This week, I've been in Las Vegas representing Majestic SEO at PubCon, one of the world's leading search and social media conferences. Whilst here, I have also been asked to re-look at a presentation on Affiliate Marketing I previously gave that proved to be popular with the community.
Receptional's activity in affiliate marketing has, over the years been surprisingly active, given that it is not the main marketing focus of the agency. As we have been reviewing strategies and tactics appropriate for 2012, there does appear to be a new opportunity for affiliate marketing as a revenue stream within the social marketing space, and it is quite likely that as Receptional's social media marketing side of the consultancy grows, we will we once again considering affiliate revenues as an income stream over the short term.
One way to drive marketing success across social channels is to start with an anchor, a social presence that is not directly connected with a brand, an impartial entity used to drive engagement and thought leadership within the industry.
That anchor, or social equity, be it a blog or social profile focused around a name or person, must be developed and publish that thought leadership content, whilst looking to engage and promote the most influential people within that industry in a way in which they will respond.
The impartiality of the entity will give it clout (with a c!) within the industry, and can lead to a higher level of engagement. Ultimately, through the development of this impartiality comes the ability to promote a brand (be that a client or organisation you are affiliated with) to a larger, more focused audience that is likely to spread your content further.
Brad uncovered some useful research from Klout (with a K!)in a blog post earlier this week that highlighted just how important it is to be re-tweeted by those with a high level of influence. The lifetime of the content across social channels lasts much longer, and it reaches a much wider audience.
This approach to increasing traffic, that is, one through relationship building rather than search, of course takes time, but in our experience delivers fantastic results. Affiliate links, or even better, voucher codes, would work well in this environment, and may prove a worthy source of income for both agencies and clients alike.