Affiliate Marketing is defined as performance marketing that enables advertisers to gain traffic and sales, while only paying publishers when a sale is made. A publisher could be anything from a website to email or social media. Essentially, any channel that can track a sale is considered a publisher.
stop stealing traffic
Properly set up affiliate programs are designed to support a company’s overall marketing efforts and drive incremental traffic. In employing affiliate marketing, it’s important to be careful not to steal traffic. A few examples could be programs gaining the majority of their traffic from a toolbar or trademark plus bidding. Generally, toolbars don’t drive traffic because it’s stolen from somewhere else. In most cases, trademark plus bidding in search is not going to drive incremental traffic. Allowing publishers to bid on trademark terms, assuming a company has its own search program, will drive up search costs. While it’s usually not recommended in affiliate, there are instances where trademark plus bidding can be beneficial, read on here.
positioning & payouts
Understanding the different ways to position and payout your affiliates will increase incrementality. Knowing what goals are, how publishers fit into the attribution model, and what publishers need to drive quality volume, can allow brands to find the balance between payout and positioning. Additionally, there is value in knowing the different ways publishers can be paid out in your affiliate tracking networks. Having the experience to understand all of the features and benefits of these affiliate tracking platforms can help adjust how credit is given to each publisher, which will increase the incrementality of the channel.
When considering affiliate marketing, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to recreate the wheel in order to be successful. Display ads that drive high conversions without affiliate can prove to be even more lucrative when utilized within the affiliate channel. This is because the publisher gets paid more within the affiliate channel after driving these conversions. Keywords drawing traffic to your website via search or SEO can be boosted by integrating them into your publisher blogs. Doing so could drive additional traffic and increase share of voice in search.
Identifying gaps in your existing non-affiliate channels allows publishers with those capabilities to execute that traffic in a low-risk way. These gaps can be channels such as cart abandonment, search, and retargeting. Since those publishers will only be paid once a sale is made, those capabilities become cost-effective in the process. Affiliate is a widespread channel that can assist most any marketing efforts by increasing traffic, sales, and ultimately, incrementality.