The rise of influencer marketing has been meteoric in the last few years. A recent survey found that 94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice, which isn’t surprising given that it can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising. It’s a modern twist on word-of-mouth recommendations that leverages key principles we see in affiliate marketing.
In fact, many of the lessons from affiliate marketing can be applied to the influencer model. Utilizing a mix of both can deliver even more successful results. So in this article, we look at how you can combine influencer and affiliate marketing to create profitable wins for your business.
Expand Your Reach & Funnel
Working with influencers can help you to expand your reach and introduce your brand to new customers. Carefully selecting influencers enables you to target audiences that match your ideal client and maximize interest in your offering. You can leverage the trust that an influencer has built with their audience and benefit from the credibility thanks to the ‘halo’ effect.
Influencers can also help you to target customers at different points in the purchasing journey and streamline your sales funnel. Some publishers are able to whip up incredible excitement and anticipation for new product launches. Others take an educational approach that addresses pain points and objections for people further along the journey. By working with a variety of influencers, you can benefit from support in many aspects of sales and marketing that you might not be able to execute as a lone brand. It’s therefore essential that you have a mechanism in place to reward their hard work, such as an affiliate program.
Instant Interactions & Conversions
Influencers use tools like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live to interact with their followers in real-time. This gives them a unique ability to promote content at a moment’s notice and create an immediate sense of urgency to take action. They can incorporate sales, last-minute promotions, and seasonal clearances into their content and reach customers immediately. This can generate much faster results than other channels that take weeks or months to produce results (by which time, your promotion may be over).
Make It Measurable
Some businesses are hesitant to try influencer marketing because they worry about tracking the results. Can you really measure the return and gauge whether it’s been successful? How do you attribute sales to specific influencers?
The first step is to establish a clear goal – what is it you want to achieve? Is it growing brand awareness? Establishing yourselves as a credible leader in a certain niche? Or driving purchases of a specific product? Without first knowing your goal, it’ll be impossible to measure the campaign’s success, so start with this first.
If your goal is to generates purchases, then issuing affiliate links or coupon codes to your influencers will ensure that everything is tracked. You can also use affiliate links to measure the quantity and quality of website traffic that they are driving to you. If your goal is around brand awareness or credibility, then using polls, surveys, and NPS scores can help you to measure ‘before and after’ stats. If you’re in doubt, have a conversation with the influencer about any ideas they may have. You might find that they’ve run similar campaigns before and have their own innovative method for tracking results!
Benefit from High-Quality Relationships
Most marketing professionals now realize that quality and engagement is more important than follower numbers. So-called ‘micro-influencers’ are proving that small followings are often highly engaged and generate even better conversions. Small groups allow for more meaningful conversations and deeper interactions, resulting in more powerful relationships between the influencer and their audience.
Aim to develop a network of influencers with highly-engaged followings rather than just large audiences. Conversion rates are likely to be higher so you’ll generate better results from your campaign. Also, aim to work with partners who share your brand values and will represent your company with the same ideals that you hold. This will ensure that you are aligned on a brand and audience level, which is where the magic really happens.
Low-Risk but High Reward Strategy
Combining influencer marketing with an affiliate program enables you to create a low-risk but high-reward strategy. Traditional influencer marketing involves paying them a fixed fee upfront for sponsored content or a set number of social media posts. Although this can be effective, there’s an inherent element of risk involved. What if the content doesn’t perform as predicted? The budget will be wasted and the return will be minimal. However, affiliate marketing removes the risk from this strategy.
Recruiting influencers on an affiliate basis allows you to pay based on performance. If the influencer generates sales then you pay them commission once you have the cash from the purchase. But if they aren’t as successful as hoped then you haven’t lost out. This approach not only minimizes risk on your part but incentivizes influencers to make campaigns successful. It’s a win-win strategy that can help achieve your business goals and reward the influencer’s efforts.
Combining the power of influencer marketing and performance focus from affiliate methods is a winning approach. It can help you expand your reach, streamline your sales funnel, and take advantage of real-time interactions. Your business can benefit from the credibility of influencer relationships using a strategy that is measurable and low-risk too. The only question is, why are you still waiting to get started?
Looking For Help To Leverage Affiliate Marketing?
At Advertise Purple, we can help you to extend your reach and generate high-quality leads through affiliate marketing. We have a network of best-in-class publishers that create engaging content that’s aligned with your strategic objectives. Plus, you’ll benefit from our industry-leading technology which makes tracking and reporting a breeze.
Our experienced team of professionals is always up-to-date with the latest developments in affiliate marketing. We can help you to set up a brand-new affiliate program or manage an existing campaign to maximize results. We can even have one of our affiliate managers do a complementary analysis and strategy session. Contact us today by calling 424-272-7400, filling out the form below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.