Influencer or affiliate marketing is usually a good idea when your brand recognition by the target clientele isn’t very high yet. When you are already well-known within your target group, then they would also find you without being referred to you. The clients that are referred via influencers or affiliates would then reduce your margin.

Since the advent of social media, it’s a lot easier to build your own network. If you would only look at the range of an individual when selecting an influencer or affiliate, you are taking the risk that you’ll invest a lot of time that won’t give you a return on investment. It’s also possible that, in the meantime, your competitors would start to work with the right influencers and affiliates. So how do you pick the right influencers or affiliates?


THE BASIS: RANGE, RELEVANCE AND CREDIBILITY

It goes without saying: an influencer or affiliate without a range isn’t worth much. Everyone has an opinion, many share it, but only a small percentage resonates within the community. When talking about influence marketing, people often differentiate between mega, macro and micro influencers. Mega influencers are real celebrities like Beyonce or Jay-Z. The range of the so-called macro influencers usually varies between 10 thousand and 1 million followers. Micro influencers are located in the segment of 2.500 to 10.000 followers, which immediately displays a good minimum.

Given the fact that most of these influencers are, first of all, depending on social media algorithms and that the conversion per contribution is also just a fraction of the total range, it’s often not worth your time to engage influencers with less than 2.500 followers.

In general we can say: as the number of followers decreases, it’s increasingly important that the influencer or affiliate appeals to a certain niche. A blog about comfort in the office for example could be interesting for a producer of office furniture. It’s often possible to deduce whether or not the target group thinks the produced content is really relevant from their involvement, or commitment. Is content for example often liked or shared?

It is of course also important that the target group believes the influencer or affiliate. Credibility is among other things realized by a high degree of authenticity (is the content ‘real’) and consistency. Nobody is looking forward to meaningless, superficial content.


DEONTOLOGY

It’s essential to treat influencer or affiliate marketing as a way of advertising. After all, your affiliates refer potential clients to you, and they get paid for it. Therefore it is important that affiliates are transparent to their audience about their relation with you.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission therefore developed, inter alia, the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of influencers who don’t follow the rules, especially in Europe. Brands should work with individuals who give disclosure about the fact they’re sponsored. Therefore you’ll often find a notification under the text in blogs, saying for example:

“Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.”

And on social media it’s good practise to use #sponsored when your contribution is a paid contribution.

To obtain long-term credibility, it’s important to work with influencers and affiliates who respect this deontology. We advise you to enshrine such a deontology in the conditions for the participation in your program, and to regularly organise a compliance check.


WHERE CAN YOU FIND AFFILIATES?

First of all, you of course have to make sure that affiliates find you. It starts with a clear summary page, which is approachable in your navigation and where new affiliates can register.

The most logical sources for new affiliates are your own customer base (your natural brand ambassadors), sites who already offer a backlink to you and individuals in your sector who are well-known for their online reviews.

There are also numerous affiliate networks who act as an intermediary between affiliates and advertisers. Some networks have a worldwide range, others are very focused on a geographical area or specific sectors. These networks can greatly facilitate your search for affiliates.

When you start with affiliate marketing, you risk that for every 100 affiliates, only a few will help you earn money, the so-called Super Affiliates. The others can even make you lose money with support questions like special landing pages, statistics or help in the implementation of a special tracking code. All the more reason to search for affiliates who will bring you a significant volume.

Of course you can also ask EMAKERS to manage your affiliate marketing for you. We screen new participants, negotiate the best affiliate prices for you, make sure that the recruited affiliates stay involved and active and implement product feeds and reports.

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