How to Mix Your Influencer and Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Joris Cretien, co-growth director, Awin USA

What are influencers and creators doing for your brand sales and profit? These trusted partners are known for delivering results at the top of the funnel and have proven to be quite effective in increasing brand consideration, but direct impact is difficult to quantify unless a specific code is given. Later, this makes it difficult to understand how valuable your investment in impressive partnerships is.

According to eMarketer, 73% of brands will run influencer programs in 2022 and total US influencer spend will exceed $4 billion. As demand grows, so do the costs of working with creators, and these partners are increasingly sharing details about their brand earnings.

All told, it makes sense that your business needs to see a significant return on investment from influencer marketing to justify the investment. And affiliate marketing is the perfect tool to do that. Awin, the leading affiliate and partner marketing platform, has spent over 20 years helping brands big and small leverage the creative economy to generate measurable sales and revenue for their business with a $16:1 ROI. Below, we’ve outlined our top five reasons to blend your own influencer and affiliate marketing activities.

1. Improves internal collaboration

Metrics and accountability are key to any partnership, and affiliate marketing gives your team access to much-needed insights. By integrating creator efforts with partner marketing, you can measure direct sales to drive influencer-driven purchases. You can also optimize partner diversification, gain quantitative insights into individual performance, and combine sales metrics with valuable upper and middle funnel data for a holistic approach.

This cross-functional teamwork helps your organization eliminate departmental silos and be jointly accountable as it works towards goals. Also, many of the best campaign ideas come from collaborations between historically disconnected teams such as social, public relations, and affiliate.

2. Aligned with targets

All too often, influencers feel in the dark about a brand’s goals and campaign goals. This is never a good thing, as in the absence of goals – creators make assumptions about what you want. While it may be more obvious work on your part, it’s crucial to take the time to communicate your goals comprehensively, and creators can also tailor their efforts to get the results you want.

However, this is only half the battle. Sharing the results you seek is crucial, but equally critical in how results will be measured and thus compensated for. The default compensation model for influencers, as stated, is a flat fee upfront in exchange for specific measurements that may only scratch the surface of what you’re after. By combining your affiliate and influencer marketing activity, you can accurately measure a creator’s impact on sales and pay for tangible results. And with the possibilities of individual-level sales tracking affiliate marketing, you can accurately assess the ROI for each influencer and focus on the most productive ones.

Performance-based compensation models also benefit influencers by providing an immediate feedback loop. Brand partnerships and products that resonate with their target audiences will be evident from the sales they support and will be a clear sign that they provide real value to their followers.

3. Creates frictionless partnerships

Most affiliate platforms work with influencers. However, beyond their fee model, user interfaces and their broader metrics are often foreign to these partners. When you force influencers to join an affiliate program with these tools, it can create unnecessary friction.

Finding the right creators and staying in close contact can make or break results. To make it easier for influencers to work with brands and measure direct sales, certain affiliate platforms like Awin have integrated with third-party influencer management solutions to remove friction and allow creators to focus on engaging with their audience.

For example, Awin’s partnerships with leading influencer management platforms Mavrck, CreatorIQ and Socialix enable retailers of all sizes and budgets to easily discover new creators and manage relationships while gaining precise channel sales tracking. Partnerships like this allow you to demonstrate successful results at all stages of the consumer journey.

4. Supports the long term

Influencer marketing used to focus on short-term tactics. We’ve since learned that you get better results from developing long-term relationships with artists. Find voices that understand your brand and take the time to build lasting partnerships.

Building these long-term relationships gives your creators greater income stability and can make them recurring sources of income for your business. The continued presence of your brand will also impress its followers and create constant social proof.

5. Expand your customer base

While the most prominent creators with over a million followers may seem most attractive because they can build a wider network, this wider reach doesn’t always equate to sales impact. As a result, these big influencers are sometimes reluctant to work on a performance model. Niche, nano and micro-influencers – those with a smaller, highly engaged audience of up to 50,000 followers – is where your secret weapon is.

These creators know they can earn more through partnerships with a brand because they attract more engaged audiences who are more likely to take action.

the time is now

With the increasing cost of influencer interactions and the need for direct selling responsibility, companies must find ways to not only generate more revenue but also prove the value of the investment. As you can see, it offers affiliate marketing solution.

As you blend your influencer and affiliate efforts, you get proven tactics that drive transactions, as well as top-of-the-funnel effects to raise awareness. Combining these two outcomes is a win-win for both parties. Brands and influencers collaborating through affiliate partnerships demonstrate a new way of working together that benefits everyone.

Find out how Awin can help.

This post was created by Awin with Insider Studios.

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