What do you think of when you hear those words?
It’s one of those terms with which many are familiar, but few can succinctly describe.
Plenty of small businesses, including Sverve, use affiliate campaigns to gain brand visibility, new sales, or users. In a nutshell, they hire a blogger (or a hundred of them) to promote their business. The blogger is then paid for consumer purchases…or sometimes just for clicks…that originated from his or her site.
Simple enough, yes?
Well, no…not exactly. The process is not always seamless. Sometimes bloggers are hesitant to engage in an affiliate campaign as there is no set, guaranteed compensation. Businesses have ditched the strategy after giving it a couple of weeks, deeming it ineffective.
And that’s too bad. Because the truth is that this kind of marketing can be very lucrative for both the brand and the affiliate, if done that right way.
And just what is the right way?
I’m glad you asked.
Sverve’s affiliate campaign has been in place since February. And during the past few months, I’ve managed it and watched it grow from a fledgling effort to a reckoning force in the world of online media. Our secrets? They’re really not so secret…it’s just a matter of strategic planning and patience.
1) Engage Quality Influencers – It’s essential that a brand takes a discerning look at its field of applicants and selects only the ones best suited for its needs. An influencer with a solid Facebook fanbase and a loyal Twitter following obviously offers a larger captive audience than one with a smaller (or no) social media presence. It’s also crucial that businesses take the time to read a potential affiliate’s blog. Does the blogger have an engaging site and writing style? Is there evidence of return visitors in the form of comments? Get to know the field of influencers before offering a partnership.
2) Engage Critical Mass and Effort of Influencers – This kind of campaign demands quantity as well as quality. The more voices you have speaking about your product, the more return you will see on your investment. Moreover, DON’T be satisfied with having an affiliate post a badge on her site and call it a day. Require that your influencers share their affiliate links on their social media platforms. Ask them to write posts about your product linking back to your site as well. Get the most bang for your buck by putting bloggers to work for you. They should be willing to do so as it will result in higher earnings for them as well.
3) Have Patience – Sverve deemed its affiliate program a success after three months of consistent engagement combined with adjustments in strategy. We suggest that other businesses use this time frame to gauge their success as well. Both the brand and the blogger side of the partnership will be better for it.
What has been your experience with affiliate campaigns…on either the blogger or the brand side? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Sue Coates is an elementary school teacher turned full-time mom of boy/girl twins (age 12) and a nine year-old son. She is the owner and author of The Spin Cycle, a humor/parenting/lifestyle blog with an emphasis in sass. She enjoys running, reading, writing, gardening, red wine, the occasional stint at a karaoke microphone (yes, those two go hand-in-hand), all things social media, and a good laugh. She’s also the Senior Manager of Communications at Sverve. Connect with Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and on Pinterest.