Affiliate marketing has risen in popularity in recent years. Companies ranging from large e-commerce retailers to SaaS startups have made affiliate marketing an important part of their marketing strategy.
Almost any company can set up and run an affiliate marketing program internally. With a combination of budget-friendly advertising costs and top affiliate trackers, you can get started quickly.
But setting up your affiliate program is just the beginning. The next step in affiliate marketing involves finding the best affiliates to promote your products and services.
Affiliates can be anyone from high profile influencers with hundreds of followers and high engagement rates to small niche websites. You can also create affiliates from existing customers who can refer your brand to their inner circle.
In this article, you will learn how to find the best potential affiliates to promote your brand.
Start with existing customers
When it comes to finding affiliate partners for your program, your customer base is a great place to start.
Customers do not need celebrity status to promote your brand. Oral recommendations via social media or even directly to friends and family can have the same effect. 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertisements.
Customer-driven promotions are in and of themselves a powerful form of social proof. After all, people will not promote something they are not satisfied with. But if you have a great product and excellent customer service, this won’t be a problem.
Customers can share their personal experience with your brand and how they benefited from using your product or service. They can provide real-world use cases, explanations, or reviews. This is especially true with SaaS. Customers can simplify the software in a way that other users can clearly understand and relate to.
Strategy: Invite your customers directly to become affiliates
With Tapfiliate’s affiliate commissioning feature, you can easily invite clients to become affiliates. Your new customers will automatically receive a referral link that they can use to spread the word about your business. Make this part of your email marketing strategy with new clients.
Once your customer refers someone who buys on your site, you will automatically promote them to partner status. They will automatically be invited to sign in to view their performance and find more of your program’s resources.
Find bloggers and niche sites
Recruiting affiliates from blogs and niche sites is a great way to reach target audiences.
These bloggers and websites will have built-in audiences that will likely overlap with your brand’s target audience. This means more targeted visits and higher quality referrals for you. They are also experienced content creators who can devise new and unique promotions around your product. It’s a great marketing tool.
Additionally, many of them invest in getting quality content and SEO optimization.
Strategy: Do your research to find blogs and websites to partner with
Start by researching blogs and websites that have content related to your industry and aligned with your brand. Use a variety of search queries and keywords to get better prospects.
- Start with general searches with something as simple as “Vitamins” or “daily vitamins”
- Switch to questions like What vitamins do i need daily or What vitamins are best for my health?
- be more specific, Vitamins for healthy skin or Vitamin C tablets etc.
- Try to find reviews with searches like “The best vitamins for young women” or “Best Brands of Vitamins”
- Include more general searches like too “How to be healthy” or Nutrition plan or Nutrition advice
- Consider adding “Articles” or “expert” At the end of these keywords
From here, you will be able to find lots and lots of search results for blogs and websites with content. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the list of target affiliate partners. Keep information on contact details, traffic and social media, eg.
This will give you a sound basis for finding potential affiliates and promotional opportunities in your niche.
Then, the next step is to directly access the blog or website.
Here’s what affiliate marketing director Taylor Barr recommends:
* Consider taking a different approach before considering promoting your referral program (commission rates, great promotional tools, etc.) in your first contact email with a potential partner.
Start by asking if they’d be interested in taking your product or service on a demo or live tour. Many affiliates will want to test first, and this gives a better understanding of your product or service. And for you, this indicates their level of interest and if they are willing to promote before your show offers.
With this step, be sure to make it personal. Approach this as a business partnership rather than an indirect general sales offer. Let them know why you are interested, and explain how their content fits in with your affiliate marketing goals and how it can be valuable to them as well.
Share with influencers
Thanks to social media, influencer marketing is stronger than ever. The global influencer marketing market is valued at $13.8 billion, and it’s only growing. Spending on influencer marketing is set to exceed $3 billion in 2021. Influencers are experts in social media marketing.
This is why partnering with influencers for your referral program helps position your products and services in front of large audiences.
Influencers can be social media personalities, industry experts, thought leaders, trend-setters, and dedicated social impact bloggers. They range from large-scale celebrity influencers to niche micro influencers numbering from 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
There are several different types of influencers, so finding someone who fits your brand should be easy.
Find influencers that match your brand and share the same target audience. You can do this by searching for social media hashtags related to your brand. For example, search for #travelgram or #wanderlust for anything related to tourism.
As you search, keep the following in mind:
- The platforms they use
- What kind of content do they post
- How many followers do they have?
- What is the reaction of their audience?
- How often do they post?
- How does it fit into your position?
Strategy: Partnering with Micro and Nano Influencers
It’s easy to think that bigger is better – or in the world of social media, more followers is better. But this is not always the case.
The effect found that an increase in followers leads to lower engagement rates. Conversely, Impact found that influencers with 1,000 followers have an engagement of 85%.
Higher engagement rates can mean higher conversion rates. This makes micro influencers and nano influencers ideal partners for your influencer marketing program. Additionally, you can include them in any influencer marketing campaigns you decide to undertake.
Micro influencers have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They tend to focus more on a particular niche, unlike celebrities.
These influencers have better insights into their niche and can interact with their audience more personally. A celebrity endorsement wouldn’t be able to do that. Creating influencer campaigns around your product with them will be more successful.
Nano influencers have fewer followers than micro influencers, with around 1,000 followers. Nano-influencers are particularly effective in local promotions, as they are usually people who are influential in their communities.
These groups of influencers are more likely to be happy with the commission offers of your referral program. Mega influencers tend to charge an upfront, often exorbitant, price for their promotions. These influencers will likely be more open to an affiliate commission as a way to monetize their content.
Strategy: Look beyond the ‘influencing’ stereotype
When we think of influencers, we often think of the Kim Kardashian of the world. But influencers can be much more than this stereotype.
It’s easy to think that Instagram influencers are the only option to promote your brand. You can find influencers on social media platforms. Wherever your potential customers spend their time online is a great place to look
A big shift happened in 2020 when it comes to influencer content. Audiences are starting to move away from highly curated posts and look for more authentic content that provides value and experience.
They can be certified professionals, industry analysts, brand employees, and dedicated experts and they can all be excellent influencers. For example, Cerave has partnered with top beauty experts like makeupforwomenofcolor to create educational content about skincare products. Influencers discuss how to use the product, what skin conditions it’s targeting, and why the ingredients work.
Tips for creating this type of content for affiliate promotions include:
- Focus less on the number of followers, more on their experience level
- Provide influencers with free samples or product previews for their review
- Allow influencers more control over their promotions
Industry groups and forums
Online forums and social media groups can be another place to find affiliates.
You can designate affiliate partners by sharing your brand and offering your affiliate program offerings with group or community members.
Start with groups that focus on your industry. These groups can help you find affiliates who are already knowledgeable and active in your field. They can easily share with others in the community.
On the other hand, you can try affiliate forums that focus on affiliate marketing. This is where you find affiliate marketers who are actively looking for new products to promote. Members of these forums are likely to be familiar with affiliate marketing. This means that you can easily join them and start promoting right away.
Popular forums and social media groups include:
- Facebook groups
- LinkedIn groups
To find professional affiliate marketers, we recommend doing your research beforehand. Many websites and forums feature these groups and networks, and each has different terms and conditions.
Professionals and companies in related fields can effectively bring new customers to B2B and B2C markets.
Reach similar brands through products or services that complement yours or are often purchased by similar target audiences. Think about the products or services you use together and can easily promote each other.
- Brand of coffee beans and espresso makers
- Make-up products and skin care lines
- Luggage stores and travel booking platforms
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems and Email Marketing Software
Then, they can use their existing platforms and networks to share the brand and refer new customers.
Here are some ways other professionals can promote it:
- Write a blog post or product review on their site using affiliate links
- Create a recommendations page on their page that shows the products they use with affiliate links
- Refer clients with recommendations (a dentist recommends a toothbrush)
- Use coupon and promotional codes exclusively for their customers
This too is a win for them. They will be able to generate additional revenue from referral commissions and provide resources and recommendations to their clients. Keep this in mind when you plan your marketing.
A link to your affiliate program on your website
Make sure to promote your affiliate program to visitors who come to your website using a landing page. The more people who know about it, the more likely they are to join your program. Break down the benefits, including the commission structure or commission rates (depending on your setup). You may want to offer your affiliate marketers a higher commission to attract them to your program in the first few months.
Are you interested in more?
Finding great affiliate partners is fundamental to the success of your program, and we’re here to help! Be sure to check out our blog for more ways to promote and grow your affiliate program.