Affiliate marketing: creating and maintaining the foundations for success
Maxim Makovetskyi, Head of Affiliates at Parimatch, shares his perspectives on how to kickstart, sustain and optimise an affiliate marketing programme
Affiliate marketing can be one of the most effective channels for exposing your brand to new customers and generating website traffic and is invaluable to a well-rounded marketing strategy. Low risk, results-driven, and cost-effective, affiliate marketing programmes may require a significant time investment to create but, once operational, can be tailored and scaled to best support marketing and sales objectives. However, not all affiliate marketing programmes are created equal.
Putting your best foot forward
Creating an affiliate marketing programme from scratch can be daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to start. The most important factor when launching a programme is to first work with a select number of trusted partners, with whom you already have a relationship. This creates a solid basis from which to grow and maximises the chance of a programme’s success. When the affiliate programme begins to gain momentum, you can expand relationships and make refinements to your process, for example, by testing the sales funnel to enhance the user journey to your product.
Finding the perfect match
Relationships lie at the center of affiliate marketing. It is essential to create a win-win dynamic, and the best way to achieve this is to recruit an experienced affiliate manager from the offset, who will be able to identify reliable partners who are the best fit for the brand. It is easy to waste time by forging unscalable affiliate relationships that ultimately go nowhere, so an expert recruiter can easily assess the prospects of a potential partnership. The ideal partner in every situation is someone who is honest and has a proven track record.
How to stand out from the crowd
As affiliate marketing increases in popularity, affiliates can be spoilt for choice. This makes it crucial for brands to differentiate their offer to potential partners. Communicating the advantages of your affiliate marketing platform is key – whether it is advanced reporting capabilities, a sophisticated tracking platform, high conversion rates, 24/7 support or lightning-fast payouts. The sorts of benefits that the highest performing and experienced affiliates are attracted to are often created through investing in the right technology tools and solutions. For example, a properly tuned and flexible tracking and traffic distribution system has the potential to increase your and your partner’s ROI severalfold by directing traffic to the most lucrative products or offers.
Flexibility is key
However, the most difficult task can be finding a balance between creating these benefits, which require significant investment and maintaining affiliates’ level of income. The main solution to this problem is to build trust-based relationships with partners and demonstrate a willingness to adapt to make the partnership successful. Through an open and transparent approach, you will earn the loyalty of affiliates, even if there are difficulties along the way, which is critical for maintaining consistent affiliate sales.
Navigating affiliate marketing in a Covid-19 environment
Unsurprisingly, the impact of Covid-19 has been felt in affiliate marketing. Betting, as an industry largely tied to large offline events, was hit pretty hard. The knock-on effect of this was that many small affiliate buying teams were forced to leave the market because they did not adapt fast enough to the new market conditions. At Parimatch we had to react quickly and double down on increasingly popular areas such as esports and mobile games. By shifting focus, new affiliates were attracted to the brand, demonstrating that exploring emerging fields and creating new opportunities for affiliates can really pay off.
Maxim Makovetskyi is head of affiliates at Parimatch and oversees the development of the Parimatch affiliate programme. His responsibilities include attracting new affiliates on CPA/RevShare, affiliate traffic efficiency and performance evaluation, brand promotion of the affiliate programme, as well as development and refinement of the affiliate platform. In the year since he joined Parimatch, the volume of effective traffic attracted by affiliates has increased threefold.