The end of the year is a good time to look to the future, and a big part of that is to analyse your past and see what you can do better in the future. So, affiliate managers will be asking themselves, right now, one main question: is my affiliate management agency delivering results?
Well to answer that, you have to start to think about what you should be getting out of your affiliate marketing agency? Sure, they should be creating content and fostering engagement, but are the results of their efforts impressive?
What should an affiliate management agency offer?
An affiliate marketing agency should support all aspects of an affiliate campaign. This includes creating content, fostering engagement, and analysing data.
It is especially helpful to companies that have started with small or private affiliate programs that are run in-house, and now need a team to handle the complex responsibilities of running a larger program. It is also useful to enterprise brands who need a larger team to handle their online marketing or brands that are looking for a more strategic expansion into new markets or countries.
The perks of using an agency include the fact that you will now have access to more experienced team members who can apply out-of-the-box thinking to your marketing campaign. Your agency will also foster relationships amongst affiliates like brands and influencers, and manage your relationship with them, including negotiating contracts and working with them on content. From there, they will monitor the results of the marketing campaign with all the tools and insight that is offered by an experienced team on the job. They will report any problems and offer solutions.
The best agencies offer a highly collaborative experience that will offer you as much of their wealth of information and experience as possible. Your team will attract customers via affiliate marketing, driving customers to your site and usually converting clicks into sales. From that, you should start seeing growth in your company and profits.
However, some affiliate marketing methods can offer too little in terms of results.
There are a number of ways affiliate marketing can go wrong. With the help of an affiliate marketing agency, this shouldn’t be the case. But, like everything else in life, there are good agencies and there are not so good ones.
The less impressive agencies will focus on selling rather than helping. Yes, you are hoping that clicks convert into sales, and by the sheer numbers, that is likely to happen, but you will get poor results if your team prioritises sales over helping. Focus on informing your audience with high-value content, and a flawless website to make sure your audience knows how these products benefit them.
And while you’re at it, make sure your content is as high quality as possible. Your content is a reflection of your brand and your product, so if it looks unprofessional, so will you. Also, if your team has a shallow knowledge of the product or business, they will offer subpar, surface-level content that isn’t likely to impress customers. They already know that your product is, for example, a soda, but why should they buy your soda? If your team is sticking to the same three buzzwords that describe your product, you probably aren’t giving your audience enough to be interested.
There is also the chance that you could be a victim of affiliate fraud, wherein an affiliate partner has faked or padded their following with bots and is simply not giving you the traffic you were promised. If you are seeing a lot of traffic to your site that is not converting into sales, it’s possible they were put there inorganically.
However, just as likely, it could be the case that something on your site, or involving your product is putting people off. Trying to tell the difference is tricky, but you can start by checking your entire website. Make sure there is nothing impeding the path to sales. You can also take a look at your reviews or ask for suggestions. The main perk of online marketing is that it offers a two-way conversation so that you can get to the root of the problem quickly. If your reviews are good but there are few sales, it’s more likely that they are bots.
What should you do?
Like anything else in this world, if it is broke, fix it. If your affiliate marketing agency isn’t delivering results, and they have no solutions to fix it, or they have been given time to fix it, it’s time to move on.
If they are offering subpar content, aren’t delivering on sales, or have a shoddy relationship with your brand or affiliate partners, you are well within your rights to look elsewhere. You are paying for a service and your brand deserves the best.
If you are still having trouble, read our blog for the latest affiliate advice, or book a free call for some personalised advice.