Affiliates & Influencers? Do they work?
This week I want to talk about affiliates and influencers. Affiliates and influencers are things we often hear a lot about, especially as small business owners and online business owners. I wanted to provide some insight on this topic to help you determine whether or not affiliate and influencer marketing might be the right choice for you.
Do affiliates and influencers really work? Yes they do, if you structure things in the right way and you look for the right type of people.
Let’s start with affiliates. Affiliates get a percent back on any clicks to purchase. Any affiliate is someone who may have written a blog, or someone who might post and promote a specific product with an associated discount. Affiliates can be a great way to promote growth in your business, especially in the beginning.
Influencers do often use affiliate codes as well, but they are primarily considered content creators. Influencers design and create content that is meant to appeal to their audience. They know how their audience reacts, how to get the highest number of views from their audience, and how to get the best response from their audience on any specific product they are going to market. For example, if you work with an influencer to market your brand, that influencer will create content that promotes your products and is tailored to specifically connect with their audience.
Affiliates and influencers can work if you are strategic in how you structure things. When looking at working with an affiliate or influencer to help grow your brand, it’s important to make sure that affiliate or influencer aligns with your business and your goal.
- Do they have the right audience?
- Do they have the right style?
- Who are they appealing to?
You really want to be specific and research the right kind of affiliates and influencers to use for your business.
Here are a few tips that I recommend when looking at partnering with an affiliate or hiring an influencer to help market your business:
Make sure they have good communication skills. I can’t stress this enough! If they are unable to communicate with you, follow-up, or stay in touch, then they are likely to be unreliable and that can lead to problems. This could burn a bridge for you, especially if the affiliate or influencer is new to their industry. So, make sure they have good communication skills.
- Do they respond back in a timely manner?
- Are they providing you with information?
- Are they following up with you as much as you’re following up with them?
Are they giving you a timeline? It’s important to work with affiliates and influencers that approach your partnership or working relationship with professionalism.
Influencers should definitely have a timeline prepared, especially if they know what they’re doing and they’ve done this before. They should provide you with a timeline and information about what to expect when working with them (when they’ll post, the type of content they’ll post, when they’ll promote specific products, etc.). This gives you an opportunity to follow along and ensure they are getting everything done that they promised. When working with an influencer, you should have clarity on what to expect every step of the way, so you fully understand what you are paying for and you can better determine whether or not the specific influencer marketing is working for your business.
Affiliates should also provide professionalism. Do they communicate well? Are they responsive to you? And most importantly, are they excited about your product? Make sure to work with affiliates that are excited about what you have to offer and consider giving them a bit of the product. By providing them with some of your products, you help them strategize how they can talk about your brand, how they can promote the product, and how they can best share your products with their audience. This is a great long-term strategy for you and great short-term strategy for your affiliates.
Some activities to consider when looking at affiliates and influencers:
- Email marketing
- Feature and Use Videos
- Photo and Video Options
Some influencers and affiliates provide you with an option to purchase photos and videos that they’ve taken. This provides you with additional content to use in the future.
With influencers and affiliates it’s important to think about the back and forth. What do you want from the relationship? What are they willing to give to the relationship? And how best is it going to work for you and your business? It’s okay to be a little bit selfish because while they’re doing something for you, it also needs to work well for your brand because you’re giving something to them as well. You’re giving them free product, access to your business, or with affiliate links, a certain percentage back.
If you’ve been hesitant to hire an influencer, or you’re unsure about working with an affiliate, here are two tips to help you keep yourself from feeling like you’re going to get burned in a situation:
1.The first tip is specific to influencers. Influencers are typically paid, so with them I would recommend doing a deposit. There’s no problem with asking an influencer if they are willing to take a certain percentage of pay now, and the final installment at a later date. This helps ensure that they are going to show up and put in the work, just as much as you are.
2. The second tip is for working with affiliates. Give affiliates materials. Affiliates will often promote continually and with ease on all of their platforms if you give them resources. This may include free products, video suggestions, photo ideas, or templates they can use. It’s also helpful to touch base with them and checkup on how the affiliate link is working for them.
This year would be a great time to consider working with an influencer or an affiliate to promote growth within your business!