I’ve been looking at why affiliates choose to promote certain brands vs others. I talk about this in this week’s #AffiliateDriveTime which you can watch below.
It’s common knowledge that emotion-based selling works best vs any other sales type. Those that come through our AMPP program will know that selling is the transfer of emotion and we deep dive into that along with a number of other strategies that help improve the performance of affiliate manager’s outreach. It’s also recently made me question why affiliate managers are not investing more time (and budget) to build affinity around their affiliate programs to support better sales and outreach initiatives?
But – before I dig a bit deeper into what Affinity Marketing is and why it’s so important to consider as part of your program strategy right now, I want you to take a moment now and think about your favourite brands (can be any brand you like – mine is RedBull in this example).
- Why do you like or enjoy that brand or program?
- How does that brand, or program – make you feel when you see content from them?
- What makes you stop to engage with their social media?
- Why do you really like them?
Now think about these questions in the context of your affiliate or partner program. Do you feel the same about the brand you’re promoting and pushing to new affiliate partners?
If not – you need to consider building out your affiliate program’s brand affinity!
What is Affinity Marketing?
According to Wikipedia:
“The first academic approach of affinity marketing was provided by Macchiette and Roy in 1992. They described this notion as a combination of affinity and the marketing ideas. They defined the word affinity as “an individual level of cohesiveness, social bonding, identification and conformity to the norms and standards of a particular reference group”
By defining what your program stands for and having a clear brand personality, you can build better brand affinity with your affiliates and that in turn improves sales, outreach and lead generation responses and partner loyalty long term.
The key is understanding the affiliate audience you are selling to, and selling them a consistent and clear message about your affiliate program offering.
But it’s really just about … Values and Feelings
It’s about promoting your business in a way that your affiliate partners can personally resonate with and take action on. It’s about creating positive perceptions around your affiliate program, your affiliate team, and your business as a whole.
It’s also about getting personal and sharing real life experiences that continue to tell your brand story long after an affiliate has viewed your affiliate program page or signed up to join your program. Affinity marketing is also about leveraging the right business partners to help you do all of that efficiently. It’s about going deeper in the psyche of what builds a profitable affiliate partnership and how you can work to make that happen by targeting your program marketing and promotional messaging or PR to help build that brand affinity to your affiliate target audience.
When you truly understand your affiliates and the traits they associate to your program or brand you can continue reinforcing that message into your brand’s personality across all the right marketing channels and across multiple outreach points to cement a clear association.
A word of caution… Affinity marketing is not about building loyalty!
Brand loyalty and brand affinity are also often misunderstood but they are indeed similar. The easiest way to explain this is to consider that someone can be loyal to a brand without feeling an affinity for that brand, simply because they might believe that brand has the best product or service (even when they might not) for their customers.
Loyalty can be easily persuaded or changed with better offers, more incentives or a host of other tactical offerings. Marketing affinity cannot – because it goes deeper into the reasoning behind why one brand is more attractive than another to the individual and because of that – it’s not easily swayed.
The last word…
Affinity marketing is just one way you can work on improving your affiliate program sales and success. It’s a longer-term strategy to invest in but it will pay dividends in the long run and right now – with a shortage of live events and a world that has turned all of it’s attention to promoting their businesses online – make sure your program is standing out, your team is building rapport and now you can also make sure your marketing messaging is creating affinity around your affiliate program brand.
If you’re struggling with your affiliate program BOOK A FREE call with our team and get the help you need to keep your sales consistently growing! If you missed the recent webinar we hosted on ‘3 Tips to Kickstart Your Affiliate Program Sales’ – you can watch it here!