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2024 creator marketing research shows what creators want from brand relationships

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2024 creator marketing research shows what creators want from brand relationships

Creators are eager to move beyond short-term, transactional deals and build enduring partnerships, says CreatorIQ’s research with Ipsos. Here are four ways brands can capitalize.

We know that brands want to include creators in their affiliate marketing programs. But stopping at affiliate-only engagements fails to leverage the full potential of creator marketing. 

According to a recent survey CreatorIQ conducted with market research firm Ipsos, creators are eager to move beyond short-term, transactional deals and build enduring partnerships. That’s great news for brands.

The benefit of affiliate marketing programs for brands is clear: creators promoting products and services in return for a commission of sales is a low-risk, high-reward strategy. The problem is that too often, affiliate marketing deals focus too much on the short-term transactional nature of the relationship and miss the long-term opportunities. 

Creators, meanwhile, want something more. They want a real relationship with the brands they work with, not just a transactional one. That means brands who treat their successful affiliate deals as the beginning of a fruitful creator relationship have the opportunity to build enduring, cooperative partnerships that will continue to deliver positive results for the long term. 

How can brands build these enduring partnerships? Our research found four key takeaways brands should keep in mind. 

1. Partner with creators who use and like your products

Creators prefer to promote brands they personally love, use, and believe in themselves, with “already using products in daily life” cited as a top consideration with 80% of creators surveyed.

Non-financial factors, like product quality and brand reputation, are more important to creators than commission rates and earning potential. In fact, 82% list “product quality and audience relevancy” as a top consideration for working with brands. 

Remember most creators (and the ones you want to work with most) consider product quality as the most crucial factor when choosing whether to work with a brand in any kind of relationship, not just affiliate partnerships. That means there’s authentic brand affinity and alignment on values, style, and audience. 

Takeaway

Before reaching out to creators with partnership offers, do your research first. Has the creator used or mentioned your product (or your competitors’) before? How closely does the creator’s audience match your target demographic? These are important details that you can find using creator marketing solutions like CreatorIQ.

2. Enable direct relationships

Creators want to work directly with the brands they use, not just given a product to sell. But traditional affiliate programs tend to more on transactions and less on support. That means there’s a need to establish clear lines of communication. 

Among the biggest areas of support creators ask for are: 

  1. Assistance in resolving payment issues – 36%
  2. Access to a dedicated affiliate manager – 35%
  3. Help resolving technical issues – 29%

Takeaway

Address the mundane nuts-and-bolts payment and support features of your creator program so they don’t cause frustration or eat up resources, freeing you up to focus on the important things like building relationships with your most important creator partners. 

3. Provide product training and support

Creators are on the front lines, selling your products to their followers. In short, they’re sellers, so why not provide them with similar training and support as you do your sales staff? This means giving access to additional resources and content that will help them succeed. 

This includes details like product education, training on your proven best practices, and a sneak peek at upcoming product launches so they can plan and strategize with more information at their fingertips. 

Takeaway

Your creators are your sellers—treat them as such. Give them access to resources and content that will help them be successful in their role, such as product education, best practices training, and advance info about upcoming product drops and sales promotions.

4. Provide opportunities beyond affiliate

If a creator is successful in driving direct revenue through affiliate links, that’s a strong indication that they can contribute in other meaningful ways. Offer these creators additional partnership opportunities and unlock their full potential. 

In fact, of those surveyed, 41% of creators said the biggest challenge with affiliate programs is the “lack of additional opportunities with the brand” they have affiliate partnerships with. Not far behind is an inability to evolve the brand relationship further. 

Building trust and establishing an ongoing relationship with creators and their audience means moving past the initial engagement, and seeking opportunities for the long haul. One-and-done opportunities reduce creators’ ability to build trust with their audiences, which negatively impacts purchases. Authenticity is paramount to these creators—posting a couple of affiliate links and moving on comes across as disingenuous. 

Takeaway

A creator who delivers affiliate sales is a creator with the potential to benefit your brand in other ways. Collaborate with them on new campaigns, new content, and even product development. If they want to work with you and have a proven ability to move the needle on lower-funnel results, there’s little downside in establishing a more direct relationship. 

Conclusion

Combined, these findings indicate that brands should think of affiliate programs as a beginning, not an end, to creator partnerships. Our data shows that creator content simply performs better than traditional “ads”, so brands should be leveraging creators for things like sponsored posts, paid ads, product pages, and even in-store signage.

Ultimately, establishing direct relationships with creators and bringing them into the company fold — including such steps as product training, consultation, and other key support activities —  is a far more sustainable and successful strategy. 

When used to identify the highest-performing creators through proven performance, affiliate programs are really just the start of the relationship between brand and creators, which can evolve into a long-term, fruitful partnership. 

For more details, download the free report Beyond Affiliate: Building Sustainable Creator Partnerships from CreatorIQ here. 

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Red Lobster Speaks Out on ‘Misunderstood’ Bankruptcy Filing

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Red Lobster Speaks Out on 'Misunderstood' Bankruptcy Filing

It may be the end of an era for beloved seafood chain Red Lobster, which officially declared bankruptcy on Monday after months of speculation and dozens of abrupt restaurant closures.

Now, the company is speaking out to loyal customers — and investigating the role that its shrimp supplier may have played in its demise.

Related: Red Lobster Suddenly Shutters Dozens of Locations Without Warning Employees, Begins Auctioning Off Equipment

In a letter posted to social media, Red Lobster thanked customers for their nearly five decades of loyalty and assured the masses that the chain wasn’t going anywhere.

“Bankruptcy is a word that is often misunderstood. Filing for bankruptcy does not mean we are going out of business,” Red Lobster wrote. “In fact, it means just the opposite. It is a legal process that allows us to make changes to our business and our cost structure so that Red Lobster can continue as a stronger company going forward.”

Red Lobster noted that companies including Delta Airlines and Hertz “emerged stronger” after filing for Chapter 11 (Delta in September 2005, Hertz in May 2020) and found ways to bounce back.

“Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and yes, weddings. We’ve been here for them all,” the chain penned. “Red Lobster is determined to be there for these moments for generations to come.”

Red Lobster’s downfall was a slow burn, primarily blamed on an $11 million loss in November 2023 due to the chain rollout of an “Endless Shrimp” promotion. The deal offered customers all the shrimp they could eat for $20, and it proved to be a bit too popular.

Last week, it was reported that stores had begun shuttering without warning around the country, with dozens auctioning off all of their furniture and equipment online and some employees claiming they were given no notice ahead of time.

In a filing on Sunday, Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus called out former CEO Paul Kenny and Red Lobster’s seafood supplier and owner, Thai Union, regarding decisions made surrounding the “Endless Shrimp” promotion and that Red Lobster is “currently investigating the circumstances” around the decision to make the promotion permanent instead of limited-time.

Related: Endless Shrimp Deal Is Too Popular, Red Lobster Loses $11M

“I understand that Thai Union exercised an outsized influence on the Company’s shrimp purchasing,” Tibus wrote. “[Red Lobster is] exploring the impact of the control Thai Union exerted, in concert with Mr. Kenny and other Thai Union-affiliated entities and individuals, and whether actions taken in light of these parties’ varying interests were appropriate and consistent with applicable duties and obligations to Red Lobster.”

Thai Union completed its purchase of Red Lobster in 2020.



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UMass Dartmouth Commencement Speaker Gives Grads $1000 Each

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UMass Dartmouth Commencement Speaker Gives Grads $1000 Each

The best commencement speeches are often motivational and thought-provoking, leaving new graduates optimistic as they head into the “real world.”

But for the Class of 2024 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, new grads walked away with more than just a wealth of knowledge — they left their ceremony with an extra $1,000 in their pockets.

Related: ‘There Is More To Life Than Work’: Bill Gates Delivers Emotional Message To Graduates About Learning To Take A Break

Last week, the founder and CEO of Granite Telecommunications, Robert Hale Jr., spoke to grads at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth about their futures and shared a story about a time when his business suffered a $1 billion loss in just one day to explain the importance of perseverance through failure.

“It’s okay to fail,” Hale told graduates. “Life will give you challenges and if you take those challenges you’ll fail from time to time — don’t worry about it … don’t fear failure, understand that it’s just part of the process, and if you use that fear of failure to motivate yourself, you’ll be better for it.”

Then, as he wrapped up, he shocked the audience by announcing he was giving each graduate graduate $1,000 — but there was a catch.

“These trying times have heightened the need for sharing, caring, and giving,” Hale told students. “Our community needs you and your generosity more than ever.”

The students were given two envelopes with $500 each — one was intended for the students to keep for themselves while the other was for them to give to someone else in need.

Related: Sheryl Sandberg’s Advice to Grads: Banish Self-Doubt, Dream Bigger and Lean In, Always

“As the degree conferral was about to begin, Hale came forward and let the graduates know he had one more bit of advice for them. He told the eager crowd that for him and his wife Karen, ‘the greatest joys we’ve had in our life have been the gift of giving,'” UMass Dartmouth said in a release. “Hale let the Class of 2024 know that the two large duffle bags being brought up on stage by security were packed with envelopes full of cash.”

There were roughly 1,200 students in UMass Dartmouth’s 2024 graduating class.

Hale’s current net worth is an estimated $5.4 billion.



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Stay Prepared on the Road with This $80 Tire Inflator

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Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Business travel is inherently risky because driving poses certain innate hazards. If you’re a business leader sending yourself, team members, or employees out on the road, the least you can do is equip them with the tools they need to operate as safely as possible and get out of a jam if they happen to run into one.

A great tool that’s designed to help fix flat tires, this HOTO Air Pump Pro Portable Air Compressor and Tire Inflator, is on sale for just $79.99 (reg. $119). Promised to be 85% faster than competitors, this four-preset air pump is made to be able to fill a tire in at most five minutes.

Running on a 12V pump motor, this fast-working pump features a powerful battery life that can charge as many as 15 under-inflated tires within a single charge. When you’re filling up, the pump also prevents you from overdoing things with its worry-free automatic stop that ceases operations when the proper inflation is met.

This fantastic tire pump can serve as a great safety tool for business travelers. It can also promote exercise and recreation when used to pump up sports balls and bike tires.

The versatility and quality of this small, compact device have added up to make it a hit amongst users and critics alike. It’s even earned a coveted nomination from MoMa Design.

Don’t forget that for a limited time only, this HOTO Air Pump Pro Portable Air Compressor and Tire Inflator is on sale for just $79.99 (reg. $119).

StackSocial prices subject to change.

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