We’re currently hearing from affiliate networks that right now, there’s an influx of brands turning to the affiliate channel.
Paraphrasing from a network partner of ours, we’ve been told in the last few months one of these esteemed networks has added more programs than they did in all of 2019.
It’s no surprise to us on a macro level why a large number of successful brands are launching and/or continuing to further implement their affiliate programs right now.
Affiliate is the fastest growing digital channel there is. It was already trending that way before COVID-19, but as we’ve witnessed the collapse of brick and mortar, users are taking this time in lockdown to become more acquainted and comfortable with the digital shopping experience.
We’ve seen this lead to a significant rise in e-commerce activity. We think this will extend beyond the stay-at-home period, and many shoppers won’t go back to running time-consuming errands when they’ve been trained and conditioned to replace them with online alternatives.
At Advertise Purple, over the years, we’ve observed as a rapidly growing number of clients have trusted us to manage their affiliate programs. And with the marketplace going increasingly digital, there’s good reason for more brands to modernize their marketing strategies.
As an agency, we work with brands who consider themselves affiliate experts and others newer to the space. We’ve partnered with large corporations, medium-sized companies, and even small businesses. We also claim clients from almost every vertical you could imagine.
With a diverse clientele, we’ve found that through the affiliate channel, there is a way to generate significant ROI, no matter your current market share or what it is your brand sells.
Now, in a time where consumers find themselves more reliant on e-commerce, it’s important to know why affiliate marketing is such an effective way to drive revenue. Because, in the end, that’s always the goal.
In this article, I plan to diagnose multiple determining factors as to why business leaders are leaning into a robust affiliate strategy, especially right now. So, given that high level macro look at why affiliate is the right choice for any merchant, let’s dive into the details.
Of course, our recommendation is to work with Advertise Purple, so the benefits of our offering will be sprinkled throughout as well.
So, let’s begin.
1. Brands are likely to see incremental value in affiliate
There are many ways we approach analyzing the data for our clients’ programs, but these three are arguably the most important:
- Helps us understand how much new and returning traffic we’re creating that otherwise would not have been accounted for.
- Going a step further with this is, we can look at conversion rates and average order values (AOV), which are also important to track to make sure we’re actually seeing the needle move through our prescribed affiliate strategies
- Bottom line, always, is to keep a consistent conversation going with our clients to make sure they’re on track to reach incremental revenue goals. If they’re not, we need to make major changes, because that’s what we’re paid to do.
Beyond these three, we look at the entire economy and competitors to determine brand recognition, exposure and presence in their space.
It’s important for us to back all of our decisions with data and understand the quantitative and qualitative breakdown of how our strategies perform, not only off the bat, but for the long term and through consistent tweaking and monitoring.
2. An affiliate program at its fullest potential is a necessity in modern marketing
Anyone can attempt to create an affiliate marketing strategy for their brand. The difficult part is tracking, monitoring, optimizing, recruiting new affiliates, making sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin, figuring out how the space works if you haven’t yet been indoctrinated, etc.
What Advertise Purple can do for you is offer an affiliate program that will be run by experts, with key performance indicators (KPIs) and a strategic plan in place to catalyze that aforementioned incrementally for your brand.
So, this is an argument, essentially, for an affiliate program that works. Advertise Purple has seen success for clients who set it and forget, clients who want to monitor every individual affiliate’s performance, and others who fall somewhere in between.
Either way, the goal is always to maximize the potential of your program, and working with an agency that does this all day everyday is the easiest way to get there.
3. If you’re in touch with the RIGHT affiliates, you will see the benefit
There are droves of affiliates out there. Advertise Purple works only with the best. We already have working relationships with them, making it easier for us to put our clients in positions to become very successful very quickly in their program.
Some of those types of affiliates and traffic sources include (but are not limited to): content, lifestyle, bloggers, influencers, top of funnel shopping sites, loyalty/reward, etc.
There’s often the assumption that affiliate marketing only refers to coupon sites. While we work closely with them and in many instances they do offer tremendous ROI opportunities for brands, we have a long list of affiliates outside of the coupon realm that we work with closely.
A handful of those top-tier partners we have are Meredith Properties, Condé Nast, Forbes, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, and vertical-specific publications to make sure your product is put on all the right platforms for you to succeed.
4. It’s easy to get started
There aren’t high barriers to entry to create an affiliate program. Again, refer back to what I mentioned above about the effectiveness of said strategy. That’s where working with a company that knows the space inside and out pays dividends.
Trying to go it alone can be like shopping in the world’s most confusing grocery store, as I wrote about a while ago. Support in the form of a team to guide you (and not skim some huge fee off the top) can be super useful.
In the end, we often see results within 90 days, and in some cases 30 or less. This isn’t some huge investment that won’t pay off for a year or more, and we can provide almost real-time results for you to consider throughout.
5. Affiliate can compliment marketing efforts already in place
This is super important. While we at Advertise Purple are a marketing agency specifically focused on affiliate marketing, we understand that other strategies exist. We aren’t here to convert you to an affiliate-only strategy.
We recommend that you continue utilizing whatever strategy you already have in place and to consider affiliate as a nice supplement (on average, our more mature programs typically see an incremental 20-30% of annual eCommerce revenue coming through their affiliate programs. Some of our merchants see as high as 50% incremental).
I’ll get into payment structure and other ways that make the decision to launch and invest in affiliate less difficult, below.
6. 81% of brands rely on affiliate marketing programs, that number is growing, and revenue generated in the space continues to grow as well
Here are some interesting data points to consider if you still aren’t convinced an affiliate program is right for your brand:
- Affiliate marketing spending will increase 10% YoY in the next few years
- Affiliate is a $12 billion industry, and growing rapidly
- Affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of all digital media revenue
- A well-designed affiliate program can boost revenue by a staggering 30%
- Along with email marketing, AM is one of the largest sources of online income, accounting for over 16% of all e-commerce orders in the USA and Canada.
7. A performance-based payment model is a perfect combatant to uncertainty
Cost-per-acquisition (CPA), whether that be a click, sale, lead, or conversion, means that you only pay once an item is sold. Of course, you’re incentivized to sell more products naturally, and Advertise Purple working as your partner is incentivized as well to do the same.
Here’s an article we published right as coronavirus was beginning to take hold of our economy, predicting that the CPA model of payment would help brands ride out this period.
In a time where the advertising industry was initially put to the test, this performance model proved successful. Warren Buffet was once quoted as saying to be “fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
It played out well to follow that strategy during this global crisis. We’ll see how the economy reacts when things reopen, but doubling down right now when things are tough could pay off big time.
Is your brand interested in the affiliate space, like so many others right now? Given how it’s the fastest growing digital marketing method at the moment, you’re not alone.
Consider a free consultation about our offering here at Advertise Purple. Reach out at [email protected]. Thank you!