Overreliance on Key Platforms: How to Make Your Affiliate Program More Resilient
Social media marketers — as well as more general users — experienced severe disruption in November 2021, as some of the world’s biggest platforms went offline temporarily. Facebook and Instagram, which are both parts of the same group of companies, went down on November 2nd, leaving users unable to access their accounts or any of the platforms’ features. Instant messaging platform WhatsApp — another Facebook property — was also disrupted.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, further disruptions were reported two weeks later. On November 19th, it was reported that UK, India and US-based users were having problems accessing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Some Google properties, including Gmail and YouTube, also encountered problems in November.
There is a lesson to be learned from this: no website or platform — no matter how big or well-established — is immune to disruption. For social media and affiliate marketing professionals, this may represent something of a wake-up call.
While affiliate programs are not permitted by Facebook’s guidelines, they are being beta-tested on the Instagram platform, and social media is still a huge asset to affiliates, thanks to the potential it offers for indirect marketing. With this in mind, how can affiliate marketers make their programs more resilient?
Channel Diversification Becomes a Priority
First and foremost, affiliate marketers need to make sure that they do not have all of their eggs in one basket. If marketers are exclusively targeting prospects and promoting affiliate links across a single channel, this exposes them to risk.
While platforms such as Facebook and YouTube might be extremely lucrative for indirect affiliate marketing — and are generally stable — professionals need a contingency plan in place if these platforms are suddenly unavailable.
A Focus on Server Resilience and Redundancy
Building websites and directing traffic to partners are two of the key pillars of many affiliate programs. This means the success of the program is built upon the success of these websites.
Marketers need to make sure they work with server providers that can offer a competitive uptime guarantee and that use cloud technology to back sites up. Utilizing multiple redundant servers also helps businesses to continue operation even when one server goes down.
More Profound Connections with Partners and Customers
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a website or marketing channel will not encounter disruption. If the worst happens, marketers need to know that their business has the resilience to pass through this disruption without too much damage.
This means building strong and stable relationships with affiliate partners, as well as with audience members. With a solid foundation already built, partners and customers grow to trust the website and the organization and are likely to look more favorably on temporary periods of disruption as a result.
Overreliance Is a Danger for Marketers
The common theme here is clear — overreliance is a danger. When affiliate marketers are focusing all their efforts on one social media platform, one messaging channel, one blog website, or one server, this blinkered vision puts their business at risk. Diversification is the only antidote for affiliates looking to shore up their businesses against future disruption.
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