Affiliate marketing goes global

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Affiliate Team Leader Sean Mahon goes through the fundamentals of operating affiliate marketing campaigns across different territories and markets!

The Partnerships team here at Equator, encompassing our Affiliate Marketing and Outreach services, have a wealth of knowledge and experience managing international campaigns across a broad spectrum of territories and markets. This global learning has come with years of hard work and research, with a lot of lessons learned along the way. We thought we’d try and condense this 18 year(!) learning curve into one easy-to-consume blog post with the view to helping you to take your affiliate programme to the next level!

1. Local knowledge

One of the major keys to success in expanding your affiliate programme internationally is doing your homework first. Understanding the market you’re hoping to enter in to is key. As William Hamer-Jones recently noted in his article on Affiliate Marketing opportunities in Asia – “First, you need to assess whether your brand is ready. We have seen a number of brands take the leap too early without doing the requisite groundwork and research. Ask yourself – do you have an audience or brand recognition in these markets?”

A large part of this research is conducted at Equator by the wider Marketing and Insights teams in conjunction with our clients to establish existing trends and potential opportunities. From a solely Affiliate perspective, we can assess current competitor activity in the area as well as well as relevant commission rate structures and models adopted in the relevant sectors. This will form the building blocks to build your international affiliate strategy upon.

2. Trusted partnerships

I have always maintained that, in its truest form, Affiliate Marketing is fundamentally about relationships. These relationships will be crucial in your international expansions, both from a Network and Partner perspective. By leveraging the local knowledge of both local network staff and affiliates alike, the process of launching your affiliate campaign in a new country will be lot smoother and more efficient. Any network worth their salt should have a decent international presence and in turn should be able to provide introductions and GAP analysis into top performers in your sector/industry.

3. Brand awareness

The role of content affiliates really comes to the fore when we talk about an international affiliate marketing strategy. Whilst the volume of orders and revenue might be there for your brand in the UK through partnerships with the major voucher code and cashback affiliates, it is a different story once you start to look overseas. Building brand awareness takes time, and you can’t always rely on the old reliable partner types to drive performance by increasing cashback rates or simply issuing a 10% voucher code. Instead, looking to identify and partner with relevant content sites in your given sector/industry is key. These content sites will be able to tap into the relevant demographics and help spread the word for your brand through sponsored posts, product reviews etc.

4. Tying it all together

So you’ve successfully launched your international affiliate marketing campaign and are now operating in a number of new territories. Good work! However, you’re not going to want to spend your time logging into different platforms and interfaces and trying to sketch a picture of what performance looks like. Again, your network of choice should be able to provide you with one point of login and an overarching dashboard view of performance. However, it is also worth investigating SaaS partners such as Impact Radius and Performance Horizon who specialise in these kinds of integrated solutions and are available to provide you with a true overview of the growth of your international empire!