Affiverse’s own Lee-Ann Johnstone appeared on this week’s episode of the For the Love of Marketing podcast. Hosted by Simon Kingsnorth, CEO of global marketing strategy agency, SK, the two discussed the wider topic of affiliate marketing and the finer details that get lost on marketers looking in on the strategy. As well as discussing the best use of AI within the affiliate marketing industry.
You can find the For the Love of Marketing podcast on Simon Kingsnorth’s YouTube channel and lots of other sources, but we thought we’d have a look at the highlights of the conversation to give you a taste of what you might find.
The struggles from the outside looking in
The problem with affiliate marketing is that it’s hard to distinctly differentiate from other forms of marketing, to people from the outside looking in. It’s constantly changing, it has different strategies to explore, and it offers so many avenues for success that it can be easy to get lost.
It’s easy to see why Simon asks: “Where do you see the gaps and the struggles that brands are having with understanding affiliate marketing?”
Lee-Ann said: “A lot of brands will know that they need it, but not really know how to navigate it. So, as you said, it’s just sort of appended to the end of the marketing team.”
“But the other cool thing is that we’re all learning on the fly. So, unless you’ve been in it for a very long time, you come to it new and you sort of just get thrown in and expected to deliver, and there is a miss. Not a miscommunication, but a misunderstanding between departments on how affiliate marketing can be leveraged to support the other marketing channels that you do direct.”
So, where do marketers start with their affiliate strategy?
What is the starting point for marketers, then? If they are looking to incorporate affiliate marketing into their marketing campaigns, what are those first steps to take?
Lee-Ann shared some practical ideas to implement, saying: “Well, first you need to define your why, because I think that’s a very important first step that you need to take. Is affiliate marketing actually right for your business at the stage that you’re at, right now? Remember there is going to be a significant investment to actually set all of this up. There are the technical costs and the resource costs. The budgets to actually get things rolling and get it moving like any other digital channel.”
Affiliates are an invite into a niche
In discussing the concept further, Simon caught on to an underrated perk of affiliate marketing as a strategy, saying: “I think that’s a fantastic point. So, when we talked earlier about how affiliates are normally reaching niche experts in a specific space, that space can be a country you’re not in or an industry you’re not in, any segment, any sector at all that you’re not in. And being able to utilise their knowledge, their expertise from day one on a performance basis is a phenomenal way to enter a new market.”
Lee-Ann continued: “And the other thing that affiliates are really good at doing is differentiation.”
“It’s that niching that you need to think about in your customer segments. Yes, they are the same audience. They’re females between the ages of 30 and 45 or whatever the case may be, but what is it about them that’s unique? And then that’s where you need to go find. So, brands ended up pivoting their entire strategy.”
Listen in to hear all of Lee-Ann’s insights on the affiliate marketing world.