How affiliate marketing can help advertisers get clear on their campaign goals
Working with influencers to promote your brand should be a simple proposition: influencers are keen to promote great products, and help consumers find the right fit for them. Advertisers are always looking for new, loyal audiences, which influencers are especially good at building. Zane McIntyre explores.
Without an accurate way to set and measure your campaign goals, brands risk throwing their hard-earned marketing dollars down the drain on the wrong campaign. Or perhaps pushing a high-performing influencer away with the wrong approach.
In order for a campaign to succeed, both advertiser and publisher must remain laser-focussed on their goals. This should go beyond mere vanity metrics. Affiliate marketing can help by providing a consistent way to get clear about the campaign’s goals, gather data, and measure results.
Influencers and accurate data can go hand in hand
The first step towards a strong, clearly-defined campaign is to get clear on your goals. Then develop an understanding of how to accurately measure those goals. Unwieldy agreements based on influencers manually reporting their own performance data to brands can be inaccurate. Affiliate platforms can help provide more transparency between the influencer and the brand by automating reports backed by verifiable data.
The data provided by affiliate campaigns also allows for clear goal and KPI setting. This is based on a foundation of open communication and mutual trust. Advertisers are able to provide a better understanding of the campaign’s measurable KPIs such as clicks and conversions. It can serve to be much more accurate instead of relying on vanity metrics alone.
Once these clear KPIs are shared with the influencer, they will be able to adjust their content accordingly with the brand’s goals in mind. If your goal is to promote sign ups to your newsletter, the influencer might help by generating a sense of ‘fomo’ in their loyal audience, compelling them to sign up. If you want to increase sales, the influencer can adapt their content around specific hero products.
For example, Commission Factory recently introduced Instagram influencers Eating Up With the Hannashians to ready meal delivery business My Muscle Chef. There was a clear synergy between brand and influencer, since Eating Up With the Hannashians regularly post video reviews of trending snacks and meals from local Australian grocery stores.
Muscle Chef’s goals for the ‘A Week with My Muscle Chef’ campaign were to trial an outside the box campaign. It looked to use an affiliate space, partner with an affiliate in the social vertical to deliver results. These are results are comparable to in-house My Muscle Chef brand ambassadors. They increased their affiliate program’s overall revenue by 20 percent quarter on quarter. The campaign eventually contributed to a 33.55 percent quarter-on-quarter uplift of sales revenue on the affiliate program for the brand.
Tracking channel agnostic campaigns
Affiliate marketing provides a more well-rounded way to measure campaign success, without relying on rigid, channel-specific metrics. Clickless affiliate codes, for example, are a great way for both brands and influencers to create a campaign that goes beyond a single channel.
In the past, marketers found it difficult to properly track a publisher’s influence from affiliate links alone. This is because some customers ended up visiting the merchant’s website without the all-important click. Then influencers or publishers generating the buzz wasn’t being properly compensated. Aside from this, marketers weren’t able to accurately measure the effect of their affiliate campaign. These links also limit where the campaign could be shared, ruling out print, television, and some social media channels.
Clickless affiliate codes ensure campaign performance is tracked and attributed to the correct person. They aren’t limited to a specific channel or campaign. It doesn’t matter where the consumer has come from. It’s also a useful solution for influencers. Those who want to be rewarded for proving their wide-range of influence across multi-channels.
Don’t be afraid to get agile
Being agile is extremely important for businesses trying to keep up with a fast-paced industry. Having access to data that can drive and inform business decisions is a must. Affiliate campaigns allow brands and influencers alike to test and learn on the fly, and adjust as they go.
So don’t limit yourself to a ‘one and done’ standalone campaign. An affiliate strategy allows brands and influencers to try different copy text and imagery along with subtly altered messaging and communication styles on their audience. This agile, creatively-driven mindset allows brands and influencers to figure out what works, creating a more positive relationship between both parties.
No one likes wasting time and money on content that doesn’t convert. Affiliate marketing can help ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the right place, at the right time, and on the right audience.
Brands and influencers ultimately have the same goal: to promote useful, relevant content and products to their audience. With this goal at the core of everything you do, you’ll be well on your way to creating successful affiliate marketing campaigns.
Zane McIntyre, CEO and co-founder, Commission Factory