In the ever-changing world of affiliate marketing, building strong relationships is pivotal in the long-term success of an affiliate channel. Whether you're a publisher, a brand, or an agency like us, the ability to create lasting connections is crucial for driving growth and helping achieve your goals. Here at GHQ , we've witnessed firsthand how taking time to nurture relationships has fast-tracked clients’ success and helped build a successful affiliate channel. Here, we'll jump into the two key relationships that form the bedrock of successful affiliate marketing and why we believe you should take care to ensure you’re getting the best out of your relationships :
The Agency x Client relationship
At Growth HQ, we act as an extension of our clients team. We lead with expertise and strategic insights to maximise the client's affiliate marketing efforts, whilst ensuring we align with their overall business objectives and brand identity. Here are a few ways we nurture our Agency x Client relationships:
In an Agency-Client relationship, open and consistent communication is key to a successful collaboration. As an agency ensure you align on expectations, share channel progress, update on partner onboarding and overcome obstacles . The client should be available to provide feedback, ask questions and update on changes with ease.
Trust in testing
To successfully implement a full funnel affiliate marketing strategy, commitment to constant experimentation and testing with different publisher types is important. From securing an article with a large media house for a fixed fee to locking in a homepage placement on a cashback site on a hybrid basis, the risk associated with these costs should be clearly communicated by the agency to the client, Agencies need to ensure these tests contribute to an effective bottom line CPA for the channel as a whole ( See full funnel blog here). This way, brands are able to confidently test and learn what works well for them in a long term affiliate strategy and where to allocate future budgets.
Inevitably, blockers arise and a transparent client-agency relationship fosters an environment where blockers can be identified, analysed, and resolved collaboratively.
As an agency we have the confidence to communicate potential roadblock and have the knowledge to work with clients to develop viable solutions to drive growth. Ideally, a client can provide necessary resources to overcome blockers and be responsive to an Agency’s suggestions.
Choosing the right publishers - Values
Not only should the agency’s values align with the values of the client, but when prospecting and onboarding partners to join the brand’s affiliate program, the Agency should select publishers to represent the brand through content and promotions. To ensure publishers are aligned with the brand they will promote, without the need for constant brand approval, the agency should work with their client to make sure they are educated on brand identity and what to look for in a prospective partner. For example if a client focused on promoting sustainability or slow fashion, it would be key for the agency to find publishers who align with the message of being green.
The Agency x Publisher relationships
Publishers are the building blocks to a successful full funnel affiliate program. From content creators, media houses, closed benefit platforms, coupon sites and influencers to name a few, publishers are the connection from brand to customer which ultimately drives conversions.
It is essential as an Agency that we nurture relationships with publishers of all sizes to gain optimal value when partnering together on behalf of brands. Below we have listed a few of the reasons why we at Growth HQ we invest in relationships with the large publisher database we work across.
Shared growth through conversions
A successful agency-publisher relationship is a mutually beneficial one. Publishers benefit from revenue through commission, opportunities to participate in exclusive campaigns and a stream of potential new clients to work with. Agencies can expect quality content to meet client growth goals and be encouraged to continue investing in similar publishers by the brand which will subsequently help grow their affiliate channel.
Educate and Promote
When implementing a full funnel affiliate strategy, significant investment is placed with media houses, blogs and influencers to create long form content which describes and sells the brand’s products/services and ethos. The more detailed the long form content in portraying the products and brand story, the more likely new customers will learn about the brand (exposure), enter the purchase funnel and become a new user.
A good agency- publisher relationship will allow for information around brand/products to be passed to the publisher with ease and on a consistent basis, which can simplify compliance checks on content that is created.
Whether it be via email, video calls or in - person meetings, creating ground for productive and open communication within your affiliate programme will be key to ensuring you drive value in the long run. The importance of collective collaboration with both brand and publishers will ensure brand kpis are met and publisher satisfaction is met, creating long standing relationships.