In Affiliate Marketing - Can The Tail Wag The Dog

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nonstopConsulting offer 5 tips that look beyond the usual suspects to help grow online sales with some innovative approaches to working with long tail affiliates.

nonstopConsulting see affiliate marketing continually becoming a key part of online company’s promotional strategy and as the industry has matured some of the key players have become brands in their own right by creating demand and building markets that UK consumers may have previously overlooked.

Some of the larger (so called ‘super affiliate’) brand’s visibility extends way beyond their website and in some cases their advertising is regularly seen on television, tubes and in the national press. Today affiliate promotions may even be available offline and can provide members with additional benefits such as cash back and exclusive offers that can be redeemed on the high street.

In particular the voucher code and cash back websites have been around for many years now and are often the dominant part of an affiliate programme sometimes accounting for as much as 80% of the revenue that a programme generates.

The super affiliates of today have innovatively established themselves as an inherent part of the modern savvy shopper’s consumer journey. But with such a substantial chunk of affiliate channel sales being generated by these ‘usual suspects’, is it reasonable that so many online marketers overlook the long tail?

Historically the long tail affiliates were considered the foundation of affiliate marketing with lots of small online publishers creating brand awareness and sales to audiences that were not on the radar of other marketing channels. Today these niche publishers are often overshadowed by the ‘mighty’ super affiliates, but there is still huge potential from the long tail.

Collectively working with hundreds of smaller long tail affiliates capable of generating one or two sales each month can turn a good programme in to an over achieving dream that continues to deliver month after month without relying solely on tenancies exclusive vouchers and CPA increases.

On the surface building a solid base of long tail affiliates can take time to get right, but similarly they bring many of the benefits of affiliate marketing to the table (such as building incremental brand awareness, providing honest product reviews and opening doors in to niche groups and communities).

Below are 5 tips to help you work with your long tail affiliates:

1.    Optimise Your Programme
Take the time to get the right balance of affiliates promoting your programme (this will often reduce the overall cost without affecting the revenues that the channel can generate for you).

2.    Incentivise Fairly
Consider the long tail affiliates as a collective affiliate group and give them incentives that encourage them to grow sales to your affiliate programme (doubling sales from a large group of affiliates is never a bad thing).

3.    Give affiliates the tools they need to deliver
Smaller affiliates may need a different set of tools to larger affiliates in order to deliver sales – consider giving them widgets, search boxes and dynamic banners to help them deliver better results.

4.    Be Diverse in your approach
Take a creative approach to the channel and think beyond text links, tenancy fees and commission increases.

5.    Don’t be afraid to put the work in
The road to success is never easy, but if you are prepared to put the work in to working with all types of affiliates, the rewards will continue far beyond a week of premium placement.

Getting the balance of affiliates right takes a carefully implemented promotional strategy – but by getting it right, the benefits will speak for themselves with long term sustainable results.

About nonstopConsulting
nonstopConsulting Ltd (a UDG company) are pan European market leader in international performance marketing & affiliate management. nonstopConsulting combine award winning account management expertise with the latest proprietary technology to create best of breed online marketing strategies that continuously deliver exceptional results for our clients in every market globally.

Contact: Jules Bazley
Tel: +44 (0)207 492 1817
Email: jbazley(at)nonstopConsulting(dot)co(dot)uk
Twitter: nsCi_UK

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