How To Choose An Affiliate Network

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Affiliate Posts | 0 comments

When bringing on a client who is new to affiliate marketing, one of the first steps is to choose an affiliate network to partner with. An affiliate network provides the backend technology to support your affiliate management strategy. The network is responsible for tracking and payment for your affiliates as well as providing tools to build your commission strategy. In addition, the network hosts creatives such as banners and videos as well as providing educational tools to make affiliate marketing accessible. You and your affiliates interact with the network daily so the selection process should be taken seriously. This article serves as a guideline of the five criteria I follow when choosing an affiliate network.   Go Where the Affiliates Are This probably seems obvious but it must be said: select a network that already has your targeted affiliates signed up. Most influencers belong to multiple networks. However, they usually have a favorite. If you have a ‘dream’ affiliate in mind, reach out and ask which are their favorite networks. Most merchants lean towards a one, or at the most two, network strategy. So, how do you find out where your affiliates are? A great place to start is by looking at your competition. Which influencers are representing their products? A word of caution when looking towards your competitors. Since your program may have different strategies for different types of affiliates, you want to ask the network which affiliates perform best in the network and why. If the network’s Best Affiliate Award regularly goes to a toolbar affiliate and toolbar affiliates are not part of your strategy, the network is not the right fit for you. Lastly, don’t simply look for the number of affiliates in the network but find out the quality of those affiliates. What are the network’s vetting processes for affiliate applications? How is fraud handled? Is there an affiliate feedback system in place? Ease of Use My agency, Robbins Interactive, focuses on influencers and other content affiliates. Many affiliates I work with are new to affiliate marketing. As such, a user-friendly affiliate interface is a top priority. I especially look for networks that invest in tools and education that appeal to content affiliates. Below are some of my favorites. Shareasale’s Gift Guide blog posts that appear before the holidays make creating a profitable holiday gift guide a breeze. In addition, their Gift Cards Database makes last-minute holiday posts easy to create.   Avantlink’s SnapVisi was designed with fashion influencers in mind. This fashion blogger tool is invaluable as it allows you to tag multiple items in a single image with affiliate links.   Attribution First, let me define what attribution is. Attribution allows you to...

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Affiliate Marketing For Podcasts

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Affiliate Posts, Blog | 0 comments

According to a 2017 report by Edison Research, 65 million Americans listen to podcasts MONTHLY! Of those, 18% say they listen to most, if not all, of an episode. Which means that, not only are they listening, but they are also listening intently. Podcasts represent an amazing, though many times overlooked, opportunity for affiliate marketing. Both advertisers and affiliates alike ponder if those listeners can successfully be converted into buyers. Based on my experience as an affiliate manager, my answer is a resounding yes. Podcast affiliate marketing generates amazing commissions and ROI when used with the following 10 tactics. 10 Tips for Monetizing Podcasts with Affiliate Marketing 1. Don’t count your eggs before they hatch People listen to podcasts for knowledge and value. Be sure to build your audience prior to implementing affiliate marketing campaigns. I recommend a minimum of 20 episodes before testing affiliate marketing. My top performing podcast affiliates have completed 50+ episodes of their show before launching one of our affiliate campaigns. Here are four general tips about how to start your podcast: Be passionate about your subject Be sure you’ve already earned your audiences’ trust through previously shared expertise Invest in a good microphone. A quick way to lose credibility is to have bad sound quality Here is a great article on The Best USB Microphones Do your research and seek out recommendations from the experts. The Podcast Host is a great place for beginners to start. This curated article from The Marketing Experts provides quick tips on everything from creation to rankings to promotion. 2. Know your audience Similar to other affiliate marketing tactics, a niche audience translates to higher conversions for affiliate marketing. It is important to take the time to get to know your audience and what they are interested in. A barometer for interest would be the popularity of specific episodes.  For example, one of my TeloYears affiliates, who is successful with affiliate marketing, saw an interest in at home tests with his audience. It was no surprise then that his subsequent campaign generated sizable commissions for him. 3. Make it personal Do not promote what you have not personally used. Your podcast listeners are there for your advice. A successful podcast affiliate campaign will include personal experience with pros and cons of the product. To further create a connection with your audience, ask your merchant if they are available for an interview on your show. This creates a personal experience between the audience and brand as well. Podcasts generate great exposure for brands so this is a good option for creating evergreen content that will keep generating revenue. 4. Simple Calls to Action 18% of people typically listen to podcasts...

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Influencer or Affiliate Marketing: Should a Business Have to Choose?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Affiliate Management, Affiliate Manager, Affiliate Posts, Blog | 0 comments

Spoiler Alert:  They don’t HAVE to choose.  A recent online article, published by Entrepreneur, made my blood pressure rise. The author makes a comparison between affiliate and influencer marketing and asks the question, “Which should your company use?” At first glance, I thought the article was click bait. But as it turns out, many companies do feel they need to make a choice between the two. An online marketer recently shared with me that a company shut down their affiliate program to focus on influencer marketing instead. Huh? Why would a company think these two initiatives are so different that they can only use one? The Entrepreneur article, plus that recent experience, led me to write this post. In this article, I address the ‘either or’ mentality. I further explain why affiliate and influencer marketing are compatible and work best when combined. Definitions for Influencer and Affiliate Marketing Let’s begin with basic definitions of each tactic. Per Wikipedia, Influencer Marketing is a form of advertising in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. I like to think of influencer marketing as partnering with individuals who have credibility and knowledge that supports your marketing initiatives. Brian Littleton of Shareasale provides my favorite definition of Affiliate Marketing by stating, “affiliate marketing is simply advertising, tied to a performance metric.” In translation, affiliate marketing is a way to compensate influencers for their efforts. As such, it can be influencer marketing tied to a performance metric. The Lines Are Blurred By looking at these definitions, it is clear how the two channels can work together. In fact, the lines between affiliate and influencer marketing are continually blurred. Many influencers approach PR departments requesting to become an affiliate, especially if a flat sponsored rate is not available. Since this winning combination is the core of my business, I am confident it works. Why? Because affiliate marketing is a great way to compensate Influencer Marketing. Yes, I used the C word: compensate. Below are two reasons why a hybrid influencer marketing model of affiliate and influencer marketing benefits both the influencer and the brand. 1. Influencers Should Be Compensated Influencer marketing may be in its infancy but it has evolved beyond the days of running campaigns with free product as the ‘pay’. Yes, you may get a post or a social media shout-out in exchange for a free product, but it is rare to create a profitable campaign without offering compensation. Influencers know their value and the amount of effort it takes to make a campaign successful for a brand. A successful...

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ShiftCon 2018 Speaker Announcement

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Affiliate Posts, Influencer Marketing | 0 comments

I am honored to be selected as a ShiftCon 2018 speaker. Shiftcon is an eco-wellness conference that invites top influencers who focus on green, sustainable and healthy lifestyle options. Three years ago, I attended my first ShiftCon conference and knew immediately I would be returning. The intimate and open environment merges enthusiasm and passion with tactics for action and immense knowledge. ShiftCon connects these influencers with top What is ShiftCon? Three years ago, I attended my first ShiftCon conference and knew immediately I would be returning. This conference merges enthusiasm and passion with tactics for action and immense knowledge. ShiftCon connects influencers with top brands in the industry with intimate networking and incredible sessions. I dare you to attend and not feel a spark of motivation to make a difference in the timely initiative of eco-wellness. My ShiftCon Session I will be speaking in the workshop prior to the actual conference. As the moderator for 5 Ways To Monetize Your Influence, my panelist will answer questions and provide case studies of their success. The panelist of this session include:             Amanda Jo of The Organic Bunny  Amanda covers it all home, lifestyle, nutrition and beauty on her popular blog The Organic Bunny, keeping it real, practical and down to earth.  She also exposes her audience to the truth behind misleading brands, exposing harmful ingredients that could be hiding right under your nose.  Sophisticated and stylish, Amanda definitely knows how to dish on clean living without sacrificing one little bit of luxury.           Nadia Newman of Body Unburdened is a wellness nerd, natural beauty junkie, DIY enthusiast, and certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Nadia recently published her book Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin as well as The Home Detox Guide.                   Carron Coleman, of The Holistic Honey, is a Green Beauty and Wellness Blogger based out of New York City. She created her blog to document her journey toward better health from the inside out. Through her online presence, she provides a healthy dose of inspiration for women to change their health and beauty routine. The session, we will discuss the many ways to monetize your influencer from affiliate marketing to book publication to sponsored events. After this workshop, you will leave with a clear understanding of monetization tactics and strategies that focus on a diverse flow of income. Whether you are a new or seasoned influencer, you will walk away with ideas to implement. See You In California? I hope to see you there and share an organic kombucha cocktail with you! You can purchase tickets by clicking here   And...

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How To Win the Affiliate Battle Against Amazon

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Affiliate Posts | 0 comments

With recent commission reductions for Amazon Affiliates, many influencers are seeing the advantages of direct brand relationships. In addition to higher commissions, a direct brand relationship functions as a true partnership with benefits including an advanced notice ofreui promotions and new products, product samples and aggressive campaign contracts. However, while influencers are seeing the benefits, the fear they share with me is that their followers will not. Amazon lures their audience away with fast, free shipping and the convenience of 1-Click® purchasing. As a confessed Amazon Prime addict, I totally get the appeal. In this post, I will illustrate how influencers can overcome the Amazon temptation leading to higher commissions and solid brand relationships. Give Your Followers A Solid Why Don’t assume merely including an affiliate link in a post means people will click on it. Give your followers a solid reason why they should click the link. Your call to action should be powerful no matter what site you are linking to. Here are six solid ‘whys’ to get your audience using your affiliate links. Loyalty Programs. Loyalty program isn’t just for coffee shops and juice bars. Most merchants offer a loyalty program for shopping directly with their brand. The reality? They are in the same boat as affiliates…trying to get customers to buy directly versus Amazon. Loyalty program rewards can include free gear as well as other benefits like free shipping and first dibs on new product. Gift with Purchase. Is your merchant offering something not available on Amazon? It could be samples, free product or ‘cash’ toward a future purchase. Make sure your followers know all they will get outside of the products you are promoting. Free Shipping. Most brands offer free shipping either for a minimum purchase or on all orders. Be sure to let your followers know this so they don’t automatically assume they need an Amazon Prime membership to get it shipped for free. Support me. Be honest and upfront with your audience that link you use may be part of an affiliate program and that the commission earned helps offset costs associated with your online presence. The most direct way to do this is with an FTC disclosure statement: like this one, Jules, one of my affiliates, uses on her blog, Om & The City: “Note: This post was sponsored by 100% Pure. All thoughts and opinions are completely (and always will be) my own. I receive a commission if you purchase products from the links in this post. The commissions are used to keep my blog running and to provide you with awesome content that I strongly believe in. Thank you for your continued support! x Jules” Of course, you should...

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