Done For You Affiliate Program: Building, Scaling, and Optimizing

Done For You Affiliate Program: Building, Scaling, and Optimizing

Enelin Toneva

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Our team builds affiliate, referral, and influencer programs for companies from scratch. These programs are built to increase revenue, brand visibility, and engagement online. For companies wanting to partner with us to build one of these powerful growth channels, we wanted to give an insight into our process and strategy.

If you want to see the results of our previous and ongoing clients, check out our case studies!

How Vivian Agency Builds Your Affiliate Program

These are the first steps we take when partnering with a company:

Alignment on Goals and Expectations

Before we start building anything, it’s important to establish a clear line of communication with the company we will be working with. This initial dialogue is crucial for aligning on goals, expectations, budgets, and timelines. We need to understand the company’s long-term objectives and how the affiliate program fits into their revenue goals.

What is the company hoping to achieve through the program? Brand awareness, sales, or testing new markets? Their answer helps us build a more targeted and effective affiliate strategy.

Setting Realistic Budgets and Resource Allocation

Budget discussions are critical in determining the scope and scale of the affiliate program. It’s important to establish a realistic budget for the company’s affiliate marketing efforts. This includes incentives for affiliates, marketing materials, software tools for program management, and any other resources needed.

Clear communication about budget constraints and resource allocation helps avoid any misunderstandings later in the project. The program has to be financially viable for the company or online business.

Managing Expectations and Outlining Timelines

Managing expectations is a key aspect of the planning phase. It involves setting realistic goals about what the affiliate program can achieve and in what timeframe. It’s important to discuss the expected timeline for setting up the program, recruiting affiliates, and starting to see results. Clear timelines help maintain a sense of accountability and progress tracking throughout the project.

Regular Check-Iins and Transparent Communication

Even before the project kicks off, we set a recurring weekly meeting with the relevant people in the company. These check-ins provide opportunities to review progress, address any challenges, and make necessary adjustments to the strategy. They also serve as a platform to ensure that the company is continually aligned with the ongoing activities and developments of the affiliate program. Transparent communication is a priority.

Comprehensive Research and Strategy Development

Our team conducts thorough research to understand your audience’s search behaviors. We identify the right keywords and content strategies that will resonate with your potential clients. We then find the ideal influencers and content creators who align with your brand, maximizing the impact of your affiliate program.

Selecting the Right Partners

Vivian Agency’s expertise lies in analyzing and choosing affiliate partners that best suit your brand. We consider factors like social media channels, engagement rates, and the long-term value of content.

Our focus is on finding partners who align with your brand, ensuring authenticity and resonance with your target audience. This includes:

  • Understanding your audience’s search behaviors: What keywords are they using? What type of content should the influencers create that would help potential customers find your products? What kind of information is your target audience searching for online? Identifying these keywords is important for creating your content strategy and searching for the right social media influencers and affiliates. Keeping track of your traffic sources is an important aspect, as well.
  • Content creation strategy: Once the keyword research is done, we can create the most effective content strategy for your affiliate marketing campaigns. This allows potential clients to find you at the exact moment they are searching for a solution your product can provide. This alignment between what your audience searches for and the content published online about your brand is essential for visibility and engagement.
  • Finding the ideal influencer type: Based on the content strategy we’ve created, we seek out content creators who are already producing high-quality content in your niche. These social media creators are valuable potential partners for your brand. Their existing audience and authority in the relevant domain will enhance your brand’s message and broaden your reach. Together, they also create a powerful affiliate network you can tap into whenever you have a new product launch or feature to announce.
Finding the ideal influencer type

All of the research done at this stage will save your team considerable time and resources. By targeting your efforts using the exact keywords and influencers for your brand, we can maximize the potential impact of the affiliate campaign.

Once we know who your ideal affiliates and influencers are, we take a more detailed look at existing creators in your niche. Here are our criteria for how we choose the influencers to partner with:

  1. The right social media platforms:
    We start by considering which social media channels are the most important for your brand. We aim to partner with creators who produce content of lasting value. Blog posts and YouTube videos can continue driving sales through their affiliate links long after their publication. Their content consistently helps with the company’s SEO initiatives and provides additional backlinks.
  2. Size and influence:
    We also need to determine the optimal size for your affiliate marketers. This is a balance between their follower count and level of influence. Ideal partners are those with a follower range that is substantial enough to make a meaningful impact, yet manageable enough to avoid overly high prices and challenging demands.
  3. Prioritizing engagement:
    The engagement rate is an important measure. A high engagement rate shows an audience that is truly interested in the content, making it easy for the content creator to promote your products. We look at engagement over follower numbers, as a smaller, more engaged audience frequently delivers better results.
  4. Brand compatibility:
    We review the affiliate’s content, audience, and brand to make sure it is in harmony with yours. A good fit guarantees that the partnership will look genuine and leave an impression on your existing and potential customers. Successful affiliate marketers are very good at determining which brands they should work with, as well.

Thoroughly vetting potential affiliates based on these considerations puts you significantly closer to achieving an influencer affiliate program that meets your specific needs.

Setting Up the System and Reward Structure

Setting Up the System and Reward Structure

Once we’ve pinpointed the ideal influencers and affiliates for your program, the next crucial step is to determine incentives that encourage them to participate. Here’s a breakdown of how we structure the affiliate commission and rewards:

Setting affiliate commissions

In conversation with your team, we will decide on an affiliate commission that makes sense considering the price of your product and revenue goals. It’s not easy to pinpoint this number, but we will guide your team through this decision-making process. The goal is to find a number that works for your company as well as the affiliates and influencers. While some might be satisfied with receiving products for free, others may look for a higher commission or even a sponsorship in exchange for their promotional efforts.

A balanced strategy involves offering both your product and a commission on sales. This way, affiliates can try your product before endorsing it online, resulting in authentic and genuine content. The potential for passive income they can get through your affiliate link is another great incentive for long-term collaboration.

Setting up the affiliate management software

The backbone of a successful affiliate program is a robust and intuitive affiliate management system. There are several affiliate program SaaS solutions to choose from. They are cost-effective and simple to implement and navigate. These platforms facilitate easy signup and participation for affiliates in your program.

Popular software choices are FirstPromoter, LeadDyno, and AffiliateWP. Opt for a system that provides comprehensive tracking and reporting functions, straightforward affiliate management, and effortless integration with your existing website and payment systems.

Developing a streamlined onboarding process

We will establish a clear and efficient process for both your affiliates and your internal team. This involves identifying and evaluating potential partners, initiating contact and negotiating affiliate offers, and then seamlessly incorporating them into your selected affiliate management system.

Launch Preparation

With your team’s approval, we will be ready to launch without needing significant in-house resources from your team. Several key things we do in preparation for the launch include:

  • Creating a landing page
    Ideally, this is done in collaboration with your team to make sure the design fits your branding and that this page is implemented on your main company website. The landing page should give an overview of the perks of joining your program, elaborate on the commission structure, and make it easy for them to sign up. We will make sure the page is engaging, has distinct calls-to-action (CTAs), and an easy-to-navigate signup form. The page should also be SEO-optimized with relevant keywords to bring organic traffic to your website.

    Here are some great examples.
  • Marketing resources and brand guidelines
    We will make sure your new affiliates and influencers are equipped with marketing tools that reflect your brand’s identity. This usually involves logos, banners, images of your products, and pre-written promotional content. Brand guidelines will communicate how you want your brand to be represented, and the dos and don’ts in marketing campaigns.
  • Outreach and negotiations
    Our next step is reaching out to the ideal affiliates and influencers for your program. This stage involves conversations about the commission structure, content creation expectations, and any special stipulations or guidelines they should follow. We will handle all of the communication and negotiations it takes to get you the best affiliates and influencers for your brand.
  • Affiliate onboarding
    After reaching an agreement, we will onboard your new affiliates to your affiliate marketing program. This usually involves providing them with the registration link and making sure they are equipped with all the necessary details and tools to begin endorsing your products or services.

Over time, each of these steps will be optimized to perfection. While working with affiliates and influencers, we learn more about how your brand is perceived, and how your affiliates and influencers can best promote it. This helps us make sure that we are continually improving and optimizing your program.

Program Management

After the affiliate marketing system is built and your first affiliates are onboarded, we will continue growing the program. Keeping your influencers and affiliates happy is the best way to attract more.

This involves:

  • Payment: We’ll make sure affiliate commissions are paid on time and that all partners’ questions regarding payments are answered. We will also keep track of your best-performing affiliates and influencers to find opportunities where we can invest more.
  • Communication: We will keep affiliates updated on new products, features, and company news. Regular communication increases their engagement and dedication to the program.
  • Ongoing support with marketing materials: We will create an email list of your affiliates and influencers, design email templates, and use them to send monthly updates to keep them engaged. This will include new marketing materials, creative campaigns and competitions, and more.

Our approach is to handle every aspect of your affiliate program, from inception to execution and beyond. Our team specializes in building and maintaining comprehensive affiliate programs that don’t drain your in-house resources, allowing you to focus on your core products.

A done-for-your affiliate program means that you can start increasing your revenue much faster than building it in-house. We take care of identifying and recruiting the right affiliates, setting up the necessary technology infrastructure, managing commissions and, affiliate products, and providing ongoing support and communication.

Just by partnering with us, you can have an active growth channel in a matter of weeks that increases your revenue, brand visibility, and online engagement.

Book a call with our team to start!