Over the past few years, affiliate has become an increasingly popular marketing strategy among many marketers who may have once considered it a ‘non-traditional’ marketing channel (at least in comparison to other paid channels like search and social). In fact, there isn’t even an absolute consensus on what marketers call the channel. Some refer to the channel as ‘affiliate’, while others call it, ‘commerce’, while still others know it as ‘brand partnerships’.
Naming conventions aside, there has also been an influx of what many of these marketers may consider ‘non-traditional’ publisher partners stepping into affiliate—taking best practices from the traditional publishers—and, of course, creating some new best practices of their own to generate the most revenue possible. But no matter what type of publisher partner you consider yourself to be, here are some quick tips to keep in mind as you ramp yourself up to becoming a revenue-generating affiliate publisher.
1. Know Your Audience
There is nothing more critical to your success as an affiliate publisher than knowing who your audience—and the brands you’re partnering with—are. Brands come to you because you offer something unique, something no other publisher can offer or deliver in quite the same way you can. Use this to your advantage and incorporate brands and products that you know your established audience is already interested in. Once you’re in sync with the makeup of your audience, and their demographics (think: age range, gender ratio, household income, etc..) as well as what they view, click on most, etc., you can offer them more relevant brands and more tailored products.
2. Communication is Key
There is a lot to be said about creating a direct line of communication with your brand partners. This is the best way for you both to foster a growing two-way partnership that drives mutual revenue. Proper communication lines also afford the opportunity to discuss what offers or new products are available to you and in return, let them know about new promotions you’re working on for your audience where they can be included or featured.
3. Be Proactive
Don’t wait for the most relevant brands, products and offers to come to you! Instead, take an active approach and seek them out to create purposeful, more meaningful partnerships. Many of the top performing partners (traditional and non-traditional) are creating interesting opportunities on their sites and apps and are proactively pitching brands.
4. Negotiate (& Re-negotiate) Commissions
Many brands set ‘base’ commission rates to get partnerships kicked off quickly. If you see that this partnership is going quite well (or even better than expected!) and generating solid revenue, ask to negotiate your commission rate(s). Most brands are very happy to reward high performing partners with better commission rates to keep the partnership growing strong. Where it makes sense, you can also ask to set opportunities to collect bonus payments if you hit certain revenue goals that the brand is looking to achieve.
Keeping these 4 quick tips in mind: knowing your audience, keeping lines of communication with your brand partners open, being proactive, and negotiating (and re-negotiating) commission rates, will help you ensure that you’re in demand and making money online as a publisher within the affiliate channel.