The DTC market has been reaping the benefits of affiliate marketing with the help of social influencers for over ten years. In 2009, YouTube influencers began the long-standing marketing trend of using individual content creators to sell products. Today, influencers can be found on a variety of platforms, including Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. They use their large audiences to generate thousands, if not millions, of dollars per year through affiliate content. Often, they’re bolstered by an affiliate marketing management agency.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win for both companies and their influencers. Marketers ensure that their product is marketed to the right audience, and affiliates can charge per post or piece of content.
That all sounds great for DTC. But, how can the B2B tech industry adapt to benefit from this new marketing approach? Our research suggests that only 25% of B2B marketers are currently implementing an affiliate program.
Most B2B companies favor the likes of inbound and content marketing. While these are effective strategies, it’s also important to continue evolving with the market. Marketers who lack experience in affiliate marketing can quickly burn budget. Affiliate marketing management ensures that your partner marketing resonates, and generates quality leads.
Why Use Affiliate Marketing in B2B Tech?
You won’t be blamed for thinking that DTC marketing is very different from B2B marketing. The consumer journey and sales cycle are different, and different approaches are required for maximum marketing impact.
However, it’s just as important to consider the similarities between these two types of marketing. Regardless of your audience, and your end goal, effective marketing requires one major component: trust. Popular B2B marketing approaches, inbound and content marketing, are built on the idea that educating and building relationships with your leads is the best way to generate sales.
The primary reason that influencer marketing has increased in popularity so quickly is that consumers believe in their favorite content creators. It’s estimated that around 61% of people trust influencer recommendations. Comparatively, only 15% of consumers trust targeted advertisements.
Affiliate marketing offers many of the same benefits as inbound and content marketing. However, affiliate marketing can move much quicker. This approach allows you to take advantage of your partners’ existing audience and the relationship that they have built within that audience.
As long as your audiences align, you can test messages and reach your target buyers that much quicker with quality, thought-leadership content. Affiliate marketing could be the boost that your B2B marketing is looking needs for improved lead generation.
What is Affiliate Marketing Management?
As mentioned, affiliate marketing is extremely popular in the DTC space. However, many B2B companies have yet to incorporate affiliates or partners into their existing strategies. It’s a relatively new space, where effective research and planning are key.
Building and launching a partner program takes time, and staffing resources. Chances are, you’re already focusing on driving inbound marketing efforts with content, emails, paid ads, social, and more. Alongside this, managing an affiliate marketing program could require a marketing team of its own.
Affiliate marketing management agencies offer to generate and launch a partner program that aligns with your goals. They work together with your existing team to keep marketing on message, while managing external partners to ensure maximum impact.
Affiliate marketing management agencies should be well-versed in the B2B marketing space, with experience generating a variety of content, outbound strategies, branding, and more. This allows them to build relationships with affiliates, and manage the partner marketing push to deliver results.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Management
Since affiliate marketing programs require an in-depth understanding of your business, it’s important to ensure that hiring affiliate marketing management is the right choice.
Successful affiliate marketing involves considerable research, connections, and the ability to produce content. The right management agency should offer all of this, and more.
Affiliate marketing is still a relatively novel marketing strategy. While it has cemented itself in every DTC marketer’s arsenal, many B2B marketers have yet to find its full potential. Affiliate marketing management ensures that you make the most out of your available resources.
An experiences management agency should have the expertise, including a thorough understanding of affiliate marketing strategy, to build and launch a successful program. Ensure your potential partner can demonstrate a portfolio of experience, or testimonials, to gain the best ROI.
One of the primary components of a successful affiliate program is building relationships and connections. Within each industry, there are some key content creators that have the loudest voices among your audience. It’s critical to make lasting connections with these creators to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
Affiliate marketing management for B2B tech should already have connections established within the industry. This demonstrates their ability to resonate with partners, and generate content that is supported by affiliates.
Variety of Skills
Agencies that offer affiliate marketing management should also have other skills to offer to any marketing team. While connections are important, affiliate marketing requires much more than that.
Experience in the marketing space, and the skills that are required to build effective marketing strategies are also key to building affiliate marketing programs. The best partner marketing management can generate quality content, build email campaigns and landing pages, manage paid ads, and more. This ensures that both your company and your affiliates optimize lead generation at every opportunity.
As mentioned, building and launching an affiliate marketing program requires considerable resources. Your existing marketing team may find it challenging to take on the additional workload, alongside inbound, outbound and paid marketing management.
Affiliate marketing management agencies can provide a variety of staff with a variety of skills. They manage the entire team internally, meaning you benefit from a fully rounded marketing strategy without additional managerial responsibilities.
At Nituno, we are passionate about the growth of affiliate marketing in the B2B sector. We understand the potential it has for the evolving tech market, and have experience building and launching programs for a variety of goals. Get in touch with us today to discuss launching your own affiliate program.