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Affiliate Marketing

Integrating Affiliate Marketing into Digital Strategies in Banking: A Holistic Approach

Caoimhe Ryan

Caoimhe Ryan

Affiliate Relationship Manager
  • Last Updated: February 15, 2024

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Marketers in the banking and financial services sector are constantly navigating an ever-evolving space. While consumer behavior seems to be continually in flux, new players on the scene are introducing new trends and marketing strategies that risk leaving established institutions behind. 

In this environment of constant change, affiliate marketing has emerged as a promising approach to expanding the reach of financial brands, generating increased trust, and reducing the cost of customer acquisition. Each affiliate partnership allows financial marketers to reach new potential customers in a strategic and targeted manner. 

While affiliate marketing is growing in popularity — the global industry is set to reach approximately $15.7 billion in 2024, up 9% from 2023 — it’s important that financial marketers don’t implement it as a siloed strategy. In other words, to be most effective, your affiliate marketing program should be integrated with your broader digital marketing strategy. 

In this blog, we’re exploring what a holistic approach to affiliate marketing looks like, and sharing best practices for how to get it right.If you are a financial brand ready to make the most of your affiliate program, reach out to our team of experts and they’ll walk through the process of getting started.

Placing Affiliate Marketing Within Your Broader Digital Marketing Strategy

In a recent guest article on our blog, Drew Medley, Digital Strategist at The Diamond Group shared the four key pillars for modern digital marketing strategies:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing

As a marketing channel, affiliate marketing can be key in supporting each of these pillars. For starters, choosing affiliate partners that have a high domain authority and strong organic traffic can help your financial brand get more exposure in search results. This is particularly true if your brand is incorporated in round-ups and best-of lists in publications with high search visibility. 

When it comes to PPC, the right affiliate placements can drive long-term brand value and recurring revenue. Leveraging your affiliate network for PPC can also reduce your overall cost of acquisition as you’re more likely to target relevant users with high intent.

Affiliate marketing can also increase your reach from a social media and email marketing perspective, as your affiliate partners have ready-made audiences of their own in these channels. 

Taking a holistic, integrated approach to affiliate marketing can therefore increase the performance of your other core digital strategies.

The Value of a Holistic Approach

In addition, affiliate marketing helps to diversify your marketing efforts. In a time where customer preferences are always evolving, having an agile and expansive approach to your marketing activities is important. It allows you to be innovative and proactive, rather than reactive. 

Taking a holistic approach, one that pairs affiliate marketing with your other marketing initiatives can support financial marketers by creating synergies, encouraging collaboration across the marketing team, enhancing the customer experience, and maximizing your ROI with a unified approach. (Your budget will thank you, trust us).

What a Holistic Marketing Approach Looks Like in Banking

So, what does a holistic approach to affiliate marketing look like for financial brands?

A seamless customer journey. Affiliate marketing should be integrated into the customer lifecycle, without interrupting the experience or duplicating efforts. The messaging that appears in your affiliate marketing campaigns should be aligned with your other marketing messaging — this is something that can be validated and confirmed with a compliance tool like Fintel Check.

Integration in data and analytics. If you have an affiliate marketing platform like Fintel Performance, you will have a wealth of data available regarding which campaigns are successful when, and where. This data can be incorporated into broader reporting and analytics within your digital marketing strategy, so that the team can make more informed decisions across the board and optimize efforts accordingly.

Cross-channel promotion. Affiliate marketing can support other marketing channels including content marketing, social media marketing, and more. You can repurpose content and cross-promote it as part of your affiliate marketing campaigns, and thus extend the reach of the original content. This will help you create more cohesive and wide-reaching marketing campaigns.

Comprehensive compliance and security. As a financial brand, your marketers are under strict regulatory requirements — this also applies to your affiliates. Taking a holistic approach to marketing means ensuring that your compliance efforts cover each of your marketing channels.

marketing compliance financial services

5 Tips for Implementing a Holistic Approach to Affiliate Marketing

For teams that are looking to take a more integrated approach to their affiliate marketing efforts, here are some best practices.

  • Get your whole team on board. To make your affiliate marketing program as effective as possible, take the time to build alignment with your other digital marketing leads. This will be crucial during regular strategy development and planning periods. 
  • Keep open lines of communication. As an affiliate marketer, you should be aware of what your other marketing leads are up to, and vice versa.
  • Revisit the customer journey to include affiliate marketing. As a marketer, you know that the customer journey isn’t linear. If your team is doing customer journey mapping, make sure that affiliate marketing is taken into consideration.
  • Leverage best-in-class technologies that integrate with each other. Choose affiliate marketing platforms that can easily share data with other core tools in the marketing tech stack.
  • Prioritize monitoring and optimization across the board. Leverage data from all your sources — including your affiliate marketing platform — to make decisions across the marketing team. 

Not only will this well-rounded approach guarantee your brand’s presence across various platforms and diverse audience segments, but it’ll also help your brand stay agile to evolving trends and shifts in the market — which feels more important than ever.

 

If you’re looking to learn more about the role affiliate marketing can play in a holistic digital marketing strategy, talk to our team today.

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