Preparing Your Affiliates for Success; Part 1 of 5, Creating your Toolkit

Brett Chesney Affiliate Tips, Vendor Tips

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Simply stated, If you are an entrepreneur operating in the digital space and you are not actively utilizing an affiliate program as part of your marketing efforts stop everything you are doing and start the process of tapping into this valuable resource.

Affiliates by the Numbers

Need further convincing? Forrester research projected that the United States spent more than 4.1 billion dollars in 2014 on affiliate marketing. Further, this type of performance marketing accounted for 62% of the internet’s total ad revenue. Innovator of affiliate marketing, Amazon, actively receives 40% of its yearly revenue from its affiliate programs.

As entrepreneurs, we are constantly gauging the ROI on investments, in terms of capital and time. The beauty of a successful affiliate campaign is that it requires little in terms of risk but high potential for reward. Why? Affiliates only need to be paid when a customer converts.

The Power of an Affiliate Program

Here at ClickBank we actively work with over 100,000 affiliates in over 190 countries. Engaging our affiliate network can be an invaluable resource to maximize the growth of your business but there are a number of factors you should take into account before turning your product loose into the affiliate space.

In this blog series, we will be taking a close look at some of the steps you should take to insure you are setting both you and your affiliates up for the highest amount of success.

In this post we will be diving into your affiliate toolkit.

Your Affiliate Toolkit

Your affiliate toolkit is the name for the collection of digital media and content you supply that allows affiliates to promote your product without them having to do the legwork.

As a vendor, it is your responsibility to create a suite of digital material and content that has been proven to convert well for you. In the next part of our series we will dive into testing your toolkit. But, for now, let’s explore what belongs here.

A well constructed affiliate toolkit should provide:

  • Banners
  • Ad copy including instruction PDF and email templates
  • Embedded video
  • Testimonials
  • And any other media that would be used to market your product on the web such as gifs or surveys

Supplying affiliates who are looking to promote your products with these tools not only expedites the process but it also ensures that your brand’s identity and messaging is kept consistent on all digital fronts.

Creating your Toolkit

Let’s take a closer look at a few components of your affiliate toolkit.

Banners

The staple of every affiliate toolkit is supplying a variety of banner ads that performance marketers can choose from. The key here is to supply an adequate diversity of sizes to fit in a variety of places across the web.

The top three banner sizes are:

  • 486 x 60 px Full Banner
  • 300x 250px Medium rectangle
  • 160×600 px Wide Skyscraper

Tip: For a complete listing of the most common banner ads and some great tools to create your own banners check out Bannersnack. For a complete run down on banner standards across the web you can also explore the IAB Standard Ad Units Portfolio.

Ad Copy

While supplying banner ads is a great first step, it shouldn’t stop there. Supplying strong ad copy or a basis for affiliates to base their copy, language and tone on is another great resource you can include in your toolkit.

Tip: Strong content creates engagement; engagement creates authority and ultimately a trust with your audience to purchase your product.

Testimonials

Never underestimate the power of a strong testimonials. Effective testimonials need to be genuine and passionate and based on a legitimate interaction the individual has had with your product or service.

As is the case with effective copy, your testimonials should highlight the benefits more than it’s qualities.

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Tip: Never fabricate an testimonial. While on a cursory level these can be spotted a mile away, the implications that a fictitious testimonial can have on your brand are tremendous. Familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s laws and governances on the matter here

Once you have your testimonial, include these as a downloadable image in your affiliate toolkit.

Keeping Your Toolkit Relevant and Timely

The components of your affiliate toolkit should never fall victim to the “set it and forget it” mentality. Remaining relevant in the crowded Internet marketing space means never being complacent in your marketing efforts.

To this end, a great way to get inspired and add continued value to your banners, ad copy and videos is to embrace the current seasonal climate. Is Christmas just on the horizon? Adjust your banners to reflect seasonal colors, images and flare. Is the holiday season approaching? Adjust your ad copy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Want some examples of an affiliate toolkit done right? Check out the examples below for some inspiration:

  • Ted’s Woodworking (Banners, video reviews, email templates and more)
  • Numerologist.com (Conversion information, custom banners, ad text and private promotions)
  • Pregnancy Miracle (comprehensive sales funnel information, conversion information, affiliate resource center)

In the next part of the series we will be turning our attention to the testing phase of an affiliate campaign. Keep your eyes peeled for this post where we will be discussing ways to give your affiliates tangible results that they can expect when they choose to promote your product.