Three Opportunities Affiliate Networks Provide Influencers
Influencer marketing has taken the affiliate marketing industry by storm over the last few years. On Google alone, there was a 325% increase in searches for influencer marketing from 2016 to 2017. The power of this channel is equally important – in a recent survey, 57% of US consumers actively follow an online blogger or social influencer with 71% of them frequently buying the items the blogger recommends.
The forward momentum of influencer marketing means new opportunities for both brands and influencers – as well as new challenges. Working with the right affiliate network can bring these opportunities to the forefront and make the challenges much easier to overcome. We looked at three examples of how the right affiliate network can bring value to these relationships.
- Authentic Partnership Opportunities
The value of an influencer lies in the unique relationship that they have with their followers. Each influencer has their own style, likes and dislikes, and their audience is cultivated based on this authentic voice. For influencers, affiliate networks provide an easy gateway to reach their favorite brands, offering the opportunity to create and develop deep, long-lasting relationships with a vast number of advertisers. Once established, these long-term partnerships lead to increased affiliate success for not only the influencer, but the brand as well. By nurturing these authentic partnerships, the influencer’s opinions will resonate more with their audience and the audience will trust the influencer’s recommendation on which brand to shop. This genuine connection between audience and influencer results in a win/win for the brand and influencer, which can lead to increased sales, campaigns and commissions.
The FTC is taking influencer marketing compliance seriously. In September 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled a case against two social media influencers who failed to include significant disclosure information in their endorsements. This case is eye-opening because it is the first time that a complaint has been filed against influencers themselves instead of solely the brand.
It is very important to remain compliant as an influencer, and an affiliate network that offers brand quality and compliance support can help influencers stay on top of developing trends and changes by the FTC. Affiliate networks have processes in place to protect the influencer and the brand. However, not every network has an in-house team at the ready for compliance and brand quality, so it’s important to select an affiliate network that has a strong compliance team that can support them.
- Data and measurement
According to a recent report by eMarketer, four out of five US marketers want measurement of influencer marketing ROI to improve. To address this challenge, brands must look at the full customer journey to accurately assess influencer effectiveness. Data captured through an affiliate network can prove an influencer’s value to a brand. By utilizing a network’s attribution tools, a brand is able to evaluate the performance of an influencer campaign and optimize to drive additional revenue.
Attribution provides data on traffic performance and referrals from an influencer to a brand’s site. This traffic information includes new users, new customers, time spent and pages visited on a brand’s site. More importantly, it can track and measure the percentage and amount of attributed revenue coming from first-click publishers. According to Rakuten Marketing data, revenue attributable to content publishers was 65% higher when their contribution was measured across the entire user journey rather than just at the last-click. In the same study, influencers were shown to add incremental value at the first and middle stages of the purchasing path. In fact, some key influencers were showing 5x more revenue when comparing first-click attributed revenue to last-click.
Brands are utilizing this attribution data to improve their influencer relationships. This data can help an influencer to understand their effectiveness when it comes to placements and commissions within an affiliate partnership.
Influencer marketing is here to stay, and with the right affiliate network, both brands and influencers can take full advantage of the evolving opportunities to come.
Visit our website, www.rakutenmarketing.com/affiliate, to learn more about what Rakuten Affiliate Network can do for you.
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