What is Affiliate Marketing? – Affiliate marketing can be a useful tool to expose your company to potential new customers while building brand loyalty and credibility. Oftentimes, affiliate marketing is overlooked because the process can seem overwhelming to many small to midsize marketing departments. Are you interested in the affiliate marketing approach but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! Root & Roam Integrated Marketing Agency has developed a roadmap to help guide you through the process.
AFFILIATE MARKETING STRATEGY
The first step to launching a successful affiliate marketing campaign is to define your budget, target audience, and goals. As with nearly every marketing medium, affiliate marketing (also referred to as influencer marketing) is not free. Influencers often make their living by influencing. As such, be prepared to pay for the unique content they create on your behalf. Once you’ve decided how much you’re willing to spend, you need to define your target audience. Most likely, you’ve already completed this step in any previous marketing efforts. If you sell baby goods, your target audience will obviously include new and expecting mothers. And, finally, this first step must define your goals. Do you want to convert sales? Or, are you focused on lead generation (collecting email addresses)? Without clearly defined goals, you are not able to gauge the success of the campaign.
Once you have these basics lined out, it’s time to create a content calendar. A content calendar is essential to keeping your campaign on track. Within your content calendar, you’ll determine what kind of content your influencers will be creating, the specific days and times you’ll want them to post, and on which platforms the content will be shared. Remember that while you are familiar with and passionate about your company, the influencers you select may be meeting your brand for the first time. It’s imperative to lay out a roadmap for them as opposed to simply trusting the influencer to have the same familiarity and passion for your brand.
HOW TO CHOOSE AFFILIATES
With your budget, target audience, goals, and content calendar in hand, it’s time to scout out potential influencers. You can start looking for influencers who’s audience matches yours. Find affiliates that are the “expert” in your industry. Remember the baby goods company? This company should look for influencers that are young moms whose content is heavily focused on motherhood. When you find an affiliate like that, you can rest assured they have gained popularity and credibility amongst other new and expecting moms. One key point to keep in mind is that you’re looking for quality not quantity. An influencer with a million followers but low engagement may not be as successful to your campaign as an influencer with 20,000 followers but incredibly high engagement.
Now that you’ve selected the influencer you think best fits your brand, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. It’s time to talk compensation and expectations. We cannot stress enough the importance of drawing up a legal contract. This allows both you and your influencer to be on the same page in regards to both party’s obligations. Don’t forget to discuss and include licensing rights to created content in the contract!
WATCH THE AFFILIATE SALES POUR IN!
And now for the fun part! With all the technical pieces in place, you’re ready to see your hard work in action. As your influencer begins creating content in line with the content calendar you created previously, be sure to review everything before it is published. Reviewing content before it goes live allows you to protect your brand and ensure it feels authentic to your target audience. Once the content is approved and/or revised, it’s go time!
Be sure to share, like, and comment on the branded comment your affiliate publishes. Additionally, it’s smart to interact and engage with your audience. Posting as your company, respond to user comments in an effort to validate and personalize the experience for them. Doing so builds loyalty amongst both your potential new customers and your existing customers.
REVIEW, REVISE AND GET READY FOR YOUR NEXT INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN!
And, finally, throughout the campaign, you’ll need to create and evaluate reports to ensure that your campaign is on track to meet those goals you set in the beginning. By checking reports frequently, you can revise and hone your campaign along the way to better align with your goals.
If affiliate marketing seems like a tough ball to get rolling, Root & Roam is here to help! We’ve worked with countless influencers in a variety of industries with proven success rates. Give us a call to see how Root & Roam can help grow your audience and reach your goals!
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