In today’s world of online entrepreneurship, owners understand that promoting their business alone isn’t the key to success with digital consumers. Modern companies recognize the importance of building a brand and a community both inside and outside their digital office spaces.
Many companies emphasize the importance of building an audience and community around their potential customers, but what about the current affiliates in the roster? Is this type of community building as significant, effective, or easy as building community with customers?
In this post, we’ll explore these questions and provide effective tools and tips to help you build an affiliate community that will benefit both your business and your affiliate partners.
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Why Is Building Community With Affiliates Significant?
There are several reasons why an affiliate community can easily become an asset to your affiliate marketing program:
- A positive affiliate community helps build a positive customer community. Let’s face it, customers love a business they can connect with. Not to mention that people are naturally inclined to try out a new product if they see lots of positive engagement around that product.
- An affiliate community is the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re trying to recruit affiliates, all you have to do is show them a glimpse of your thriving community to help them make the decision to join your program.
- Your community also gives you valuable insight into what your customers are looking for and how best to approach them. Your affiliates are on the front lines, directly interacting and engaging with your customers, so they’re able to help you in ways you may have never expected.
- Two heads are better than one. Your affiliate community can offer you useful ideas and feedback by looking at things from the perspective of a consumer, helping to make your program even stronger.
Ways to Build a Thriving Affiliate Community
Building a successful affiliate community requires some elbow grease, but it’s a very realistic goal. Following are a few tips that will help you build the community you’re looking for with ease.
- Communicate Consistently. One of the most important things you can do to build community with your affiliate partners is to communicate with them consistently. Always be sure to keep them in the loop on the latest happenings, and offer tools and information to help them improve their promotions.
- Remain Transparent. Another excellent way to strengthen community is to be totally transparent with your affiliates. You can maintain transparency through the regular sharing of financial reports, announcements on bug issues, answering common questions and concerns, and just being open with your affiliates in general. Your partners will appreciate your willingness to be open and will be more likely to want to help you grow.
- Offer Tools and Resources. An affiliate program is only as good as its affiliates, so it’s important that you’re giving your partners access to the things they need to succeed. This can include premium graphics, swipe copy, power words, and blogging and social media tips and tools they can utilize.
- Involve Your Partners In Your Growth. Another excellent way to build community and give your affiliates a sense of ownership within your growing affiliate program is to involve them in some of the decisions around the growth of your business. For example, if you’re in the process of redesigning your affiliate website, shoot an email to your affiliates for their feedback on the design. Or, ask them for feedback and ideas for future business promotions.
- Network With Your Affiliates. Your affiliates are multifaceted individuals with many different interests and talents. Take the time to get to know them and what they do—you never know, they may have a product or service that can benefit your business!
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Now that you have a few tools in your arsenal, you can get started crafting the affiliate community you’ve always dreamed of. However, before you go, check out the following additional things to think about when creating your community and affiliate program.
Offer an Affiliate Introduction
Hosting an affiliate introduction or orientation is a great way to get your partners acclimated to what it’s like to be a part of your program. It can also help them learn how to get started performing as successful affiliates.
Another great idea is to introduce your affiliates to one another, so they’ll know who they’re working with and how they can support each other.
Offer Clear Rules, Guidelines, and Training
Ensuring that your team understands important information about FTC guidelines, GDPR, and more will make your affiliates and your program stronger. Offer training and written materials discussing these topics to help the individuals in your business. Doing so will build a sense of trust among your affiliates and your customers, which could mean more sales in the long run for your online business.
Keep The Lines of Communication Open
All customers prefer businesses that are accessible. They want to be able to call, chat, or email and have a conversation with you if needed. The same rule applies to affiliates in your program.
Ensure that you have an affiliate support line open, so your affiliates can reach out to you whenever they have a question, comment, or concern. Your affiliates are working for YOU—they should never have to jump through hoops to get in touch with you.
We hope this post has helped you create a game plan toward cultivating a flourishing community of affiliates for your program. To learn more about how you can improve your affiliate program, check out our posts on creating educational guides and rewarding affiliates and how your affiliate program can recruit new members.