How to Find the Right Affiliates Through the Right Content

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Affiliate marketing is a form of peer recommendation; it works because we feel more comfortable buying something that’s trusted by experts. Of course, a big company will push its own products. But my favorite podcast host, social media influencer, or blogger? Well, they only talk about the best on the market. 

Affiliates (AKA influencers) already have the ear of your brand’s end-user. With a few incentives – such as, payment per lead, free products, or a discount code – affiliate marketers will happily convince customers to part with their cash. 

Nowadays, there are many interactive ways to engage potential affiliates. With mobile gaming on the rise, web users are hungrier than ever for enjoyable content experiences. Finding affiliate marketers is surprisingly easy to gamify: a quiz, an interactive video, or drag-and-drop games are great starting places.

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Identify your core affiliate targets

It’s pointless creating content that won’t appeal to your desired affiliate targets. You must thoroughly research and understand the types of affiliates you want to collaborate with. 

Say, for instance, a mid-range cat food company called Chewy’s is looking to increase market reach (and sales) in the 25-40 age range. The ideal promoters for Chewy’s must be content producers who already engage and interact with cat owners in this age range with a mid-level budget for pet food.

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From research, Chewy’s knows YouTube and Facebook are the most popular channels among this age bracket. Their marketing team runs a search on these channels with relevant material for the brand, such as: “new cat food reviews,” “ideas for homemade cat toys,” and “health tips for suburban cats.”

Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to identify five or six content creators with 100,000+ subscribers who regularly interact with young professional suburban cat lovers. Social media content marketing targets acquired!

Tap into affiliate networks

Look at the content the affiliate targets already produce, like, and comment on. Tap into their world, and look at their content streams, contacts, connections, and collaborations. Then you’re familiar with their target audience, tone of voice, subjects they discuss, and content. 

You want to fully immerse yourself in the headspace of the influencers or affiliates you’re looking to collaborate with. This is not simply a time sink: affiliate marketing spend is set to increase 150% in 2022 compared with 2017, so it’s worth getting it right.

Take note of any particularly successful content pieces with lots of shares, likes, and comments from your ideal customer. You may spot some existing affiliate advertising and ecommerce partners

Design your targeted content

We’ve identified some promoters, are familiar with their content, and found some examples of their work that potential customers enjoyed. Doing great so far!

Let’s think about the kinds of content that will hook the attention of our favored affiliates-to-be.

Dynamic quiz

Hook the interest of potential product promoters with unique and challenging questions they’ll want the answers to. Deep dive into salient product information while also offering an educational bonus: how about questions on cat nutrition or ideal types of protein? 

Offer high-scoring quiz players the option to receive results by email, and send them affiliate sign-up information as a follow-up.

Advantages of a quiz:

  • Captures highly relevant audience (cat food enthusiasts)
  • Spread product awareness (answer slides could say: “Did you know our cat food contains 70% salmon?”)
  • Competitive element encourages sharing (quiz results could read: “I’m a smarty cat, 8/10 correct”)

Interactive video

Videos no longer need to be a linear and passive viewing experience. Plenty of multimedia designers allow a “choose-your-own-adventure” type of video where a scene will play, and then a slide appears with multiple choices on what should happen next. Depending on which option the viewer selects, a different video clip will follow.

Benefits of interactive video:

  • Unique and intriguing media shows your company is forward-thinking and innovative
  • Promote brand awareness through tone, music, and style of video
  • Lots of scope for storytelling 

Drawbacks include the expense of custom video creation and potential difficulty adapting playback across a range of devices and media platforms.

Puzzle game

Games and brain teasers engage viewers and hook their attention. Research shows that solving a puzzle creates a positive association with a brand. There are many quick-and-easy puzzle games to create intrigue in your brand identity and products. Often these are based on existing popular games because people already like and know how to play them. For instance, the BBC made a version of the 2048 sliding tile game to promote Dr Who. 

Advantages of puzzle games:

  • Addictive and shareable
  • Image-based games mean a higher chance of engaging with customers across multiple countries and achieving lots of product or brand exposure
  • Proven, effective method of engagement

Memory challenge

Affiliates are likely experts in your target market, so they may know a lot about the subject matter your business operates in. Therefore, “test-your-knowledge” memory challenge games can be highly successful. Often, simplicity works best – for example, a quiz that has warped the names of popular beer brands to test user knowledge.

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At the end of the memory challenge, include an uplifting message about how knowledgeable the successful player is, and then provide an exclusive invitation to your affiliate program. 

Benefits of memory challenge games:

  • Variable format options give lots of flexibility for types of promotion
  • Likely to capture users who are already broadly familiar with the target market
  • Fun and simple to create with basic image-editing tools

Now you have some ideas for content types, let’s look at some final thoughts for capturing exactly the right affiliate partners. 

Target your incentives

Life has never been busier – and affiliates are bombarded with partnership offers from every direction. To reduce the drop-off rate for high-value affiliates, ensure your content is upfront about the benefits of engaging with it fully. 

Either the game or quiz has to be so enjoyable that users that start playing are motivated to continue by how much fun they are having. Or state a more explicit incentive at the start. For example, “Play our quiz to earn a discount code” or “Play until the end for an exclusive opportunity.” Ideal content will do both. 

Remember, your company faces hot competition to excite the interest of high-quality affiliates. Business deals in everything from clothing brands to web security to ecommerce hosting vie for affiliate attention every day. 

Reflect carefully on how to highlight your product innovation, and make your content a cut above the rest. Give the above tips a go, and you’ll have a much stronger chance of sales pipeline success.

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