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Working in a Niche Industry: How to Tackle the Acquisition of Mainstream Affiliate Coverage

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by Christina Weaver & Catherine Dunn

Published in: Marketing
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Working in a Niche Industry: How to Tackle the Acquisition of Mainstream Affiliate Coverage

  1. 1. Working in a niche industry: How to tackle the acquisition of mainstream affiliate coverage Catherine Dunn & Christina Weaver
  2. 2. Who is Lovehoney? Biggest global online retailer of pleasure products Across 9 global markets, including the US - our 2nd biggest market Winning over 66 awards to date - including the Award for Enterprise from the Queen of England! More customer product reviews than any other adult merchant globally, 200k and counting!
  3. 3. Lovehoney - Sector Growth The Sexual Wellbeing Market is estimated to grow to $36 billion USD by 2023, boosted by increasing customer engagement, and by new customer influx We aim to deliver lots of that fantastic global growth via our affiliate channel We’re already seeing amazing engagement in the US - with affiliate sales up +92% YoY in 2019! Lovehoney Affiliate Growth 92% Growth YoY35% Growth YoY 258% Growth YoY 87% Growth YoY
  4. 4. It doesn’t matter what niche you are, the fundamentals of affiliate marketing remain the same Make sure to consider: ● Reinforce your brand messaging - to both customers and affiliates ● Ensure affiliates are familiar with the benefits of promoting your program - turn them into brand advocates ● Make connections to reach a wider audience - explore new partnerships ● Reach out to the widest possible engaged audience, connecting positively with affiliates, and with potential customers Niche brands - same, but different Remember! Niche does not mean small
  5. 5. Key Affiliate Pillars of Success Build Relationships New Customer Acquisition Plan, Plan, Plan!
  6. 6. Being niche you may not immediately spring to mind for affiliates - so work hard to ensure you ARE forefront of their minds! Things to consider: ● Attend affiliate events - such as Affiliate Summit West! ● Engage regularly with affiliates - host events and meetings, have regular calls, send them emails and newsletters ● Be open to new types of affiliates ● Showcase the positive attributes of your program to aid affiliate recruitment Build relationships
  7. 7. Traction your affiliate channel to increase new customers Things to consider: ● Target your program structure to prioritise new customer acquisition ● Utilise affiliate demographic reach info to find new audiences ● Target affiliates who consistently drive a high % of new customer sales ● Push specific products or ranges that appeal to new customers ● Explore working with affiliates in new markets New customer acquisition
  8. 8. Avoid last minute panic!! Put together detailed strategy plans ahead of time, factoring affiliates into your marketing plans Things to consider: ● Provide your affiliates with everything they need to promote you - think imagery, offer details, key products to promote ● Share your promotional plans with affiliates as far ahead as possible ● This enables affiliates to factor your brand into any campaigns or events they may be planning ● The more useful information you provide your affiliates, the more useful they will be to your brand - and the better they will convert! Plan ahead for best results
  9. 9. Key Strategy Deep Dives ?! But who even is Build Brand Awareness Think Outside the Box Think Smarter, not Harder
  10. 10. Normalise your brandBuild Brand Awareness Building brand awareness should be a key priority - your sales strategy and conversion tactics can follow Key things you can do to build awareness: ● Get listed on the biggest traffic affiliate sites ● Run competitions ● Blogger product reviews ● Run Display ● Work closely with your PR & Marketing team - for content and context
  11. 11. Think outside the box! To ensure your brand stands out, you should interact with your affiliates in more creative ways. A couple of examples that we do at Lovehoney are: ● Run our own affiliate events ● Run creative competitions with bloggers for posts and engagement ● Run interactive commission boost campaigns
  12. 12. Work smarter, not harder Using your data is critical for success, and there are a few ways in which you can use data to target your campaigns and strategy much more effectively. A couple of the key uses of data we use at Lovehoney are: ● Utilising your customer data for demographic and product trends ● Take into account attributed value to see the true value in affiliate campaigns and performance
  13. 13. Summary Understand and engage with your affiliates Don’t be afraid to explore new markets Use your demographics, attribution and reporting wisely Reward behaviours you want to encourage Be prepared!
  14. 14. Catherine Dunn - Global Affiliate Marketing Manager Christina Weaver - Senior Global Affiliate Marketing Executive Contact the Affiliate Team at: Affiliates@Lovehoney.com Lovehoney Affiliate Team

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