Note from Geno Prussakov: Ladies and gentlemen, below you may find the first guest post by our newest guest blogger, Adrian Horvat, who has contributed the below case study.
Vola.ro is the biggest online travel agency in Romania. The business grew very fast from €115,000 turnover in 2007 to €5,300,000 in 2010 and €55,000,000 turnover in 2016 but, the affiliate program did not follow this growth rate at all.
In 2015, the airline market value grew by 15% due to the rapid expansion of air travel routes and also because of the very poor road conditions and the underdevelopment of other means of travel, such as train or bus networks. The plans for 2016 were to obtain a growth of 30%-40%. The competitiveness in this market is very high so the need for different marketing approaches raised. Thus, I was appointed as the affiliate program manager in August 2016, accepting this challenge .
The first thing that I did was to make a deep and comprehensive analysis of the affiliate program to spot the goods, the bads and the opportunities. Due to my experience working for 2Performant.com, the Romanian affiliate network where Vola.ro performed as an advertiser, I had some knowledge about the program but I was missing the big picture.
- There were no clear KPIs set for the channel. The focus was strictly on clicks and sales;
- The new and increased commission structure that was implemented 2 months earlier did not make a real difference in terms of sales number or affiliates activation;
- There was no proactive communication strategy;
- The affiliates were unaware about what they sold. They only knew if it was a flight ticket or package but they had no information about the destination;
- Despite the very good performance, the adoption of the flight search widget was very low;
- The program had a very small number of active travel bloggers or travel content affiliates
- The affiliates were unaware of the travel industry attractiveness. Being the only player in this industry who owned an active affiliate program active did not help the grow of this type of affiliates;
- The share of affiliates with traffic vs affiliates with sales was quite unbalanced;
- The marketing campaigns obtained a lower or too late adoption rate due to lack of preparation and communication with affiliates.
Position the affiliate program as a top option for affiliates in Romania.
Based on what the analysis revealed, a 6 months plan was put on paper with the following key objectives:
- bring the affiliate channel at full potential (around 15% of the business revenue) in a sustainable and scalable way, following 2 steps: optimize the current affiliate performances and recruit and activate new affiliates
- share valuable information about travel client typologies with the affiliates
- achieve the optimal revenue/100 clicks for affiliates that can compete with top industry performers in Romania (Books, IT&C and Fashion categories)
- create an affiliate travel community
- educate the affiliates
- diversify the affiliate portfolio
- strengthen the exit barriers from the program
Strategy and execution
What have I managed to achieve during these 6 months and how?
- I shared with affiliates a series of materials about the products that we sell. For example, top flight destinations per month, average time between the purchase and the flights/vacation, the share between one way flights and two way flights.
- I created a dedicated Facebook group where I’m constantly sharing information about the affiliate program, tips and tricks and I start discussions about affiliate marketing.
- Special newsletter. I felt the need to segment the communication with affiliates based on what they want to hear from me. With this newsletter I gave them the opportunity to select what they want.
KPIs and Reports
I created a list of controllable KPIs that can predict the effectiveness level of the program. The KPIs that I track on a daily basis are:
- Clicks – comparing the affiliate clicks to other channels to spot if something goes wrong
- Number of transaction (average per day)
- Number of active affiliates: affiliates with clicks and affiliates with sales
- Conversion rate per affiliate type (PPC, content, cashback, etc)
- Days to conversion per affiliate type (PPC, content, cashback, etc) – this is a major KPI because it highlights the quality of the traffic from affiliation.
- Referrer and bounce rate per referer
- Conversion rate based on demographics and devices
- New vs returning users sales
Also, I implemented custom reports based on affiliate types to help me with different results and needs.
Financial Incentives: 13-days’ time to payment.
In order to become competitive with big players from IT&C, Books and Fashion I had to think slightly different. Besides the increased commissions structure, we decided to process and pay the commissions on a weekly basis, rather than monthly. Thus, there are only 13 days between the time the sales happens and the time the affiliate has the money in his pocket. In Romania, top 5 players have on average over 60 days time to payment.
Optimization: test at small scale before you go all in
Based on what weekly KPIs were telling me, I did a series of tests with a couple of affiliates to validate new ideas, new approaches. Starting from different landing pages to adjusting the traffic based on user behaviour such as the day of the week or hour of the day when the conversion takes place, I managed to substantially improve the conversion rate without extra costs for affiliates. The results of these tests offered me the correct approach with this channel and I replicated this formula at a larger scale with all affiliates.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So, I let you discover the results in the picture below.
Lesson learned: autopilot mode is not the solution for the affiliate program
What I’ve learned during these 6 months is that if you want to have success with your affiliate marketing program you need to:
(a) The success of the channel is based highly on one-on-one relationship with affiliates and that’s why you need to have an affiliate manager who knows how to do this.
(b) Increased commissions structure (or any other financial incentives) without extra help for affiliates does not automatically bring you value. More money is not always the answer. The answer is more human interaction and proactive communication with your affiliates.
(c) You need to test your ideas before you take any major decision.
(d) Segment your affiliates based on their type so you can treat them accordingly.
(e) You must set concrete KPIs and track them constantly.
Whether you are brand new to the affiliate marketing industry or you have been in it for the most part of the time that the industry has been around, chances of you hearing affiliate marketing being called “a channel” (or even using the phrase “affiliate marketing channel” or “affiliate channel” yoursef) more than likely exceed 90%. It is a very common phrase you’ll hear from marketers. What’s puzzling
to me is that most of the veteran affiliate marketers, actually, know that “affiliate” is not a “marketing channel”; yet, we would still use the phrase.
Affiliate marketing is much broader and more complex than merely one channel of marketing. Being strongly against us confining it to one, I was privileged to express my thoughts in the following CJU presentation:
Enjoy the video, take a look at the accompanying Affiliate Marketing Mispositioning is Hurting Affiliate Programs post, and do chime in with your comments (under this post), should you have anything to say/add on the topic.
Looking back at the year that’s about to pass, I have analysed our 2016 blog posts that were most frequently shared and quoted. So, in the best tradition of “readers’ choice” lists, I am hereby excited to bring you the list of the best 2016 content that was published on AM Navigator’s blog.
~ Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Posts of 2016 ~
20 Affiliate Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind
Ten years ago, when I was writing my very first book on affiliate marketing, I greatly struggled with the lack of statistical data on this industry, and quoted lack of research on it in my first interviews too.
In this day and age, however, there is plenty of great data out there; and in this post you will find a compilation of 20 bite-sized Tweetable nuggets — each representing an interesting affiliate marketing stat [more here].
Analysis of Top Social Media Platforms for Influencer Marketing
Are you leveraging your influencer marketing efforts using the right social media platforms? Your choice of social network may depend largely on the type of audience you’re trying to reach. But it’s important to note that each platform has unique advantages. For instance, an influencer may use Instagram to show off a new product. But to provide fans with tutorials on how to use the product, YouTube may be a better option.
This analysis of the top social media platforms can help ensure your next influencer marketing campaign is successful [more here].
2017 Affiliate Marketing Trends and Predictions
I reached out to a hand-picked selection of affiliate marketing influencers seeking their input on what they think affiliate marketing may face, enjoy, or struggle with in the coming year.
This post contains more than twenty 2017 predictions from some of the world’s most brilliant affiliate marketing experts from all sides of the business [full post here].
Affiliate Marketing – CMO’s Least Mastered Area of Digital Marketing
A collaborative survey conducted by Fanatics Media in partnership with Marketo, produced an eye-opening Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Benchmark Report. Among the other things analyzed, the study sought to find out the most (as well as the least) mastered areas of digital marketing for present-day CMOs.
Apparently, “affiliate marketing” scores as the area of “the least knowledge’ among CMOs [details here].
Affiliate Marketing Mispositioning is Hurting Affiliate Programs
The time has come for everyone to seriously rethink affiliate marketing’s place in the marketing ecosystem. Too many believe it to be just one of online marketing channels. As a result, when budgets are being allocated between the channels it is competing (for the attention and funding) with the brand’s own paid search, email, retargetting, display, and other marketing efforts; and often loses the battle.
Only when brands realize its truly cross-channel nature will they be able to build diverse, agile, and holistic affiliate programs [more here].
The New Year of 2017 is quickly approaching,
so much so that earlier this week I caught myself writing “2017” instead of “2016” at the end of this year’s date, and as it does, I’ve reached out to a hand-picked selection of affiliate marketing influencers seeking their input on what they think affiliate marketing may face, enjoy, or struggle with in the coming year. Considering everyone’s busyness this late in the year, I appreciate the time and thinking that the below-quoted ten experts devoted to the task.
With pleasure I bring you more than twenty 2017 predictions from some of the world’s most brilliant affiliate marketing experts (from all sides of the business: affiliates, advertisers, and solution providers) including their Twitter handles (or LinkedIn profiles), websites, and, of course, headshots. Enjoy and do chime in with your thoughts!
Affiliate marketing will become more mainstream, which is both a blessing and a curse. Consumers will be more aware of how it is used to monetize content, and they will accept it as legitimate. However, consumers will themselves become affiliates in greater numbers thanks to an increase in revenue sharing apps and tools.
2017 is going to see substantial growth in non-traditional content affiliate relationships as merchants place emphasis on growing beyond dependence on coupon and cashback/loyalty affiliates to drive incremental sales. Merchants who commit to identifying these partners and providing them with the tools they need will prosper in 2017 and beyond.
2016 saw a lot of innovation for the performance marketing industry. Three of the more notable changes were the increased adoption of cross channel insights, emphasis on cross-device tracking capabilities, and the importance of leveraging non-traditional partners.
As we head into 2017, I see the momentum continuing in these three areas as marketers better understand the value they contribute to the channel. I estimate that less than 20% of affiliate managers have access to cross channel data, so there’s still a lot of opportunities for increased adoption. Without cross channel insights, affiliate managers are essentially flying blind and only seeing 5%-15% of the picture. This makes it impossible to accurately determine the value of individual partnerships and optimize the channel.
There has also been a lot of talk about cross-device tracking but the capabilities between solution providers vary dramatically and, in many cases, marketers are not always getting accurate cross-device tracking which negatively impacts the ability to correctly attribute credit to affiliates. In other words, all cross-device channel tracking is not equal and marketers need to understand how they differ when choosing a solution.
Lastly, brands are expanding their definition of what an affiliate can be to include small and medium business development opportunities and influencers in the channel. This approach has brands reevaluating what a partnership can mean, which in turn is helping them diversify their affiliate mix and elevating the value of the channel.
We believe there are a few trends in affiliate marketing worth taking note of for 2017:
- Influencer marketing will thrive. eMarketer suggests this space is easily a multi-billion dollar industry right now and likely to grow. As advertisers make efforts to build these relationships, a critical component will be a network’s ability to create tools that make it easy for influencers to create beautiful product showcases for brands.
- Advertisers will continue to close the loop on tracking publishers that drive consumers in-store. Similarly, as brands prioritize the building of dedicated mobile apps, publishers can encourage app downloads and in-app purchases. Having tracking in place to capture these conversions will be critical when analyzing mobile app performance.
- From using attribution to recognize affiliate’s contribution at each stage of the funnel, to using affiliate data to improve your Display and Paid Search campaigns, data will continue to be a priority.
- And some things will remain constant — and that is, the strength of coupons, deals, cash back and loyalty. Consumers have been counting on discounts to save them money since Coca-Cola invented the first coupon in 1887. And for luxury brands — shoppers will look to loyalty and cash back sites to realize savings for these higher priced goods.
These are just a few of the exciting things we can expect to see in 2017 from affiliate marketing networks, and the advertisers and publishers they support.
In 2017, I predict the affiliate marketing industry will see a continuation of the mergers & acquisitions which we saw in 2016. Deals such as Groupon acquiring LivingSocial & The NY Times buying The Wirecutter will continue throughout 2017 as publishers look to replace traditional advertising revenue with performance-based affiliate sales.
The evolution of content marketing has applied pressure on CMOs to continuously curate content around their business goals. Affiliate marketers are experts in creating compelling content around a retailer’s brand. Those retailers that understand the wide reaching, cost-effective impact affiliate marketers can demonstrate with their content will capture even greater success from affiliate marketing.
Internet Sales Tax Reform will continue to be a big challenge. States continue to pass Nexus laws crippling the livelihood of affiliate marketers and interfering with revenue opportunities for advertisers. More industry leaders need to advocate in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act; a bill that will essentially eliminate the Affiliate Nexus Tax laws. Join or donate to the PMA to make a difference.
I started moving away from search pay per click for affiliate offers to Facebook around 2010 and had a lot of success with it yielding 200%+ returns and scaling up to low six figures in spend per day in various verticals. This has drastically diminished IMO from big brands and startups that are not ROI focused spending whatever it takes for user acquisition thus raising the cost for white hat affiliates to where it’s not profitable. Plus, as Facebook has said at conferences, they are not big on affiliate marketers and would rather deal directly with the brands. With that said I know a LOT of black hat guys that cloak facebook and make a ton of money but they constantly have to make new accounts and play that cat and mouse game which I just have no interest in at this point in my life. So that also doesn’t help affiliates in general.. Plus in the last year Facebook has drastically throttled organic posts to walls so having a bunch of fans and recommending a product does not produce nearly the results it gets (Facebook does not like people to leave Facebook unless you pay them for it via ads).
The good news is that I have struck gold in affiliate marketing with Native Advertising. They are much like the early days of Facebook where there is not any big brand or startup competition (that I have seen) plus it’s almost exclusively affiliates running the same type of creative ads that we did very well on Facebook with.
As a replacement for organic, free traffic, that yields affiliate commissions — I have turned to value added content affiliate marketing. I created blogninja.com which is a free training course on how to build a blog and in the last year earned over $800,000 in web hosting commissions. This all came from users referring users.
I also have done well with affiliate marketing via live video. Primarily on YouTube Live and Facebook. In addition the same thing with my blog. Give people value with a link to what you are talking about. Simple.
It looks like influencer marketing will be a big player this year. While discount/promo will continue to form the core revenue streams for merchant affiliate programs, stronger and more numerous relationships between content creators and merchants will help to build brands and diversify revenue streams. I expect to see new tools to empower and incentivize content creators.
I think we will also see some adjustments to how attribution is handled. Right now, we haven’t quite found the balancing point between simple blanket solutions like last click and very granular dynamic attribution scenarios in terms of when the extra attention to detail justifies the result.
I expect new solutions for improving efficiency and effectiveness in recruiting, activating and optimizing affiliates. Currently, this process is very manual. Refinements and innovations in technologies that help facilitate deals between advertisers and publishers will help broaden the field of industry players by connecting trending publishers to the right advertisers.
For 2017, we see three main trends gathering steam:
1. Monitoring and compliance automation will gain further traction. No one wants to use a manual, error-prone, time-intensive, and ineffective monitoring system if they can avoid it. Brands and affiliates alike will turn to automated technology solutions to help them run effective programs that protect their brands.
2. Brands will be penalized for not meeting regulatory requirements. Despite high-profile cases in 2016 against well-known brands like Lord & Taylor and Warner Brothers, noncompliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s rules persists. Our recent survey of affiliate bloggers revealed rampant noncompliance with FTC rules.
3. Affiliate networks and brands will partner to strengthen their offerings. We predict an uptick in partnerships as brands and affiliates focus on their core business, while widening their offering to include services like paid search monitoring and more.
The affiliate marketing industry grew tremendously during 2016, and we expect 2017 will be no different. There were numerous milestones that helped affirm the affiliate marketing industry, including the NYT acquisition of Wirecutter and New York Magazine launching online product recommendation page, The Strategist. As the affiliate industry continues to grow there are two trends we can count on experiencing.
Increase in Long Tail Merchants
At VigLink, we have seen our tail merchants (those greater than 1000 in sales rank) double in revenue share and we expect the trend to continue. The absolute number also grew more than 175% from 40k to 70k. More merchants are beginning to realize that no matter how small they might be, an affiliate program can contribute incremental revenue to their business model. The high prices of adwords and the increased sophistication of attribution tracking tools lead advertisers out of display and search campaigns that can be ROI negative.
Globalization of Affiliate
We will also see more merchants expanding their networks on a global scale. We’ve already begun to see the effect of globalization on affiliate marketing. More than 20% of our traffic is “out of locale” meaning the content creation and the audience hail from different geographies. We see increasing publisher recognition that this traffic is wasted with traditional affiliate techniques. We also see US retailers trying to gain a share of the global market by launching international affiliate programs. Similarly, international retailers, like stylenanda.com are trying to gain a share of the strong US market. Around 50% off all clicks that run through the VigLink network originate from outside the US.
As stated by Business Insider’s Dylan Mortensen, “Consumers continue to increase their time spent consuming digital media, while advertisers continue to increase their ad budgets into digital channels. The influx is not expected to let up in the near future.” 2017 will be an extremely exciting time to be part of an industry that is growing at a rapid rate and changing the landscape of how online consumers shop.
Here’s to a happy and successful year ahead; and, as mentioned above, if you have anything to add to these, please do chime in with your thoughts via the “Comments” area below.
Having just submitted a monthly affiliate marketing program performance report to one of our clients, I’ve felt strongly compelled to turn our experience into a case study.
It is my hope that this case study will inspire others to grow their existing affiliate programs beyond their current levels. After all, too many face the exact same problem that this advertiser had.
With the program in question (and the name of the advertiser will need to remain anonymous) within eight months of managing it we brought its performance from a four-figure amount in monthly affiliate sales to nearly six figures (within the same 30-days’ period, as compared year-over-year).
In the spring of 2016, AM Navigator was contracted to manage a well-aged affiliate program based on Rakuten Affiliate Network. At that time, the program was already over 15 years old.
The key concern (that the client clearly articulated when hiring us) was that the program’s performance hit the proverbial plateau, whereby affiliate-referred sales would not grow beyond the level reached more than two years ago.
To get this affiliate program revitalized, we tackled the following five areas:
1. Removal of Violators
From affiliates bidding on (prohibited) trademarks via paid search to coupon code violators (those using unauthorized coupons), we cleaned this affiliate program’s base of all violators; ensuring that ongoing monitoring of new violations was set in place and happened daily.
2. Heavy Onboarding
Being strong believers in targeted affiliate recruitment, after cleaning the program up, we focused nearly 75% of our time on getting new affiliates aboard this marketing program.
3. Leveraging of Connections
Tapping into our existing relationships with power affiliates, we were able to get numerous “super affiliates” become active with this program as well.
4. Activation of Non-Producers
We also spent plenty of time focusing on affiliate activation, motivating stagnant (yet, already-onboarded) affiliates to start referring traffic and conversions.
5. Marketing Synchronization
Finally, we ensured that the advertiser’s promotional calendar was planned out and communicated to affiliates well in advance, giving the latter at least a 30-days’ notice (on the advertiser’s marketing initiatives) so that they have ample time to synchronize their promotional efforts with the advertiser’s plans.
Besides the already-quoted (a) substantial increase in affiliate-referred business (1,609% YoY increase in monetary sales volume, and 3,525% YoY increase in the number of items sold), the program now has (b) a well-diversified and active affiliate base, and (c) due to the proactive compliance policing and prompt removal of violators, it is now more attractive for new affiliates to join.
If you are an affiliate interested in joining the programs that we manage, you may view them all here. If you are an advertiser looking for help in breathing new life into an existing affiliate program, email us today for your free quote.
Every year (since we started doing this in 2010) we hold a Christmas drawing whereby we give away passes to the upcoming Affiliate Summit conference, and this year is going to be no exception.
With Affiliate Summit West 2017 being just around the corner, you want to hurry to enter for your chance to win one of the Networking passes that we have to give away.
This will be my 16th time speaking at Affiliate Summits and mine will be one of the opening speeches of the conference this time. On January 15, 2017 I will hold a one-hour Advertiser’s Crash Course in Influencer Marketing. The qualification for the drawing is directly tied to my topic.
Task: To get your name entered into the draw, using the “Comments” area under this post submit your definition of influencer marketing.
Prizes: 2 Networking Passes (each giving you access to keynote speeches, Meet Market, Exhibit Hall, “Ask the Experts” round tables, online access to slide decks of all presentations, and more)
Deadline(s): With the conference being just five-and-a-half weeks away, make sure to submit your definition no later than the end of day of Thursday, December 15. I will announce the winners on December 16, 2015, giving you a full month for travel arrangements.
IMPORTANT: Regardless of whose names get drawn in nine days, the best definitions (and their authors) will be given substantial visibility in my future work (conference presentations, teaching, writings, etc).
So, looking forward to your entries now!!
Affiliate marketing industry is already more than twenty years old and, as it is with every professional field, it’s got an array of its own terms and abbreviations.
Industry people use them understanding their precise meaning(s). Outsiders, however, can (and do) get easily confused by some of the words and phrases in which we operate. No wonder why… Connotations of some of these terms, actually, do differ from pure semantic meanings of the same; and in some case more than in others.
Below you may find a compilation of the ten affiliate marketing terms which are often misunderstood by those who are new to the space. The order is merely alphabetical.
Traditionally used to denote an “affiliate marketer,” this word is often being used synonymously with “affiliate marketing” as a way of marketing.
2. Affiliate Channel
A widely-spread way to call “affiliate marketing” which portrays it as a single channel of marketing. Throughout the years, I have repeatedly argued that affiliate marketing should not be equated to a marketing channel (or even a sales channel). It always encompasses an array of different ways to market a product or service, and is cross-channel in nature [my thoughts on this here].
3. Affiliate Management
Not only “management” of an affiliate program’s creatives, offers, or even existing affiliate relationships; but also: onboarding of new affiliates, activation of stagnant ones, compliance policing, competitive intelligence, and much more [see my video and post on it here].
4. Affiliate Manager
A common way to shorten “affiliate program manager” or “affiliate marketing manager.” Literal understanding of this phrase often leads to a (dangerous) top-down approach, and attempting to manage affiliates instead of the affiliate program [more here].
5. Affiliate Network
Unlike many advertisers think (especially those new to the space), it is not a “network of affiliates” you automatically get to tap into as soon as you launch an affiliate program on one. While some networks do present advertisers with internal affiliate recruitment opportunities, they are, first and foremost, technological platforms for running affiliate programs, tackling such key components as tracking, reporting, and payments [see this post].
6. CPA Network
A way that sub-affiliate networks like to call themselves. “CPA” or cost-per-action/acquisition is the core principle in which all affiliate-advertiser relationships are rooted. Traditional affiliate networks provide the core support of infrastructure (see above) while “CPA networks,” generally, bet on profiting from sub-affiliate relationships [details in my 2008 article here]. Confusing one for the other can be dangerous.
A metric that answers the question of affiliate earnings (as tied to the clicks referred to the advertiser) but in the United States it predominantly stands for EPHC or Earnings Per (One) Hundred (of) Clicks; not Earnings Per Click.
8. Link Cloaking
Affiliate practice of managing tracking links via URL masking/shortening. Read more about it in Rae Hoffman’s post here and take into serious consideration Matt Cutts’ below advice too.
@ePrussakov my advice: take great pains to point out that what you discuss is *not* cloaking, unless diff. redirs are serves to Googlebot.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) November 3, 2011
Originally standing for “outsourced (affiliate) program manager,” this abbreviation is now frequently applied not only to individual “managers” but also “agencies” to which brands outsource the management of their affiliate programs.
Sometimes also abbreviated as “pub” (especially in colloquial speech) this one is synonymous with “affiliate (marketer).” I, personally, prefer to use the latter term, because examples of “publishers” who aren’t really “publishing” anything are plentiful (tools, domainers, and a number of others mentioned here).
I hope you find this article of help; and, as always, if I have missed anything, please do chime in with your comments using the respective area under this post.
It’s that time when the next year’s budgets are being finalized and professionals interested in affiliate marketing are contacting us about the conferences they should consider attending in 2017. The reason being that every year since 2009 we’ve published our lists of all affiliate marketing conferences and events known to us — throughout the globe. There are still a couple shows yet to take place in 2016, but the time has come for us to put together the list of conferences, trade shows, and events to consider in 2017.
This list will get updated throughout the year (as news on new conferences come out). So you may always count on seeing the most up-to-date list here. As always, do not hesitate to suggest more shows for this list using the “Comments” area under the list.
Affiliate Marketing Conferences & Events
- 01/15-01/17 – Affiliate Summit West (Las Vegas, NV, USA)
- 01/25 – Performance Affiliate by IAB UK (London, UK)
- 02/01-02/02 – Rakuten Marketing Symposium Scottsdale (Scottsdale, AZ, USA)
- 02/09-02/12 – London Affiliate Conference (London, UK)
- 03/16 – CPAconf Affiliate Conference (Kiev, Ukraine)
- 03/20-03/22 – LeadsCon Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV, USA)
- 03/14 – Performance Marketing Summit Austin (Austin, TX, USA)
- 04/07 – Nordic Affiliate Conference (Stockholm, Sweden)
- 04/25 – Performance Marketing Awards (London, UK)
- 05/15 – Advertiser’s Crash Course in Affiliate Marketing (San Francisco, CA, USA)
- 05/16-05/17 – AM Days 2017 (San Francisco, CA) – use code GENO for 20% off
- 04/12 – CPA Life (St. Petersburg, Russia)
- 04/25 – Performance Marketing Awards (London, UK)
- 06/01-06/03 – Afiliados Brasil (São Paulo, Brazil)
- 06/14-06/15 – Affiliate World Europe (Berlin, Germany)
- 06/23 – Affiliate Marketing Expo (London, UK)
- 07/11-07/14 – Amsterdam Affiliate Conference (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
- 07/12-07/14 – AvantExpo 2016 (Snowbird, UT, USA)
- TBA – Affiliate Summer School (Brasov, Romania)
- 07/30-08/01 – Affiliate Summit East (New York, NY, USA)
- 08/21-08/23 – LeadsCon New York (New York, NY, USA)
- TBA – India Affiliate Summit (Mumbai, India)
- 09/11 – Affiliate Conference (Munich, Germany)
- 09/12 – Performance Night (Cologne, Germany)
- 09/12-09/14 – CJU 2017 (Santa Barbara, CA, USA)
- TBA – Russian Affiliate Congress & Expo (Moscow, Russia)
- 10/14-10/15 – PerformanceIN Live (London, UK)
- TBA – Influencer Marketing Days (New York, NY, USA)
- 11/01-11/04 – Berlin Affiliate Conference (Berlin, Germany)
Last updated: 1/26/2017 at 7:30 am ET
In the course of the past 10 years, I attended, keynoted, and spoke at many of the above-mentioned conferences (running the two highlighted ones myself). So, if you have questions about any specific show, do not hesitate to post it below.
Note from Geno Prussakov: Ladies and gentlemen, below you may find the first guest post by our newest guest blogger, Brandon Leibowitz.
So you’ve decided to launch an influencer marketing campaign. But you still have some doubts about which social network you should use for the campaign. While it would be ideal to be able to market your brand through every platform available, you have to consider the most cost-effective yet high-ROI option. If you are going to choose only one platform for now, Instagram may be your most viable option. And if you have doubts about this option, here are some of the reasons why you should use Instagram for influencer marketing:
1. Massive Reach
The first reason why Instagram is such an excellent choice for influencer marketing is because of its large audience. As of June 2016, the platform has 500 million active users on a monthly basis, making it one of the most popular social networking platforms. The number of users has increased by 100 million within just nine months, which shows that there is significant growth in its popularity.
And more than 67 million Americans are actively using Instagram. With such a massive audience, you have the opportunity to reach out to a large audience through influencers and boost your visibility.
2. Influencers Favor Instagram
Influencers themselves love Instagram and consider it as one of the best social networking platforms. In fact, it ranks second to Facebook as the best social media channel for influencer marketing. So if the people you’re planning to work with are in favor of it, that’s a good reason why you should launch your campaign through Instagram.
Influencers are considered experts in their respective categories and it’s likely that they know what they’re talking about. If they are considering Instagram as one of the best social networks for launching an influencer marketing campaign, it’s because they know that campaigns launched through the channel have a high chance of success.
3. High Engagement
Back in 2014, people were spending an average of 21 minutes every day using Instagram. The social media platform continues to engage audiences across the globe, making it the perfect channel for launching an influencer marketing campaign. And compared to other social networks, Instagram has the highest engagement rate according to Locowise.
In a study conducted by the Locowise team, Instagram’s engagement in February 2016 dropped by 11.58% since January 2016. However, it still continues to outrank every other social media platform in this metric. So if you’re planning to engage your audience better, this platform could be your best bet.
A Forrester study also supports this data with their 2015 study that shows Instagram as the top social network for user-brand interactions. Their study showed that user interactions with brands were especially high on Instagram at 2.3%. Even the second-ranking platform, Facebook only had 0.2% user-brand interactions.
4. Best Platform For Follower Growth
Another good reason why Instagram is a great channel for influencer marketing is because brand follower growth is the highest on the platform. According to a TrackMaven study, brands on Instagram experience a 6-8% average increase in number of followers every month. And follower growth doubles every year on Instagram while follower growth on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter averages at 1/4th annually.
5. Brings in the Most Engaged Traffic
In addition to having a highly-engaged user base, Instagram also brings in highly-engaged site visitors. Yotpo conducted a study on the average time spent by visitors from different channels including Instagram, Facebook, email, search, and more. They found that visitors coming from Instagram are the most engaged, staying 45% longer than visitors coming from Facebook.
So when you’re promoting your products or services through Instagram influencers, you’re generating high-quality leads that are likely to spend a long time on your site. This improves your chances of driving conversions and an overall improvement in your performance.
6. Changes in Instagram Algorithm
Previously, Instagram used to follow a chronological arrangement for displaying posts on users’ news feeds. This means that your posts were getting displayed on your followers’ news feeds based on the time it was created. But now, Instagram has switched to an algorithmic arrangement for post display. This means that it is prioritizing posts users are most likely to engage with.
So people will no longer miss posts created by their favorite accounts and influencers. If users are regularly interacting with an influencer’s posts, they will be able to see more posts by the influencer before they see posts made by a less-favored account. This gives influencers the opportunity to get branded and sponsored content in front of a more engaged audience.
These facts and data should be enough to convince you that influencer marketing on Instagram can prove to be highly beneficial and cost effective. The platform fulfills all aspects of your goals including reach, engagement, and conversions. And influencer will also be more willing to work with you on a platform that they themselves are in favor of.
What do you think about the stats mentioned in this post? Will you be launching an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram soon? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
Regardless of influencer marketing‘s fairly young age, there is no lack of resources on it out there. New researches and white papers, studies and articles come out nearly daily. It’s booming and it isn’t going anywhere.
With many marketers looking for places to study influencer marketing in a coherent “A to Z” way, I’d like to devote my today’s blog post to the three places where you may learn how to leverage this extremely potent (yet, in many ways fragile) type of marketing. All three of the below-listed ways represent the initiatives in which I am personally involved.
1. Video Course
Have you heard of “Influencer Marketing Fundamentals” yet? Released just two weeks ago, this newest LinkedIn Learning video course of mine is devoted to the basics of influencer marketing. It lasts a little longer than an hour within which you can learn about the history of influencer marketing, the types of influencers that you can work with, finding and onboarding them, activating them and measuring the success of your influencer marketing campaigns. Check out the “Welcome” video below:
There is also a conference which is entirely dedicated to all things influencer marketing. The name is Influencer Marketing Days and I have started it to fulfill the demand for a vendor-neutral professional forum focused on practical implementation of influencer marketing campaigns. It is also important to emphasize that, unlike the above-quoted video course, the conference is devoted to content of more advanced level.
The first IMD is coming to New York City on November 14-15, 2016. Use code GENO while registering to save additional $200.00 off your next show’s pass.
Finally, on January 15, 2017 I will be holding a workshop on influencer marketing in Las Vegas, NV. The name is Advertiser’s Crash Course in Influencer Marketing and it will be held as part of Affiliate Summit West 2017.
If I have missed your favorite resource, please do chime in with it in/through the “Comments” field below.
Otherwise, enjoy these three, and hope to shake your hand in person at one of them.