Imagine for a moment a mighty oak standing in a field. From an outside perspective, you notice the bark and the leaves, the tall branches stretching up to the sky. But underneath the ground, a vast network of roots connect to each other and form the lifeblood of the tree.
In this analogy, the tree is your business, represented by the tall and mighty oak. Just like trees, businesses come in different shapes and sizes. But like the roots, what you may not realize is the network of affiliate markets propping up the business behind the scenes.
Affiliate marketing can turn a brand from a zero into a hero. But it takes more than just a will and a way to pull it off. To be effective, affiliate marketing requires the right partnerships and the right research. Let’s take a look at the best ways to optimize your affiliate marketing campaign before you launch it.
Research and analyze the data.
First of all, you need to walk before you can run. Putting in the research ahead of time will save you from any unnecessary issues down the road. So, the first step is to carefully analyze both customer and revenue data. Questions you should ask yourself include what is the profile of your highest spending customers, what deals do they respond to and what time of year are they most likely to buy?
A strong affiliate marketing campaign is about more than just signing up for a network and hoping for the best. With hundreds of thousands of affiliates to choose from, it’s essential to understand which ones best align your brand with your desired customer.
Find the affiliates that are right for your business.
There’s an old saying, “There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” While those wise words refer to the dating world, we can also apply them to your affiliate marketing campaign. When first launching an affiliate campaign, it can be tempting to only chase after affiliates with the biggest audience and largest reach.
And while that should be a part of your affiliate strategy, only going after the biggest names could limit your opportunities. Make sure you’re also looking at affiliates that may be smaller, but have a high level of credibility in your vertical. They’ll likely be able to give your brand more attention and space on their website than some of the bigger affiliates that are partnering with larger companies.
You should also be aware that affiliates often have limited capacity. So, sometimes you need to look ahead and plan months in advance. Another old saying (we promise last one) is “the early bird gets the worm.” So, don’t be afraid to hop on a good opportunity that comes your way.
Be aware of how affiliates generate traffic.
Like your business, affiliates also generate traffic through various methods. For instance, SEO, social media, and blogging are popular methods. But there are also mail marketing, PPC, and other methods to consider.
As a result, you need to consider how affiliates are generating traffic. For instance, you wouldn’t want to compete against an affiliate if you are both running newsletter campaigns. The search results might end up muddled as a result. You should find affiliates that create a beneficial relationship for your company.
Be transparent and form partnerships.
Transparency can be difficult but it can also form long-lasting partnerships. No one likes feeling exposed, especially when sharing financial information or challenges. But being open about your business models and results with your affiliates can help strengthen your marketing campaign. We’re not saying you should unroll all of your trade secrets. But you should form an honest partnership with your affiliates. As such, it will be easier to communicate when things go wrong but also to strategize for continued success.
Like the tall oak out in the field, your business is yours to nurture and grow. The partnerships you foster can help you reach new heights. So grab a metaphorical shovel and let’s get to work. The affiliate partnerships you make today will help grow your business tomorrow.