Earlier today, every affiliate marketer aboard Amazon Associates program received the following announcement:
We are being told that Amazon Associates‘ newly-created “Idea Hub” is meant to equip its affiliates with “content ideas such as inspirational promotions, events, deals, and products throughout Amazon in one place.”
The idea isn’t new. We’ve been encouraging merchants to put together such affiliate resources for nearly twenty years. It helps your affiliates by acquainting them with your program and what you sell, equips them, and gets their creative juices flowing. But what exactly should you equip your affiliates with? Of course, you could offer a myriad of things, but at bare minimum, we recommend providing them with the following ten:
1. Product Information
Sounds simple? It is for you, because it’s your product and no one knows it better than you. But affiliates, generally, participate in multiple affiliate programs and it is those that go the extra mile of educating them about their product(s) that truly stand out. We recommend putting together affiliate-centric slide decks highlighting the features and benefits of your products or services, and equipping affiliates with them.
Keywords help with focus. Whether it is paid search efforts, hashtags on/for social media marketing, or search engine optimization, affiliates appreciate guidance on the optimal keywords and key phrases that characterize your product or service. RingCentral realizes this and on their Affiliate Program Best Practices page they equip affiliates with the keywords to consider:
3. Demographic Insights
Help your affiliates understand your primary target market. Start with the basics (gender, age, income), diving into the details (children, religion, ethnicity, etc), and cover also the geographic piece. Ensure that they are equipped with this knowledge to market you to the right audience(s).
4. Lists of Bestsellers
Regardless of what you sell, you know what sells best. This data is invaluable for affiliates! So, share it with them, providing respective deep links (or tools/ways to grab these), creatives, landing pages, and any other product- and audience-specific insights.
5. Reviews & Testimonials
On a recent call I’ve had with ConsumerAffairs.com, their rep gave perfect definition of a consumer review. He called it “a sales pitch from an existing customer”. That’s exactly what it is!
When your prospective buyer enters the consideration phase of the sales funnel, other customer’s testimonials become a powerful marketing tool. As with all things marketing, you want to include these in the arsenal that empowers your affiliates to sell.
If there are any helpful promotional videos that you may provide to your affiliates, please do! Some affiliate tracking platforms would enable you with tracking video plays as conversions, others would allow equipping affiliates with video creatives… Whatever you have to work with, videos are powerful. They boost engagement and increase conversions. If you have them, do provide them to your affiliates.
No, you do not have to discount the product to offer promos. Instead, these could include an offer of free shipping over a certain amount, bundles, and other non-discounting ideas. Let me also emphasize something important here: contrary to a popular belief, promos (and coupons) aren’t “necessary” for building a solid affiliate program. They do aid in the conversion, but you don’t have to work with coupon-oriented affiliates and/or offer coupons to leverage affiliate marketing effectively.
8. Top-Converting Landing Pages
We talked about your best-selling products. Top-converting landing pages may or may not be related to these. Whether it is a product- or a promo-related landing page, if there’s something noteworthy about it in terms of its performance, do share this information with your affiliates. Steer clear of disclosing any sensitive data (which may hurt your relationship with other affiliates) but do let your affiliates know what converts best. Conversion rate is a key metric in their earnings formula.
9. Marketing Planning Calendar
To ensure aligned marketing, furnish your affiliates with a marketing planning calendar. Inform them of the key marketing efforts/plans and the exact dates when to expect the respective affiliate creatives, tools, landing pages, and promos to be made available.
10. Best-Performing Channels
Finally, appreciating that affiliate marketing is not a channel of marketing, analyze which marketing channels perform best for you, and equip your affiliates with this data. This will help them prioritize the techniques and promotional methods that have the higher impact, and stay away from low potential ones.
So there you have it: your own top-10 list of the insights to equip your affiliates with. Now it’s time to build your own killer affiliate resource center and/or breathe a new life into your affiliate newsletters!