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Driving Conversions: How Affiliate Managers Utilize Social Media Channels

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  • Driving Conversions: How Affiliate Managers Utilize Social Media Channels

If you run a product-based eCommerce brand and are active on social media, you should consider incorporating affiliate marketing into your broader strategy. This marketing approach is on a continuous upward trajectory, as recent data highlighted.

Did you know, for example, that the global affiliate marketing spend is projected to reach a jaw-dropping $15.7 by the end of 2024? And with worldwide daily social media users estimated at nearly 5 billion, the possibilities to make huge profits from affiliate marketing are many – and exciting.

When it comes to supercharging your affiliate marketing program, you don’t just need great affiliates; you need an outstanding affiliate marketing manager. Once you have identified the best person for the job, you need to equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to drive impressive results. How? Keep reading to find out how affiliate managers utilize social media to drive conversions..

Affiliate Marketing Manager: Role, Responsibilities, and Importance

How Affiliate Managers Utilize Social Media

Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Having an affiliate marketing program without appointing an affiliate manager is almost like having a marketing team without a head of marketing: total chaos, lack of direction, and wasted resources.

So, just as you hired a marketing manager to take charge of your marketing team, or a skilled web developer who knew exactly how to build your website, you’ll have to recruit an affiliate marketing manager responsible for overseeing, developing, and maintaining your affiliate program.

While the tasks of an affiliate manager can sometimes vary depending on the specific requirements of a brand, they generally include:

  • Identifying the right affiliates for the brand
  • Setting up a content calendar and planning content (usually, on a monthly or quarterly basis)
  • Supporting affiliates with the creation, revision, and publication of sponsored content
  • Negotiating commissions, payment terms, and other legal issues with affiliates
  • Analyzing performance data, monitoring affiliate campaigns, tracking potential issues, and working on improvements
  • Maintaining positive, profitable, and productive relationships between brand and affiliates.

Nine Ways to Supercharge Your Affiliate Program

How can your affiliate marketing manager use their skills, expertise, and resources to ensure your affiliate program drives as many conversions as possible? Here are some of the best ways to achieve it.

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Know Your Audience Inside Out

As with everything else in marketing, exceptional results can only be borne out of an in-depth, accurate, and up-to-date understanding of your audience. Who are you marketing your brand to, exactly? How old are these people, where do they come from, and where do they hang out when they switch on their digital devices?

The latter aspect, in particular, is crucial when it comes to using affiliate marketing to drive conversions on social media. For example, there’s no point asking your affiliate manager to reach out to a potential contact on TikTok if your target consumer is a Boomer who mostly uses Facebook.

So, before you develop an actual affiliate marketing plan, you’ll need to make sure that you know precisely who your strategy is going to address. Some of the aspects of your audience you may want your affiliate marketing manager to investigate include:

  • Demographics data (your audience’s age, gender, and location)
  • Education level
  • Profession
  • Interests
  • Buying patterns
  • Social media use and channel preference
  • Specific values.

Identify the Best Affiliates

The best way to ensure your affiliate program is profitable is to find the right affiliates to work with. These represent the foundation of your entire program: collaborate with the wrong person, and your entire strategy will come crumbling down.

To source the ideal candidates, affiliate managers have a few options:

  • Scouring social media channels: Affiliate managers can explore the social media platforms where your brand is active to discover whether specific people align with your values, style, and messaging. They can do so by searching for relevant hashtags, following industry-related conversations, and keeping up with trending topics.
  • Announcing and promoting your affiliate program: A simple way to let potential affiliates come to you is by letting them know that you are actively looking for them! Plaster your social media pages with exciting content about your upcoming affiliate marketing program, highlight its advantages, and outline your selection criteria. Then, once people start sliding into your DMs, your affiliate manager will be able to review and assess the best ones for the job.
  • Analyzing your current social media following: Simply trawl through your current followers on social media to spot any huge fans of your brand, or any micro-influencers who are showing an interest in it. Connecting with them will be so much easier than having to reach out to complete strangers.

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Found your affiliates? Great, now it’s time to have an honest conversation with them and outline what your objectives and expectations are. For example, are you planning on promoting an upcoming product launch? Or, perhaps, do you want to draw attention to your unbeatable sales and special discounts?

Whatever your intentions, make sure your affiliate manager communicates them clearly to everyone involved in the affiliate program. If the overarching theme for your next affiliate campaign is completely untied from what your affiliates are posting, your chances of success will be much slimmer.

For example, let’s assume that you are running a startup active in the website domain space and looking to engage with tech-savvy affiliates. You’re about to launch an online course educating users on a range of aspects connected with domain names, such as the worst mistakes when selecting a domain name and the current boom of AI domains.

If your affiliate is not aware that you want to promote this new service, they might end up posting about your monthly subscription plans – an area where you don’t need to drive conversions. So, keeping your affiliates aligned with your goals is paramount.

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Support Affiliates With Content Planning and Creation

In the long term, your affiliate will likely handle content creation independently. However, in the beginning, they might need some closer support and supervision, especially if they don’t have a lot of experience.

To this effect, your affiliate manager should set up a content calendar to share with your affiliate as well as organize templates for them to use when writing and posting the final content. Good-quality affiliate content should always include:

  • A description of the main features of your product or service
  • A description of the core benefits achieved by using the product or service
  • A link to buy the product or service
  • A disclosure message that clarifies that the post you’re seeing was created by an affiliate.

Importantly, your affiliate manager should also be responsible for reviewing all the content before it gets posted. Don’t skimp on this step, or you might end up with misaligned, misinformed, or downright incorrect messaging.

Ensure Top Content Quality

On the topic of content, it’s not enough to make sure that your affiliate posts include all the relevant information – they also need to be as unique, memorable, and captivating as possible. After all, an affiliate marketing post is very similar to an ad.

To be effective, it must be crafted in a way that sparks your audience’s interest and drives them to take action towards a specific goal. Some of the best types of affiliate marketing content include:

  • Detailed reviews of one of your products or services
  • How-to guides and educational content
  • Tutorials (especially if you’re a product-based business)

The style, language, and tone of voice that your affiliate posts use should all match those of your brand, in order to avoid inconsistencies and confusion. This is something else that your affiliate marketing manager should ensure before your content goes live.

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Screenshot sourced from Instagram

Leverage the Power of Influencers

While influencer and affiliate marketing are not one and the same, it can often help to harness these two approaches together. For example, instead of selecting an ordinary customer or employee as your affiliate, why not team up with a well-known influencer in your field?

This will enable your brand to dramatically boost its visibility as well as establish itself as a real leader in your niche. Partnering with influencers doesn’t mean having to reach out to celebs with millions of followers. You can easily join forces with nano-or micro-influencers (whose following count ranges between 1000 and 100,000 people) and reap fantastic results.

Keep Your Affiliates Motivated

If you’re interested in a profitable, long-term partnership with your affiliates, then you’ll need to find ways to keep them committed and motivated. Naturally, compensation is a huge part of this. For example, you may start your affiliate program by offering discounts or very small commissions on each sale.

If your affiliate’s efforts are paying off, though, consider adding something more appealing. A few ideas for good-value incentives include:

  • Increasing their baseline commission
  • Sending free gifts on a regular basis
  • Enabling the affiliates to be more involved in your broader marketing strategy
  • Offering affiliates regular training and development opportunities.

Track Metrics and Monitor Performance

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Tracking your brand’s social media performance is vital to figure out whether you’re doing things right (and how to improve on what you’re doing wrong). This encompasses a range of aspects including, of course, how well your affiliate marketing program is faring.

By keeping a close eye on some specific metrics and analyzing them regularly, you can better gauge whether your affiliate program is moving in the right direction. Here are some of the most crucial information you’ll want to gather:

  • Conversion rates: This metric shows you (as a percentage) how many people have visited your website and have gone on to make a purchase.
  • Traffic: This data reveals where your traffic is coming from, and how much of an impact your affiliate program has on your overall traffic.
  • Commission: With this metric, you’ll discover how much money you’re earning through affiliate sales.
  • Average order value: As the expression suggests, this metric defines how much money is spent on an average customer order.
  • ROI: Importantly, you’ll want to track this metric to find out how much money you’re making from your affiliate program.

Keep Up With Trends to Keep Improving

The world of social media is fickle and sometimes unpredictable. What works great today might not yield the same results next month. Just like you stay abreast of the latest industry trends to maximize your company’s performance – from implementing call center management best practices to adopting conversational AI tools – keeping on top of social media trends is paramount to your affiliate program’s success.

Encourage your affiliate marketing manager to stay informed by reading relevant publications, subscribing to social media newsletters, listening to podcasts on the topic, and even keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing. In parallel, your affiliate manager should also monitor social media trends and topics directly on the platforms you use.

By leveraging social media for market research you’ll be able to stay ahead of the latest – and upcoming – trends in your industry. In turn, this can help you shape even better affiliate programs and campaigns to supercharge conversions.

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Key Takeaways

The fact that 80% of brands are using affiliate marketing should spark more than a passing interest in this very effective marketing approach. To deliver the best results, though, you’ll need a passionate, capable, and knowledgeable affiliate manager to lead and deliver your affiliate program.

In this article, we reviewed what the main tasks and responsibilities of an affiliate manager are, and discussed five actionable ways in which affiliate managers can supercharge affiliate programs.

From identifying the best affiliates to work with to setting up clear goals, from keeping up with trends to monitoring performance, there is a lot to consider. Following these tips, your affiliate manager will have all they need to make your affiliate program a resounding success.

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