Your Ultimate Influencer Affiliate Marketing Guide (for Brands)

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia
Business Development Manager at Insense
a girl taking a photo of her friend

You saw other brands in your niche creating successful influencer marketing campaigns and you want to give it a try too? 

We got you!

In this article, we’ll provide you with the ultimate guide to kick-starting your influencer affiliate marketing campaign.

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this blog post:

  • Definition of influencer affiliate marketing
  • Benefits of working with influencer affiliates
  • Tips for finding the best influencer affiliates

Let’s get right into it.

What is Influencer Affiliate Marketing?

Influencer affiliate marketing is an influencer marketing strategy which involves a partnership between an affiliate influencer and a brand.

An affiliate partner is someone who collaborates with a business to sell and promote products and services in exchange for a commission. 

Image Source: Instagram

For instance, if you own an e-commerce store, you can create unique discount codes, coupons, or promo codes and distribute them to the right influencers.

These social media influencers will create and post promotional content about your brand and products, referring their followers to your online store and offering them a unique discount code to make a purchase.

For every purchase made with an influencer’s code, the influencer gets a commission.

Long story short, influencer affiliate marketing is a win-win marketing strategy for both the influencer and the business owner.

You get more sales, higher engagement and conversion rates, brand awareness, and recommendations, while the influencer gets a commission for each sale.

The commission structure is usually calculated according to the number of purchases made with an influencer’s trackable link, which is often their unique promo code.

3 Benefits of Working with Influencer Affiliates

The benefits of working with influencer affiliates extend beyond just an increase in new customers, brand exposure, lead generation, or website traffic.

It’s a dynamic process that can help you build engaging social media campaigns that can do all the following: 

  1. Campaigns that help build brand credibility and trust 

In a 2022 study by Izea, more than 1000 people were surveyed to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing.

Out of these respondents, 62% reported that they would trust a sponsored post from an influencer more than they would trust a famous celebrity.

These influencers, irrespective of their number of followers, have better connections with their followers, and can influence the perception of their followers about a brand. 

If they endorse your brand, their followers would take their word for it and see your brand as credible.

  1. Engaging social media campaigns

People have become more interested in high-quality entertaining, engaging, and interactive content.

And working with an influencer affiliate marketer can help you achieve this.

Some examples of these type of engaging influencer content include:

  • Unboxing videos: these can be Youtube videos or social media videos
  • Giveaway contests
  • Encouraging user-generated content
  • Question polls
  • Get-ready-with-me videos
  • A day-in-my-life videos
  • How-to guides and blog posts
  1. Increased social media following

Brand exposure is crucial to increase the number of followers on your page.

People won’t follow you if they don’t see you.

And more importantly, people cannot visit your store if they do not know it exists.

This is why influencers come into play!

Overall, when you gain new followers, you increase your chances of turning leads into actual customers.

But all of these benefits are only possible when you use the right affiliate influencers.

Learn how in the section that follows. 

Top Tips to Find the Best Influencer Affiliates

There is a sea of influencers in the market, but finding the right ones can be a bit tricky.

In this section we’ll discuss steps and tips to help you find influencer affiliates and increase your chances of building a successful affiliate program.

  1. Define your campaign goal and demographics

The end goal of every affiliate marketer is to make sales and boost revenue. 

However, you also need to set certain goals to help filter your influencer search. 

  • Are you looking for influencers within a specific niche?
  • Do you want to drive sales or do you have other goals, like increasing follower count or brand awareness?
  • What metrics would you use to measure the success of the campaign?
  • Who is your target demographic?

Another great question that can help you define your campaign goal is: What type of affiliate marketing would you like to do?

There are basically 3 types of affiliate marketing:

Unattached affiliate marketing

In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate has no connection to the product or service they are promoting.

They’ve never used the product, neither do they have any expertise or authority regarding the product.

As such, they are not responsible for making claims or recommending the product to people.

Related affiliate marketing

Here, the influencer shares a connection with the product due to their expertise or specific niche.

Think about when a fitness and lifestyle affiliate influencer or content creator collaborates with a clothing brand that sells gym wears.

This collaboration is regarded as related affiliate marketing because the affiliate works within the same niche as the product.

This makes them a trusted source, as they have the expertise and influence to generate traffic for the product.

However, they cannot make claims about usage, because they’ve not used the product or service.

Involved affiliate marketing

There is a deeper connection between the affiliate and the brand in this type of affiliate marketing.

Here, the affiliates have used or are currently using the product or service.

This makes them eligible to make claims of use, and recommend the products to potential customers.

They share the positive experiences they have about the products/services. This referral is often done through content creation. 

They do this while encouraging their followers to use their promo and discount codes to make purchases.

  1. Look for influencers that resonate with your target audience

Setting your campaign goals includes knowing who your target audience is. 

Do you want to sell your product to Gen-Zers or millennials?

Do you know their interests?

Do they follow the influencers you want to work with?

These are important questions you need to consider in your search for the best influencers.

Ensure that the influencers you choose are those whose content formats and niches resonate with your target audience. 

A trick to finding them would be to use hashtags.

If you are a fashion brand, searching for hashtags such as #sponsored #ad #fashion #branding on social media platforms will bring you to influencers who have posted industry-related content such as this.

  1. Be clear when communicating your vision

The best way to clearly communicate your vision is to write a detailed creative brief.

A creative brief is an overall description of your campaign. It includes your goals, deliverables, and distribution plan.

It basically gives the affiliate influencer an overview of your:

  • Expectations for the affiliate
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Brand guidelines
  • Competitors
  • Content schedule
  • Chosen content formats

These are important points that would give the affiliate a better understanding of your campaign.

If you don’t know exactly how to create a detailed brief, you can leverage influencer marketing platforms like Insense’s creative brief feature to brief creators effortlessly.

This powerful tool contains:

  • Ready-to-use options
  • Interactive features
  • Intuitive briefing edits

Plus, you can easily customize the brief to include your content format, reference contents, and content type.

Source: Insense
  1. Consider working with nano and micro-influencers

According to statistics, more than half of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers because of their social proof. 

Why is this?

Micro and nano influencers are perceived to be more credible and trustworthy than macro and mega influencers.

A reason for this is due to their small following. 

People feel they can easily relate to them because they are ordinary people with an average amount of followers.

Their audience believe that because they aren’t A-list celebrities, or because they aren’t so famous yet, their recommendations and content are more truthful and genuine.

Therefore, working with these influencers would build trust and credibility amongst their audiences.

To find these influencers, consider using Insense’s creator marketplace

Source: Insense

This marketplace provides you with a list of influencers from all social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and so on.

The tool allows you to:

  • Use search filters
  • View the performance and rating of the content creators and affiliate influencers
  • Find content creators and influencers that align with your target audience
  • Invite affiliates to collaborate with your platform
  1. Personalize your outreach message

This is important because it will help you establish a better relationship with influencers.

Some ideas to improve brand messages are:

  • Including the influencer’s name in the subject line to grab their attention. A quick, “Hello Julie”, at the start of the conversation works wonders
  • Writing helpful content to give context
  • Keeping it short and straight to the point
  • Showing them that you’re familiar with their work
  • Inviting them to a virtual event

These tips will help show the affiliates that you really explored their work before reaching out to them.

  1. Customize your affiliate rate

Keep in mind that different influencers have different rates. 

As such, brands may need to consider offering different professional rates to increase their chances of working with these influences.

Your commission rates can be customized depending on factors such as: the type of influencer you want to work with and their reach, expected profit margin, present competitive analysis, and bonuses and incentives, among others.

Author’s Tip: Consider your customer lifetime value (CLV) when setting your customized affiliate rate. A CLV is a metric that shows the total net profit you expect to generate from a customer throughout their relationship with you. Putting this into consideration will help you set a reasonable commission without you running on losses.

  1. Consider joining an influencer affiliate marketing network 

You might choose to join an affiliate marketing network as an addition to using a creator marketplace like Insense.

Below are some examples of top influencer affiliate marketing networks in 2023:

  • Refersion
Image Source: Refersion

This affiliate network integrates with brand stores on most e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magenta, and WooCommerce.

The starting price for this platform is $99.

  • AWIN
Image Source: AWIN

This platform claims to work with over 15,000 advertisers and 200,000 affiliate marketers.

Their strengths are in finance, fashion, beauty, home and garden, sports, and travel products.

The starting cost is $50, with a joining fee of $549.

  • CJ Affiliate
Image Source: CJAffiliate

This platform is known to provide real-time reporting. 

They reward their best performers with content certified programs, and are known to work with established affiliates.

The pricing plan for CJ Affiliate is not available on the website, but it is available upon request. 

  • ShareASale
Image Source: ShareASale

This affiliate marketing program is designed to help brands find the best affiliate marketers for them to work with.

The pricing structure for ShareaSale is available upon request.

  1. Work with multiple affiliates to diversify your program

To maximize your reach and diversify your program, you can work with various influencer affiliates.

This provides you with the option of measuring their individual capacities and sustainability.

You’ll definitely be a pro at managing and working with all these affiliates if you follow all our top tips.

If you don’t, it will just be an unfulfilled dream. 

That’s why we’ll be wrapping up here so that you’ll actually get to work.

Now Over to You

You’ve now read quite a lot about building an influencer affiliate marketing campaign.

The steps are simple: find influencers that align with your campaign objectives, create a unique link for them, and negotiate a reasonable payout.

Remember that with affiliate influencer marketing, you not only attract new demographics through engaging influencer posts, you also drive sales and traffic to your online store.

Having trouble finding the right influencers to work with? Try Insense today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have questions? We have answers!

Q1. Do influencers use affiliate marketing?

Yes, influencers use affiliate marketing.

Q2. How much do influencers get paid for affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is generally commission based. Influencers can generally expect to make 5–30% commission.

Q3. What is the difference between an affiliate marketer and an influencer?

An affiliate marketer sells and promotes in exchange for a commission. An influencer can be paid with commissions, product gifting, or flat rate fees.

Q4. What are the benefits of affiliate marketing for influencers?

Influencers can make passive income through affiliate marketing strategies. Plus, affiliate marketing increases their reach and advances their personal brand.

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Jose Garcia

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