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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Top Affiliate Programs for Health Coaches

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Affiliate Posts, Blog | 0 comments

There is a definite health revolution happening in the United States and around the world. Health coaches are on the front lines giving their clients the knowledge and motivation to make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their health. We need more tools that will allow health coaches and wellness sites to both continue to spread the word and make a living while doing so. This post offers several affiliate programs to help subsidize costs so wellness leaders can continue to connect and educate. You can also engage with other health coaches on the Health and Wellness Affiliate Facebook group.   Top Health Coach Affiliate Programs For Measuring Success Teloyears* Co-founded by a Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work in telomeres, TeloYears provides a person with their cellular age versus their biological age using an easy at-home genetic test. Over 20,000 scientific studies show a correlation between a person’s telomere length and their projected longevity as well as a propensity to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and others. The great news? People can change their telomere length through diet and lifestyle. Health coaches can use this test to motivate and track change with program implementation. Affiliates can roll the costs of the test into their overall program costs and then, in turn, provide a gift card to clients. The tests cost $89 plus shipping and handling. Affiliates receive a $12 commission for each single test and $18 for the Test Now and Later set.  Learn more at the TeloYears Affiliate Resource Center. This program is managed by Robbins Interactive. 23 and Me Another popular and informative at home genetic test, 23andMe helps people understand what their DNA says about their health, traits, and ancestry through detailed reports, tools and more. More than one million people have received their DNA results using 23andMe’s home-based saliva collection kit. The commission is $10 per health and ancestry kit. The CJ network manages this program. Please note: I have a personal connection to the affiliate management team for this program. This program works with coupon affiliates so be sure your commissions will be protected through advanced attribution such as Leap Frog. Leap Frog commissions allow the top-of-funnel influencer to receive the partial or full commission. Click here to sign up for the 23andMe Affiliate Program.   Top Health Coach Affiliate Programs For Healthy Eating Thrive Market Recommending a paleo, Mediterranean or whole foods diet? Thrive Market is a great place to send clients to get started on cleaning eating and stock up on pantry staples. An annual membership of $59.95 gives your clients access to the best prices on everything from coconut oil and ancient grains to gluten free goodness. As...

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There Is No Formula For Influencer Marketing

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Blog, Influencer Marketing | 0 comments

Recently, a client asked me to create and provide a plan for recruiting top influencers. He requested a formula where the number of followers and comments an influencer had equaled success. I will confess, I giggled slightly at his request. My job would certainly be a lot easier if there was such a formula but unfortunately, there is not. A human touch is required for true success. Below are five reasons why there is no black and white formula for recruiting and activating influencers. Engagement Versus Followers When reviewing potential influencers, it is important to review engagement over followers. Not only can followers be purchased, but smaller (or micro) influencers often have stronger engagement and authority with their followers than someone who has a large following. A successful influencer campaign is one where the audience trusts the influencer. True relationships cannot be faked. See my post on the power of niche influencers here. Authenticity Versus Clicks Beyond looking at ‘likes’ and comments, affiliate managers need to analyze the authenticity of the engagement. Bloggers have created private Facebook groups with the sole purpose of requiring its members to leave comments and likes each other’s posts. The rules of these groups are strict: like and comment on a specific number of posts per day or risk removal from the group. These posts are easily recognizable because the comments are often generic and superficial along the lines of, “great post,” or a single thumbs up emoji. When you see that type of engagement on a single post, it’s likely the work of one of these comment pods. Pretty Pictures Versus Recommendations  As a brand, you want to ensure that posts made on your behalf are encouraging your desired call to action. An attractive picture that yields only comments and ‘likes’ is not a solid CTA unless, of course, the goal of the campaign is focused on images and branding. I structure my campaigns so the call to action results in a completed sale. For my affiliates, an attractive picture used without persuasive content will not be considered a successful campaign. Sales Versus Engagement When I review an influencer, I look at their other brand campaigns to ensure they are getting equal engagement compared to personal quotes, pictures and images. Many times, there is great authentic engagement on personal images and stories but significantly less on brand sponsored posts. It’s important to choose an influencer who can sell as well as engage. Niche Versus General The more your influencer knows about your specific niche the greater the engagement. While there can be a formula to find a niche, it goes beyond the numbers or keyword search. Is the influencer a perceived expert in...

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