An Introduction to Affiliate Influencer Marketing

March 12th, 2021 by

What is Affiliate Influencer Marketing?

Affiliate influencer marketing is a newer development under the digital marketing umbrella. Affiliate influencer marketing provides influencers with unique URL IDs or promotional codes that reward influencers with commission when they bring in new customers or sales. These personal IDs are called affiliate links. The overall goal of affiliate influencer marketing can depend on brand to brand, but it generally drives traffic to websites or products and generates leads and acquisitions for businesses.

The affiliate links influencers are provided with can be shared across any platform that allows live linking. Examples of live links include Instagram story ‘Swipe Ups’, YouTube description sections, tweets, Amazon Live redirects or a simple ‘link in bio’.

Why Choose Affiliate Influencer Marketing?

Affiliate influencer marketing offers brands and influencers a cost-effective and mutually-beneficial channel to drive sales, generate conversations and earn money online. Affiliate influencer marketing typically leverages smaller creators and influencers that have the ability to influence the purchasing decisions of their audiences. 

This strategy predominantly focuses on nano to micro influencers, which can mean that in order for the affiliate influencer programs to be profitable, brands need to consider a long-term investment. Macro and other larger influencers can be leveraged for this strategy, however they are often significantly more expensive. To leverage macro influencers, a brand should have a pre-established relationship with the influencer. This will bring the cost and commission down, and seem more natural to the audience of the influencer.

Using affiliate influencer marketing presents brands with the opportunity to develop numerous and strong relationships with influencers. By working with micro influencers, a brand will be able to develop a relationship as the influencer’s audience grows. In addition, this strategy means content creators and influencers are creating high-quality content for your brand that is hyper-relevant to their audiences. 

It has been proven that consumers generally trust reviews by influencers, so much so that eight out of ten have purchased a product based on an influencer review. By using affiliate influencer marketing, your brand can tap into this trust. In addition, the influencer is more incentivized to promote your brand or product well so it earns a higher commission rate.

How to Use Affiliate Influencer Marketing

Affiliate influencer marketing should be considered a long-term strategy and investment. Due to micro influencers having smaller audiences, it can take a longer time to see a real benefit or profit from implementing the strategy.

There are two main methods of implementing affiliate influencer marketing into your marketing efforts: developing your brand’s own affiliate and rewards programme or using a platform’s existing platform such as Amazon Affiliates/Influencers or Lazada Affiliate. 

When considering which influencers and platforms to utilise, the same planning steps should be taken as if you were planning a typical sponsorship. The influencers still need to be hyper-relevant and a natural fit to your brand and should be on the platforms where your target market is. 

Once you have chosen your best set of influencers, it is important they feel incentivized to create great content – for themselves and your brand. There are different methods to do this, but a tried-and-tested approach is a reward or loyalty scheme. By setting targets for each influencer to hit (for example, X amount of sales), they will be motivated to go above and beyond in creating content. Rewards for hitting these targets should improve each time and provide the influencer with exclusive products, content or tickets.

Since affiliate influencer marketing can take a while to see real benefits, a short term solution to drive sales is to provide exclusive discount codes. You can use the same influencers to distribute the codes, and these will motivate customers to make impulse purchases. The links are trackable, so you are able to see which influencers have the most influence over their audiences. By measuring and analysing this data, you can mould your affiliate influencer selection to be those who will provide the best ROI.

Affiliate Influencer Marketing Summarised

Affiliate influencer marketing provides brands with a cost-effective and mutually beneficial method of driving sales and conversations online. Using influencers with hyper-engaged and active audiences means consumers will be more responsive to affiliate marketing, which will generate more sales. 

Affiliate influencer marketing is a long-term investment; it is unlikely to see instant results from implementing it. However, it helps build relationships with influencers and by extension, their audiences. By incentivising influencers with a reward system, they will go above and beyond to create high-quality and engaging content for your brand, providing you with an optimised ROI.

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