As part of GroupHigh’s “Affiliate Marketing April,” we reached out to Allison Cirincione, Core Account Director of Affiliate Marketing at Acceleration Partners to pick her brain. We wanted to find out what works, what doesn’t, and how bloggers & influencers fit into the affiliate marketing landscape. Here’s what Allison had to say….
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?
“I am the Core Account Director of Affiliate Marketing at Acceleration Partners, an affiliate marketing agency focused on delivering brand-aligned, customer acquisition programs for the world’s largest brands. I work with clients to develop, manage, and optimize their affiliate marketing programs. Prior to Acceleration Partners, I served as a Marketing Manager at Commission Junction, an online advertising company. I have managed major affiliate programs including ModCloth, Target, Smart Destinations and may others. I am passionate about traveling and spending time with family and live with my husband and two daughters in California.”
- For those who are new to the game… talk to us in a general sense about how affiliate and performance marketing work.
“Affiliate marketing is a way to pay partners. It’s a framework that rewards partners (affiliates, publishers, influencers) who drive quality leads and sales to the brands they work with. A key difference with the affiliate model is that companies only pay their partners after they have delivered a desired outcome. This allows brands to choose to only compensate partners based on performance and reward them when they have delivered paying customers to their business or provided qualified leads. “
- Tell us about the intersectionality and value of bloggers and influencers when it comes to affiliate marketing programs.
“Content partners such as bloggers and influencers have been a top priority for many of our clients as they look to grow and expand their affiliate programs. These content partners focus on creating meaningful content for their audience that drives brand awareness and cost-effective customer acquisition for brands. As influencers and bloggers have learned how to grow and build their brands and followers, they’ve discovered that affiliate marketing is an attractive model as it connects them with valuable brands and allows them to effectively monetize their content.”
- What types of companies, brands, or products do you see find the most success working with affiliate publishers?
“Affiliate publishers are attracted to authentic brands that have strong brand recognition. Brands that fall into specific categories such as fashion, beauty, kids and family, home and lifestyle and travel typically perform well as there is a large pool of affiliates with sites focused on these topics.”
- What characteristics of a blog or influencer persona do you typically see drive the most conversions for a brand or business?
“It’s important to look for authentic content partners with a strong following and an active engaged audience. While subscriber volume is important, alignment with your brand determines whether your partnership will be successful over the long-run. We’ve also seen success with bloggers and influencers that focus on a specific category niches or share content on deals or other promotional offers.”
- If you were to give advice to a business starting an affiliate program, what would it be?
“Affiliate marketing is a complex channel with constantly evolving technologies, partners, strategies and tactics. Before launching your affiliate program it’s essential to establish your management team, select a network or SaaS platform that best supports your strategy and set-up your program. By having the proper strategy and structure in place, you can ensure your affiliate marketing program is successful and generates a high ROI.”
- What do you feel is the biggest challenge for a brand or business managing an affiliate marketing program?
“One mistake that people make is not recognizing that affiliate marketing works differently from other digital channels. Due to its complexity, it requires a team overseeing it who has deep experience and understanding of the space and brings new ideas and solutions to help you reach your goals strategically and cost-effectively.”
- Let’s turn a little to GroupHigh, what features help you the most with your affiliate program management?
“GroupHigh makes it easy for us to find new affiliate partners for our clients. Their [blog roll] extractor tool allows us to save a large list of sites and blogrolls to target for our recruiting campaigns. Plus, the contact information and social data they provide makes it easy to prioritize which partners to pursue. My team also likes the keyword tool which allows us to quickly find new sites and blogs. “
Have any affiliate marketing tips or examples you’d like to share? We would love to hear from you @grouphigh