Why your affiliate program needs to be marketed like a brand

By Lee-Ann Johnstone, CEO



The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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September 16, 2020 | 5 min read

How much care and attention are you spending on marketing your affiliate program? If you are struggling to find and retain new affiliates, you might need to take a closer look at the way you manage your brand marketing strategy for your program. I’m going to share a closer look at four key things you can do now to grow your affiliate platform and ensure new affiliates are engaging with your affiliate team more effectively.

Lee-Ann New

Have you created an Affiliate Program Brand?

What are the core principles at the heart of your Affiliate program?

You need to be as precise as possible about your brand positioning and the target affiliates you want, in addition to your desired brand image. If you do not get laser focussed on this right now, you run the risk of having marketing activity that drifts loose with no real purpose.

You need to base everything you do to promote and acquire new affiliate partners around three clear principles:

  • Why You – Why do you want to work with that affiliate in particular?
  • Why Me – Why are you the right program or affiliate manager for that affiliate?
  • Why Now – Why is now the perfect time for that affiliate to join your affiliate program?

Does your current home page set out these points really clearly to affiliates that may be browsing?

Is it instantly obvious what kind of affiliates you want to attract and engage with?

Have you perfected your 3 second Affiliate Program Pitch?

These are all important questions you want affiliates to see and understand in a matter of “seconds” when they get to your program page within the network listing, or your home page if you run your affiliate program direct. Building your program marketing and promotions strategy is just as important as advertising to new customers (so the same principles of marketing and promotion and brand apply) You need to be crystal clear in all communications and promotions so all of your affiliates know exactly what you offer and how you benchmark to others.

Are you being 100% personal?

Affiliate recruitment used to be a One-Size Fits All approach with mass mail templates being delivered a hundred a time. Today - you can’t be so lazy. Times have changed affiliates are far less likely to sign up for program sales pitches if there is nothing personal or substantial sitting behind them.

In fact, an online study has shown that people will spend roughly 50% more time with a new brand if there are things like games, quizzes, or even just videos to watch. Using innovative marketing techniques that go above and beyond traditional content on page formats - can help potential partners to engage with your program and get to know your offering, much more quickly. You can also establish a more personal connection before the official business relationship begins.

Are you present online?

Are you spending time with your affiliates - even if you can’t meet them physically? You can’t just hide behind your screen and wait for Covid-19 to be over. You need to make sure that you are being seen and heard in the online channels you can use right now to be present and available. Are you sharing valuable information are you engaging in conversation vs just push messaging your own agenda? There are many smaller digital events where you can make sure that your brand is seen and heard to take advantage of networking.

Podcasts are one area that has also exploded recently. If you can think of a topic, there will be a podcast that appeals to it. This is one area where I can see brands really capitalising on a wider engagement with their affiliates each week and it’s relatively simple to set up and launch. In 2018, it was thought that approximately 7.6 million people in the UK were listening to podcasts. People listen to an average of 7.3 hours of podcast per week, which equals about 56 million hours in total. This means that there is a vast audience of potential affiliates and micro influencers to go tap into here.

I’ve also recently launched a new AMPP coaching academy, which is a 12 week long coaching program - just 1 hour a week, that focuses on marketing strategies that will help affiliate program managers amplify performance and sales within their affiliate programs.

The key thing is to make sure you’re paying attention to what your affiliates need, and what is changing as we move through to new normal and use these 4 simple points to help your affiliate program continue driving consistent sales!


Content by The Drum Network member:


We are an award-winning digital & affiliate marketing agency and content hub. Our founder Lee-Ann has been in affiliate marketing for almost two decades and...

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