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Affiliate Marketing:

How To Create A Competition
With Affiliate Marketing

A staggering 81% of brands and 84% of publishers have already begun building affiliate networks in 2020!

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest ways to make money online and has been adapted throughout the years of social media. By engaging in this type of marketing, you can reach loyal followers of relevant creators in many ways, such as through competitions.

As an example, you could have an influencer promote your product or service on their feed to advertise that your first order is 50% off. Offering a discount encourages customers to purchase your product or service.

So, are you contemplating creating a social media competition using affiliate marketing?

Listed below, you’ll find all the steps you need to follow in order to run an effective social media contest.

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What is a affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where a commission is paid to affiliates. An affiliate is a person who promotes your business and earns commissions for referrals. Depending on your business model, your affiliates can be existing customers, bloggers, influencers, industry experts, etc. Using referral links and discount codes, they send traffic to your site using websites and social media.

This type of marketing also connects brands and large-scale content creators without committing to a long-term relationship. It serves as a tool to build strong relationships online and promote your business.

This is important because more than 92% of consumers make recommendations to their friends and family. Word of mouth is fantastic for spreading the word, so make sure the message is able to reach and help others.

Through affiliate marketing, content creators can earn commissions by referring customers to brands. As a result, brands reach a wider audience while paying for actual business results (not just exposure). It’s commonly referred to as a pay-for-outcome model or pay-per-action model.

So, how do you create a competition with affiliate marketing?

You can create a successful social media competition by following these key steps below!

1. Establish A Goal & Strategy For The Competition

Before deciding what type of competition you want to run, ask yourself why you want to run it. Is it for growing sales? Increase traffic to your website? Or for supporting the launch of a new product?

Once you have that goal in mind, then you should create a competition strategy. This can be accomplished by constructing a plan that outlines why you are aiming for the goals and how you will accomplish them.

2. Identify the type of competition and segment affiliates

Organising your affiliates into groups will allow you to communicate with them in a more personalised way and will enable you to activate certain groups based on their performance. Start by…

Choosing the best influencers based on their previous performance and interactions.
Make sure the competition will motivate affiliates and that the target group is able to participate.

3. Create an incentive for your affiliates

The next step is to pick a reward. Since not all rewards will work, you must clearly specify who your target audience is and what prize will appeal to them. It is essential that the incentive always matches the effort.

Here are some examples of competition prizes that will entice your affiliates:

Physical goods: gadgets, merchandise, etc.
Products and resources of the company: free yearly subscription, guest posting on your blog, or publicity on your social media accounts.
Reward money: flat bonus added to the affiliate account, limited-time increase in commissions, gift cards.

4. Define the competition terms and conditions and how participants can participate.

Participants should be able to fully understand and see the rules and conditions of the competition they are entering.

Competitions should include:

Entry period/deadline
How to enter
How the winner will be selected and notified
A disclaimer, such as ‘This competition is not affiliated with Instagram or Facebook’ or wherever you're hosting it.

Make sure you do more than just present your competition rules and terms. Take the time to create quality content for your competition and assist your affiliates with any questions they may have.

5. Decide how you will promote the competition

Just like any marketing campaign, the success of your affiliate competition depends on how well you and the affiliate promote it to your audience. You should encourage as many people as possible to submit their entries. You will create more buzz around your affiliate program if you bring on more participants, which hopefully translates to increased sales and traffic.

Consider how you display your competition. Approximately 90% of consumers say that product videos help them make a purchase. Keep this in mind when you are showcasing your competition prize.

By using all of your marketing channels, you can generate more buzz around your competition, such as announcing it ahead of time and when it happens through:

Social media channels (posts and stories)
Automated messages via your affiliate platform if your competition is more inclusive.

6. Establish a communication schedule

Using your CRM platform, you can create an email campaign for the competition. By sending reminders through your affiliate platform.

However, when you communicate too often, your audience will most likely unsubscribe from your newsletters or ignore your reminders.

You can gain exposure to your winner of the competition by announcing them on your social channels and newsletter. This can be a great incentive to entice others to participate.

7. Keep track of your competition’s performance

When it comes to affiliate sales, there are many factors to consider. When tracking your competition performance, you can compare the performance of affiliates who took part in the competition to a similar period when they did not participate.

To determine whether the number and quality of entries outweigh the cost of your competition prize and the resources you spend on it, it may be better to measure both.

By comparing the results of different types of competitions and rewards, you can identify the best practices for your next competition.


Running an affiliate competition comes down to optimising, collecting data and comparing different strategies. For affiliates who bring in a high number of sales every month, a flat bonus that appeals to low- and medium-performing affiliates will not be as attractive. Instead, temporarily higher commission rates will be more motivating. It is crucial that you know your affiliates in order to run a successful competition. It is important to keep in close contact with them.

Are you struggling to run your social media competition with affiliate marketing?

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