As a digital video product owner, one of the best things you can do to continually grow a thriving, relevant business is to cultivate successful relationships with online resellers and affiliate marketers. Understanding how the affiliate marketing industry functions, and knowing how to build strong, strategic, and lucrative relationships with affiliates can help catapult your online business to the next level of success. It is also very important to understand your responsibilities as a product owner or reseller and know what pitfalls to avoid as you venture into working with affiliate marketers
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing model in which a company or product owner pays an affiliate partner a commission based on the success of the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Affiliates can earn money by leveraging their online marketing expertise and enticing a potential customer to take an action such as clicking through a link, signing up for a program or buying a product.
One of the greatest aspects of working with affiliates is being able to tap into a wide spectrum of online marketing expertise without having to spend the time and funds to learn and perfect all the different tactics yourself. Most affiliates specialize in specific types of promotions, and hone their skills to the marketing method where they most excel. Affiliates often specialize in promotional tactics such as:
- Social media
- Search engines
- Display ads
- Custom pages and bonuses
By working with affiliates, not only can you tap into this talent pool, but you can also save on upfront marketing costs. Affiliates are rewarded and paid only when they’ve successfully made a sale for you.
There are a number of successful, reliable, and user-friendly online affiliate platforms that you can use to properly process sales and track the success of an affiliate’s marketing promotions. It’s a great idea to research the capabilities of different platforms, and select the one that best suits your business needs and accomplishes what you need for a flourishing affiliate marketing program.
Building Blocks of a Successful Affiliate Relationship
Building successful relationships with affiliates can help you gain exposure, customers, and sales very quickly, but only if you understand what is important to the affiliates, and practice good partnership by delivering on your word every time. Here are three important ways you can delight your affiliates, and further enable the success of your partnership.
- Provide your affiliates with abundant, well-tested tools and resources
While your affiliate is the marketing expert, you are the expert on your product and should do as much as you can to enable the success of your affiliate partnership by providing abundant tools and resources that describe your product and boast its benefits. If affiliates have adequate materials and information, they can focus on promoting and selling successfully. Always test your marketing materials, and make the following tools and resources easily accessible to your affiliates:
- Email copy with suggested headlines
- High quality images, banners and graphics in various sizes
- Top performing keywords and phrases
- Demographic data for your ideal customer base
- Sample social media posts
- Offer generous commissions
One of the most common mistakes product owners make when entering into affiliate relationships is not paying generous commissions. While it may seem like a hefty portion of your profit to pay out 50% or more in affiliate commissions, consider that you have no upfront marketing costs with affiliates. They only share revenue on sales they make, and the more motivated they are to perform, the more sales you will make overall.
- Always make commission payments on time
Always pay your affiliates on time, and according to the commission levels and schedule that you set forth when you begin your work together. If an affiliate knows they will be paid regularly without a hassle, they will be further incentivized and can promote your products with confidence.
Your Responsibilities and Situations to Avoid
As a product owner or reseller, it’s your responsibility to actively protect your brand by closely monitoring any affiliate promotions to be sure their messaging in in line with yours, and that they are compliant with your terms and guidelines. Your branding and reputation can easily be tarnished by negative, unsavory or false affiliate promotions.
If you are currently doing your own PPC ads on Google or other search engines, then competition with affiliates who specialize in this type of marketing may become an issue. However, you can simply limit the keywords affiliates are allowed to use, or prohibit this type of affiliate marketing altogether.
Affiliate marketing has the potential to increase your sales very quickly, but it will only be lucrative for you if you spend the time fostering strong, strategic affiliate relationships. As a product owner or reseller, you have complete control of your brand, and should make sure your affiliates know your guidelines, but are also treated with respect, abundance and generosity. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll make the reseller game a win-win for you, and your affiliate partners.