Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool that can lead to successful results, expanded brand awareness and large revenue numbers. However, like anything else, it’s done so by doing things the right way and when executed poorly, can lead to some pretty stressful and disappointing moments.
Knowing the common mistakes businesses make when launching an Affiliate marketing program and how to avoid them can help your business stay on track rather than cause a train wreck!
So what are the common mistakes, the break down and solution to it? Let’s get into it!
Mistake 1: RUSHING the process & grabbing any influencer with high numbers.
Pump those breaks! Numbers on following accounts can be very deceiving. Now you may automatically assume, yes yes Angela we know, sometimes it’s just bots. Eh wrong, not just bots but unengaged accounts! You read that right. A profile can have all the followers in the world, but if 75% of those followers are not only authentic real profiles but not authentically engaging, it’s going to be a bad apple!
You have to assess what audience do they reach most? Canadian territories? US American Territories? Are my consumers even placed in those countries?! How about age group? Let’s say influencer one has a following of age 18-23 at 65% but you need that percentage to be at ages 30-40?
Getting the point yet? LEAVE the number idea alone and shoot for the analytics!
Which brings me to my next mistake….
Mistake 2: NOT investing in the proper analytical tools
Should I even dare re-write the first part? Bet you I will... with a little more pizazz to it.
INVEST, INVEST, INVEST in the right tools.
Common mistake businesses make is saying “that’s too much money, I'll skip out” so let me break it down:
No Analytics Tool ➝ Guessing influencer stats on your own➝ Quantity affiliates in program with poor analytics➝ no revenue being brought➝ loss of revenue in handing out your products to affiliates and or no sales
Analytics tool➝ precise influencer analytics➝ Quantity affiliates with quality analytics➝ more sales➝ more revenue! 💰💰💰
It really is all that simple. Yes, dropping some cash on those tools at first may seem like a chore, but if it brings you in more money, then you won’t be as uncomfortable spending on it right? That’s the point!
So are you going to take that advice or divert from it? …which brings me to now the next mistake!
Mistake 3: NOT listening to your strategist or analytical team
If I had a dime for every time a business didn’t listen to their analyst or strategist.
Analytics again, is a major component in an affiliate program because it's going to determine the quality of affiliates you bring in and the quality results they’re going to produce.
Many businesses will hire an analyst or strategist or some even have a whole team and refuse to take their feedback and strategy path. This can be damaging because as an analyst or strategist (heck even anyone with experience in this area) who can see where the holes are and need to fill them and by not listening to their feedback on what they see in stats, you can create even bigger holes for yourself and your brand.
It’s crucial--if you have a guide, mentor, strategist or analyst--that you really trust and listen to their expertise. The algorithm does NOT mess around so neither should you!
Mistake 4: NOT keeping an eye on your active affiliates account
Having a certain quantity of affiliates can be great! Well, if they’re pulling their end of the bargain. The problem with having a lot of affiliates within a program can be lack of monitoring the results to see whether they're producing enough to be integral to your program.
If you have a program that gives a certain percentage off of products to affiliates to promote your product with their unique vanity code, this is where it can be damaging because they’re purchasing your product for lower price without doing the work.
If you’re giving commission after X amount of sales only, it's a little safer but now you have a bunch of affiliates on an ever growing list and that can get cumbersome and lengthy over time.
Make it a task at the end of every week and month to update where your affiliates are in their analytics to make judgement if they're still a good fit for your program!
Which brings me to the next mistake…
Mistake 5: NOT being clear on guidelines with your affiliates
I go over this in my terms and conditions within an affiliate contract. (Read more on terms & conditions here
) Not being clear with your affiliates on the type of creatives they need to produce, how many to produce within the week, month, year depending on your agreement is a much more common mistake than you think.
By being clear and setting precise guidelines on what you expect out of the affiliates, you will scare the bad apples off and attract quality affiliates willing to put in the work and create a harmonious partnership with you.
Set aside that time to really draw up that agreement in detail of clear expectations and it’ll help tremendously
Mistake 6: NOT switching up strategies
You may have put in an agreement for affiliates needing to posts 3 posts a week. Welp instagram just changed and said reels are the thing now (which is what happened real life a year ago) and now what?
Always add in the agreement, creative type or style subject to change based off of algorithm updates and or feature updates with an addendum available should it happen.
More than ever the algorithm has been changing frequently more and more like a woman whose contractions are getting closer together before giving birth is the best way I can put it.
Sticking with the same strategy for long periods of time just isn't gonna cut it anymore. Constantly researching new updates, features, and posting styles, etc is key. You think your affiliates are going to do that work? No chance. You will need to be the one to do so and implement any new changes within your program.
It is the affiliate merchant's (or affiliate manager's) job to make it as easy as possible to promote your brand, so that they want to promote your brand instead of your competitor's.
Invest in good analytics, listen to your strategist or analyst if you have one, be clear and do your research! This is an ever-changing industry, and will require that you look to your data to make informed business decisions.
If you continue to follow the motto, slow and steady wins the race, you will have great success with your affiliate program.
Need some extra assistance with getting your affiliate program up and running? Allow my team to help through options from done-with-you coaching, to training, to done-for-you management services. Schedule a call today!