Affiliate marketing is a great tool for any business looking to promote its brand to larger audiences within its own niche and that it has yet to reach. But can you create a program out of thin air? How much planning is required to develop a successful affiliate marketing strategy?
It’s not as simple as just creating an internal affiliate marketing team. You’ll need to put in a lot of legwork to ensure you can get off the ground running.
Creating a marketing strategy is essential for any business hoping to promote itself to the world around it. While you can proverbially fly by the seat of your pants, it’s not a good idea when your business — your livelihood — is on the line. Simply signing up with an affiliate network isn’t enough; more planning will need to be done to properly prepare your company to roll out an effective affiliate marketing strategy.
So, where does this planning begin? There are many considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure that you’re producing the greatest ROI with each and every one of your campaigns. Here are some basic considerations you need to take into consideration:
- What does your audience look like?
- Who are you attempting to target from this larger audience?
- What type of affiliate is going to be able to best reach this target — what do they look and sound like?
- Where do your customers spend most of their digital time? What social media apps and websites are they frequenting most: TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram?
- What are your competitors doing with their affiliate marketing strategies?
- Are your competitors’ strategies working? How can you target your niche better than they can?
- How can you convince affiliates to work with you over your competitors?
- How will you work to keep affiliates around? What will you offer to incentivize a partnership with you?
- What type of content will you want your affiliates to produce to reach your audience, and can your affiliate appropriately promote such content through their preferred platform?
As can be seen, there are many things you need to think about beyond “I want to start an affiliate marketing program.” In some cases, it’s smart to run on a schedule similar to traditional marketing schemes — drafting marketing plans that think of the fiscal year ahead and drafting a content calendar that aligns with product releases, holidays, special events, and more. Planning ahead with such foresight is the easiest way to ensure your company is meeting desired goals as needed, promoting your business at every turn.
Your Affiliates Deserve and Need Clarity
Your affiliates need a plan to properly market your brand. Without a clearly developed set of terms and conditions, they won’t understand …
- What rules they need to follow when developing content and
- What to expect when working with you.
This involves brand voice guidelines, payment schedules, contracts related to payment, and reasons that might cause a breach of contract. You need to be direct with them from the start, not only to gain their trust but to ensure that they produce and share content as it fits your needs.
Join an Affiliate Network.
The benefit of joining an existing affiliate network is that it allows you to seamlessly produce and promote content that you’ve already drafted. Consider it this way: You’ve already drafted your prepared content schedule and have your goals outlined for the year; simplify the process further by getting started with an established network rather than trying to create your own in-house.
Rather than running through hoops testing website programming, UX/UI design, and more, you can jump into your content calendar and begin working with accessible publishers, all while contracting affiliates and tracking the progress of your affiliate marketing strategy.
Use Your Data to Track Goals
Once your affiliate marketing campaign is planned in advance, you’re with an affiliate network, and you’ve got some affiliate onboarded, you can begin implementing your campaign. But your work isn’t done yet.
You’ve got a plan outlined for the future; you should be evaluating how well it’s performing. If you’re using Refersion’s affiliate marketing platform, you have a varied set of tools that allows you to track the performance of your affiliate marketing campaign.
For instance, you can effectively track your KPIs and ROI, as gathered from audience engagement and customer conversion with tracked links and coupon codes. With these findings, you can determine …
- How well you’re meeting goals as outlined in your affiliate marketing campaigns’ plan and
- How you can make adjustments to get your company on track toward meeting these affiliate marketing goals.
The Bottom Line
Interested in crafting an affiliate marketing strategy and joining an established network? Speak with one of our representatives to learn the fine details about the Refersion platform or feel free to learn about how the Refersion network can help you.