Create an influencer affiliate strategy
1. Define where influencer affiliate marketing fits into your brands' current marketing strategy and sales funnel.
In most cases, influencer affiliate marketing is ideal for building brand awareness about a new initiative or specific product. In some niches, affiliate marketing for influencers can also increase average order values and conversion rates.
2. Sign up for an established affiliate marketing platform, or create one in-house using your own ecommerce store or web plugins.
Example cost-per-acquisition affiliate networks that your brand may want to consider joining include: CJ. Rakuten. RewardStyle. ShareASale. Many store platforms, such as Shopify and Samcart, let you turn on affiliate commissions. When this feature is toggled on, influencers can sign up on your store to become an affiliate. The platform automatically creates affiliate links or coupon codes that track what sales come from an affiliate’s specific link. You can then pay your commissions whenever you want with a click of a button. Payment options often include platforms like PayPal for your convenience.
3. Decide how much you will pay your influencer affiliates by referring to your marketing budget for internal options and average affiliate rates in your industry for an external baseline.
Influences typically charge a very high upfront fee for product placement and promotions. However, affiliate marketing shifts the game somewhat, since affiliate commissions are only generated when there’s a specific sale or conversion. This lets you get into influencer marketing at a lower cost. A few options you can consider: Pay the influencer a high upfront fee to sign on, plus a lower per-event commission rate. Pay a small or moderate upfront fee to sign on, and your regular affiliate marketing commission rate. Don’t pay anything upfront.
4. Choose a marketing or social media channel based on your product, your customer behaviors, and your current marketing activity.
This choice is influenced both by your current marketing activity on different channels, and also the type of product or service you need to promote. For example, ecommerce and retail brands tend to perform well on visually appealing platforms like Instagram. However, tech and SaaS brands tend to perform better on video platforms like YouTube.
5. Choose either an evergreen calendar, or a seasonal or launch based schedule.
Even with a passive referral relationship, you may want to target specific times of year to promote your site with these influencer audiences. Think through this process by asking yourself: What is the influencer expected to achieve with this partnership? How can the company ensure that the achievement is attainable and that the company has supported the influencer through proper guidelines and assets?
6. Research influencers that align with the stage of the sales funnel you have targeted and products or services you wish to promote.
Influencer research platforms that share the influencer’s audience type, demographics, and topic focus include: Tribe. Upfluence. Izea.
7. Perform Twitter, Instagram, Google, and YouTube searches using keywords identified during your referral analysis.
List the top content creators or influencers from among your search results.
8. Build an affiliate marketing kit for influencers.
Include: An overview of your objectives. Creative assets used to refer prospects to your site. How to reference products or services with potential customers. You will likely need to adjust the creative assets based on the platform the influencer operates on. Check with the target social media platform for creative requirements.
9. Email or direct message the content creators or influencers you have targeted.
Influencers are not a faceless corporate entity, and they use their authentic personality and reach to market products and services. Likewise, your outreach to them should be personalized, authentic, and demonstrate that you’re paying attention to their platform and their voice: Follow the influencer on their social media platforms. Interact with the influencer’s content several days or weeks in advance, including liking or commenting on their posts. Message them after you’ve interacted with their content. Personalize it to their name and call out something they recently posted or did that caught your attention.