Reputation Management for Affiliate Marketing

Reputation Management for Affiliate Marketing

One of the best examples of the convergence happening between search engine optimization, social media and digital public relations is online reputation management. This is a topic very close to home not only because any marketing agency should emphasize these practice areas, but because the need for brand and reputation management continues to increase in importance as consumer time spent on the social web replaces traditional media.

So, “Why is brand and reputation management important in Affiliate Marketing?” Here are six reasons to consider:

Current affiliates are online

It’s important to know how current affiliates are representing the merchant’s brand. Affiliates become the “face of the brand” for those consumers interacting. However, in many cases, there are very specific limitations to brand name use and both merchants and affiliate networks need to monitor what’s being promoted and how. It’s important to know about how affiliates are using brand names and whether there are anti-marketers or infringement issues.

On the flip side, affiliate marketers that are allowed to promote specific brand names AND follow terms of use, can provide a huge advantage for a proactive online reputation management effort. The ideal situation would involve thousands of affiliates promoting unique product/service information under their own domain names. Such a scenario could facilitate the “ownership” of the top few pages of search results in a relevant way.

Prospective affiliates are online

While the world of affiliate marketing is growing fast, many more enterprising marketers are not involved. Established websites are now, more than ever, looking for ways to monetize content and affiliate marketing is an attractive channel for that. How a merchant’s brand is being represented by affiliates has everything to do with the impression potential affiliates have towards a program. Participation on the social web and the intentional effort towards building a positive brand representation is important and best not left to chance or you may get a “bad rap”. The same goes for affiliate networks.

Customers are online

Customers who find products and services via affiliate marketing channels including mass messages on instagram platform have various experiences. Many consumers blog, write reviews, make comments and share opinions on social networks. It’s important to have a good handle on customers that are publishing both negative and positive information so the brand can monitor and engage in the right way.

Journalists are online

Public and media relations is an effective marketing/communications channel for merchants, networks and in some cases, affiliates. Journalists are increasingly researching stories online and the way affiliates represent brands can influence whether a particular company is considered for a story or not.

Competitors are online

Brand monitoring online and within digital media provides companies a real opportunity for competitive research. Discover what other affiliate programs are doing to be effective and whether their affiliates are publishing negative information about your brand in order to attract sales from products and services that offer a higher commission. In fact, it may be the realization that not having an affiliate program leads to affiliate marketers presenting certain brands negatively in order to promote the products that do, to motivate the start of an affiliate program.

Future of your brand is online

However you look at it, the trend towards commerce and information consumption will increasingly involve online and digital communication channels. Where consumers can be influenced, companies need to be present and engaged from both a brand monitoring/management perspective as well as participation.