What Affiliates REALLY Want From Their Affiliate Network
In the affiliate marketing industry, there are so many networks to choose from that it is extremely hard for affiliates to differentiate between who is a good network to run with, and who is not. Everybody offers the same thing: higher payouts, better EPC’s, help from Affiliate Managers etc. But what about what affiliates are really looking for? Trustworthy networks, a guarantee that they will get paid, actual tips and tricks that will benefit their campaigns, more frequent payment periods and, perhaps most importantly, Networks with GOOD REPUTATIONS that are known to encompass all of the above.
These days, its almost very difficult to detect a trustworthy network. With some of the biggest networks failing recently, it raises a red flag of skepticism in everybody’s mind…if those big guys can fall, can’t anybody? So, the networks challenge is to prove that they are trustworthy, will pay their affiliates no matter what and are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed for their affiliates. Affiliates need to be perceptive of which networks are displaying these qualities.
The best way to do this is to see who is advertising and BRANDING their network. It’s common sense that the more the affiliates see the network around, the more the networks becomes branded in their minds. Affiliates should take notice of who is getting their name out there. It’s amazing how many networks are willing to pay big money for extravagant booths at the conferences, sponsor big parties and buy tables and bottles at fancy clubs, but don’t create a big presence online. The conferences and parties are great, but networks need to create a lasting impression on affiliates. Not all affiliates go to conferences either. It’s very helpful for affiliates to see that there is information out there on the network.
One of the greatest concerns affiliates have these days when deciding who to run with is whether or not the network will actually pay. When they type the network in to Google, what comes up? Are there any articles or blogs posts written about the network? Are there affiliates who have posted about the network on forums? What kind of presence does the network have in the industry? It is very easy to build a presence, but it seems like not enough networks do it. Here are some basic ways to build a strong industry presence:
Sponsored Listings – There are plenty of ways to find premium advertising space. There are several services that are constantly informing users of new and exciting industry news that specifically partner with affiliate networks for the purpose of informing publishers about new and exciting things that are happening with them.
Bloggers – Bloggers would all be perfectly willing to pass along relevant information to their users. As long as a network has something more important to say other than “we have high payouts and exclusive offers” many blogger would be happy to write up some good info. Also, many of them have paid premium ad spots as well.
Email Blasts – Email marketing is one the fastest ways to get the word out about your network. This can be bloggers or industry service companies. Email blasts are key. Again, networks need to write about something important and interesting. Affiliates should be looking for networks that have something unique and useful to offer. It’s up to the network to show the affiliate to figure out why they are unique!
Exchanges - Exchange services with people. If your network has a blog, offer to do a post for somebody if they do one for you. Find companies that can cross promote with your network.
Tracking Platform - A networks tracking platform is one of the best judgements of their size, cash flow and trustworthiness. The bigger platforms such as Cake and Linktrust, as well as custom platforms are held in high esteem. Using a tracking platform like that shows that the network isn’t messing around.
Be active – Being active on the forums and on all the social media outlets is HUGE. It follows the same logic mentioned earlier, the more affiliates see a network, the more branded it becomes in their mind. Networks should be doing whatever it takes to get their name out there so the decision to run with them can be arrived at easily by an affiliate.
Press Releases – Publishers will do research on networks. It is important that more than just the networks site shows up in the search engines. Networks should take control of their online reputation by doing some press releases that highlight some of the qualities that make the network unique.
Affiliates should be doing as much research as they can when they want to choose a network. Affiliate Marketing is a BIG money industry. It is important for affiliates to feel like they are running with a BIG money network. They need to feel like they can drive traffic and grow their marketing business with a network who can handle their growth. Networks should be doing whatever it takes to ensure that they have a SOLID reputation in the industry. If they appear cheap, affiliates will assume they are cheap and can’t handle the kind of volume they can bring. Affiliates will decide who to run with based on reputation and presence in the industry! Networks should take note: Get your name out there as much as possible, and affiliates will notice.
BRAND + REPUTATION + RELATIONSHIP + OPPORTUNITY = SUCCESS