Influencers Can Really Help Promote Your Affiliate Program
If the Influencers in Affiliate Marketing Love You, So Will Their Followers
I have advised ecommerce professionals on methods of attracting top affiliates to their affiliate marketing programs. But some have come back and reported that those methods are not enough. They feel that they are stuck in a chicken-and-egg situation where people are willing to try them out only after they have heard good things about them. And I agree that sort of reasoning will help you promote your affiliate program.
Attracting influencers in the affiliate community, and seeking their assistance in spreading the word, comes into the picture. But are we going to get stuck into yet another chicken-and-egg situation? Not necessarily. There are a couple of elegant tactics to get influencers curious and impressed. Keep in mind that influencers are the masters of marketing, and might be averse to being marketed to. So keep it above board and elegant. Here is a small list of ideas:
Offer Influencers Special Deals to Promote You
If you are just getting started, it is a perfectly fine strategy to come up with special offers for influencers. One such offer could be giving them 5% (or some other number) lifetime commissions on sales made by affiliates who sign up due to them. Another idea could be to consider relaxing some of the terms for followers of these early influencers. Also, you could consider offering exclusive affiliate tools to select influences.
Consider a Limited Amount of Investment in Paid Posts
I worry about paid posts seeming spammy and scammy. However, we do buy advertising, and in a similar vein we could consider buying some posts on blogs that are popular with affiliate marketers. Naturally, decency, decorum, and subtlety are expected in paid posts.
Maybe You Should Consider Advertising
You can buy advertising on websites run by top influencers of affiliate marketers. The idea is that, since the influencer has published the ads, some of the influence will rub off on your advertisement too.
Try Out Some Online Outreach Programs
There are many forms of online outreach that you can consider. One that works very well for me is video-interviews of influencers. I find that influencers are usually open to a video interview. And nothing influences more than watching the words flow out of the horse's mouth.
And Then There Are Offline Outreach Programs
Affiliate marketing has evolved into a large industry. As a result there are several affiliate marketing conferences that take place around the country, and the world. You could select the conferences where you feel you could reach out to influencers. If you can afford it, try and find a speaker opportunity for yourself.
Make Sure to Join the Conversation
Most, maybe all, influencers run their own blog, twitter account, or some other form of social communication. Make sure to join their conversation. This could involve leaving comments on their blog, responding to their tweets, or whatever.
Involvement Is a Great Way of Engagement
Here is a high impact method of engagement with influencers: why not invite them to contribute to the design of your affiliate programs?
It is not going to be easy. But if you succeed, this will be a great method to create a sense of ownership in affiliates. Of course, if they get involved and then realize that it was all a big public relations hoax, this method could backfire. Like all areas of marketing and communication, you need to come across sincerely.
With the maturing of the affiliate marketing industry, we are witnessing the emergence of influencers. These could be gurus who conduct programs in affiliate marketing. Or they could be bloggers who specialize in writing about affiliate marketing. Or they could be affiliate marketers who openly share their secrets of success. If some of these influencers put in a good word for you, their credibility could end up giving you nice inroads into the affiliate marketing community.