Unlocking Cost-Effective Partnerships With Affiliate Program for Influencers

Editorial Team
July 10, 2023
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Despite budgetary constraints and the global economic downturn, marketers have adopted a smart move to stay afoot in the influencer marketing landscape. Instead of shelling out upfront payments, marketers have adopted a sales-based payment model-an affiliate program for influencers. 

Under affiliate influencer marketing, you pay creators according to the sales made using affiliate links—unique links or discount codes creators include in the content. You can track conversions driven by each influencer. The strategy allows you to only pay when your campaign goals are met. 

"Sales-based payment models can offer significant advantages. For starters, they can reduce upfront costs, which allows for larger marketing campaigns. They also provide a safety net—if the campaign underperforms, you're not saddled with high costs. Most importantly, it incentivizes influencers to deliver, as their earnings are directly tied to their performance," says Harry Johns White, Marketing Manager, NBA Blast website.

Affiliate influencer marketing might be a profitable solution for brands, but it can be an unfair practice for influencers. Here's what experts say:

  • Influencers may have to compromise on authenticity to prioritize quantity.
  • Influencers with smaller followings can be discouraged as they cannot churn large sales volumes.
  • The model only focuses on short-term results, while in some cases, it may take time for the customer to make a purchase. 

In such cases, a hybrid payment model that combines elements of sales-based compensation with other metrics like reach or engagement may be more appropriate. A hybrid influencer affiliate program is a mix of fixed rate and performance-based payments. Under this model, you pay influencers for their time and effort in creating quality content and compensate them for every conversion they make. 

Carol Anne, an influencer marketing specialist, says, "To strike a balance, many brands opt for a hybrid approach, combining a fixed fee with performance incentives. Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving landscape that requires a deep understanding of audience preferences and industry trends." Even influencer Sam Koehler suggests, "Even if no sales are generated, a creator should be compensated for their time and effort making the content, given that the sales are ultimately still out of their control."

Whether affiliate influencer marketing is good for your brand depends on your product type, target audience, and your campaign goals. A careful balance must be attained to ensure that you and the influencer gain from an affiliate program for influencers. 

Learn more about this trend from experts! Download our Influencer Marketing Spring 2023 Report to access top influencer marketing trends, social media updates, and the top brands and influencers of 2023. 


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