A report from Rakuten Advertising - with testimonials from brands such as FitFlop, TopCashback and RevLifter - has emphasised the power of affiliate marketing during times of economic uncertainty.
With the UK in the midst of a cost of living crisis, affiliate marketing can continue to drive revenue and create a foundation for commercial success.
Yet, it’s important not to stand still. Experimentation, engagement, and conversion are key. Rakuten Advertising’s Affiliate: The Resilient Revenue Driver report sets out how best to take advantage of a low-risk, high-return strategy.
Enter new markets
Expanding into new markets can often lead to attractive opportunities: new customers and greater sales. It is easier said than done, though.
Marketing is littered with examples of brands entering new territories without being armed with local knowledge, and quickly leaving with their tails between their legs because they hadn’t put in the necessary groundwork.
This risk can be heavily mitigated by working with an affiliate network that has firmly established relationships.
Get in the same room
In an economic slowdown, the mantra for brands quickly, and understandably, becomes to ‘do more with less’.
To increase efficiencies and effectiveness, brand marketing and affiliate marketing teams should be viewed holistically. Get out of a silo mindset, and get both teams working together to maximise budgets and improve commercial outcomes.
Coupling the teams also makes campaigns more measurable, allowing optimisations to be made to increase ROI.
Shorten the customer journey
Customer journeys don’t have to be long. A great piece of content opens up the opportunity to leverage embedded commerce, which supports a shortened customer journey and closes the gap between customer interest, inspiration, action, and purchase. By placing a checkout within quality content, consumers are more likely to make a purchase at the ‘point of inspiration’.
Customers should feel like content is an experience, rather than simply another brand asking them to buy its product. Tapping into influencer marketing, with large and loyal communities, is a powerful way of both entertaining an engaged audience and moving them towards an in-content purchase.
Convert loyalty into value
Customer loyalty has long been the Holy Grail for brands and while it brings huge returns, it is hard to locate. But, affiliate strategies can power revenue from loyalty wherever it exists.
One place loyalty demonstrably exists is between people and publishers, with high levels of repeat traffic for the likes of coupon and voucher sites. By working with publishers that demonstrate strong, loyal relationships with their audience, it can deliver benefits and value to advertisers.
Target the conscious consumer
From financial prudence to conscious consumerism, audience behaviours are changing.
Sustainability issues are increasingly prevalent and that, aligned with tightening purse strings, means publishers and advertisers need to react. Combining profit and purpose is no longer just the right thing to do, but increasingly the only thing to do if an advertiser or publisher wants to build trust with its audience.
Uncertain economic times call for innovation, agility, and collaboration.
Entering new markets, shortening customer journeys, and better targeting are some of the starting points for using affiliate marketing to drive revenue and commercial success.
But how do you focus on the correct entry points for your business? What benefits can working with an affiliate network bring? How do you best deliver shoppable moments? How should brands and publishers target conscious consumers? And what comes next?
To find out, and to see more recommendations and tips, read the full report here.
The report is based on input from members of the Rakuten Advertising International Collective (RAIC), a community of advertisers and publishers from around the world representing the leading edge of affiliate marketing model creation and implementation.