A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

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A newly created project must manage major issues to survive in its first year of operation. The key goal to be achieved, especially in a highly competitive market environment, is to find product-market fit. Affiliate marketing offers a variety of tools to achieve this goal. And even more: Engage with potential customers who may become a core audience – and some may even become brand ambassadors in the future.

Here are some bulletproof tactics on how to launch a new brand, service or app using affiliate marketing channels.

Related: Use Affiliate Marketing to Build a Loyal Audience

Why affiliate marketing can be an effective strategy channel to use?

Affiliate partnerships are based on a cost-per-acquisition model (CPA). Advertising provides results in the form of direct profit-making sales and targeted actions. Notable, affiliate marketing benefits include:

  • No reckless risk-taking investments.
  • Promotion takes place only among the relevant audience.
  • Efficient use of a wide range of different niches.

But the main thing is that the spent budget is under your control. The basic working principle of affiliate marketing is that you get what you pay for.

According to Publift, 86% of viewers suffer from ad blindness, meaning they can’t see the ads. Affiliate partners’ reward is based on the success of the promotional campaign to ensure that the budget is not spent on irrelevant clicks (cost per click) or views (cost per view).

Having all these benefits of affiliate-based tactics, it’s time to kickstart our first affiliate marketing campaign.

Related: An Affiliate Marketing Program Can Be a Perfect Move

Step 1: Create an in-house affiliate program or join a travel affiliate network

Building your affiliate program is not a cheap exercise. But big brands like Expedia or Booking.com can do it. Therefore, searching for a suitable travel affiliate marketing network would be a more realistic option. Their framework and experience combined with the right tools will help you too. Collaboration with external CPA platforms (i.e. Travelpayouts, CJ, AWIN, Partnerize or others) seems more manageable, especially for newcomers.

Step 2: Suggest a suitable affiliate offer

It should be based on an analysis of competitors’ and companies’ return on investment patterns. The offer should include the commission rate, the expiration date of the cookies and the payment policy.

The duration of cookies is the length of time a customer and an affiliate are associated together. It starts with a customer clicking the link and can last from one session to a year. If it has expired, the partner will not receive a commission from a purchase.

Also consider setting a payment policy: various actions that are considered targets and are paid. Pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-action (PPA), and pay-per-impression (PPI) models focus on different purposes such as clicks, lead generation, and sales guarantee, respectively.

3. Get a list of top-notch affiliates

A affiliate’s subscribers and followers should be your ultimate target audience. For example, if you have a coupon service, your partners’ potential audience should be interested in travel deals, coupons, and discounts. Follow influencers with high-quality content. It’s okay if they are local bloggers with less than 5,000 subscribers compared to the more popular ones with 1 million or more subscribers.

For Blogger subscribers, the numbers are not as important as the quality of the target audience – the main thing is how many sales a partner can attract. Affiliates with low traffic volume can be a great source of real sales among loyal and active viewers.

Related: 3 Tips for Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing

4. Sharing your brand’s values ​​with partners

Affiliates will recommend your service to their target audience, so they should be aware of your brand values. A simple solution is to create a promotion or landing page to share with potential partners. On this page you can find product features, strengths, tips, etc. You can provide. Go further and create a media kit with a detailed description. However, keep in mind that not all affiliates are willing to review a 30-page document. So make sure you create a summary that includes all the basics.

5. Analyze the effectiveness of the campaign

Usually, at the start of an affiliate campaign, it is sufficient to provide affiliate links to partners. Using them, an affiliate drives or drives traffic to your site or provides an app download link. Productive collaboration can also encourage other ways of communicating with the target audience in the future. It can be effective formats like search forms, banners or APIs. While affiliates attract their target audience, your task is to analyze the quality of inbound traffic.

The main point of the first stage is to study the effectiveness of the affiliate campaign (to improve it for the future). The initial traffic flow and sales will indicate further actions to take. For example, you can try reaching out to partners with different audiences or using additional tools to attract a new audience. You can also try changing the program terms or forcing extra promotions. Traffic analysis is an endless process for affiliate program optimization, as well as identifying anomalies and possible violations by the partner.

Related: How Affiliate Marketing Can Work for Entrepreneurs

Be patient

Affiliate marketing is not a one-time game. So be ready to experiment with different ad formats and channels. Maybe you realize that social media promotion is a better way than traffic from travel blogs and vice versa.

This process requires flexibility, continuous self-improvement, and in-depth analysis of audience behavior. Don’t panic if the initial results of the campaign don’t meet your expectations. Starting an affiliate program is just the beginning of a long journey. Affiliate marketing is, in our humble experience, the most cost-effective marketing channel worth the chance.

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