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Affiliate Marketing Insights

Top Affiliate Marketing Takeaways from attending T&C Summit and ASW in January

This week we’re sharing everything our business development and sales team brought back with them after attending these first two affiliate events of the year, namely – Traffic & Conversion Summit and Affiliate Summit West, which ran back to back earlier this month!

Top Affiliate Marketing Takeaways from T&C

This year you’ll be seeing vCommission’s sales team attend multiple global affiliate events as we embark on a year long “road trip” to expand our publisher and advertiser database world wide. We caught up with Stuart to catch his thoughts and learnings from these two events, and share the top affiliate marketing takeaways he had from these first two industry events:

Q: Stuart you recently attended both summits, what were some of the key things you learned whilst out and about at these events?

A: Both events held interest both on the official panel agenda and in-person discussions around upcoming changes to third party pixel tracking and the challenges that this will bring to the affiliate marketing industry. From media buying partners to lead generators all publisher types are looking to invest long term into providing better first party tracking and data collection. Maybe because of this there was also a lot of discussion around non-traditional affiliate marketing campaigns such as pay per call and lead generation playing a bigger role in future for program segmentation which was quite interesting.

Q: What are some of the key messages you gleaned from advertisers you met with in terms of where they feel challenged right now?

A: Tracking is a real concern for a lot of brands, as is data transparency. Advertisers really appreciate working with companies and affiliates that are open with them and share as much data as possible to help make considered decisions in terms of where and how to spend budget in performance. It’s one of the things we do well at vCommission so I was happy to share how we supply granular reporting and insights on all the publishers we bring to the table when advertisers join our global network.

Q: What are some of the things vCommission can offer to help these brands overcome them and move forward to partner with publishers that can drive quality traffic?

A: I think the answer is the same for both brands and publishers in this case. It’s a combination of our international reach and internally built and maintained affiliate marketing expertise. It’s our ability to help our partners reach and enter new global markets that they may not have worked in before. Our team has a lot of experience on the ground in a number of locations so there’s always someone on hand with good advice for our partners to benefit from working together. That’s also why our team invests heavily in attending global affiliate events such as these to engage and learn with others in our industry and see the marketplace from all sides.

Q: Part of your remit is to find and recruit new publishers to the network. What are some of the most interesting publishers you’ve met at these events that advertisers can expect to work with as new traffic sources via vCommission?

A: Without giving away any specific names we had a focus to build out our advertiser base in the lead generation and pay per call space especially – that will allow us to offer publishers a wider range of services to promote. We also made some great connections on the publisher side that will help us continue to help our existing advertiser campaigns grow – globally. Coming to events like this is not only about learning what’s new and trending but its about setting up partnerships to build on the success of our clients and publisher partners we’re already servicing too!

Q: What are the top take away points you heard, saw, or listened to in the panel discussions and in the various meetings you had? Give us the lowdown on what the hot topics were for those of us that didn’t get to attend these events.

A: This year there was a lot of talk about tracking and cookie deprecation which are obviously timely with Google implementing their cookie deprecation policy at the start of this year. Asides from this there was a lot of discussion around the need to improve personal branding in our industry and how to leverage this in the content curator space to build better content for advertisers to benefit from.

AI was a hot topic too as publishers are exploring how to utilize these tools to create authenticity behind the content they produce. We’re getting to a point where the industry is realizing that ultimately “people buy from people ”, attention spans are shorter and we need to understand that this is still very much a relationship and people led business. It’s why we believe and invest in putting our team out and about at the front of where our advertisers and publishers are. We value keeping the personal relationships we have growing, and having people you can trust managing the services we deliver too!

Q: What’s the one thing you learned that surprised you about how affiliate marketing and program management tactics may change this year?

A: I’m always pleasantly surprised by the way that our industry attacks new challenges and it looks like that isn’t changing with both publishers and advertisers meeting the tracking challenges with new and innovative solutions. The sharing of data seems to be more open and brands and publishers are realizing the need to work closer together to deliver the right results. The days of running hidden secretive affiliate marketing campaigns and hoping they deliver – are over! It’s pleasing to see the positive results of campaigns that share data and how they can be optimized much better – so I’m glad this transparency has started to happen more and more!

Q: Having attended the first two global affiliate events of the year back-to-back all in one month – what are you looking forward to at the next event you attend?

A: Firstly, I’m looking forward to spending a little time at home with my family, it was a long trip! Now the follow up begins! After this – it’s back to my home town of London so that’s always something I look forward to and another event to attend in a completely different industry – so I’m looking forward to the learnings I’ll be bringing back to the office with me after that one too!

Q: You’ll be heading out to London in February to attend the IGB Affiliate conference. Why should advertisers and brands set up a meeting now to discuss your network offering and get engaged early to have a meeting?

A: For those that don’t know, IGB Affiliate is primarily an iGaming conference and this is a market that is growing extremely rapidly across multiple regions. I’d say that brands that aren’t already looking at it should be and those that are but want to grow further should definitely book a meeting. On the publisher and affiliate side, we have access to many brands and advertisers in the region so we are always happy to introduce new quality publishers to them.

Thanks for sharing all you’ve learned and gathered attending these global affiliate events, we’re looking forward to meeting more of our clients, publishers and partners at further events as we continue our global expansion as a value driven affiliate partner network you can trust!

To book a meeting with our team at IGB London Affiliate Conference, the next global affiliate event we’re attending – CLICK HERE

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Affiliate Marketing Insights

Why a Multi-Affiliate Network approach can supercharge your affiliate program

Remember that pivotal moment when “Gangnam Style” invaded your ears? It was a catchy tune – but the real magic was Psy’s infectious enthusiasm, captivating audiences beyond his native Korean borders.

That is the effect that a multiple affiliate network strategy can have on your affiliate program.

Working in a single affiliate network can offer you some positive outcomes – but for ambitious e-commerce businesses looking to grow, the downside of working in a single affiliate network, means you could be wasting valuable time growing your audience reach and slowing your partner program onboarding. You could be missing out on bigger growth opportunities from niche partnerships that aren’t in that single pool of affiliate network contacts.

Diversify your affiliate outreach and onboarding

For mid-sized e-commerce businesses (SMBs), navigating the affiliate marketing landscape, it can feel like traversing a high and terrifying mountain peak. Each step could lead you to a win or lose situation. While working in one affiliate network offers you a seemingly safe harbor to begin with, restricted publisher outreach can stifle your business growth and slow your program growth progress too.

In today’s hyper-connected world, the key to unlocking explosive affiliate expansion lies in a strategic plan that leverages multiple specialist networks to build momentum and create synergy between your desired outcomes and your target KPI’s.

A 2022 study by McKinsey & Company recently highlighted that diversifying marketing channels by 30% leads to a 15% increase in customer acquisition.These compelling figures underscore the transformative potential of venturing beyond the confines of working in just one single affiliate network and group of partners and publishers.

So apart from these stats, why are two networks perhaps better than one – in this instance?

4 Ways to grow your affiliate program, taking a multi-network approach

1. Unlock niche powerhouses:

Affiliate networks cover a broad range of partners to invest in – however , can miss hidden gems. Smaller, niche publishers with first party data, ad networks and lead generation partners with traffic sources that can cater to specific audience types, like mobile savvy consumers, the eco-conscious or even millennials in Asia may not be members of the network you’ve perhaps partnered with.

Partnering with networks that have a specialism in vertical or traffic type can unlock a goldmine of targeted niche traffic to test en masse with little fuss. Ensuring your products land in the right shopping carts is vital to your business growth so placing “all your eggs into one network basket” – could have a slower impact on your affiliate program growth.

Similarly, if you’re looking to target local influencers or offline to online some networks that have local on the ground publisher recruitment teams attending smaller in person events and networking to find new leads, can really help you leverage these niches at the start of your program journey along with helping you to tailor your outreach and onboarding to help you get the right relationship fit helping your program to scale.

2. Activate local affiliate marketing expertise and a global reach:

Imagine explaining the nuances of your organic skincare line to an affiliate in Tokyo through a pixelated video call in a language that they don’t really understand. The saying lost in translation could impact how the partner positions your product and brand.

vCommission, for instance, boasts experienced sales teams on the ground in key global markets from the US to India, speaking the local language and understanding cultural nuances and helping to showcase client brands to partners in local areas. Additional networks you partner with can act as your cultural conduit using local interpreters, empowering local partners to promote your brand authentically and effectively according to your program terms.

As Bob Sparkins, of Leadpages, a top Advertiser in our global affiliate network affirms, this in a recent video testimonial received for work delivered in 2023 –“vCommission not only achieved a top 2 placement in our program but 71% of their leads convert to real paying customers which is phenomenal!”

This level of cultural understanding as you’re expanding your program and service into new markets – ensures authentic brand representation and empowers affiliates to champion your products to their local audiences with clarity and confidence.

3. Utilize your affiliate multi-network data for further insight:

Each network whispers to a different marketing melody. A multi-network approach lets you listen to a wider segment of publishers to fast track your learning of what’s working by gleaning insights into diverse audiences, buying behaviors, and campaign performances. This affiliate data symphony unlocks early identified product and promotion optimization opportunities, allowing you to fine-tune your strategy for maximum impact across multiple continents. More data equals more early learning that you can glean from helping you to correct course and fast track success.

Customer reactions may differ across markets and you can lean in to use this data to optimize your approach globally to find your niche without wasting valuable marketing dollars to test and learn.

4. Invest in growth on-demand:

As your brand blossoms, so should your affiliate network relationships. A single network might eventually feel like a cramped space to grow in. A multi-network approach offers more flexibility of where you can scale and leverage expertise. It lets you scale effortlessly, without having to hire in more resources for local partner discovery and recruitment. You can add network specialists into your strategy calls to augment your program growth adding or removing partners based on your evolving needs and global ambitions.

What about the administrative impacts of a multi network approach?

With every new network opportunity you onboard to your business you will also need to consider certain affiliate program cautions. Working with multiple networks can get tricky to manage efficiently if you do not set up the correct working parameters with each network partner. Here are a few key ways you can manage your growth and maintenance in a dual Affiliate network approach:

1. Advanced fraud detection and prevention

When you work with multiple affiliate networks, the risk of encountering fraudulent activities can increase because data is spread across different platforms and likely tracking different measurement metrics. To mitigate this risk, invest in advanced fraud detection and prevention tools or enlist a single BI dashboard to bring all the network data from multiple sources back to one single reporting platform. This can easily be done with a variety of off the shelf reporting tools or simply built in-house if you have development and data analysis teams internally.

Alternatively, look for networks that have robust fraud monitoring systems and teams in place to advise you on how to mitigate fraud risks as you onboard the second or third network partner. Publisher vetting and onboarding is key here. Ensuring a dedupe of publishers to avoid double dipping across networks and helping identify irregularities in traffic and conversions, allowing you to take prompt action. Additionally, consider setting up strict guidelines for program applications and approvals and ensure monitoring affiliate behavior and traffic sources are vetted closely before going live – to spot any suspicious activities early on.

2. Foster transparent communication:

Maintaining open and transparent communication with your affiliate partners and your network service account manager – is crucial. Clearly convey your expectations and policies regarding fraud prevention, outreach, onboarding and KPI’s you want to achieve. Monitor your program reports regularly and have monthly pulse check meetings to ensure things are working smoothly. Encourage affiliates to report any suspicious activities they come across. A transparent approach can foster trust and collaboration, making it easier to detect and prevent fraud collectively.

3. Segmentation and targeting:

To minimize pricing cannibalization, segment your affiliate partners and target them strategically. Allocate specific products or regions to different affiliate networks based on their core competencies. By carefully mapping out which products or territories each affiliate network operates in and promotes, you can control the potential for price conflicts. Be transparent with your affiliates about these allocations to avoid misunderstandings too. Periodically review your affiliate partnerships and make adjustments as needed. Continuous monitoring and optimization are key to maintaining a healthy and successful multi-network approach.

4. Set dynamic commission structures:

Implementing dynamic commission structures can help you manage pricing cannibalization effectively. Offer tiered or differentiated commissions based on specific criteria, such as product categories or customer segments and pricing variances country by country. By aligning commissions with your business goals, you can incentivize affiliates to focus on areas that are less prone to cannibalization while ensuring that your overall profitability remains intact.

5. Undertake regular audits and review assessments:

Conduct regular audits and assessments of your multi-affiliate network strategy. Analyze the performance data, track ROI, and evaluate the effectiveness of fraud prevention measures. Periodically review your affiliate partnerships and make adjustments as needed.

6. Provide consistent education and training:

Provide ongoing education and training to your affiliates and equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and report potential issues. Hosting webinars, workshops, or providing written resources can help keep affiliates informed and engaged in your efforts to maintain program integrity.

Remember, “Gangnam Style” wasn’t just a viral video; it was a cultural phenomenon. If you want your business to grow faster and reach more customers globally in a number of niches, embrace the multi-network approach as part of your affiliate program culture.

Your e-commerce affiliate program could be the next global sensation, captivating audiences and ringing up sales across the globe. So, are you ready to turn up the volume and unleash the full potential of a multi-affiliate network approach?

Contact our sales team today to find out more about how vCommission can help you grow your affiliate program this year!

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Affiliate Marketing Insights

Top 2024 Affiliate Marketing Trends – the inside scoop with our CEO, Parul Bhargava

At the start of this new year, many are looking forward to what Affiliate Marketing in 2024 promises to yield. We grabbed a few precious moments with Parul Bhargava, our CEO at vCommission, this week to get her thoughts about the biggest challenges and trends shaping the industry this year.

Read on for her take on where these moments will lead us and what she sees shaping change in the Affiliate Global market this year.

Q: What are the biggest Challenges Advertisers will face in 2024?

The industry will need to overcome its longstanding tracking woes. Privacy concerns and cookie deprecation remain the elephant in the room for many advertisers still. Advertisers will need to innovate and partner with networks whose tracking solutions can rely on first-party data, contextual targeting, and granular reporting that enables fraud detection. We spent the majority of last year upgrading our platform so that our clients and publishers could gain access to more tools and data to help drive performance driven stats and accurate tracking of data. The entire industry will be doubling down on fraud prevention – we’re seeing a rise in fraudsters disguised as “retargeting solutions” but instead cooking hijacking.

Networks with affiliates that have multiple promotional methods and publisher onboarding and relationship management will win out longer term as proactive partner vetting will be key. Niche Hyper-personalization is another area we see advertisers investing budgets to gain traction especially with lead generators and sites that capture data and interest segments from their customers.

Reaching micro-niches effectively takes hyper-personalization to a whole new level. Partnering with the right global networks opens doors to diverse publishers and lets you scale affiliate campaigns.

Q: What are the 3 Big Affiliate Marketing Trends to Watch this year?

There is a lot happening right now in affiliate marketing both e-commerce and other industries more explicitly in B2B and SaaS partnerships I’m seeing:

1.AI-powered Optimization techniques impacting profit: Machine learning will optimize targeting, bidding, and campaign management, driving higher ROI for both advertisers and publishers.

2.Content Marketing Synergy: Blending affiliate marketing with strategic content creation strengthens brand awareness and drives better conversions.

3.Performance-Based Partnerships: Expect to see more pay-per-action (PPA) and revenue-sharing models, aligning advertiser payouts with actual outcomes as brand partnerships start to increase this year.

Q: What is vCommission’s 2024 Game Plan and how will we be supporting advertisers and publishers to excel at performance marketing this year?

We recently re-launched our network platform and with that came a lot of important changes and processes for our team as we take the network forward globally. Whilst vCommission is based in India – our remit is Global. Here are some of the key activities our team will be undertaking this year to work with more publishers in Europe and the US region.

Expanding Global Partnerships: We’re attending major events like ASW and T+C and AMPLIFY summit to solidify our global partnerships and publisher outreach to a host of new local markets across a number of sectors both in person and virtually too!

Investing in Local Talent: Hiring top-tier personnel across key areas like sales, business development, technology, data analytics, and client services which will fuel vCommission’s growth in the UK, Europe and US regions.

Focusing on New Verticals: Expanding into untapped areas of growth – for example we recently launched COD Ecom in India – much like it happens in EU. Since EU is becoming competitive, it would be interesting & highly scalable for EU publishers to try the same techniques in the India region where competition is less & CPA’s much lower.

Q: How will vCommission stand out in 2024 against other affiliate networks?

This really has a two-prong approach for us.

For Advertiser Brands: We’ll be doubling down on authentic brand storytelling and value proposition upsell. We believe our customers want genuine connections, not just sales pitches and our team is there to help you tell your story to publishers enticing them to drive sales forward. We’re investing in training for our team and supporting brands with account management teams that know and understand core deliverables to meet our clients ROI objectives.

For our valued Publishers: We’ll be focussing on expanding our traffic sources globally. We’re very honest as an affiliate network. We never do scrubs or cut backs. In fact, we claim that if our data and our advertisers data differs we’ll pay the affiliate double. Our aim is to ensure publishers can access granular data to optimize their campaigns and generate longer term earning potentials with our Advertisers.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to publishers in 2024 to help them grow their commissionable earnings?

Publishers looking to grow their commission in 2024 should prioritize quality over quantity. Focus on the following key areas in your business and I think you’ll see results come through consistently. It may appear to be boring – but I believe that simplicity is often the key to success.

Content Quality: Create stable, scalable advertiser or brand content that resonates with your target audience. High-quality content can drive more conversion and increase your commission earnings. By all means test AI in content delivery but remember your audience is authentic and your content should be too!

Diversification: Explore different niches and verticals to expand your traffic reach especially as first party data is now so important. Diversification can help you tap into new markets and untapped revenue streams.

Use your Data Analytics: Utilize data analytics to track performance and identify opportunities for further optimization. Data-driven decisions can lead to better commission outcomes – pick your advertisers wisely, know your customer first then decide who you’ll promote.

Strive for Collaboration: Collaborate with trusted affiliate networks to access a wider range of localized offers and gain access to valuable resources and support to build your business at the same time too!

Q: If there’s one piece of advice you can give to our customers what would that be for this year to be a success?

That’s a really hard question to answer but I’ll try to contain it to just one thing. I think there are a series of small incremental things to do with your affiliate business this year that will make all the difference in how your business performs. I feel this is a year of getting back to basics. Doing the simple things better, more efficiently and utilizing new tools like AI to systematize your day-to-day administrative tasks so that you’re free to explore, test, learn and do something new.

Find ways to save time, get more cost efficient with lead generation, and measure accountability and outcomes with clear goal setting and KPI outcomes with partners. Let’s see brands get clarity on what they need and want and publishers see results when they decide to partner with brands that have solid offers.

I’d like to see the whole industry look forward and collaborate together to simplify the customer experience and focus on the small things that drive incremental growth and more revenue. This may be different things to each person reading this article, but that’s the simple answer to the one big thing!

Wrapping 2024 Affiliate Trends Up:

We’re clearly gearing up for an impactful 2024. Our focus on innovation, global expansion, and data-driven solutions positions us well to navigate the shifting landscape of affiliate marketing. By taking Parul’s advice, both brands and publishers can rise above the noise and achieve success in this dynamic arena.

Stay tuned for further updates from more of our global based team and keep an eye out for more exciting developments in the coming months!

If you’re interested in working with vCommission to grow your business this year, you can book a call with our sales team right HERE >> http://tinyurl.com/vcommtalk/