How affiliate marketing can enhance influencer marketing

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Influencer marketing has grown in popularity and become significantly more mainstream over the past 12 months, with Google reporting an increase of 325% in searches for 'influencer marketing' over the time period.

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According to an article from eConsultancy, only 29% of influencers are using affiliate tracking links. While some inroads have been made into connecting the worlds of influencer marketing and affiliate marketing, it’s clearly not something that has yet taken a real foothold in the influencer consciousness. The question is why. 

Firstly, the commercial model for influencers is much more appealing as it offers a guaranteed sum of money, while the affiliate model is based on performance: a last-click model that requires an influencer to have initiated the final click in a consumer’s journey to purchase. However, there is an argument that influencer commercials are also based on performance: if an influencer is unable to deliver the campaign goals, brands will become less willing to agree to fixed fees.

Awareness and education of the affiliate industry for influencers needs to be better, and this should start from within the industry itself.  Below, we outline why influencers should use affiliate marketing.

Build stronger advertiser relationships through ROI

One of the greatest USPs of the affiliate industry is the strong ROI it can produce. In a world where advertisers are constantly looking at ROI across all online marketing channels, the high ROI of the affiliate channel ($20 for approximately every dollar spent according to the latest report on the industry conducted by PWC) is an attractive characteristic for would-be affiliate marketers.

How does this relate to influencers? Within performance marketing, success is often measured by revenue generated.  If an influencer is already proving to provide a strong performance when it comes to brand awareness and increasing engagement, the ability to drive sales and revenue for brands demonstrates an extra layer of value to the marketing mix.

Build a new revenue stream

Influencer marketing has grown rapidly and brands are still increasing spend, but the affiliate marketing industry offers an opportunity to incorporate a new revenue stream into your earnings alongside current activities. Affiliate marketing is simple to use and offers a range of technology that can help maximize your relationships. Tracking links can direct users to specific pages like a summer promotion for the latest fashion, a back-to-school deal, a brand you love or simply the latest product you bought. For a guide on how to create and implement tracking links click here

There are a number of ways to promote advertisers using tracking links via an affiliate marketing network:

  • Complement an existing campaign: If you’re running a campaign for fashion retailer X posting content and stories, by including links to buy the products you’re promoting the user is able to view and purchase the item directly. Ensure these links are all tracked affiliate links, and any subsequent purchase can be attributed back to the website the user came through and a commission can be rewarded accordingly. The tracking links will also record clicks - another layer to reporting on interactions and insights.

  • Link to a product or brand you love: If you’ve just bought something you love and want to alert your followers to, share your post or story and add a shoppable link for those who want to buy it too. Always make sure any affiliate activity is clearly identified as a shoppable link for which you will receive a commission and follows disclosure guidelines.

Work with new methods using innovative technology

Affiliate marketing offers a broad range of technology and tracking options that can diversify the way a publisher or influencer works within online marketing.  Awin’s latest feature, coupon attribution, allows publishers or influencers to be allocated an exclusive coupon code and be rewarded for all usages, including those that have been attributed to another publisher or another channel.  The tracking works on cookie-less tracking technology and allows influencers to promote an exclusive code through any medium (with or without affiliate tracking) and be confident they will be rewarded for any resulting sales. 

Connect with thousands of advertisers quickly and easily

The affiliate industry has grown substantially since its inception, with an increase in spend across the channel of 15.1% YOY in 2017. It is now possible to find affiliate programs for most household brands and smaller retailers across all sectors. By joining an affiliate network - or networks - a publisher instantly has access to thousands of advertisers, whom you can contact and discuss opportunities and features with through a range of mediums.  Networks aim to facilitate these relationships and make communication, optimization and promotion for affiliates and influencers as simple and easy as possible.

Work with Awin – Added value for you, your audience and advertisers

With over 13,000 advertisers on our network globally and more than 18 years of affiliate experience, Awin is ready to help influencers take that first step into the world of affiliate marketing.

The Awin platform makes it easy for you to create tracking links that can then be added to your influencer channels and performance KPIs like clicks, conversion rate, number of sales and commissions, which are all easily accessible in your publisher account. Within your publisher account you’ll also gain access to key promotions from retailers, banners and creative imagery, as well as any offer messaging or coupon codes that are available to promote. 

To get started, simply create an account with Awin. Once you’ve been approved onto the network, select those advertisers you’d like to work with from our Advertiser Directory. Each advertiser will have slightly different criteria to join their program, therefore we advise to fill in your affiliate profile as much as possible to showcase your platform and offering.  Once you’ve been approved to each advertiser’s program, you can begin to promote using tracking links.

For more information on how to join our network as an influencer or affiliate, please contact our publisher management team