Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign
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A newly built project must manage critical issues to survive its first year of operation. The main goal to hit is finding product-in-market suitability, especially in a highly competitive market environment. Affiliate marketing is offering a variety of tools to reach that goal. And even more so: it engages potential customers, who may become a core audience – and some may even become brand ambassadors in the future.
Here are some bulletproof strategies on how to launch a new brand, service or app using affiliate marketing channels.
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Why Affiliate Marketing Can Be An Effective Strategy Channel To Use
An affiliate partnership is based on a cost per acquisition model (CPA). Advertising provides results in the form of sales and target actions, which give a direct profit. Worth noting, affiliate marketing benefits are:
- Absence of reckless risk-taking investments.
- Promotion is happening only among the relevant audience.
- Wide range of different niches used efficiently.
But the main thing is that the budget spent is under your control. The basic operating principle of affiliate marketing is that you get what you pay for.
According to publication86% of audiences suffer from ad blindness, which means they simply don’t see ads. Affiliate partners’ rewards depend on the success of the promotional campaign to gain confidence that the budget will not be wasted on irrelevant clicks (cost per click) or views (cost per view).
With all these benefits of an affiliate-based strategy, it is time to start our first affiliate marketing campaign in a phased manner.
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Step 1: Create an in-house affiliate program or join a travel affiliate network
Creating your own affiliate program is not a cheap exercise. However, big brands like Expedia or Booking.com can do this. So looking for a proper travel affiliate marketing network would be a more realistic option. Their structure and experience will also help you with the right tools. Collaboration with external CPA platforms (ie Travelpayouts, CJ, Evin, Partnerize or others) seems more manageable, especially for newcomers.
Step 2: Propose a suitable affiliate offer
It should be based on analysis of ROI model of competitors and companies. Offer must include commission rate, cookies lifetime and payout policy.
The duration of cookies is the length of time a customer and an associate are linked together. It is triggered by a client’s click on the link and can last from one session to a year. If it has expired, the partner will not receive any commission from the purchase.
Also consider setting a payout policy: a variety of actions that are taken into account as the people targeted and paid for. Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Pay-Per-Action (PPA) and Pay-Per-Impression (PPI) models focus on different objectives – number of clicks, lead generation and sales guarantee, respectively.
3. Get List of Top Notch Colleagues
A partner’s customers and followers should be your ultimate target audience. For example, if you have a coupon service, the audience of potential users of your partners should be interested in travel deals, coupons, and discounts. Stay tuned to influencers with high quality content. This is fine if they are a local blogger with less than 5,000 subscribers, as compared to the more popular bloggers with 1 million or more subscribers.
Blogger customer statistics are not as important as the quality of the audience – the key thing is how many sales a partner can attract. Affiliates with low traffic volume can also become a great source of your actual sales among loyal and active audiences.
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4. Sharing Your Brand Values with Partners
Affiliates will recommend your service to their audience, so they should be aware of your brand values. An easy solution is to create a promo or landing page to share with potential partners. On this page, you can provide product features, strengths, suggestions etc. Go even further, and create a media kit with detailed descriptions. But remember, not all associates are willing to go through a 30-page document. So make sure to make a summary that covers all the basics.
5. Analyze campaign efficiency
Usually, at the launch of an affiliate campaign, it is enough for the partners to provide the affiliate link. By using them, an affiliate will provide a link and drive traffic to your site or app download. Efficient collaboration may encourage other ways of approaching the audience in the future as well. This can be effective formats such as search forms, banners or APIs. While affiliate partners attract their audience, your task is to analyze the quality of the incoming traffic.
The essential point of the first step is to observe the effectiveness of the affiliate campaign (to improve it for the future). Initial traffic flow and sales will indicate further actions to be taken. For example, you can try to reach partners with different target audiences or use additional tools to attract new audiences yourself. You can also try to change the terms of the program or push for additional promotions. Traffic analysis is an enduring process for affiliate program optimization as well as for identifying discrepancies and potential breaches on the part of the partner.
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Affiliate marketing is not a one shot game. So be prepared for different experiments with ad formats and channels. Perhaps, you will find out that social media promotion is way better than traffic to travel blogs or vice versa.
This process demands flexibility, continuous self-improvement, and a thorough analysis of audience behavior. Don’t panic if the first campaign results don’t match your expectations. Starting an affiliate program is the beginning of a long journey. Affiliate marketing is, in our humble experience, the most cost effective marketing channel worth taking a chance on.
Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign
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