Why the Future of Affiliate Partners Depends on You

by Gabe Arnold


What are “affiliate partners”?

“Affiliate partners” is a term that refers to a marketing partnership between two business entities that already have some corporate relationship. In the business world, “affiliates” is a term that refers to a corporate entity that is related to another corporate entity but is not necessarily under its control.

So what is “affiliate marketing”?

Affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one affiliate or more affiliates for each website visitor or new customer that is introduced to the business’s brand, product, and services through the affiliate’s efforts at advertising and marketing. Business markets have lately grown in structural complexity, having gone from just involving four key players (including an “affiliate”) to developing a second tier of players (including anything from affiliate management companies to specialized third-party vendors to “super affiliates”). Affiliate marketing is very similar to the newer and now more popular forms of digital marketing. Both use regular advertising methods such as search engine optimization or SEO, paid search engine marketing, otherwise known as Pay-Per-Click or PPC, online content marketing, email marketing, and display advertising. Affiliate partners will even sometimes incorporate unorthodox marketing strategies into their overall plan, such as paying the other to write positive reviews of their brand, product, or services online.

However, despite these overlaps, online marketing is still dominating the marketing landscape, and affiliate partnership marketing is suffering for it. Recently, affiliate marketing—and therefore, affiliate partnerships—have been frequently overlooked by most advertisers and business marketers. This is largely due to the rise in marketing power and significance in search engines like Google, email, social media, and website syndication. These new digital marketing platforms have garnered the attention and interest of most advertisers and marketers as businesses work more and more to adapt their marketing plans and strategies to better fit the unique demands and realities of online business and an increasingly more digitalized economy. This new focus on and drive for online marketing comes at the expense of affiliate partnership marketing strategies, which are now paid much lower attention and whose future is in jeopardy.

So how can the future of affiliate partner marketing be changed for the better?

It’s a simple and true fact that the future of affiliate partner marketing depends on you as leaders in business marketing and advertising. Many marketing experts predict that affiliate partner marketing will largely fall out of style or die out altogether if affiliate marketing specialists and experts do not manage to quickly, effectively, and successfully adapt to the new digital trends in marketing. Fortunately, this is not an impossible task. There are many ways that affiliate partners can adapt to changes in the digital market to make the future of affiliate marketing brighter than it currently is.

First, recognize that change is inevitable.

In order to successfully evolve as a business marketing- and advertising-wise, you must be able to successfully adapt in an ever-changing business landscape to meet ever-changing market needs, demands, and realities. And the first step to successfully adapting to these changes is being able to recognize that change itself is inevitable. It cannot be stopped or reversed or slowed down. Whether for better or worse, and whether you particularly like it or not, change is going to happen. Ignoring or refusing to acknowledge this, because you happen to be more of a traditionalist marketer or just simply don’t know how to tweak your marketing strategy to keep it up-to-date (or, in other words, being an incompetent and inexperienced marketer), will only make your business suffer and eventually fail. But being more open-minded and “mature” by realizing, and even welcoming, that change is going to happen, and knowing that in order to keep being successful as a business you have to constantly change your tactics yourself in order to meet these changes, will keep your business running in tip-top shape.

So in order to change the future of affiliate partnerships and affiliate marketing as a whole for the better, you must first recognize that change, like the increasing power of mobile commerce and online retail, is an unstoppable force that must be met with an open mind and open arms when it comes to developing and adapting your business’s marketing strategy.

Second, grow your business’s international profile.

For the most part, access to the Internet and other technological devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops are no longer privileges of the lucky few but necessities that a very large portion of the global population now possess. Globalization and digitalization are now two irreversibly and intricately interconnected forces. In other words, more people in more places around the world now have more and more access to the Internet, which means that your business’s online and global markets are now one and the same and are increasing dramatically every day.

In order to meet these new changes and demands while saving the state and future of affiliate partners, you, your business, and your affiliates must tweak your affiliate marketing strategies from a local or national scale to fit a growing global scale. Affiliate partners and marketers need to understand the unique dynamics of these emerging and growing international markets, what marketing factors contribute to the decisions made by these international consumers, and most importantly, how to adjust their offers to meet these international factors in order to keep affiliate partnerships and marketing tactics alive and well in the global business landscape.

Third, diversify your established market.

This is related somewhat to meeting the growth and demands of a new rising global market. Despite these globalizing trends in technology and digital access, Internet usage—and therefore digital business—is still largely concentrated in the Western part of the world, such as the United States and parts of Europe. However, these established markets are growing and changing every day as well, also thanks to the privilege-to-necessity shift in technology and digital access. More and more people within these established markets are getting more and more access to computers, which means that your and your affiliates’ established markets are growing more and more online each day. In order to meet this increasing expansion in your established markets, you and your affiliates have to adapt your affiliate marketing strategies in order to make them more suitable to meet broader and more diverse needs and demands from a broader and more diverse market.

Next, pay attention to big data.

Big data is an important phrase when it comes to using technology to manage (and market) your business. Lately, big data has been more effectively and broadly applied by big business brands across all types of marketing channels to more accurately target their ideal market demographics and to better generate fresh and relevant online content that will better grab the attention of online consumers. In order to stay alive, relevant, and competent, affiliate partners and affiliate marketing strategists must learn more about big data, understand what it can do and how it works, and then implement it into their own affiliate marketing strategies.

Then, invest more in online performance marketing. Performance marketing strategies are rapidly changing to better fit the times, and as a type of performance marketing strategy, so should affiliate partners. For example, performance marketing has gone mobile, so affiliate partners should go mobile when it comes to rewarding and tracking their performance marketing-based tactics, progress, and success. Don’t be afraid to spend money (if you have the right amount of financial resources) in data analytical software that can better track online data critical to digital marketing, such as SEO, PPC, online customer conversion rates, and how many new visitors and customers your company’s website receives each day. Also, don’t be afraid to spend more (again, if you have the appropriate amount of financial resources) on generating more online advertising content. These investments in online performance marketing methods and applications will pay off big time for your affiliate partners in the long run and will definitely save the future of affiliate marketing as a whole.

Lastly, create niche publishers.

One important thing that affiliate partners can do to save the future of affiliate partners and affiliate marketing is to create what are known as niche publishers. Incorporating lots of quality online content in digital marketing strategies has been shown to drive larger and greater social traffic to company websites as well as help boost customer conversion rates. This has led to an over sixty percent increase in the amount of money most companies will spend on digital marketing, which in turn has led to the emergence of niche publishers in most affiliate partner networks. In these affiliate partner networks, niche publishers are affiliate content marketing publishers who specialize in a certain subject or area of the content marketing process, whether it be the content creation or the actual process of publishing and advertising the content online to promote the business’s brand awareness. Affiliate partners must now keep up with businesses in order to help affiliate marketing survive and thrive alongside generic digital marketing by creating and developing niche publishers who will have a heightened focus on generating fresh and engaging online content and then advertising to target groups online.

Now that you know how much your company has to gain from these simple steps, consider investing in the knowledge of the Copywriter Today team to help you implement these practices. Contact us today and we will help you get started in the right direction.

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