How to Partner with Influencers to Make a Successful Referral Program

February 7, 2019

Having a referral program can be one of the most wonderful things that your online store can have. Not only can this drastically increase your traffic, it can also be a nice stepping stone to get your name out there. How can you do that? You can do it with influencer marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is the process of tapping the power of influencers to market your products and services. It is a popular form of marketing because it allows quicker access to a huge audience without the need for manual submission of links or other manual marketing tasks. It is also by far the most effective form of marketing for SEO. This is because links from influencer websites are considered to have considerably high authority.

Why is Influencer Marketing So Effective

Influencer marketing started out as an idea of a blogger working together with another. It started in guest blogging or guest posting. This is when one blogger contacts another to create content for the other. Soon, some bloggers gained followers and they evolved to become influencers. And this is there influencer marketing comes in.

Influencer marketing is popular because of its many benefits. Here are some of the main benefits that draws most people in.

It Leverages Their Existing Traffic

Influencer traffic is phenomenal. And it has nothing to do with the number of followers. An influencer may only have a few thousand followers. But they convert really well. The best part is that you’ll get instant access to this traffic once you promote to influencers. Every influencer has his own set of followers. You can get access to these followers even with one message of promotion. That’s how powerful it is.

The Market is Extremely Targeted

As mentioned, influencer traffic can convert really well. And this is because they are extremely targeted. All of these people have their own reasons why they follow the influencer. It may be because he likes their style. It may be because they like certain items. It may be because they have their own community and culture. Because of this, influencer recommendations are extremely targeted. They are no longer talking to strangers. Their followers are usually similar to old friends. Since they are not promoting to cold prospects, conversions are often higher.

It Does Wonders for SEO

The new world of SEO requires high quality backlinks. Gone are the days when you an rank from submitting keyword-filled spammy links. These days, the quality of your backlinks is more important than the quantity. The better way to gain quality backlinks than to promote in an influencer site for they have already built their brands. This gives their ecommerce marketing website a good domain and page authority which matters a lot in SEO.

How to Promote Your Referral Program Through Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing

Now that you know how effective influencer marketing is, it is time to promote your referral program through them. Here are are some interesting ways to do that.

Give Them a Special Coupon

The first method involves giving the influencer a special coupon for their brand. Influencers like this because it helps them to showcase their working relationships with other brands and this encourages other brands to also work with them.

Doing this method is easy. All it takes is two simple steps.

STEP 1: Create a Coupon with Their Brand Name

First, create a coupon with the influencer’s name or brand name. This is the code that you should include in your referral program. You should fully set it up before asking the influencers to promote it.

STEP 2: Create a Custom Referral Page for Them

Once you have set up your referral program, you should then create a custom referral page for your target influencer. This should include more than just the reward. It should also include the brand name of the influencer to showcase that it is a collaboration between you two.

Give Them Products to Review

Another way to get influencers to promote your referral program is to ask them to review your products. This is a good way to approach the more elusive influencers who don’t want to promote anything that they have not tried.

STEP 1: Look for Products That An Influencer Likes

Since you are going to ask an influencer to give feedback your products, it is important to consider what the influencer likes before you proceed. After all, you just cannot approach them to review your products if you have not reviewed their likes and dislikes. It is easier to approach them when you know the products that they care about.  

STEP 2: Ask Them To Review The Product

Once you know their likes, you can now pitch a product to them. The difference is that you don’t ask them for anything right away. You let them review the product first. This means that you send the product to them and let them review it. Once they like it, that’s the time that you ask them to promote your referral program. This way, their followers can also get access to the products but with an exclusive discount. You can also combine this method with the first one. Just create a custom referral page that showcase the brand of the influencer.

Include Them in Your Giveaway

Another way to get influencers to promote your referral program is to include them in a giveaway. This is a more indirect way of program promotion because you’ll get the influencers to focus more on the giveaway than on the referral program. But it is a good technique for it gives the influencers a good reason to promote you.

STEP 1: Choose a Set of Prizes

Prizes are important. You want it to be attractive enough that anyone who sees it will like to join. The prizes should be attractive and it should be relevant to the needs of the market of your influencer. This means that the product should be interesting to their followers. So don’t give out fast food restaurant coupons to e vegan community. And don’t promote products to influencers outside your niche.

STEP 2: Approach Influencers Who Have Audiences that Are Compatible with Your Products

In influencer marketing, the magic is in your research. It is all about finding the right influencer who can promote your products and not the other way around. So if you found an influencer with a considerable amount of followers, you need to ask yourself if  their followers will be interested in your products. If not, move along. The giveaway may not be the right thing to promote to them.

STEP 3: Integrate the Giveaway to Your Referral Program

Referral programs are great because they give referral incentives. This gives the audience a reason to sign up. It is with this reason that you can also integrate a giveaway. So instead of rewarding each sign up, you also give them a chance to win in a giveaway. This gives them more reasons to join your program. Companies such as Hunting Bow Lab have reported a 30% increase in sales after starting a referral program.

STEP 4: Ask the Influencer to Promote the Giveaway

Once you have fully integrated the giveaway, it is time to promote it. You can do this by stressing all the prizes that the prospect can win. If it is attractive enough, you may get some influencers to sign up. After all, they already have access to their followers. They have a huge chance of winning. If the prize is attractive enough, you may be able to encourage them to join the giveaway.

Include Them in Your Contest or Lottery

Aside from giveaways, you can also host contests. The great thing about contests or lotteries is the element of surprise. You don’t know if you can really win. But this adds excitement as well as more chances of winning for influencers.

STEP 1: Choose a Set of Prizes

I cannot stress how important it is that the prizes should be attractive. Remember, your prizes will be your referral program magnet. If the prizes are attractive, more people will sign up. Again, it is very important to consider if the prizes are relevant to the needs of the influencer’s target market. You do not want to promote a contest with prizes that no one really like.

STEP 2: Invite Influencers to Promote

Once you have a set of prizes, it is time to look for influencers who’ll like to promote your contest. These influencers may be there to help you or they may also be interested in winning the prizes. In any case, they have the capability to attract tons of people to your referral program. So it’s a win-win for both of you.

NOTE: It is very important to look at your product first. Product before influencer. The influencer must be relevant or must fit your product, This way, you know that you are promoting to a market that is interested in signing up to your referral program.

Sign Them Up As Your Biggest Affiliates

Also, you can sign them as affiliates. Influencers are powerful affiliates. They can instantly grow your sales and may even top your affiliate leaderboard with a single promotion. The best part is that they get to earn with each sale they make. This will further motivate them to promote your product to their followers.

STEP 1: Create an Affiliate Program

It all starts with having an affiliate program. On the surface, it may seem like having an affiliate program is too complicated. If you were to do it yourself, there will be plenty of coding involved. Thanks to referral softwares, you can now easily create your own affiliate program using the same software. It is just a matter of configuring the program for affiliates instead of referrals.

STEP 2: Approach Influencers Who Have A Buyer Audience

Once you have your affiliate program set up, it is time to approach influencers who have a buyer audience. Buyer audiences are those people who will be interested in buying your products. Once you prove that your funnel can convert, it is easy to convince the an influencer to sign up as your affiliate. In some cases, you may not even need to convince them. They may promote you without you even knowing.

PRO TIP: If you are planning to have an affiliate program for your product, you may want to consider pre launches. This is a sequence where you build anticipation for your products so that you can successfully close that sale. The great thing about pre launches is the art of priming. This is where you prime your audience so that you can easily sell them anything. When someone visits your site, they are a complete stranger. But when you prime them, they will be more ready to buy. This is the reason why pre launches  are so effective. Now, you can easily promote pre launches through joint venture forums. Just post your program in there and some influencers may find you.

PRO TIP 2: Another way to get your affiliate program noticed is through an affiliate network. As you can see, there are several affiliate networks on the Internet. There’s Clickbank, JVZoo and Shareasale. All these sites offer a directory of active affiliate programs. These directories act as go-to places for influencers who are looking for products to promote. So it helps if your program is in there when they start looking.

As you can see, there are so many ways to promote your referral programs to influencers. You just need to be more creative and sensitive to their needs to get their attention. It helps if you will put yourself in their shoes. When you do this, you get to understand about their pains and gains. You get to understand what will make them promote your program for you.

Getting the help of influencers to promote your site may be the best decision you can do for your site. It only needs a few emails and follow ups. And once you succeed, you’ll get some good backlinks and referrals in return.

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