Eighty-one percent of U.S. merchants surveyed in a 2016 Forrester report have turned to affiliate marketing in search of differentiated marketing content or new opportunities for driving ad revenue to their sites. Couple this with nearly half of marketers in the U.S. that plan to ramp up budget for influencer-focused campaigns in 2017 (eMarketer) and you will see a key commonality between two seemingly unrelated statistics: a strong need for brands to break through digital marketing barriers, such as channel saturation and device overload, to effectively reach their target audience.
Influencer Marketing + Affiliate Marketing
To put it simply, influencer marketing uses the unique ability of authority figures and tastemakers to spread a brand’s marketing message to its target market and, through their powerful influence, enable that message to take root. Brands that wish to be successful in breaking through the growing digital marketing barriers, and reward their brand ambassadors beyond a one-time payment, need to understand how to integrate their influencer marketing campaigns into the pay-for-performance, affiliate marketing model.
The following LinkConnector technologies complement the needs of influencer marketing campaigns by simplifying the affiliate partner component (e.g., eliminating the need for influencers to mess with affiliate tracking links) and introducing the opportunity to significantly increase a brand’s return on ad spend.
Cross Platform Tracking
LinkConnector is one of only two networks that offers Cross Device and Cross Platform Tracking (CPT). To give you an example of what CPT entails, LC can track an individual who clicked an affiliate link on his or her smartphone and then later completed the purchase on a desktop—properly attributing the transaction to the most effective and influential affiliate. CPT is critical to performance marketers because of the abundance of smart devices at our consumers’ fingertips: smartphones, tablets, laptops, Xbox 360, Tesla dashboards, refrigerators, etc. Affiliate promotion can occur on almost any of these smart devices—all of which have unique cookies, which happens to be the primary method for tracking affiliate promotions. If merchants wish to keep their affiliate influencers on board and promoting, they need to ensure the influencers are properly compensated regardless of the consumer’s device activity.
Naked Link Technology
Imagine if affiliate influencers could refer their followers directly to a merchant site transparently; yet still receive commission for referred transactions. LinkConnector’s patented Naked Link Technology (NLT) allows affiliates to link directly to a merchant website without redirecting through the affiliate network, thus eliminating the need for a lengthy affiliate link, which is unfriendly to both search engines and users. NLT provides a subtle, yet significant advantage to influencers who communicate with their target audiences through their blog. Affiliates link directly to merchant sites using simple, familiar, editorial-in-nature URLs (e.g., www.sunfrog.com).
LC Naked Coupon technology opens the door to a wide range of promotional methods by allowing merchants to attribute affiliate credit across various marketing and social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YoutTube, Reddit, etc. By use of private coupon codes, Naked Coupons allow for online crediting of offline affiliate promotion without the need for a click or cookie. This technology gives merchants the opportunity to reach audiences in ways previously not possible. Naked Coupons give affiliate influencers the opportunity to be creative with their promotional efforts, while still allowing the merchant to track and attribute affiliate credit accurately.
The LinkConnector FastPass is a great tool for influencers, as it provides them with a quick and easy starting point. Merchants can distribute the LC FastPass link to trusted Influencers and partners, which allows them to bypass routine LC fraud checks and quickly gain approval to begin promoting a merchant’s campaign. Combined with Naked Link Technology or Naked Coupons, the LC FastPass makes it very easy to get an influencer started quickly.
If you are currently a partner in the LinkConnector network, we welcome your feedback and we encourage you to reach out to your LC account representative with any questions you may have regarding your influencer marketing campaigns.
If you’re not currently working with LinkConnector, we invite you to reach out to our sales team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about our technologies and how we can help your brand break through the digital barriers.