Affiliate management

What skills does an affiliate manager need in 2021?

An affiliate manager is becoming a more attractive role as digital marketing takes off, but it takes a lot of skill. Many of these skills can be transferrable from other roles, however, some are not. Some need to be nurtured as you expand your business. Read on to understand what you need to be a successful affiliate manager.

Media buying expertise

Real estate on affiliate lands is constantly on sale with many people looking to buy. Getting what you need will require keen knowledge of commercial selling and the value of different traffic sources. The right media advertising decisions will be the difference between a successful business with customer acquisition targets met, or not.

Based on supply and demand rates of traffic sources, the marketplace can grow and stale like stocks, so you need to make the right changes to your program terms in order to keep up. A talent in sales will also be necessary since you will not only have to be able to sell your products commercially but outline your brand values as well. Affiliates will need to be sold your product as much as customers because they will need to believe in the product to sell it authentically and convincingly.

Basic principles of marketing

This might seem like an obvious choice, but marketing is constantly changing, which means that your expertise can quickly go out of date.

As an affiliate manager, you need to have a keen insight into what strategies to apply to your programs, plus, what are the most effective and up-to-date ideas. New ideas will attract new affiliates to your program, in turn attracting new customers.

Keep up to date with the news. What today’s trends and society affect your affiliate traffic, how Google trends and algorithms changes can impact your programme and partner performances. Create a positive environment for ideas to blossom with scheduled brainstorms and collaboration with your affiliates to create new strategies. And be sure to keep things positive, since shooting down a bad idea might put your affiliate off voicing a better idea.

Knowledge of current marketing trends will make sure you are prepared to handle any obstacle you’re met with. You will be prepared to make any changes to the program as you need to, as well as staying ahead of market regulations and best practice guidelines.

Digital and business knowledge

You’re running a business, with affiliate marketing a vital role in that business. Being an affiliate manager will take some business know-how. A businessperson’s approach will allow you to make decisions faster and understand the effect those decisions will have on your overall programme. In keeping an eye on costs and profitability, you will learn where your resources should go and where they should be freed up.

However, affiliate management is a vocation, not a job. You should spend your time keeping your digital knowledge up to par. Like marketing, digital tech is constantly evolving and you need to be sure of the best price and use any leverage of a digital source that your affiliates are bringing in.

You have a whole host of different impressive tools at your disposal too, so take advantage. There are lots of software options online to make analysing or managing campaigns or projects a lot easier for managers. Or take our Affiliate Management training course to learn about the tools that can help with automation, tracking, and more.

Communication and confidence

An attitude of prioritising customer service is vital when building an affiliate programme and affiliate managers are usually the point of contact from affiliates handling customers.

Relationships matter in this industry, and as any therapist will tell you, relationships are built on communication. Building and maintaining good relationships with your affiliates will keep them content in their job and eager to work with you.

In 2021 especially, this will be more important than ever with more and more people working from home. You should be able to speak well with people you would otherwise deem strangers on any platform. Set up regular catch-ups between you and your affiliates or a social media page where your affiliates can contact you for matters too small for an email. Keep communication as open as possible.

Good communication comes with confidence, and each are key in almost every walk of life. Confidence doesn’t mean aggression or narcissism, but the confidence to speak and advise as needed.

Confidence, however, does take some work, especially in business. Make sure your advice is sound with research and you will never feel unsure with your words. Get a mentor to help you with your assertiveness and bargaining tactics during commercial negotiations. Lee-Ann goes into more detail on how to gain confidence and display it in this blog.

If you are thinking about getting into affiliate managing, you should be sure you have the skills listed above to make certain you can handle the job. If lacking that, there are things you can do to hone those skills. For more assistance in this area, book a free call with a member of our team!

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