Bringing influencers into your affiliate strategy

8 Aug, 2016
Written by CJ

At CJ, we’re passionate about bringing influencers into your affiliate marketing strategy. It’s something we really believe in but we’re realistic about the challenges, too. So how can we, as an industry, make it work? The answer lies in making influence performance-related.

The issue

Our key influencers — content publishers — traditionally sit at the top of the funnel. This makes it tricky to recruit and retain them to our affiliate marketing strategies.

In an industry where so few advertisers use metrics outside of last click (CPA) we need to find a way of making sure influencers are valued and rewarded correctly. 

A quick temperature check at PMI Europe 2016 showed us we weren’t the only ones who recognised this. Our survey found that:    

  • 6 per cent of advertisers measure/reward on metrics outside of last click
  • 76 per cent advertisers find it difficult to work with influencers on a CPA
  • 65 per cent are tasked with recruiting more influencers to their affiliate programme


New metrics

To us, it’s clear that to effectively engage and secure influencers we need a new breed of KPIs: metrics to measure the quality of traffic, beyond cash targets, and to reward them better for the true value they add.

Working with advertisers to figure out what value they wanted to measure, the majority stressed the importance of capturing the incrementality that influencers can bring to your affiliate marketing strategy. That means metrics for measuring the type of sales that the influencer has generated that the advertiser wouldn’t ordinarily have seen.

Here are some example metrics we produced:  

  • Engagement with a longer than average browse time
  • Journey ending with a high life time value user
  • Journey ending with new customer purchasing
  • Journey driving user to convert offline
  • User browsing a high number of pages on site

These aren’t prescriptive, they’re just our examples. Your values will be different depending on your strategy. Speaking to your advertisers will help you to identify what metrics their top-of-funnel publishers find valuable.


Industry response 

We’ve had some really positive soundings from representatives to this approach from across the industry. Like us, advertisers, publishers, networks and agencies acknowledge that we need some new metrics if we’re to accurately capture the impact of influencers. This is borne out by another result from our survey, which shows that 84 per cent of those polled are likely to adopt new strategies that reward influencers on quality metrics.

 Tomas Saulsbury-Hunter, Account Director at CJ Affiliate, said:
“The industry needs new metrics to measure the quality of traffic rather than just quantity. Using a click-based attribution model only incentivises publishers to drive clicks. What we need to focus on is whether influencers are driving valuable clicks. At CJ Affiliate we have crafted a unique way to do this. Ultimately, we’re measuring the performance of influence”  





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