retail, shopping, ecommerce, marketing, retail affiliate marketing

5 Key principles of retail affiliate marketing

Retail affiliate marketing is going through a profound change over the next few years. You can already see elements of it all over social media already.

If you are looking for information on retail affiliate marketing in 2022, we have broken down all the most important elements for you to pursue. Read on to find all the details.

1. Embrace social media

Social media is becoming a more vital part of online marketing, and that is reflected in the fact that a lot of platforms are creating retail-friendly features. These features are designed to make online retail a part of social media.

Snapchat is testing augmented reality features that allow users to try on clothes through their phone and TikTok has features that will allow creators to share links to products and services while they are live streaming. But the most interesting feature to affiliate marketers comes from Instagram. Instagram has created a feature that brings affiliate marketers in touch with influencers and has already launched the ability to click a photo and be taken to a site where you can buy an item.

2. Take on micro-influencers

The opinion on big influencers has somewhat soured over the past few years. Users are reporting disillusionment with them, saying that they come off as inauthentic and disingenuous.

To offset this, more and more marketers are approaching micro-influencers. Micro-influencers might have a smaller audience but it is a dedicated one with more trust given to the influencer. They are usually posting content about one more niche concept, like crafts, Wicca, hiking, shinty, etc. often usually making a business out of it, rather than the big influencers who tend to post across a range of genres and are only selling themselves as a brand.

Another rising trend in social media is the concept of communities. In TikTok especially, there is an ability to use the algorithm to carve out your own niche and find your people. Amongst those communities is usually a few leaders who are posting the most and engaging the most. Those are the ones the community will trust most to deliver them a good business or product. If you, in your retail affiliate marketing, can convince them that your business is worth marketing, you will have convinced a niche but not small community that will likely use your products or service forever.

3. Elevate the user experience

The state of your website will reflect the state of your business to potential customers. A dodgy website riddled with long loading times and glitches will appear unprofessional, and therefore so will your business. Users are impatient creatures, so at best a website with long loading times or a glitch on the path to pay will result in them clicking off, and at worst it can look like a scam.

Make sure your website looks its best with all its pages laid out well so that everything can be found easily and take it a step further with all the extra features available. Users nowadays would rather handle everything online, so if you can use some of the customer service features available on website builders, you should.

4. Get creative with content

Once upon a time a marketing manager could create one piece of content, a picture, and caption, and place it across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and call it a day.

That isn’t going to fly in the future. Not only are customers becoming more aware, and therefore willingly ignoring these adverts, but there are a lot more platforms to take advantage of with far more numbers that aren’t getting used. Platforms like Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and Reddit have very different audiences that are being missed by limiting your content.

But you will have to adapt your content to all these platforms. In order to catch and keep eyes on you, you will have to create more engaging content than a photo that can be swiped past. Short-form video content is coming in in a big way, and there are lots of ideas you can use to sell your business, like behind-the-scenes clips, how-to, demonstrations, reviews, etc.

5. Show what you stand for

This has many levels to it. Some products have what they stand for built into them, and some have what they stand for to be a lifestyle, and some still have to project that they stand for something more.

To break it down, a product that is, for example, plasters for black skin tones, is standing for racial equality built into it, a cleaning product is usually striving for a clean household that is easy for the woman to do quickly in this age of working mums, and a product that doesn’t much lend itself to any of these, like a soda, might have to tell people outright that they stand with LGBT people.

A product has to do at least one of these things, and until recently, the latter was decidedly ignored. It was rare for a product or service to say they support a political movement for fear of alienating a customer whose priorities didn’t align, but more and more brands are seeing the positive effects of standing for something.

Customers are making a habit of researching their brands before they buy, so it’s more important than ever to make your business’ intentions front and centre.

For more information on affiliate marketing take a look at our blog, or for more personalised advice book a free call with a member of our team.

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