When you hear “affiliate marketing” what’s the first thing you think of? Link redirection? Shady marketing tactics? Cookie stuffing?
The affiliate marketplace of today looks all grown-up compared to the days of the wild-west. It’s complex, boasting huge opportunities for both advertisers and publishers and is full of really creative professionals paving new paths in digital marketing.
The affiliate marketplace has four core players:
- The Advertiser: The merchant or retailer that uses affiliate marketing within their advertising channels.
- The Network: the software based platform that takes care of tracking, performance and payments.
- The Publisher: the site that advertises the merchant.
- The Customer: the online customer that visits the publishers site
Similar to other marketing channels, the success of affiliate marketing relies on providing great content, compelling offers and brand resonance.
Affiliate marketing is often synonymous with coupon marketing. But many affiliate sites are finding big opportunities and success in providing original content and unique shopping experiences for their audiences. The affiliate marketplace is complex, with the many layers of marketing being executed by both the advertiser and the publisher simultaneously.
- The advertiser provides compelling headlines and offers to the publisher. The better the offer, the more visibility the advertiser will earn.
- The publisher’s success is dependent on executing a full suite of their own marketing channels. Performance based, affiliate publishers must build a loyal following of their own, attracting visitors through paid and earned media, while nurturing a unique community.
Advertisers: Optimize your program to boost performance in 2014.
- Create unique content for groups of affiliates. example: loyalty, shopping, coupon, niche.
- Create discount strategy unique for affiliate channel.
- Create content guidelines for your publishers (consider brand term optimization rules, etc…)
While affiliate marketing is a loaded term, with both negative and positive connotations for marketing directors to C-Suite execs, it can be a very efficient and effective place for ecommerce retailers to advertise, find new customers and drive sales.
The eZdia team will be at the Affiliate Summit January 12-14
Will you be there too? We’d love to meet you! Drop us a line, using the button below and our team will follow up to schedule a time to meet, talk content strategy, and show a quick demo.