A key challenge for new affiliates is establishing a voice and figuring out how to reach the correct market prior to forming their footprint in the ever expanding affiliate market.
Harry Lang is the former Marketing Director of Pinnacle and has recently launched Brand Architects, a brand and marketing optimisation consultancy, his experience in forming the brand means he knows as well as anyone about the challenges that await new affiliates.
Affiliate Insider: Prior to purchasing a URL, what are some of the key steps that a new affiliate should ensure they have taken in order to establish their brand’s voice?
Harry Lang: To build yourself a brand architecture you want to be creating a mission, positioning statement, personality, tone of voice and copy guidelines. These will feed into your logo and design style brief. Ultimately the aim is for your brand to look, sound and feel consistent across all communications and marketing channels so the audience is continually reassured, engaged and excited about the brand as a whole.
AI: When it comes to reaching your target market what strategies can affiliates utilise to ensure that they reach their intended market?
HL: You have the free/ cheap organic channels that should always be your first port of call – SEO, social, PR and the content the facilitate each of these channels. If you have budget, small scale tests are vital to ensure efficiency and the best ROI – PPC remains the most accountable channel to do this for most affiliates.
AI: What type of content should affiliates produce in order to expand to millennials?
HL: A million dollar question – The so-called millennial generation are, as a rule, tired of the hard sell. Truth, honesty, integrity and legitimacy are all pretty vital if you don’t want to actively repel this audience. Few if any affiliates or operators appear to have cracked the millennial’s preferred social channels of YouTube, Snapchat & Instagram so its worth test driving a few mini campaigns – someone is going to get it right at some point, so why shouldn’t it be you?
AI: What are the crucial factors for affiliates when it comes to customer engagement?
HL: Consumers receive a maelstrom of inbound comms on multiple channels and devices every day. Speak to them – ask them what they’re interested in, how often they want to hear about it and via which communications channels. It’s worth pretending you are a customer – how would you feel if you read the stuff you were sending out? If it bugs you at all, you need to refresh your approach.
AI: Can you reveal some of the challenges that were involved with starting Brand Architects?
HL: As with any new entity I had to see what the market needed. The gaming industry is notorious for being performance driven and not looking after its brands with due care and attention, so I decided to offer a dual service – traditional channel marketing and strategic consultancy for acquisition, conversion and retention on the one hand and brand creation/ refresh services on the other. Once defined, I used PR, my network in gaming and LinkedIn to promote the launch and am working with my first three clients already, which is better than my target for the end of month one.