As we have pointed out in past, being an affiliate manager is more about the soft skills than the hard skills. The utmost upon them are people skills. And though that might confuse you to begin with, it makes sense. You will be handling a lot of different affiliate partners, ideally from different backgrounds with different audiences, and you’ll need to establish and maintain relationships with them. So, how do you do that? We have some tips.
While discussing trends for 2023 in the opening discussion of the AMPLIFY Summit, the concept of gifting came up. To you and me, gifting has been around for a long time. Influencers call them PR, and they even come with politics. The drama YouTubers are astounded if someone big didn’t get PR because it means there’s beef. So, a PR package is pretty standard, but the panel were discussing that the idea of a PR package is a staple in affiliate marketing for a reason.
Shopify product leader Mike Schmidt had an interesting idea, saying: “I think 2023 is the year of gifting. Gifting is one of the just incredible mechanics for affiliate marketing, especially in the creator landscape. This is not necessarily something that’s new for traditional publishers. [Brands] have been sending samples for years and years but gifting is just this trend we see so pronounced in the data.”
“It just makes sense. If you want someone to promote your products, an individual publisher, creator, influencer, to start talking about you, you kind of have to send them what you’re making before you end up getting them to promote your products.”
There is usually a shoutout package that comes with a brand deal, which influencers tend to follow to the letter. So, it’s important that it’s clear what you want. If you want 30 seconds filled, say that. If you want certain highlights pointed out, say so. Influencers aren’t mind readers.
But there is a middle ground. We say “clear” instructions, not “overwhelming” instructions. Ever heard of TomSka? A YouTuber with over 1.4 million viewers, TomSka put out a very popular YouTube video called “Dear Surfshark, Please Fire Me”.
In this video, the skit YouTuber expressed how boring he found brand deals to be, reading a precise script that his viewers have heard hundreds of times from other YouTubers and that he’d rather incorporate his brand shoutout into his skits. Surfshark was fine with that, so TomSka tried to make as offensive an ad as possible to get fired. But TomSka managed to make a good point about typical shoutouts that his followers were nodding along to: they’re not listening. If they hear a lull in the conversation, they’re hitting the skip button so fast you won’t even hear “Today’s sponsor is…!”
And that is incredibly mundane when the same thing is being said. At that point is it even a shoutout when everyone is saying they love the same product for the same reasons? Loosen the reigns a little, and allow your affiliate marketers to honestly say what they love about your product and you’ll have a better means of convincing users.
Aid in technical things
The internet is about to change a lot. Between Google switching from third party cookies to their “alternative”, to Web3.0 which will add data to a decentralised system. It’s all expected to affect affiliate marketing, and affiliate marketing managers will know the ins and outs. The little guys on the ground, however, the self-taught affiliate partners, who are learning as they grow, will have a little more trouble wrapping their head around the more technical changes. Can you see your typical beauty influencer knowing the impact of Web3.0?
So, it’s important to clearly convey what theses changes mean and how you would like your affiliate partners to adjust to aid your sales. There is going to be an adjustment period when these changes come into effect and it’s important to realise that influencers are a lot of things. They’re photographers, comedians, creatives, video editors and business people, but they’re not often IT consultants. There are plenty of influencers building computers and reading up on these things, but when they become more substantial, you might want to put out some feelers on where you affiliate partners stand on the changes and inform them on what you expect from them.
Pritpal Shokar of ONE said: “It comes back to this barrier for adoption. For me, it starts at the education piece. I think the average individual at the moment, let’s call it a retail individual, it’s very difficult for them to understand what exactly crypto is and how it works. They’re almost kind of scared to dabble into what it is.”
If you are interested in more affiliate and social media marketing insights, take a look at our blog for all the latest news and advice. Or for a more personalised approach, book a free call with a member of our team.
Or, for the very best advice from industry peers, register to gain access to our Amplify Action Day. Taking place in January 2023 doesn’t mean you’ve missed it. Amplify aims to bring you the latest affiliate, performance, and partner marketing insights from across the globe and it’s all available to stream from our website.