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In the increasingly competitive travel and tourism industry, and now more than ever, companies need to step up their marketing efforts to drive traffic and gain competitive advantage. One method I have found that produces reliable results is affiliate marketing. A robust travel affiliate network hires a dynamic team of influencers who will market your brand (with commissions earned from promoting a business and/or driving a sale), while giving you the opportunity tap into their audience. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that’s also profitable: you only pay for results.
When you partner with influencers who have a large audience or significant reach in your industry, they can dramatically increase brand awareness, increase traffic to your site, and lead to specific results: more sales. Equally important, when your affiliate puts your travel brand in front of their audience, your reach multiplies and you can grow your new customer base by leaps and bounds. And because you only pay when a sale is made, affiliate marketing can provide a guaranteed return on investment. Here are some proven ways to use it to build a loyal following.
Choose the right affiliates
Affiliate marketing allows you to leverage the power of influence to get people to buy from you, but for that to work you need to have the right affiliates. A voucher for your travel brand should have:
• Excellent rapport with their audience.
• An audience interested in your brand/services.
• Vigorous following, engagement, views, site ranking and authority.
All of these qualifications are important to ensure that your efforts are not wasted. For example, an affiliate with only ten subscribers or unique visitors per day will not help you grow an audience base. Likewise, if you’re in the travel industry, choosing a coupon site that offers discounts on groceries won’t make sense.
Related: An affiliate marketing program could be the ideal solution
Attract sales with offers, coupons and promotions
Everyone loves a bargain, and taking advantage of deals and coupons is one of the best digital marketing strategies to increase sales. Coupons do a great job of converting people who haven’t tried what you have to offer yet. According to a 2020 study by Statista, 89% of millennial shoppers would try a new brand if offered a discount or coupon.
To get the most out of your affiliate coupon marketing strategies, try working with a few high quality sites and ask your affiliate partner if they have active coupon codes redeemable on the services you offer. Once you get codes to share with your audience, spread the word by:
• Share it on your social networks with direct affiliate links.
• Send personalized emails that direct members of the public to the sale.
• Updating any affiliate-related website to display available offers.
Related: Led by Sommer Ray, the era of the influencer-entrepreneur is upon us
Harness the power of influencers
Travel influencers don’t have to be celebrities. Many in the top tier are everyday people who have amassed large followings simply because of great content, which produces a genuine connection with their community. These are great choices for building trust in your brand, in part because today’s consumers overwhelmingly trust recommendations from their peers. Data from influencer marketing platform MuseFind shows that 92% of consumers trust influencers more than ads and celebrities.
Influencers will have a powerful impact if their content is authentic and presumed to be trustworthy: they will provide social proof and confirm a brand’s credibility with followers.
Stay in touch with customers
Regular and engaging contact with customers is an essential gesture of caring, and an audience will return the favor by becoming even more loyal, especially if you post quality content and offer them coupons from time to time. For this purpose, social media accounts need to be updated regularly, as your followers need to be informed about every offer. Besides social media, send personalized emails, SMS or push notifications with offers based on previous customer activity.
Related: The secret to retaining unhappy customers and empowering happy ones
Done correctly, affiliate marketing can help you build brand awareness, increase conversions, and grow your following, but you need to realize that it doesn’t happen overnight. The trick is to find the law affiliates, drive sales with coupons, harness the power of influencer marketing, and stay connected with your supporters.
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