The crossroads of affiliate marketing and influencer marketing is here. Merchants are testing ways to merge the channels to create sales.
The word “influencer” was mentioned in a dozen session titles under consideration for the upcoming Affiliate Summit West 2018 conference. Affiliate marketing is a proven channel, driven by data and quantifiable results. The question for merchants now is how to make influencer marketing as cost-efficient and profitable as affiliate marketing.
Public relations departments have been reaching out for years to bloggers and social media influencers. For branding, this strategy has proven effective. Influencers bring eyeballs and impressions to products and companies. A well-tailored campaign can spread awareness and familiarity because consumers trust the opinions of influencers.
How to Pay Influencers?
The marriage of influencers and PR began to fall apart when it came to monetization. Influencers started to understand their value and wanted to be paid for their time writing, editing, and taking lifestyle photos and videos of products. They started working with other influencers to create media kits with fees based on reach and engagement.
The marriage of influencers and PR began to fall apart when it came to monetization.
Brands began moving influencers away from PR and used influencers as bloggers, making them ambassadors. This gives the influencer-bloggers access to reviews and giveaways of the newest products and establishes them as experts in certain categories, such as fashion or baby products. This helps reassure consumers that the product is the right solution.
In recent years, many networks and platforms have been created trying to match brands with influencers. A brand creates an offer, adds funds to the network’s escrow account, and puts rules in place on how to promote the products. Frustrations can run high on both sides over creative control. And bloggers sometimes fail to adequately disclose the relationship.
This has brought the wrath of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has issued updates and enforcement actions against those who abuse the influence they wield. Affiliates, brands, and managers all have liability in the process.
Aligning business objectives with influencer campaigns is all about the data. Affiliate networks have reliable tracking, which allows for in-depth analysis and potentially larger budgets for successful campaigns.
Stephanie Robbins is C.E.O….