The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023

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The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023

Google Trends data suggests that the number of searches for “affiliate marketing” has grown significantly over the past six years. Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising that involves an affiliate, like an influencer, promoting a company’s product or service for a commission on every sale. If you ever have considered Affiliate Marketing as a part of your marketing mix, read on to learn more about the 21 best affiliate marketing strategies for 2023.

According to Statista, U.S businesses’ affiliate marketing spending will reach $8.2 billion by 2022, up from 5.4 billion reported in 2017. The internet usage market was pretty saturated in Sweden, with 96% of the population already using the internet daily (ITU, 2019). The extra constraints of having to work from home and perhaps having to be isolated during large portions of the pandemic years, we can see that there has been an increased adaptation to online environments.

Related: How Scandinavian Companies Can Increase Sales By Affiliate Marketing in 2023 and Beyond

How Scandinavian Companies Can Increase Sales With Affiliate Marketing in 2023 and Beyond
According to Statista, U.S businesses’ affiliate marketing spending will reach $8.2 billion by 2022, up from 5.4 billion reported in 2017.

What has created the incredible growth of affiliate marketing over the past few years?

Under the pressure of competition and technology development it’s difficult for any marketing method to stand the test of time. Affiliate marketing, however, is still on the rise, and this article aims to be a handy guide for businesses interested in implementing the method in the course of 2023.

Today, 81% of brands around the world have affiliate programs. But implementing an effective affiliate marketing plan takes time and effort. Fortunately, there are strategies to get you on track. In this article, I have compiled a list of affiliate marketing strategies for you to explore.

Content:
1. Choose products or services for promoting via affiliates
2. Set the type of affiliate payment model
3. Choose the Right Affiliates
4. Expand your affiliate network
5. Leverage micro-influencers
6. Join in an affiliate network
7. Build your own affiliate program
8. Optimize your platforms
9. Attract Sales with Coupons, Deals, and Promotions
10. Diversify your affiliate program
11. Leverage the Power of Niche Influencers
12. Keep an Eye on Trending Influencers
13. Track Your Sales
14. Leverage your content marketing
15. Initiate brand to brand partnerships
16. Leverage Affiliate Promotions frrom Multiple Sources
17. Invest in Search engine optimization (SEO)
18. Use affiliate marketing software
19. Run Ads Around Peak Shopping Times
20. Build a sense of authenticity
21. Prepare marketing guidelines and collateral

How Scandinavian Companies Can Increase Sales With Affiliate Marketing in 2023 and Beyond
Today, 81% of brands around the world have affiliate programs.

1. Choose products or services for promoting via affiliates

Affiliate marketing strategy is the process that merchants find and partner with different affiliates to promote their business, products, or services.

2. Set the type of affiliate payment model

Your choice of payout structure would depend on your goal. A practical commission percentage depends on a few elements, such as customer acquisition and retention. Compare how much commission your competitors are offering for the same products. Offering higher commission rates for a limited time could also make your brand a more exciting option.

A comprehensive affiliate marketing strategy typically includes:

  • Pay per click
  • Pay per lead
  • Pay per sale

Decide different commission tiers for different level of affiliates

3. Choose the Right Affiliates

If you want to influence consumers’ buying decisions, you should choose to work with someone who has an engaged audience that trusts them.

When choosing an affiliate to help you with your product promotions, check whether or not:

  • They have a good rapport with their audience
  • Their audience might be interested in your products or brand
  • They have a good following, site ranking, views, engagement, and authority
  • All of this is important to ensure that your efforts aren’t in vain.

A tool like Affiliate Recruitment Software can be useful.

An excellent example of a company using affiliate marketing is Omio, formerly known as GoEuro. This is an online travel aggregator based in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 2012 and since then has expanded into 15 European countries, as well as to Canada and the US. The website is available in 21 languages.

4. Expand your affiliate network

  • The key of a powerful affiliate marketing strategy lies in how you can take advantage of affiliates to maximize your profit with minimal effort by, for instance:
  • Modifying the commission structure to entice more affiliates to join your affiliate programs.
  • Instead of tapping into various affiliate networks, build your own. It can be really difficult to recruit your first few affiliates. But expanding your affiliate network is comparatively easier.
  • To attract affiliates, you should follow a clear, to-the-point approach. Provide your potential affiliates with all of the necessary information such as what to do, how it works, and the commission you’ll pay.
  • You should also encourage your affiliates to recruit more sub-affiliates. You can offer them a small commission of the sales that their sub-affiliates drive. That can be quite encouraging.
  • You should always take some time to appreciate and reward your most loyal affiliates. Track their performance, and analyze the lifetime value of the customers they bring to your brand.

    Related: Scandinavian E-Commerce Trends 2022

How Scandinavian Companies Can Increase Sales With Affiliate Marketing in 2023 and Beyond
Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.

5. Leverage micro-influencers

Mega influencers, influencers with more than 1 million followers, might sound like an enticing venture, but they can be costly.

This is especially true for mega influencers who have over 100 million followers. For most businesses, even larger ones, that might be too expensive. However, there is a growing trend of micro-influencer marketing taking the marketing world by storm.

Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. According to a survey done by Shopify, 77% of marketers say that micro-influencers are on top of their lists of ideal influencers.

Micro-influencers cost a lot less and allow you as a brand to possibly market to a wider audience by recruiting a larger number of micro-influencers than a single mega-influencer.

Not just that, but micro-influencers have more dedicated and better-targeted audiences, which means if you find the right micro-influencer, chances are you will have a higher engagement rate than those of macro and mega influencers.

Studies have shown that micro-influencers have between 7-10% engagement rates, whereas macro-influencers are lucky to get 5%.

6. Join in an affiliate network

If you just joined a marketplace, it can be tough to recruit your first few affiliates by yourself. You can start by being a member of a popular affiliate marketing network, where you offer affiliate program opportunities to a vast community of affiliate marketers.

For those who want to build their own affiliate network, it might be challenging to recruit the first few affiliates. So you should:

  • Inform your potential affiliates of all essential information related to your affiliate programs, including commissions, detailed tasks, benefits, etc.
  • Encourage your affiliates to recruit more sub-affiliates to earn a small commission for each purchase their sub-affiliates generate
  • Reward your most loyal affiliates with a much higher commission rate compared to others or offer them special incentives like free delivery every month or shopping discounts

Offer a high commission rate to attract more affiliates marketers to your affiliate program

7. Build your own affiliate program

You might start out as a merchant in an affiliate network. But if you’re ready to expand your business to another level, you might want to consider building your own affiliate program. This would not only grow more traffic to your domain but it would also give you an opportunity to take control of all your transactions, affiliates, and commissions.

In building your own affiliate program, you need to:

  • Choose a software solution
  • Define program rules and expectations
  • Discuss the basics with your affiliates.

Explaining program rules should be a priority.

8. Optimize your platforms

While your arm of affiliates can direct traffic to your site, your main goal should be conversion. That is, when visitors land on your page, they should be engaged enough to take action, whether that’s to purchase a product or sign up to your newsletter.

Conversion optimization creates a great user experience, which increases leads and traffic to your website. Other optimization strategies to boost conversion include:

  • Creating video information
  • Sending personalized email messages
  • Using intent-based keywords on all your website pages
  • Developing targeted landing pages
  • Producing highly relevant content or updating previous ones
  • Testing your platform speed

9. Attract Sales with Coupons, Deals, and Promotions

Leveraging coupons and deals is one of the best affiliate marketing strategies to boost sales. That’s because many consumers love the savings power of coupons. They often search for discount vouchers on various coupon and deal sites before shopping for any product.

Many coupon and deal websites allow you to attract more customers by offering significant discounts.

Here is a compilation of 11 websites for finding coupons and deals online.

Coupons work best in markets that are highly competitive such as food, beauty, travel, or gadgets. However, you need to manage them well as an extravagant discount offer might simply eat into your margins.

To make the most out of your coupon affiliate marketing strategies, choose to work with a few, high-quality sites. See where their visitors come from. Do they highly rely on search traffic or do they have a user base of their own?

You should also check the authenticity of their site. Try using their coupon codes for a few popular brands. If they don’t work, it’s a red flag.

How Scandinavian Companies Can Increase Sales With Affiliate Marketing in 2023 and Beyond
To truly maximize your program potential, creating a diversified affiliate program is the way to go.

10. Diversify your affiliate program

In finance, investors diversify their investment portfolio to reduce risk. It’s the same thing with diversifying your affiliate program. Relying on one to two affiliates is a great start, but it might not be sustainable in the long run. To truly maximize your program potential, creating a diversified affiliate program is the way to go. It can also help you tap new audiences and create future opportunities.

Here are a few tips to help you diversify your affiliate programs.

  • Do your research on potential affiliates and establish a relationship with them on their own platforms. Time your recruitment and review your affiliate mix every quarter.
  • Provide a marketing strategy for each type of affiliate. Consider which campaigns would be relevant and productive for each type and define a target ROI.
  • Explore more opportunities with your successful marketing campaigns. If the campaign has performed consistently well within a set timeline, consider expanding your budget for a more elaborate advertising initiative.

Share any information that you can. Discussing the results of your affiliate programs would not only offer solutions for your peers but may even lead to a collaboration.

11. Leverage the Power of Niche Influencers

Influencer marketing has become much more than a buzzword in recent years. And brands are continuously learning to tap into this source of referrals effectively.

Many brands choose to work with a large number of social influencers and bloggers in their niches. Influencers have more authentic relationships with their followers. They can effectively get their audience to trust your brand and convince them to use your products or services.

Influencers may not send you huge amounts of traffic compared to coupon sites. But the audience they send is targeted and more likely to be interested in your product.

12. Keep an Eye on Trending Influencers

It’s not easy to know who will be trending next, but if you work with an influencer that starts trending, you’ll see a significant increase in leads and sales.

The best way to find trending influencers is by following trends. Go on social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter and look at what’s trending and which influencers are actively posting with hashtags related to the trend.

Another great way to work with influencers that are trending is by using an influencer marketing platform to connect with them.

Related: Latest Ecommerce Trends for Holiday Season 2022

13. Track Your Sales
Committing to understanding how influencer revenue tracking works can help you take your brand to the next level, particularly if you operate in the DTC eCommerce space. It’s not that much different from tracking sales through other marketing channels. Grin is a reputable tool. It helps you monitor a wide variety of parameters like referrer links, browser versions, devices, creatives, and more.

Nordstrom Rack, a US fashion retailer, gifted their products to several influencers. The influencers then featured those products in their blog posts and social media posts effectively. This series of posts helped them reach 500,000 potential customers and cost-effectively increase sales.

A few important metrics that you should check include:

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Audience demographics
  • Follower growth over time
  • Alignment with your brand’s values and niche

All of these factors contribute to whether or not an influencer is a good fit for your affiliate marketing program.

14. Leverage your content marketing

For any business that taps into the affiliate marketing industry and expects revenue, content marketing is indispensable for a high-effective affiliate marketing strategy.

Though affiliate marketers are responsible for promoting your products, you can’t rely entirely on your affiliates and wait for sales to come in.

Even when affiliates successfully bring interesting perspectives to your landing pages or product pages, your job is to convert them into customers. To ensure the success of each generated leads from affiliate marketers, make sure:

  • Your site loading speed is fast (1-2 seconds)
  • Your website content is informative and relevant to your target audience’s needs
  • Display high-quality and attractive product photos
  • Feature customer reviews to build trust

Optimizing website content and product pages will, for sure, give a boost to your affiliate marketing strategies and get more conversions in the long-run.

The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023
A PartnerPath poll found that co-marketed ads help 68% of consumers to arrive at a buying decision before even speaking to a salesperson.

15. Initiate brand to brand partnerships

In 2017, 34% of marketers cited co-branding as the most effective way to increase the number of email subscribers. Meanwhile, a PartnerPath poll found that co-marketed ads help 68% of consumers to arrive at a buying decision before even speaking to a salesperson.

This shows that brand to brand partnership is an effective means to a high conversion rate. All you need is another brand that aligns with your values and targets the same demographic.

Spotify and Starbucks’ co-branding campaign to create a music ecosystem is a perfect example of this. By partnering with Spotify, Starbucks gets to create a new coffee shop experience. Starbucks employees receive new complimentary access to Spotify premium as well as power to control the in-store playlists.

On the other hand, Spotify’s artists get a wider audience, and customers get free coffee when they subscribe to Spotify Premium. Overall, it’s a win-win situation.

16. Leverage Affiliate Promotions From Multiple Sources

Instead of focusing on just Instagram influencers or coupon sites, spend the time to reach out to your audience through affiliates from multiple sources.

You can test a variety of affiliate marketing strategies to see which audience responds the best and is the easiest to reach.

Some promising sources to leverage affiliate promotions include:

  • Product review blogs: A review-focused affiliate blog can help you promote your products effectively. They are more likely to drive customers who are really interested in making a purchase.
  • Email marketing: Affiliates with a huge list of email subscribers in your niche can help you drive more conversions.
  • Webinars: Experts who host webinars on topics relevant to your niche can also be an amazing source of targeted leads. With an audience who trusts their recommendations, they can boost your affiliate marketing strategies.
  • YouTube videos: Getting your products featured by a popular YouTuber can help you drive instant sales. After all, 40% of millennials admit that their favorite YouTubers understand them better than their friends.

Using multiple platforms can help you drive the best results from your affiliate marketing strategies. This can also help you analyze the platform which your audience is most engaged.

Which Channel is Best?

To track the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing efforts, use relevant metrics.

17. Invest in Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO matters for any business, even affiliate marketing. Focusing on SEO can leverage your whole affiliate marketing strategy though it definitely takes time and effort to see final results.

PPC campaigns are effective in promoting any product or service to its right audience. All you need is a detailed understanding of who your target is and their mutual characteristics to set ads.

However, it’s challenging to maintain your income-expense rate via only PPC campaigns. Furthermore, you might end up spending more than what you earn for several reasons:

SEO is a perfect approach for your affiliate marketing strategy when you’re just a seller with no reputation compared to those who have a long presence in the marketplace.

Via affiliate’s recommendation, a prospective buyer might get interested in your product and search for your brand on Google. Then, a high-ranking page apparently is more convincing.

18. Use affiliate marketing software

Building and managing your affiliate marketing campaigns can be overwhelming. This is where affiliate marketing software enters the picture. These platforms can assist you in tracking, overseeing, and even growing your initiatives. Those, in turn, can increase your e-commerce sales and scale your brand-to- brand partnerships.

In choosing software, take these factors into account:

  • All-in-one platform
  • Seamless integration
  • Easy set-up
  • Mobile compatibility

Note the following advantages and disadvantages in using affiliate marketing software:

Pros

  • Easy management
  • Fraud protection
  • Campaign tracking
  • Deep analytics

    Cons

  • Monthly cost

19. Run Ads Around Peak Shopping Times

Holiday times see a large increase in spending, especially if those products are related to the holiday.

Retail sales figures show that certain markets like jewelry, electronics, and toys/hobbies have a larger last-quarter percentage than the rest of the year.

This is due to large holidays falling during those months like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

That makes it the best time to get your product out to affiliate marketers to start advertising.

20. Build a sense of authenticity

Make use of auto-optimization options offered by affiliate software to stay on top of your business and protect yourself from losing money when you sleep.

The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023
Using multiple platforms can help you drive the best results from your affiliate marketing strategies.

21. Prepare marketing guidelines and collateral

Advertising materials are some of the things that affiliates look forward to when working with a brand. Preparing your marketing materials and guidelines beforehand makes the work easier for both you and your affiliates.

First, it speeds up the promotion process. It allows your affiliates to understand your brand quicker, therefore promoting your products more efficiently. The less time they channel into creating content, the more they have on promotion. Presenting the types of materials that work best for each type of platform also saves time and energy.

Sending marketing collateral to your affiliates also helps them market your most relevant products without losing your voice. You can approve which logo designs they can use, for example. You can also brief them on the tone they apply on copy points and captions they may use in promotion.

The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023 – Conclusion

The world of marketing has never stopped changing. Can you take the fullest potential out of affiliate marketing? The answer to the question is up to you.

The 21 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023, written by Tor Kjolberg

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