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There are so many different areas of online marketing these days that it’s hard to keep track of them all, let alone be a true expert on each one. Between email marketing, search engine marketing, Facebook ads, display ads, and other social media ads, how do you create time to also focus on affiliate marketing? Lucky for you, there are many affiliate marketing experts out there that can make your life a lot easier were you simply to hire them to help work on your affiliate program. Today we’re going to walk through what affiliate management experts bring to the table.
1. Knowledge of Affiliate Networks & Technologies
The first main thing that affiliate management experts bring to the table is their knowledge of the many different affiliate networks and how to navigate them. An affiliate network acts as the middleman between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. Affiliate networks help affiliates to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their marketing methods or website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows online merchants who offer affiliate programs to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network.
There are various affiliate tracking technologies that merchants can use. If they’re not running a custom, in-house solution, a merchant can run their affiliate program on many different affiliate networks. Occasionally, merchants even choose to be present on multiple networks. Examples of these networks include Awin, Rakuten LinkShare, CJ Affiliate by Conversant, ShareASale (now a part of Awin), Impact, and Link Connector).
Each one of these networks has a different interface. Grabbing various reports or setting up different commission payouts are completely different from network to network. You can easily spend half a day learning how to change something within your program when an affiliate management expert would have had it finished within a few minutes.
Part of being an affiliate management expert is having extensive knowledge and experience with each of the primary affiliate networks. This knowledge can streamline efforts and make things more efficient for your business when it comes to affiliate marketing.
2. Connections – Network of Proven Affiliate Partners
Many business professionals are known to say that you’re only as good as your network. This statement is very true an affiliate management expert because their networks consist of affiliates that can help your business increase its sales.
Chances are that you as the business owner do not have an existing network of affiliates like this. It could take months or even years for you to try and build the same level of connection to a fraction of their network whereas the affiliate program management professional already comes equipped with these connections. This is a huge advantage for you and your company and something that is definitely worth leveraging. It’s also common practice for affiliate management experts to attend industry conferences where they constantly are mingling and growing their personal network.
3. Expertise in Affiliate Tactics and Ability to Fight Fraud
Along with having an existing network of proven affiliates that they can reach out to on behalf of your affiliate program, the affiliate management expert also comes equipped with an existing understanding of all major affiliate promotional tactics and practices, as well as an ability to spot and prevent affiliate fraud. This makes it really easy for them to weed out the low quality affiliates that are not going to bring value to your brand and/or drive fraudulent orders to you.
Navigating the world of affiliates can be an intimidating task. Affiliates come from all sorts of countries and market in many different ways. If you have no experience in the area, it can be a lot harder to know what you’re looking at when you’re accepting and declining affiliates into your affiliate program. By simply having an affiliate management expert take the reigns of your affiliate program, you can avoid a lot of potential headaches because they’ll have a better idea of which affiliates are going to be good and which ones will not be good for your affiliate program.
4. Efficiency in Affiliate Recruitment
Lastly, it’s the job of the affiliate manager to always be identifying and recruiting quality affiliates to the merchant’s affiliate program. An affiliate management expert already comes with years of experience doing exactly this task. Additionally, they have their own tools, methods, and systems that make affiliate recruitment as efficient as possible. Thus, they’re identifying more potential affiliates and reaching out to more potential affiliates than someone else who might be attempting this task for the first time.
In summary, hiring an affiliate management expert (often operating as an affiliate OPM agency) is going to do nothing but make your life easier when you choose to start an affiliate program. You’ll be confident that your program is in good hands and will get off to a good start. Between affiliate network knowledge, their connections within the industry, understanding of affiliate promotional tactics, ability to spot violations, and affiliate recruitment efficiency you can be confident in your investment.
As always, feel free to reach out to us or comment below with any notes or questions.