Feb. 16, 2021

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Lee-Ann Johnstone knows her stuff

“To really succeed and build a successful affiliate business you need to think about your customer first.”

Lee-Ann Johnstone knows her stuff

If I had to pick the one person that really knows affiliate marketing inside out, Lee-Ann Johnstone would be it. She is the founder of Affiliate Insider,the leading media hub for iGaming affiliate marketing and affiliate agency, mentor and strategic advisor, and an utterly insightful speaker on all things affiliate. Recently, she has been inaugurated as a member of the prestigious Forbes Agency Council and is a regular contributor on leading digital marketing platforms, such as TheDrum.com, iGBAffiliate and GPWA.

We had a chance to talk to her about content trends, relationship brand towards affiliates, and what the future holds for the Affiliate Insider.

Brand vs. affiliate - mutual or asymetrical relationship?

In your recent Forbes article, you said that brands need web strategies to build customer engagement and campaigns that break through the increased noise on the web. Do you think brands fully understand the potential of affiliates in this regard? 

The honest truth is no. A recent survey by IAB stated that most CMO’s don’t yet know how to fully leverage their affiliate channel partners to push their marketing budgets further. We’ve come a long way from affiliates being a traffic and acquisition driver and with more joined up data affiliates can play a pivotal role in helping brands reduce marketing spend, and increase their customer engagement across multiple channels their budgets don’t get to fully reach.

The key thing is to consider the strategic alignment of where your partnerships are measured within your overall marketing mix.

Get that right and you’ll have a well oiled marketing machine backing up your brand growth and customer reach. 

Especially for emerging brands, we often hear from affiliates that they are being treated as passive income hunters. Why do you think we still see this kind of attitude? 

Well, a lack of education for a start. Most people come into affiliate marketing via sales or customer support and then have to learn on the job. This leads to poor account management as basic principles of marketing and digital media buying are not taught in day to day training.

It’s one of the reasons why I launched my AMPP coaching program- which gives affiliate managers support to learn the theory of affiliate marketing coupled with the practical support to implement it.

When you truly understand how to make the affiliate - operator relationship work cohesively for your brand, you get to see the results multiply, as I have over the past 2 decades of managing global programs across multiple verticals. 

Always keeping an eye on the trends

Some affiliates are incredible out of the box thinkers, often creating added value through their content. But we see a shift from blog content to video content. Is video the new king? 

Video is by far the fastest growing digital medium to quickly engage and hook customers into your brand, it’s allowed influencer marketing to explode and as humans we retain information we see and hear a lot better than words on paper.

The psychology behind video production and content marketing using this medium is incredibly interesting for me.

I predicted that video would become the new king of content a while back already as you can tell form this article I published on IGB Affiliatea while back now. I like looking at how digital will change in future so I am always keeping my eyes on new trends and learning as much as I can from them. 

AffiliateINSIDER is an affiliate marketing agency, information and training hub. What will keep you most busy this year? 

Our agency is growing at a rapid rate. We want to help as many clients as possible get the best out of affiliate marketing and we want to help affiliate managers get the best out of their affiliate relationships. With no live events this is proving a lot more difficult so we’re helping marketers understand how to master social selling, improve sales tactics and outbound lead generation.

Our podcast is growing fast too with more and more interesting and experienced guests coming on the show to share their knowledge and expertise such as Judith Lewis and Matt Frary (AKA The Chief of Chaos) who have years of digital expertise to share.

I feel it’s a responsibility as a stakeholder in the industry with more than two decades for my team to share our learnings with those who want to improve and that’s what we’ll be focusing on this year, to develop tools, trainings, services that support those who need and want to use affiliate marketing to expand their business and customer reach. 

If you would give out just one piece of advice to iGaming affiliates, what would that be? 

Be professional. Start building relationships with your account managers and keep track of what’s changing in digital around you.

To really succeed and build a successful affiliate business you need to think about your customer first, your advertiser second.

Be strategic about who you partner with and find programs that invest in your business growth as stake holders for your marketing efforts.

Go where you are valued most and think about the long term.

Also - you can sign up to join our communityas were invested in helping you to stay abreast of what’s new and happening in the land of affiliate marketing, and knowledge is power after all! 


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