How affiliate marketing works for product based businesses


Having an affiliate program set up is vital nowadays if you want to get featured regularly in the shopping sections of major titles. Today, I'm going to tell you more about how to do that.

Here's how it works:

Get set up with an affiliate program

As a product-based business, you can establish an affiliate program through an affiliate marketing platform such as Awin, Webgains, TradeDoubler, or Affiliate Future. This program allows you to partner with affiliates (e.g. media outlets) who will write about your products.

Reach out to relevant media outlets

Reach out to media outlets, including journalists and editors (particularly of shopping sections), who align with your target audience and have an interest in featuring products like yours. Explain that you have an affiliate program and that they can earn commission and make sure to pitch the best bits of your products as you normally would.

Give them their own affiliate links

Once a media outlet has shown interest in your program, provide them with unique affiliate links. These links are specific to each media brand and allow the platform to track traffic and attribute sales accurately. Media outlets can then integrate these affiliate links into their coverage, such as articles, reviews, or product mentions.

Make sure everyone knows the commission structure

Determine the commission structure for your affiliates. In the UK, it's common to offer a percentage-based commission on the sales generated through their affiliate links - be sure to do some research on what the standard amount for this is, but also make sure your commission rates are competitive and attractive enough to incentivise media outlets to promote your products.

Be sure to comply with advertising regulations

 In the UK, media outlets must adhere to advertising regulations, such as those set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The media outlets should be well aware of these already, but they need to make sure their content aligns with the guidelines. Encourage them to be transparent in their disclosures of affiliate relationships - this is vital to building trust with their audience.

Track performance and payment

The affiliate marketing platform will provide tools for tracking performance metrics, including traffic, conversions, and sales generated by each affiliate. These are exciting because they allow you to monitor the metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of media coverage. Also make sure you set up regular payment schedules to ensure timely and accurate commission payments to your affiliates.

Nurture relationships

As you know (because I harp on about it all the time..!) building strong relationships with media outlets is crucial for ongoing coverage and success. Provide support to your affiliates, respond to their inquiries promptly, and offer assistance with product information, visuals, or exclusive offers. Regular communication and fostering positive partnerships can lead to increased media coverage and advocacy for your products.