In today’s marketing landscape, cost-effectiveness and measurable results are non-negotiables. That’s largely why affiliate marketing is quickly becoming core to many marketing strategies. Its performance-based nature and high ROI make it an irresistible draw for brands looking to maximize impact.
Your brand is likely already involved in performance marketing campaigns with affiliates, in which your brand pays a commission to referring third parties that drive incremental traffic and sales. According to a study by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Rakuten Advertising, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers have reported leveraging an affiliate program. That number is increasing year-over-year (YoY). If you’re looking for guidance on launching or refining your affiliate marketing strategy in 2024, these five tips will guide you toward success.
Pick your affiliate partners wisely
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s worth emphasizing. Building and maintaining your audience’s trust is critical to your success. Partnering with the right affiliate partners is the key to achieving this. It’s important to note that picking the right partners isn’t just about boosting your success. Choose those who not only amplify your performance, but also have established credibility within the industry and complement your brand.
Here are some questions to keep in mind during your selection process:
- Reputation and brand alignment: Are they a reputable source, aligned with your brand values?
- Content quality and relevance: Do they produce high-quality content that resonates with your target audience?
- Audience engagement: Do they have a loyal and engaged audience?
Experiment with and diversify your affiliate partners
Each affiliate partner connects with their audience in a different way. To amplify your brand’s reach and achieve program growth, it’s important to understand where your target audience lives and engage with them authentically in each of those spaces. Affiliate marketing is many things, and you should take advantage of them all. Here are a few of the partner types brands may leverage:
- Cash Back, loyalty, and rewards: Publishers share a portion of their affiliate commissions with consumers in the form of cash back, loyalty points, or other rewards programs.
- Social media (influencers): Leveraging trust on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, influencers authentically introduce your brand and products to their engaged audiences.
- Content publications: Through blog posts, podcasts, vlogs, and guides, content creators educate and inform consumers about your brand and offerings.
- Coupons and deals: These publisher partners promote your brand through discount codes and highlighting special offers.
- Email marketing: Affiliates leverage their established and engaged email audience, offering guaranteed reach and potential for high conversion.
- Toolbar or browser extension: Toolbar add-ons automatically find and apply promo codes or cash back for consumers.
Combine affiliate promotions with deals
Affiliate marketing partnerships get your brand and products in front of a wider audience. However, you still need to provide a compelling reason for people to buy from you. To sweeten the deal and entice shoppers, consider offering exclusive discounts, limited-time offers, or bonus rewards.
Optimize your website for conversion
A successful affiliate program drives more traffic to your site, which means it’s important to consider what happens once your customers land on your site. Even minor delays on a website or landing page can significantly impact conversion rates.
By proactively preparing for the additional website traffic, you can increase the likelihood of conversion when someone clicks on your affiliate link and create an experience that keeps people coming back.
Tie affiliate promotions to retail holidays and events
Align affiliate promotions with major shopping holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother and Father’s Day, Labor Day, and Cyber Week. This is a great opportunity to reach engaged audiences actively seeking new purchases. One of the easiest ways to tie in affiliate marketing strategies with shopping holidays is taking advantage of Rakuten’s retail events. We pace with the new retail calendar and Rakuten specific events to keep brands in front of shopping-engaged consumers.
Ready to see where Rakuten can take your affiliate program in 2024? Reach out to a rep to get started.