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Kolsquare Guide to Affiliate Marketing with Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the most important strategies today yet there are different ways and means to implement it. While the goal of launching creative and engaging campaigns to increase revenue remains the same for everyone, the ways to get there can vary. One effective way is affiliate marketing. Below we explain how it works and how you can incorporate affiliate programs into your influencer marketing strategy.

two people shaking hands
two people shaking hands

Key Takeaways

  • Affiliate marketing and influencers go well together, with the latter being the partners (affiliates) for brands to promote products or services for a commission based on sales or clicks.
  • An affiliate strategy starts with defining the goal, then moves on to selecting the right influencer(s), to contract negotiations and content production, and finally ends with measuring performance according to key KPIs.
  • Affiliates are a cost-effective, results-driven way for brands to promote products and services because payment is tied to results.

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In this guide to affiliate marketing with influencers, we explain everything you need to know about the topic. After reading it, you can easily plan and start your own affiliate program and find out how Kolsquare can help you with influencer management in a free demo. Try it out here and talk to our experts!

There are  quite a few resources on affiliate marketing on the Kolsquare blog. You can check out a few articles here:

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be defined as marketing with partners; it describes a model in which actor A cooperates with actor B or a brand (= affiliate). The goal of this cooperation is an action negotiated in advance;  this “desired” action is often the sale of products following the advertising of actor B. In that case, actor B talks about a product or service, which is then purchased by consumers.

Affiliate marketing can also be seen as a modification and digitalization of the traditional sales model, as actor B receives a commission from actor A on all sales in return for the advertising. In the digital realm, actor B’s compensation can be triggered either by a sale or by a click. You should definitely decide which type of compensation you prefer before negotiating a contract!

How do affiliate marketing and influencers fit together nowadays?

In an affiliate marketing program, influencers take on the role of actor B, i.e. the mediator between the brand and the consumers. In this respect, affiliate marketing and influencers go very well together as the latter have the trust of their audience and their recommendations are  heard and followed.

Consequently, affiliate marketing is a powerful digital strategy based on a collaborative partnership. However, the partners must  be chosen wisely.

1. Identify the right KOL

The selection of affiliates is one of the most important steps after defining your goals. After all, the KOLs represent your brand, share brand messages, and should bind their followers to your company in the long term.

So, consider the following points when researching KOLs: Niche, target audiences (possibly audience overlap), and how their values match yours. Also, have they ever worked with competing brands or made conflicting statements? How credible are they, or in other words, how “real” is their audience? What about the accessibility of their audience?

With the Koslquare platform, you get the answers to these questions at a glance. You can filter our database of over three million influencers with 5,000 followers and up according to your needs, such as social networks, Kolsquare credibility score, specific certificates like the ARPP certificate for responsible influence, or reporting metrics like ROI, EMV, CPM, and CPV.

2. Set up a contract for your affiliate partners

Once you’ve found the right affiliates, put the terms of your affiliate partnership in writing. Be sure to read this article on the Kolsquare blog: Influencer Contract: Tips and Tricks

You should definitely agree on the commission rates and payment plans in an affiliate contract. Also make sure that the KOLs are aware of and comply with the new regulations and laws, for example:

French Ministry of Economy Announces Laws to Strengthen Responsible Influence and Publishes “Best Practice Guide” for Influencers.

One advantage of influencer marketing is that each partner and affiliate gets their own tracking links or promo codes, allowing you to closely monitor their performance.

3. Ready, set, go: promote your products and services

Now it’s your partners’ turn. Depending on what you’ve negotiated in your contract, they’ll create blog posts, social media posts, videos, or email newsletters. The goal is to get consumers to follow the KOL’s links and buy your product or use your service.

Various tools will help you analyze conversions through the program. In doing so, you  track the metrics such as clicks, conversions, and sales.

4. Pricing questions:

How much does a cooperation with influencers cost, how high is the commission, and are affiliate programs worthwhile at all?

As already mentioned, you pay your partners with a commission agreed upon in advance. This can be either Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Mille (CPM) or Cost Per Thousand (CPT).

In no case will you have to pay in advance; you only pay for the results you get. This makes affiliate marketing a low-risk investment and can be well worth it for businesses. The model is either:

  • You pay a low fee plus the usual commission rate.
  • You pay a higher fee plus a lower commission rate

Commissions can vary depending on how you define your goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, engagement on your social media channels, or/and conversion by working with Influencers? For affiliate programs, we advise the following KPIs:

  • Total revenue generated: How much money did the influencer generate for your brand?
  • Number of sales: what is the total number of conversions they achieved?
  • Conversion Rate (CR): This can be calculated by looking at the number of interactions with influencer posts/number of conversions during a certain period of time or by checking the affiliate links of the respective KOL.
  • Average Order Value (AOV): The average order value of sales generated by the KOL.

Once you have collected all this data, then you can easily calculate the overall ROI (Return of Investment) of your affiliate programs.

Marketing KOL Moritz Ceg shares tutorials, guides, and strategies on digital marketing on his YouTube channel and has also created a masterclass on affiliate marketing. In the description of the video you can see that he himself uses affiliate links and has marked them with an asterisk according to the labeling obligation. So interested people can order his complete equipment via Amazon.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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