Bloggers have more influence now than ever before, and top brands have noticed. The most successful bloggers contribute millions of dollars in new consumer revenue by creating unique content combined with their ability to choose the right partners and host affiliate links for brands they love.
A recent study shows that 72% of millennials and 51% of Gen Xers follow fashion bloggers; more importantly, 90% of wealthy consumers who follow fashion bloggers make purchases as result of the blogs. How did these bloggers start using affiliate marketing to become some of the top influencers in the fashion industry?
-The Right Network
Most bloggers require training, support and strategic guidance when they begin using affiliate marketing so it is important to partner with a network that provides an easy-to-use interface with publisher-friendly tools and educational programs.
The infrastructure and reliability of that network to support a high volume of clicks and transactions, monitor traffic and provide on-time payments are equally important. Most leading networks work on Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) which means bloggers are paid a percentage of each sale they drive for their brand partner. These percentages vary by partner and network, but can be very lucrative for bloggers driving the right traffic for the right brands.
Bloggers that collaborate directly with advertisers optimize the partnership with custom campaigns, increased commissions, and incentive to generate maximum exposure across all marketing channels, like social media. Therefore, it’s best to work with a network that grants the 1-1 relationship proven to generate the most revenue.
-The Right Partners
All successful bloggers understand the importance of creating partnerships with brands that not only appeal to their audience, but also have the potential to develop into long-term, productive relationships.
The use of native advertising, which can be defined as advertising within the design of the publisher’s site, helps bloggers choose content that naturally falls into place and reads true to their audience.
Affiliate marketing on content sites is one example of native advertising, but with native ad spend estimated to grow to $4.57 billion by 2017, the advertising ecosystem will be forced to evolve, and there is no doubt that bloggers will be more selective about the advertisers they work with. Commission potential is not the most important element — it’s marrying the product to the content.
Bloggers that utilize multiple social channels and tools to share their content are the most successful because they have found the right media mix to deliver content and do not rely too heavily on one content channel to drive sales.
Some bloggers utilize social media channels, like Twitter, to market site features and products mentioned within content. Because Instagram does not provide its users a solution to tag products featured in posts, third-party services allow bloggers to create “lookbooks” from their Instagram content. Because influencers utilize social media to expand their reach and their own personal brands, affiliate marketing tools are evolving to allow bloggers to monetize not only on their sites, but on social media.
The data available to bloggers can give them a range of information including how to optimize their site to increase conversions, as well as a better look into what drives their visitors to purchase.
Consistent and reliable data and reporting are key to higher commissions and sales. Utilizing the data from an affiliate network allows bloggers to develop content based on what’s engaging their audience.
Affiliate marketing provides the perfect introduction for advertisers to get their products in front of influential bloggers. As the industry continues to evolve, we will only see these partnerships grow stronger.