketing at some point or another because it also carries a relatively low amount of risk for advertisers. However, developing an affiliate marketing program for your business can take a significant amount of time, effort, and knowledge, so you should learn as much as possible about this approach before developing a plan.
Our team at lemonads works closely with some of the biggest brands in the world, so we understand the different challenges that businesses need to address to establish a great affiliate program. Let’s go over the 5 steps that advertisers need to take to create an affiliate marketing program for their companies.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Understanding the definition of affiliate marketing and how this approach is crucial if you want to set up a strategy for your business. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a type of performance advertising where companies (known as the advertisers) partner with third-party marketers (affiliates).
Affiliates specialize in promoting advertisers’ goods and services through a massive collection of channels including social media, organic means, and paid digital campaigns.
Additionally, affiliate marketing is known as a type of performance advertising because companies only have to pay commissions to marketers when they generate conversions. A conversion is an action that the advertiser wants consumers to take, like filling in a contact request or making a purchase. Affiliates are paid for each conversion they generate, as long as these fall within the requirements set by the advertiser.
Consumers are arguably the most important part of the affiliate ecosystem. In a nutshell, consumers are the users that advertisers and affiliates want to attract. These users consist of traditional as well as B2B consumers, which is one of the reasons why affiliate marketing is suitable for all types of businesses.
As an advertiser, you need to make sure that your affiliates are bringing in relevant users that have a high chance of converting. There are hundreds of different elements that affect consumer trends which, in turn, impact the behavior of your potential customers. Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on your affiliate program results and use the data you collect to make adjustments to your requirements.
What About Advertisers and Affiliate Programs,?
Advertisers are the companies that are promoting their products and services through an affiliate program. Besides being in direct control of the program, advertisers also have to develop basic content to help their affiliates create better campaigns. For example, you should create simple banners, provide your business logo, and develop landing pages that affiliates can use to promote your products or services.
An affiliate program is an agreement that contains all the requirements affiliates have to adhere to in order to generate conversions and get paid for them. As we mentioned before, advertisers are in full control of the affiliate program. This means that you can adjust it at any point to improve the results you’re getting.
Remember, advertisers can have multiple affiliate programs active at the same time, but these should promote different products or offer distinct perks to one another. But, managing various affiliate programs can become a complex, time-consuming task. Instead of overloading their internal team, many advertisers prefer to partner with affiliate networks that handle the management side of the program.
Affiliates and Affiliate Networks
Affiliates are independent internet marketing specialists that help advertisers drive conversions. A conversion is an action that advertisers want consumers to take, like making a purchase or requesting information about a service. Affiliates are in charge of driving conversions and they receive a commission from advertisers for each conversion generated.
Partnering with a group of reliable affiliates is a great way to grow your business. That said, there are hundreds of thousands of affiliates out there and tracking down the most reliable marketers isn’t always easy. If you’re looking for the quickest way to find affiliates you can trust, affiliate networks can help you attract reliable marketers in a relatively short time frame.
Affiliate networks are platforms that specialize in connecting top affiliates with advertisers that need their services. If you’re interested in learning more about joining affiliate networks, contact lemonads and our team will be glad to help.
Why Do You Need An Affiliate Marketing Strategy?
It’s true that affiliate marketing is used by an overwhelming majority of businesses, but this doesn’t mean that all of them are successful. Developing an affiliate program that sets your affiliates up for success can be challenging, especially if you don’t have experience creating this type of agreement.
The best way to make sure you start and remain on the right path is to develop an affiliate strategy for your business. Rather than simply thinking about it, you should take the time to write down your goals, ideal affiliates, projected sales, and other elements that help you make better decisions down the line.
5 Steps to Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Setting up an affiliate marketing strategy from scratch is challenging for any advertiser, even for companies that have a virtually limitless budget. All businesses are different, so you need to evaluate your distinct circumstances and develop a strategy that helps you grow while building a positive image.
With the above in mind, we’ve put together a list of 5 steps that almost all companies have to go through when developing an affiliate marketing campaign.
Step #1 - Choose an Affiliate Network
At lemonads, we’ve helped countless advertisers develop successful affiliate programs and our experience has taught us that partnering with a professional has enabled these businesses to get the best results. This is the reason why we recommend that you work with an affiliate network of your choice, as these providers handle interactions with marketers as well as other parts of your affiliate efforts.
There are many different affiliate networks to choose from, but you should pay close attention to the reputation, security measures, and customer service quality of your network of choice. These qualities will help you prevent hassles later on, so you should look for a provider that offers these and many more.
Step #2 - Determine Your Program Structure
There is no set of rules or standards surrounding affiliate programs or how these need to be structured. This means that your affiliate program is completely up to you. You can give it whatever structure you like, offer whichever payout you think is fair, and decide what requirements a conversion has to meet to be valid.
Keep in mind that your affiliate program needs to be attractive in order to garner attention from the top affiliates. If it’s too difficult to generate conversions, it’ll be more challenging to find marketers that want to promote your products.
Although you have full control over the commission you want to pay for each conversion, keep in mind that it needs to be competitive in relation to other brands in your industry. The price of each payout is affected by the location of your target audience, the difficulty of the conversion, and your industry, so make sure that you take all of these into consideration before making a decision.
The cookie refers to the piece of code that tracks the conversions that each affiliate generates. Advertisers can choose the cookie duration, in other words, they can decide the maximum amount of time that can pass from the moment a consumer makes the first contact to the instance when the user converts. If the conversion occurs after the cookie has expired, it will not be accredited to the affiliate.
Other Terms and Conditions
Besides the cookie duration and commission rate, you also need to choose where the traffic needs to come from and make an array of additional decisions. All of these should be stipulated in the program so that affiliates know exactly what they have to do at all times.
Step #3 - Create a Tailored Affiliate Plan
This is the step where you need to catalog everything you know about your business and create a tailored affiliate plan for it. The goal is to be as detailed as possible. So, you need to decide if you’ll work with a network, the type of affiliate you want to attract, how your program will work, and figure out everything else you need to put together a customized plan.
Step #4 - Track Down the Best Affiliates
If you opt to start without an affiliate network, you’ll need to track down the best affiliates using your own means. Social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn should be your first two points of all, plus whatever resource leaders in your industry employ. To simplify this step, you can also form a partnership with a network that has experience helping companies in your vertical.
Step #5 - Continuously Monitor and Adjust Your Program
Affiliate programs are similar to ad campaigns because they require constant monitoring and optimizing. You need to keep a close eye on the performance of your affiliates and the profitability of your program to make adjustments that have a positive impact.
At the same time, an affiliate network can help you identify trends and make adjustments at crucial times to keep your profits as high as possible.
Want to Find a Reliable Affiliate Network to Promote Your Program? Contact lemonads Today
Working with an affiliate network can undoubtedly simplify the implementation of an affiliate marketing strategy. We hope that the article above allows you to understand the different steps you need to take to get the most from your affiliate efforts.
To learn more about working with our affiliate network, contact lemonads today and we’ll be glad to help.
Accelerate your Conversions, Increase your Revenue