Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In the ever-competitive travel and tourism sector, and now more than ever before, companies need to supercharge marketing efforts to drive traffic and achieve a competitive edge. One method I’ve found that produces reliable results is affiliate marketing. A robust travel affiliate network engages a dynamic team of influencers who will market your brand (with commissions earned from promoting a company and/or driving a sale), while giving you the opportunity to tap into their audience. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that’s also cost-effective: you only pay for results.
When you partner with influencers who have a large following or a significant reach in your industry, they can significantly raise brand awareness, increase traffic to your site and lead to specific results: more sales. Just as importantly, when your affiliate puts your travel brand in front of their audience, your reach multiplies and you can grow your base of new customers by leaps and bounds. And because you only pay when a sale goes through, affiliate marketing can deliver a guaranteed return on investment. Here are some proven ways of using it create 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’ll need to have the right affiliates. A good one for your travel brand should have:
• Great rapport with their audience.
• An audience that’s interested in your brand/services.
• A vigorous following, engagement, views, site ranking and authority.
All these qualifications are important in ensuring that your efforts aren’t wasted. For instance, an affiliate with only ten followers or unique visitors a day won’t help you grow an audience base. Likewise, if you’re in the travel industry, choosing a coupon site that offers discounts on food items won’t make sense.
Related: An Affiliate-Marketing Program Might Be the Perfect Move
Attract sales with deals, coupons and promotions
Everyone loves a good deal, and leveraging both deals and coupons are among the best digital marketing strategies for boosting sales. Coupons do an excellent job at converting people who haven’t yet tried what you have to offer. According to 2020 research from Statista, 89% of millennial shoppers would try a new brand if they were offered a discount or coupon.
To get the most out of your coupon affiliate marketing strategies, aim to work with a few high-quality sites, and ask your affiliate partner if they have active discount codes that are redeemable on the services you’re offering. Once you get codes to share with your audience, spread the word by:
• Sharing it on your social handles with direct affiliate links.
• Sending personalized emails that directs audience members towards the sale.
• Updating any affiliate-related website to display available deals.
Related: Led By Sommer Ray, the Era of the Influencer-Entrepreneur Is Upon Us
Leverage the power of influencers
Travel influencers don’t have to be celebrities. Many in the top tier are regular people who’ve amassed a large following simply because of great content, which produces an authentic relationship with their community. These are great choices for engendering 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 celebrity endorsements.
Influencers will have a powerful impact if their content is genuine and presumed trustworthy: they’ll provide social proof and confirm a brand’s credibility among followers.
Keep in touch with customers
Steady and engaging contact with customers is an essential gesture of care, and an audience will reciprocate by becoming even more loyal, especially if you post great content and offer them coupons from time to time. To that end, social media accounts should be updated regularly, as your followers need to be informed of every offer. Apart from social media, send personalized emails, SMS or push notifications with offers based on customers’ previous activities.
Related: The Secret to Retaining Unhappy Customers and Empowering Happy Ones
Done properly, affiliate marketing can help you create brand awareness, increase conversions and grow your audience base, but you need to realize that this doesn’t happen overnight. The trick is to find the right affiliates, attract sales with coupons, leverage the power of influencer marketing and keep in touch with those who support you.
Business Strategies, Entrepreneurial Advice & Inspiring Stories are all in one place. Explore the new Entrepreneur Bookstore.