Discover 5 Types of Affiliate Partners & How to Recruit Them
When you are launching a new affiliate program, one of the most important tasks is to identify what types of affiliate partners your business needs. Partner recruitment is often a time-consuming task, so you should plan ahead and define your priorities.
The service or product your business offers and your niche will play a major role in defining affiliate recruitment.
A good place to start is to look at your customer base and explore the types of partnerships your competitors have. Try to think about services or products that are compatible with yours.
It’s also a good idea to assess affiliate partnerships strategically, e.g., are there websites where you wouldn’t want your product to be promoted?
When growing your affiliate partner ecosystem, you’ll come across different types of affiliate partners. In this article, we’ll share a general overview of what you should expect. Keep in mind that some partners may offer more than one type of promotion.
1. Content creators
Content creators are consistently growing in popularity. They are often very successful in engaging with and promoting products or services to their audiences. Some examples in this category include bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters. The content format will vary from product reviews and comparison articles to how-to guides or recommendations.
Successful content creators put a lot of time and effort into producing quality work. They’re familiar with SEO and keywords; they know their audience and will cater the content to the reader’s needs. Thoughtful and targeted content builds an audience that trusts, and values shared opinions and recommendations.
How to find the right content creators
There are various tools you can use to find the best-performing content affiliates.
You can identify keywords relevant to your business and use SEO tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs or use market research tools, such as SparkToro, to find top-ranking pages, authors, and accounts.
An original, engaging content piece can do wonders in attracting new customers, so this type of affiliate marketing partner is very valuable.
However, keep in mind that top partners in this category will (and should!) be picky about what they recommend. A competitive commission rate will not cut it, make sure your product is of high quality and relevant to the affiliate’s audience.
2. Technology partners
Working with other companies in strategic partnerships can yield mutually beneficial results, particularly when the products or services involved are complementary or add value to each other!
This is especially common in technology partnerships where integration plays a crucial role. For instance, in the case of software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, an email service provider might integrate with a website builder, enabling their respective clients to establish a seamless connection and promote each other.
For e-commerce businesses, seeking out partnerships with complementary products can be advantageous. For example, if you sell climbing shoes, collaborating with a climbing gym or a store specializing in outdoor climbing equipment can be a smart move.
How to find the right technology partners
Determining the right partner largely depends on your specific product or service. It's essential to consider what would provide the most value to your customers. Conduct a thorough analysis of what your competitors offer, identifying valuable aspects that may appeal to your target audience. Additionally, documenting customer requests and feedback will help identify any gaps or unmet needs. In such cases, implementing a third-party option through affiliate partners can often be more efficient than building it from scratch.
3. Social media influencers
Social media marketing is a strong tool for increasing sales conversions, brand awareness, and customer acquisition. Like content creators, popular influencers try to engage their audience and only endorse products that match their beliefs and who they are.
How to find the right social media influencers
If you're using LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, searching for hashtags related to your products will help you find accounts that talk about your industry. Connect with experts or influential people in your field who talks about similar products or even your competitors. You can also reach out to influencer agencies or apps for collaborations.
Keep in mind that successful influencers probably receive multiple messages a day, so reach out with a personalized message and make sure your offer is fair and relevant to your influencer of choice and their audience.
4. Coupon and deal websites
Affiliate partners who create websites focus on offering discounts and promo codes for different types of products for all types of products like health and fashion. These websites are more suitable for selling products to individual customers (business-to-consumers, a.k.a B2C).
Coupon and deal websites are less personal and may not have highly engaged audiences. However, it can be beneficial if you want to make quick sales and prioritize quantity over building relationships. This is especially true for the travel and airline industries.
How to find the right coupon and deal websites
From Rakuten to Groupon, there are many options across the internet. Make sure you take a good look at what these websites offer before making your decision!
To avoid disappointment, also set restrictions with affiliates. For example, you can ask affiliate partners not to use your brand name and keywords like "promo code" or "discount" to drive traffic. You can also request that partners only share discount codes on a particular website rather than promoting them elsewhere online.
5. Agency partners
An agency partnership is a business-to-business (B2B) relationship that allows a company to reach a specific audience. For instance, if you have a SaaS company that builds websites, you can form an affiliate partnership with an agency that creates websites for its clients.
In this arrangement, the agency would recommend and use your software for all their projects, get the client for their services, and still receive a commission for every paying client they bring you through recommending your software.
The major benefit of these partnerships is twofold. Firstly, you gain direct access to the agency's client base. Secondly, the agency provides professional recommendations and personal training to their clients, adding credibility to your software.
How to find the right agency partners
Clearly define your target audience and the specific expertise or services you need from an agency partner and conduct research to identify agencies that specialize in your niche or industry.
Look for agencies with a strong track record, positive client testimonials, and a solid reputation. Reach out to potential partners and evaluate their responsiveness, professionalism, results from previous affiliate partnerships, and alignment with your brand values.
Consider collaborating with agencies with a strong network and established relationships with influencers or industry leaders. Ultimately, choose agency partners who demonstrate a genuine understanding of your goals and can help you achieve them in your affiliate program.
While agency partnerships may not result in many clients, they often lead to high conversion rates and foster long-term professional relationships.
Find the Perfect Partner & Manage Partnerships with Partnero
We’ve introduced the five most common affiliate partner types that you’ll likely come across when managing any affiliate program. Understanding the unique benefits of each partnership will hopefully bring some clarity and guidelines when creating a strategy for your own affiliate program. Ready to launch your own affiliate program? Sign up for Partnero now!