Approx. read time : 7 min
Influencer marketing is one of the most influential trends right now. With brands and companies becoming aware of the new reality of marketing to the younger demographics, they have seemed to understand that the conventional marketing methods have changed.
They will have to introduce innovative and newer strategies to enhance their lead generation and conversion.
The most effective way to do this is by hiring the people that connect to this demographic – the online influencers. Influencers make up a considerable part of the advertising industry as of now and are changing the face of marketing as you know it. This involves affiliate marketing as well.
Affiliate marketing enables the brands to gain more website traffic and clicks. However, with the introduction of online influencers in the scene, this strategy has been gradually evolving into one that allows you to gain more leads from social media platforms.
If you are new to affiliate marketing, this article is the perfect read for you. Here you will learn how the old affiliate marketing strategies were different from the new one and what should be your considerations before choosing an influencer for your company.
The Old Affiliate Marketing Scenario
Before understanding how affiliate marketing is evolving in recent times, you should know what it was and how it became such an essential part of the industry.
Here are some interesting facts about affiliate marketing:
Most of the affiliates were conventional publishers & bloggers
Since affiliate marketing came into existence before social media became one of the biggest phenomenons in the world, most brand affiliates were general bloggers and content publishers. They mainly utilized their own websites to review or promote a particular brand. However, instead of the video content that is so common nowadays, you could only find walk-through, product demonstrations or reviews from such publishers.
Most of the affiliates do not stick to one brand
This was another common thing that happened before social media became a part of affiliate marketing. Since most publishers were concerned about promoting their websites and trying to monetize their content, they always tried to broaden their memberships with other brands.
None of the bloggers or publishers stuck to one brand since, this way, they could not capitalize on their full potential. They used to sign up for multiple affiliate programs so that they could increase the chances of getting more referral fees. This also helped them attract a broader demographic of readers who had varied preferences.
In other words, these content producers partnered with most of the popular affiliate programs, which often consisted of competing brands. This means they did not prioritize any one brand over others, making it more complicated for a brand to seem like the top choice.
The Influencer-Driven Affiliate Marketing
While the conventional way of affiliate marketing is still alive and thriving, things have changed drastically in this sector. The main problem with that way was that the unique strengths of a particular brand were never highlighted. However, hiring influencers to do the same has shown some positive results.
With the inception of social media, brands and different company sectors have understood how they can make the most of affiliate marketing.
Here is an insight on how influencers are affecting the affiliate marketing domain:
Utilizing The Existing Trust Between Followers and Influencers
This is one well-known benefit of hiring influencers for affiliated marketing. Surveys have shown how 90% of people find influencers more reliable than conventional ads or celebrity endorsements. This is mainly because an influencer has to build their community from the ground up with relatable content. Since viewers find their content more relatable, they are more likely to trust the endorsements done by influencers than by actors, who they only see on movie screens.
Moreover, any high-quality and authentic influencer will never promote a brand or product that they do not use themselves. This is one thing their followers are aware of as well. This virtue further makes social media influencers the best ambassadors for your brand. They will prioritize your products and recommend them to an average consumer with a higher impact.
Related: How To Create An Influencer Blog?
Influencers Have A Far More Holistic Approach To Promotion
Any brand that has spent enough time promoting and advertising their product knows that there are several things making up the same. One reason why influencers usually make compelling affiliates is their holistic approach to promoting your brand.
Social media allows your product to get testimonials, calls-to-action and demonstrations all at once. In addition to that, most influencers have been content creators for a long time. They know how to deliver quality content and what attracts more audiences.
The majority of the influencers use a combination of all three actions that help make your brand more accessible to promote. This makes the process a lot more effective. The followers will not only learn about the product and its features but also know how to use it, its benefits and where to find it. This further makes your product a lot more desirable than any other medium.
From awareness to consideration and purchase, influencers ensure that their audiences go through the entire sales funnel. The only difference is that they do it in a very personal and authentic way. Since these are reliable individuals in the forum, they can easily capitalize on the trust of their followers.
What Are Your Main Considerations Before Choosing A Particular Influencer As An Affiliate?
Now that you understand the benefits of hiring influencers as your brand affiliates, you are ready to choose one. However, there are some important things that you must ensure before you seal the deal with one of them.
Check If They Are Promoting Your Rival Brands
This is the first and foremost thing you must keep in mind before choosing a particular influencer. Always make sure that the influencer is not already a promoter of your competitors. However, every industry is not the same. Some fashion and beauty brands can work alongside the same influencer. Nevertheless, it would be best if you always choose someone who will promote your products solely.
On the other hand, if you think a particular influencer who is already working with a rival brand is the best option for your company, you can try a few things. You can send them samples of your product and see if they would switch, or you can offer them a better deal altogether.
You should also keep an eye out for ‘fake’ influencers. These are the accounts with thousands of followers, but most of those are ghost accounts. Hiring them will not really benefit your company in any way, and you will only end up wasting resources.
Utilize Collateral For The Influencers
Before choosing any social media influencer, you should always do a thorough check of their content. Check what kind of content they post, how many online channels they have and if their audience can benefit you.
If you see any chance of being able to give them relevant content types like short screen recordings, do that. This will not only allow them to provide you with content faster but also help them fit it in their posts. However, you should also ensure that the content is not too overly branded and blends with their feed.
You should also give the influencers ample space to implement their branding in the advertisement as well. That said, having pre-made content that fits their style makes things easier for both – the influencer and you as a brand.
Make Co-Branded Landing Pages
This point is not the most essential, but it surely helps you make the most out of your investment. Having dedicated landing pages for the influencer’s or affiliate’s followers really helps personalize the experience. You can create a separate page on your website that mentions the influencer or their company to make it more exclusive.
However, you should ensure that you have mentioned this in your agreement and the financial matters have been taken care of. Being this involved in a particular brand will further inhibit the influencer from getting other brand deals. This can be a problem later in the agreement if not discussed first.
With everything clear, you can either decide to host the landing page on your website, or theirs, if they have one.
Over to you…
Affiliate marketing can be made more impactful by incorporating influencers.
Having said that, choosing an influencer requires immense research and work. Chose the right influencers to work with!