It can be daunting to entrust your reputation to a third party. Due to their key role in your marketing plan, your affiliate partnerships with publishers can make or break your business.
That's why knowing how to partner with affiliate publishers successfully is so important.
After all, potential customers may likely encounter your brand or product for the first time through these publishers.
Maintaining good relationships with your affiliates is easier when you have a solid fix on your brand identity, customer base, and effective communication.
By keeping these foundational pieces in place, your affiliates will know exactly what’s expected of them and how to meet those goals – and hopefully exceed them.
In this article, we'll explore three constructive tips to help you partner with affiliate publishers successfully, so you can take your business to the next level. Let's get to it!
1. Start With the Customer in Everything You Do
You’re in business with your publishing partners to sell products and make a profit. However, these common goals are not the glue that holds your relationships together. Successful long-term arrangements happen around shared audiences.
Your products are made to help your ideal customer. Publishers write content to gather, influence, and motivate a specific target reader. Mutually rewarding partnerships are formed at the intersection of the audience you have in common.
When you start with the customer first, you'll know what products to make. You can understand your audience's problems and create valuable solutions for them. This leads to satisfied customers, which generates growth and profits.
However, it doesn’t end there. Happy customers grow your publisher’s audience in size, loyalty, and enthusiasm, too. It’s a win for everyone.
Also, starting with the customer can help you figure out which publishers to partner with. You’re not just looking for affiliates who like your product and believe they can sell it.
These may produce results in the short term, but success will vary with each product since their audience may not include your ideal customer.
2. Model Your Brand Everywhere
Your brand communicates the value you bring. It tells people what they can expect from your business and its products. While this often happens through the use of graphics, colors, and words, your brand is much more than a logo.
Just about everything related to your business communicates something about your brand. The language you use in your emails, the promptness of your responses, the way you make decisions, and much more can all influence how people perceive your company.
If you don’t take charge of these spoken and unspoken messages, people will draw their own conclusions. A well-branded business knows what it values and what it provides. It also communicates its identity in a purposeful and intentional way.
This concept should also come into play when finding publishers to work with. In short, don’t collaborate with affiliates whose personal brands don’t align with yours.
Here are a few steps you can take to better your branding:
- If you haven’t already done so, clearly define your brand. Know your business' identity, values, and motivations.
- Make a list of touch points – areas where your brand comes into contact with affiliates and customers. Note these points of interaction and the content and elements involved in each.
- Provide branded assets for your affiliates. You can do this easily using Easy Affiliate’s banners feature. It enables you to create digital assets featuring your branding that publishers can use to promote your products on their platforms, creating consistency across your marketing channels.
If you know your brand and can communicate it effectively to your publishers, they will in turn portray it accurately to their audiences.
3. Always Be Communicating (ABC)
Communication is the backbone of any affiliate marketing program. Successful partnerships depend on communication that is frequent, open, and productive.
Here’s a quick checklist to help you cover your bases when communicating with your publishing partners:
- Set up your communication channels as a loop, not a one-way line.
- Share the wins – highlight successes, large and small. Spread the credit around.
- Share the struggles. Ask for input to help affiliates overcome obstacles and improve your products and procedures.
- Help publishers succeed with educational guides that detail essential information and best practices.
- Create a resource hub that publishers can quickly access for help.
- Be accessible via multiple channels. You can use phone, email, social media, automated chatbots, and more.
- Be known for quick and helpful responses.
- Try an email service such as Mailchimp or AWeber to send an affiliate newsletter to inform and motivate your valued partners.
- Take advantage of Easy Affiliate’s dashboard to facilitate communication with your affiliate network. We’ve included powerful tools and reporting features to help you strengthen the partnerships you depend on.
A thoughtful communication plan helps you anticipate problems. It’s an organic way to learn from what you've done and plan for what’s next. Plus, by regularly interracting with your publishers, you’ll stay top of mind as they engage with the customers you’re trying to reach.
The relationships you have with your publishers can make or break your business. By treating affiliates as valued partners, you strengthen those ties and create opportunities for continued shared success.
To recap, here are three ways to build stronger partnerships:
- Start with the customer. Effective publishers are those who share your audience and can help you reach your ideal customer.
- Clearly define and model your brand through every interaction and in every product. Everything you do says something about your business' values and identity, including who you choose to partner with.
- Always be communicating. Check in regularly and encourage feedback to stay ahead of problems and learn how to improve along the way.
Do you have any questions about how to partner with affiliate publishers successfully? Please share them in the comments section below!