How To Know if Your Brand Is Ready to Launch Your Own Affiliate Program
If you ask me, the answer to that question is a tad blurred. Let me explain why!
You have brands that jump into it right away upon launch or new launch of products or services.
Then you have brands that are more held back on the idea of starting affiliate marketing and prefer to grow brand awareness through other channels and strategies before implementing the programs.
There’s no right or wrong to each route and it comes down to preference and what you’re comfortable with for your brand in the season that it’s currently in. However, there are some helpful points to determine if your brand might be ready to launch an affiliate marketing program that could offer some courage to dive in if you’re feeling reserved about the idea of implementing the program.
Let’s explore the differences between the two routes of: jumping right in or waiting before we get into the steps to know if your brand is affiliate ready--shall we?!
Ripping off the band-aid and jumping right in!
Having affiliates in your program means exposure growth. The more people promoting your brand the more exposure your brand receives, which results into possible sales growth as well. Therefore, jumping right in could rocket launch those sales results and ROI much quicker from the start than a slower pace without that extra brand and or product exposure.
If your product is a unique new asset or idea to the market, being the first to explore that through the extra exposure could mean that your brand will In return be the “originator” of that style, idea, product etc. Allowing too much time to pass as your product is exposed on the market, will be giving opportunities for others to take on that idea or product, re-invent it and claim the original trend themselves, potentially leaving your brand to be the “copy cat”, which happens more often than you may think. That also depends on marketing messaging, which we can get into that another time. Let’s continue…
It's Important to note that most Affiliate programs include real people, influencers and brand ambassadors. Meaning their choice in products is influential, trustworthy to their audiences, and feels more organic than the “ads” that run. Therefore, resulting in higher purchasing interests from audiences. Hence why affiliate marketing is so highly sought out in current day.
Safe to say that more exposure = more chances for higher volume in sales
Now hold on a minute, before we jump in…
It’s no secret that that when having an affiliate program means that yes, you must give a percentage of sales or commission to the affiliate. This could look really scary, especially if you just launched a new brand or product, invested a good amount in the production and really needing that ROI to go back into brand expenses. This is for those who just launched a product and or brand. Waiting allows you some time to ingest that ROI a bit for financial reasonings before investing into giving some of that percentage to someone else. I would say this would be a much more comfortable route for those really weary post investment expenses.
Waiting can sometimes allow for some product review testing. If you aren’t sure if your product, idea and or services may get good reactions or feedback, you can allow them to be on the market for a certain amount of time first and test out how people are feeling it out. Therefore, allowing you time to analyze if any changes to the product, idea and or services need to be altered before investing into affiliates really pushing them out there.
“But what if the affiliates don’t promote and they just received the product for free from my brand? Isn’t that losing revenue? “is a question that gets asked on repeat. The answer to that? Yes and no!
There are certain affiliate guidelines and rules you can set up within your affiliate contracts to protect you from that and minimize those instances. I will definitely be getting into that so stay tuned as the next post that will be on what guidelines you should incorporate in your affiliate program to maximize successful results. You can sign your email up so you don’t miss the ping about it!
Drumroll for the section you have been waiting for!
Potential Signs that your brand is ready for an affiliate marketing program:
If your current business plan doesn’t fit any of these signs, don’t fret! I suggest some solutions within each step to help get you started to execute them, so keep reading on!
1. Your brand’s niche market has a customer base that is currently active
Influencers can rely sway the opinions of a brand. If you’re in a market that’s currently active and that people are familiar with, safe to say you're safe to hit the gas pedal.
2. Your brand is ready to handle a pour in of new customers and orders
it’s really important you assess if you’re able to handle a significant increase in order and customers and have the means to do so. If not, it can result into mishandling of orders/services and angry customers that leads to bad reviews. If you don’t feel ready and would like to be, sit down with your team and discuss a logistics plan to be ready for a large volume coming in.
3. You’ve scouted the socials for awhile and already have a list of influencers/affiliates or type of influencers and or affiliates you’d like to work with
Before launching, be sure to have done your homework on what the right affiliates and influencers look like for your brand. Starting off blinded and accepting just anyone can be a potential harmful risk to the promotion of the product or no results and money invested out the door. If you aren’t sure where to start looking, start by looking up hashtags in your niche for example, #greenjuice #weightloss #healthcoaching and analyzing the posts with top results/likes and viewing their pages. You can access if they’re an influencer, the type of influencer they are and if they currently work with any major competitors of yours.
4. You’re looking for new avenues to reach more customers or increase your brand awareness
If you are at a point where you are either ready for growth, frustrated at the stagnate pace your brand is at, wanting to see more revenue come in or anything related to brand growth, it is safe to say you can hit the gas pedal on a affiliate marketing program. If you’re not feeling ready, asses where your brand is at and or read my comments in step 2!
As stated, there is no right or wrong route when it comes to choosing if you’re ready or not because even if you feel like you aren’t, there are steps you can take to become ready and prepare your brand for growth.
My only last thoughts is whatever stage you are in, go for it and make it happen! Affiliate marketing programs can be such a fruitful way of growing your brand and generating that awareness and revenue you desire for it!
Looking to launch and grow your own program in 2023?
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