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Here are our top tips on the best ways that affiliates can use data feeds to increase their sales commission.
1. Work your content hard for sales commission
We all know that ‘content is king’ but in practice accessing this content is less straightforward than it seems. Some networks operate within quite a narrow schema for product submission and not all product features and attributes are available to affiliate marketers.
The good news is that there are now various affiliate tools available which allow affiliate marketers access to all the data in an advertiser’s product inventory. Affiliates can then work with the content that is most relevant to their target audience.
So in the fashion industry, affiliates can pick out specific products they have mentioned or reviewed in recent blog posts, or use certain images to accompany and highlight commentary.
By using these affiliate marketing tools, the relevant products can be downloaded and featured in a matter of seconds.
2. Keep branded advertising content updated
Consumers are always after the best online deals and it’s important to make sure you stay informed of your advertisers’ most recent offers and promotions. Consumers pick up on online brand changes quickly and advertisers can be very particular about how they are represented.
Signing up for network communications is an easy way to keep up-to-date with advertisers.
Various ‘affiliate hubs’ are now available in the UK. As well as giving affiliates access to affiliate marketing tools, the hubs help advertisers give their affiliate marketing programme a real focus for promotions.
Affiliates can sign up for brand email updates via the hub, saving them time and giving them access to all the information they need to promote products successfully.
3. Stay on top of advertiser tool developments
Advertisers frequently introduce new tools and affiliate marketing products to enhance the consumer experience. These tools can add new depth and dimension to affiliate websites and give potential customers another way of engaging with products.
For example, it’s now possible to develop downloadable videos featuring ‘clickable’ products. If customers click on a product in the video, they are taken to the relevant product page.
As well as signing up to any available advertiser communications, it’s also worth regularly checking affiliate portals or even calling affiliate account managers to find out if new tools and affiliate marketing products are in the pipeline.
4. Use raw data creatively
Data feeds enable great creativity. The days of simple banner ads are over and there is now huge potential to create novel, targeted and engaging consumer facing content.
The content still focuses on the product’s features, but presents them in a more intuitive way that encourages customer interaction. Why not create an onsite widget that recommends different dresses from more than one brand so that consumers can compare them on brand, price, colour and size?
This not only enhances the customer shopping experience, but over time could be developed to include matching the chosen ‘dress’ to a pair of shoes or earrings, so that an entire outfit is suggested to consumers.
In this case the unique content is your expertise in fashion: what works and what doesn’t. Consumers will benefit from being able to mix and match outfits whilst shopping online.
5. Use data to fill gaps in the market
With increased demand for applications in SoLoMo (social, local, mobile), there’s no reason why performance marketers in the affiliate sector shouldn’t start to use product data to fill this content gap. Most of the bigger marketplaces now have mobile sites and data feeds can be easily optimised so that they function correctly on mobile devices.
With so much call for personalisation, using data to provide a personalised shopping experience also gives consumers a reason to visit your affiliate site to buy certain products. By enabling consumers to personalise own content using onsite advertising content units, they become more engaged with the products.
6. Update product information
To ensure that product data is accurate and current, data feeds should be regularly refreshed. Many affiliates do not realise that data feeds are often updated daily and they should be made aware that frequent updates are available and can enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.
If data feeds are not updated, product information can be incorrect. Product availability can change rapidly, as can core product attributes such as price.
Ensuring that the customers see the correct details of available items not only provides a smooth transaction, but also increases return of investment.