THREE reasons your brand needs an affiliate program
Feb 04, 2021 5:11 pm
But only if you want influential people & media recommending your products...
Hello Content Creators!
Last week, I covered how to find the right type of content creator to invite into your affiliate program, and how to choose a good program manager. Read that post here.
This week, I'm diving deeper into the three reasons you need to have an affiliate program as part of your content strategy.
But first, a definition: I use the term "creator" to mean anyone creating content. It could be a mainstream media outlet, blogger, vlogger, influencer, etc. If they're creating content and have an audience that matches your customer base, then you should develop an affiliate relationship with them. Here's why...
REASON #1: You'll attract better creators
The top creators are making a living creating content. As the founder of one of the top cycling websites in the world, I can tell you that every creator is looking for ways to a) provide value to their audience, and b) make more money from doing it.
Fortunately, affiliate programs can do both. By recommending good products (like yours?), creators are sharing something of value with their readers. And then they make a cut of each sale, so they benefit, too. And you get a sale. It's a win-win-win.
REASON #2: It drives more 3rd party endorsements
Take this how you will, but the truth of the matter is if a creator has to decide between reviewing or recommending two different but equally good products, they're going to recommend the one that also benefits them.
Duh, obvi, right?
But here's the tricky part. By having an affiliate relationship with a creator, you're more likely to even be considered.
Without that relationship, your product might not even make it into the story. Not because we don't like you, it's just that we have limited bandwidth. So if we're working on a story and don't have time, resources, or a reason to seek out more options, the ones we don't have a relationship with probably won't be considered.
And when you get a mention or review from a known authority or influencer, it's an incredibly valuable endorsement. You can use that to instill confidence in your customers that your brand is the right choice for them, too.
REASON #3: It drives sales at little cost to you
Most traditional advertising requires an upfront spend before you see results. Affiliate works the opposite.
Yes, you may need to send your products out to creators, but after that, you're only paying for the sales they help make. And even if someone doesn't click over from their story, it's at least a valuable mention that builds your brand awareness.
Three more things you should know
- Most affiliate programs let you customize the commission rate for each creator, so you can run special deals to incentivize your best creators.
- The best affiliate programs have someone working with their top creators to make sure links are placed and offering up advance looks at key products so that they can have stories and reviews go live as a new product launches. This gives creators exclusive content that keeps them stoked on your brand, too.
- If you can't set up your own affiliate program, suggest that creators link to your products on a retail website that does (Amazon, REI, Walmart, etc.). You could also set up a basic referral program ("Give $20, Get $20", etc.), but those generally aren't as appealing to the creator because they don't deliver the same revenue potential.
Speaking of affiliates, if you're looking for a good program to use, I recommend Avantlink. I get a small referral fee from most of the affiliate programs that we use, but the one I recommend is Avantlink because it's the easiest to use across all browsers, and it's a favorite among many of the creators I know. Make it easy on us, use a system we like, and we're more likely to use it.
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A Recent Content Project
This is a video I did for Bentonville, Arkansas' Chamber of Commerce. It'll be posted on Bikerumor, so there's a bit of a cycling angle to it, but that's really only to differentiate it from other similar efforts.
By which I mean this: It's essentially a recruitment video.
Bentonville is being (pleasantly) aggressive in trying to bring new businesses and remote workers to their town.
Anchored by Wal-Mart, the city has an insane amount of resources going into creating a quality of life that's hard to match anywhere else. Seriously.
But Bentonville's not immediately on peoples' radar. It seems people either know it as Wal-Mart's hometown, or as a place to go mountain biking. But not really as a place to move to just because.
So, I worked with them to show off why someone might want to live there full time, not just visit for a weekend or a business meeting.
Will this go viral? No. But it has a long shelf life, and it's a third party endorsement that they can point people to. It's a tool they can use. Watch it here.
What's the takeaway?
Not every piece of content has to be a product review or made to promote a hot new item. Think about how can you leverage creators to create a promotional tool for your brand, destination, or service and take advantage of their influence in other ways.
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I'll have more cool stuff next week to share next week.
Until then, partner.
PS - If you like this, please forward it to a friend... Thanks!
*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. Some links might be affiliate links, which earns me a small commission and helps support all the free content. Thanks!