How to Find Great Affiliates
If you’re here, it’s likely that you’ve started using affiliate marketing as a way to grow your business.
And now, you need affiliates that can promote your product or service.
Affiliates can be anyone from high-profile influencers with hundreds of followers, to niche aficionados on industry websites, and even existing customers who can refer your brand among their inner circle.
Here are the best ways to find affiliates for your program:
Start with Existing Customers
We mention often that your customers are a great place to start when it comes to finding affiliates. Customers can easily promote your brand through their personal experience, sharing how they benefited from using your brand and how others can too.
Some ways customers can be great affiliates…
Word-of-mouth Marketing: Customers don’t need celebrity-like status to be effective, they can easily promote your brand within their network via social media posts or word-of-mouth recommendations.
Personalized promotions: Customer promotions come off as more genuine and authentic compared to flashy pop-up ads.
Unique Insights: Customers can provide real-life use cases, explanations or reviews. This is especially true with SaaS, customers can simplify software in a way that others can clearly understand and relate to.
Win-Win: And finally, rewarding customers for referrals is a great way to build brand loyalty.
With Tapfiliate’s Affiliate Recruitment feature, you can easily invite customers to become affiliates.
Using this tool, new customers (those that are not yet affiliates) will be automatically sent a referral link that they can instantly use to spread the word about your business. When they drive a new conversion or customer, the affiliate prospect will be immediately promoted to affiliate status and invited to log in so they can view their performance and find more of your program’s resources.
If you’d like to start using the affiliate recruitment feature, here’s how.
Seek out with Niche Bloggers & Websites
Niche blogs and websites are a great way to place your brand within a specific community and reach target audiences.
Benefits of niche affiliates include:
Targeted Audiences: Niche blogs and websites have built-in audiences that are likely to overlap with your brand’s target audience, meaning more targeted traffic and quality referrals.
Stamp of Approval: Their promotion will carry a lot of weight and build your brand’s credibility.
Innovation: As content creators, they can come up with new marketing materials around your product or service like image galleries, videos, graphics, interviews, storytelling, etc.
Start by researching blogs and websites with content related to your industry and aligned with your brand. Use a variety of search queries and keywords for better prospects.
Let’s use an e-commerce store selling vitamins as an example for how to search:
- Start by the general searches with something simple like “vitamins” or “daily vitamins”
- Switch to questions like “what vitamins do I need daily” or “which vitamins are best for my health”
- Be even more specific, “vitamins for healthy skin” or “vitamin C tablets”, etc.
- Try finding reviews with searches like “ best vitamins for young women” or “best vitamin brands”
- Include more general searches too like “how to be healthy” or “nutrition plan” or “nutrition advice”
- Consider adding “blog” or “expert” at the end to these keywords
From here, you’ll be able to find tons and tons of search results for blogs and websites with content. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the blogs and contact information, and use tools like Alexa.com to see how much traffic each site gets.
This will give you a good basis for finding potential affiliates and promotional opportunities within your niche.
Then, the next step is reaching out directly to the blog or website.
Here’s what Affiliate Manager Taylor Barr recommends:
Before thinking about pitching your affiliate program (commission rates, great promotional tools, etc.) on your first outreach email to a potential partner, consider taking a different approach…
Start by asking if they would be interested in taking your product or service for a spin, via a demo account or live walk through. Many affiliates will want to test first, and gives a better understanding of your product or service. And for you, this signals their interest level and if they are ready to promote before you present your program offerings.
With this step, be sure to make it personal. Approach this as a working partnership rather than an indirect, generic sales pitch. Let them know why you are interested, explaining how their content fits with your affiliate marketing goals and how it can also be of value to them.
You can find more advice on reaching out to bloggers here.
Partner with Influencers
Having influential people promote products or services isn’t a new concept. But, who can be an influencer is new, being that it’s no longer limited to solely actors and rock stars.
With social media apps like Instagram and YouTube, it’s possible for anyone to become an influencer with large followings they can promote to.
Influencers can be social media personalities, industry experts, thought leaders, trendsetters, niche bloggers. They can range from large-scale celebrity influencers with millions of followers, to niche-focused micro-influencers with somewhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
Using influencers as affiliates helps brand exposure, reaching large audiences and generating leads.
Seek out influencers that fit with your brand and share the same target audience. You can do this by searching social media hashtags related to your brand. For example, search #travelgram or #wanderlust for anything tourism related.
As you search, consider the following:
- Which platforms they use (and how this fits with your marketing materials)
- Number of followers, and more importantly the engagement rate of followers
- Quality of content
- How they fit with your niche
Micro-influencers can be an ideal affiliate for your program. Impact found that an increase in followers results in a decrease in engagement; and influencers with 1,000 followers had engagement as high as 85%. High engagement rates can mean high conversion rates.
Industry Groups & Forums
Online forums and social media groups can be another place to find affiliates.
You can recruit affiliates by sharing your brand and introducing your affiliate program offerings with group or forum members.
Start with groups focused around your industry. These interest-based and professional groups can help you find prospective affiliates that are already familiar and active in your niche and can share with others in the community.
On the other end, you can try affiliate forums that focus on everything affiliate marketing. This is where to find affiliate marketers who are actively looking for new products to promote. Members of these forums are likely professionals, and will be familiar with the inner-workings of affiliate marketing, so they can easily be on-boarded and start promoting right away.
Popular forums and social media groups include:
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
For finding professional affiliate marketers, we recommend doing your own research beforehand. There are several websites and forums featuring these groups & networks, each with varying terms and conditions.
Professionals & Businesses in Related Fields
While not usually thought of as the typical affiliate, professionals and businesses in related fields can be an effective way to bring in new leads for B2B & B2C markets.
Reach out to non-competitive brands with products or services that complement yours or are often bought by similar target audiences. Think of products or services you use together and can easily promote one another.
- Coffee bean brand and espresso machine makers
- Makeup products and skincare lines
- Luggage stores and travel booking platforms
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems and email marketing softwares
Then, they can use their existing platforms and networks to share brand and refer new customers.
Here’s a few ways other professionals can promote:
- Write a blog post or product review on their site with affiliate links
- Create a recommendations page on their page featuring products they use with affiliate links
- Refer clients with recommendations (a dentist recommending a toothbrush)
- Use coupon and promo codes exclusively for their customers
This is also a win-win for professionals and businesses, as they are able to bring in additional revenue from referral commissions as well as provide resources and recommendations to their customers.
Interested in more?
Finding great affiliates is key to your program’s success, and we’re here to help. Be sure to check out our blog for more ways to promote and grow your affiliate program.