What is affiliate marketing in its essence? It is a unique channel offering the scheme “pay per certain result”, and such transparent payment method gets especially relevant in crisis situations. More and more advertisers have been turning their attention to it, and will continue to do so after the pandemic environment calms down. 

In the given circumstances quite a number of people encounter difficulties with their full-time jobs and seek new ways to earn money online. Becoming a publisher and working with affiliate networks pops up as a viable option.

So both the parties are here: the brand that is not interested in spending its marketing budgets on endless clicks, and the publisher – ready to lead his traffic in the necessary direction. But bear in mind that affiliate marketing is a fairly new channel, if compared to other popular online advertising models. And to make this a “win-win case” the participants might require additional clarification on how the pay-per-result business scheme should work. It is essential for the clients and partners to get familiar with the basics for a start, to grasp the core idea of affiliate marketing and understand the principles of its maximum effectiveness.

Common rules | learning the ropes

This knowledge and thorough experience are accumulated within affiliate networks, and who could better explain the methods of achieving the highest scores than the market players themselves?! Affiliate networks being the intermediaries between the advertisers and publishers are there among other things to make sure they share their knowledge and teach the participants to play the game.  

The main objective of the affiliate network is to simplify the communication to the highest degree, so that everyone could speak the same language. This will allow you to speed up most of the processes and avoid a great number of errors on the way. Thinking about the errors one can’t but mention the f-r-a-u-d – fighting against this disease has been in the agenda for quite a while now, and the battle is still tough. 

Violations: ignorance or intent

But there are the mistakes made due to pure unawareness of the rules and incompetence in the peculiarities of working with an affiliate program. We all know, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and such errors are immediately considered as fraud attempts, leading to the rejection of target actions and mutual claims. 

Here is a simple scenario experienced by the network not once: the publisher doesn’t pay due attention to the prohibited traffic types and uses them while working with the affiliate program, as a result the advertiser believes that to be fraudulent activity. The publisher can’t understand why the orders brought by him are rejected thus not paid for. Unfortunately, situations like this are quite common. The only result such cases of miscommunication and misunderstandings can lead to is the downfall of the affiliate networks’ image. 

There are and will always be those who deliberately break the rules, but one can’t ignore the mistakes made out of the lack of knowledge and experience. The objective of the education provided by the affiliate network is to minimise the number of such errors. This will eventually benefit all the three stakeholders: advertisers, publishers and affiliate networks per se.

The above examples clearly illustrate the need for the affiliate marketing world to focus on educating the market: in any case the better the players learn to interact with each other, the more advantageous it will be for the whole affiliate marketing industry.

Benefits for publishers

Professional specific trainings in this sphere will also influence and speed up the process of joining the affiliate program: the selection of the relevant advertiser and the adjustment of the following activities to attract the right audience will be happening much quicker leading to the win-win collaboration in a shorter period of time. 

Sometimes, the publisher can even study the advertiser’s target audience in advance and use this acquired knowledge for developing his website. That brings us to a fair conclusion that the more information he has about the advertiser’s needs, goals and eventually the promoted products, the more accurate his targeting will be and the higher results both sides will achieve.

It is of great importance for the publisher to understand the kind of traffic and the way he will use it to receive orders. Once the work with an affiliate program has started, the publisher needs to know how to read the statistics on its advertising activities and the result, which is manifested in the number of orders. To do so, he is to be able to analyse the numbers, draw correct conclusions and use them for further growth and business upscaling.

Advertisers and their audiences

Brands need to understand the way publishers work, what type of traffic they might bring and what turns out to be the most effective in the end. If one is interested in turning affiliate marketing into a really high-quality sales channel, it’s not sufficient to just add an affiliate program, fix the commission and forget about it. Like any other marketing channel, the affiliate one also needs to be further developed.

The truth is that no publisher knows the advertiser’s audience better than the advertiser himself. At the very start, it might look like a “blindfold game”. How can the issue be resolved? The advertiser can add more detailed information to the affiliate program: thorough target audience portrait, average check and seasonal demand volatility – anything that could potentially help the partner to get more customer-focused. 

It is also of importance to engage publishers who bring quality traffic and targeted orders. The advertiser can build up some reward scale, conduct incentive promotions and marathons – in short, do his best to stimulate the publisher’s desire to deal with this exact affiliate program and this exact client. And the affiliate network can easily provide immense help in this direction.

The limits of knowledge

Affiliate marketing education should not revolve around teaching those who want to make money online and focusing on what types of traffic are available out there or what pay-per-result marketing is about, why this channel is suitable for a particular advertiser or how publishers with due diligence can have every chance to earn without any need to go to the office. Instead, it’s a story about effective interaction of all the parties, that by using mutual assistance and the right approach to the channel, begin to collaborate more harmoniously and smoothly, which will inevitably lead them to higher business results and financial indicators.

The further growth and relevance of affiliate marketing will attract ever more new players – both advertisers and publishers. Therefore, the objective of affiliate networks is to use all the accumulated experience with the view to help those who come onboard. It can be done in the form of instructions, cases, videos, training conferences and seminars. This will enable a quicker start, growth within the affiliate network, and, as noted above, business effectiveness. 

Affiliate marketing is recognised for a guaranteed result at a set price. So why don’t we add more value to it in the form of guaranteed knowledge sharing and further market players’ development?!