A simple search query for “affiliate marketing tips” will, without a doubt, result in thousands and thousands of posts primarily directed towards affiliates. But what about marketers looking to employ affiliate marketing strategies to benefit their businesses?

Well, marketers, this post is for you! We dug into our own metrics as well as industry statistics to share what the landscape today looks like for B2B and consumer brands leveraging affiliate marketing. And then we cornered our in-house affiliate marketing experts to give us all their best tips, tricks, and tools to help marketers succeed in their journey.

The Affiliate Marketing Landscape

The data doesn’t lie: And what the numbers tell us is that affiliate marketing is poised for enormous growth. In fact, total affiliate marketing spend in the U.S. is predicted to grow 10.1% each year until 2020. That means, by 2020, affiliate marketing spend may rise to $6.8B.

According to Google Trends, search interest in the term “affiliate marketing” has become almost twice as popular as it was five years ago. With an increasing amount of consumers turning to online shopping, affiliate marketing is quickly becoming more useful than ever.

And marketers are noticing the interest in online purchasing from their customer base. In 2016, 38% of marketers stated affiliate marketing as one of their top customer acquisition methods1.

But affiliate marketing isn’t just useful in attracting new prospects. In fact, the majority of marketers are using affiliate programs throughout their sales and marketing process2.

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Here’s the breakdown of how successful marketers today are using affiliate marketing in every stage of the buyer journey:

– 83% in the discovery and awareness phase
– 79% during conversion or purchase
– 79% for ongoing customer engagement

What does all this mean?

The data proves it is increasingly important for marketers to know how to make best use of affiliate marketing spend.

Affiliate Marketing Tips Proven to Work

Whether your company is looking to get started with affiliate programs or revamping an existing strategy, here are 19 affiliate marketing tips for marketers that want to be successful:

  1. 1. Create an affiliate marketing strategy and include key players across the organization. This ensures the channel is effective and leverages strengths from different departments.

2. Display a link to join your affiliate program prominently on your site’s homepage.

3. Dedicate a landing page that explains how your affiliate program works.

4. Make the landing page to join your program easy to understand, yet cohesive with your brand website.

5. Optimize your affiliate program landing page (don’t be scared to run A/B tests for conversions.)

6. Actively recruit and manually vet affiliates that enroll/submit to join your program. Ensure their online presence is aligned with your brand. (For more on this, check out our blog post on affiliate program management.)

7. Have a plan in place to grow the number of affiliates in your program. Customers are an overlooked segment, are you engaging with this segment when recruiting affiliates?

8. Use catchy email subject lines to recruit new affiliates to join your program.

9. Share a “welcome kit” with new affiliates containing educational materials on your product/services, unique share links, marketing assets, resources on how to drive traffic, examples and best practices, and of course, the incentive structure.

10. Segment your affiliates to run targeted campaigns with varying commissions.

11. Provide affiliates with a portal that houses the assets, insights, and reporting they need to optimize engagement.

12. Share your most engaging pieces of content with your affiliates to encourage prospects navigating through your buying cycle.

13. Leverage social media, video content, and email marketing to attract new affiliates to join your program.

14. Update display banners, share links, and assets to match every new sale and promotion being displayed on your website.

15. Educate your affiliates on who your ideal customer is. By sharing information about your target demographic, affiliates are better armed to seek out customers on your behalf.

16. Proactively reach out to your affiliates with potential content or topic ideas. For example, leverage holidays and seasonal events to create fresh, relevant content.

17. Keep an eye on analytics and always be optimizing your program.

18. Structure different payout models based on affiliate type, sales generated, or special promotions.

19. Whether it is real-time or scheduled, automated cash payouts to your affiliates is one of the best ways to keep your program members happy and sharing.

With online channels rapidly growing, it is up to marketers to understand how consumers are seeking out information, filtering out the noise, and digesting content. Affiliate marketing can be a strategic solution for brands looking for a trustworthy introduction to digitally savvy buyers.

[1] Web Market Support; [2] Forrester Consulting