Is It Worth Investing in Affiliation in 2019?

Industry expert Raphaël Coffin shares his views on affiliation and their impact on online brokers’ operations

Affiliation has been an integral part of the marketing efforts of many online business models across different industries including retail, gaming, finance, online investment platforms and forex brokerages. There is no doubt that affiliation was a true catalyst to the forex industry’s overall success.

Over the last decade or so, affiliate networks constituted a vital component of online brokers’ operations on a global scale. In fact, we’ve witnessed an aggressive broker race to on board the most talented affiliate marketers in an effort to expand their online presence and build a robust partner network.

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In the last few years, the forex affiliate industry has naturally become highly competitive, with brokers offering enticing rewards, creative tools, dedicated support and investing considerable funds in their affiliate marketing campaigns.

With the latest regulatory restrictions in 2018 however, a great deal of brokers have shied away from affiliation. As a result, affiliate marketing has become a debatable channel for lead generation, especially for brokers targeting EU traffic; which begs the question, is it worth investing in affiliation in 2019?

A New Era for Forex Partnerships 

Moving into 2019 the future of forex affiliation may seem uncertain for some, but not for Raphaël Coffin, Senior Affiliate Manager at BDSwiss, counting more than 5 years industry expertise and currently leading the company’s affiliate team in the Berlin office.

Raphaël Coffin, Senior Affiliate Manager, BDSwiss

Raphaël explains that forex affiliation is a dynamic, ever evolving industry that continues to hold immense potential: “In all the years I’ve worked in affiliate marketing, there’s never a boring day, there’s always some new angle to explore, an exciting campaign, a bright idea or new approach, and of course, fresh, out of the box trends to be explored in the broader affiliation market”.

For Raphaël, forex affiliation is not just about increasing a broker’s conversions, but rather a dynamic partnership on which a broker’s broader market reputation and online presence can be built.

2018 was marked by major shifts in the broader affiliation industry, brought upon by millennials’ need to explore new concepts, traffic sources and channels. As audiences get more tech savvy and demanding, affiliate marketers respond with fresh innovative ways to promote their endorsed businesses.

American market research company Forrester predicts that affiliate marketing spending in the US alone will grow to $6.8 billion by 2020 (a 10.1% increase from 2015), which means that the earning potential for marketers who can rise to the top of the industry is immense.

According to Raphaël, while the arena of forex affiliate marketers is getting broader and more diverse, the relationships built between affiliate marketers and brokers are deliberate and mutually beneficial: “We’ve definitely seen some key trends forming in 2018 with regards to affiliation, with more trading niche influencers entering the arena, along with crypto-trading educators and forex vloggers. These new types of forex affiliate marketers often have very targeted audiences, which helps drive warm leads to their brokers.”

Trends & Affiliation Challenges in 2019

As Raphaël explains, the broker-partner relationship has seen some drastic changes in the last decade as both parties have become more demanding of their partnership. Partners demand constant communication, better marketing and tracking tools and more competitive remuneration, while brokers expect high quality traffic and quality branding that presents their brokerage in a fair light.

From a partner’s perspective, forex affiliate marketing comes with its own set of challenges in 2019. With the rise of social media, audiences have become savvier and more skeptical of traditional affiliate marketing methods. “Trading audiences in particular now demand quality content with a strong, original voice. They want honest opinions and reviews of the brokers’ services and products. Above all else, audiences demand authentic interactions and authentic messaging.” says Raphaël.

In Raphaël’s view, the forex affiliation industry will become even more competitive in 2019, with brokers and affiliates having to work even harder to meet the demands of their audience and clients. “Brokers are investing more in their brand, products and marketing, while affiliates focus on expanding to new markets and refining their niche.”

Communication is Key

Communicating their message properly is key for forex affiliates! The phrase ‘Content is King’ is a long-established concept, with Bill Gates predicting the importance of content on the internet 21 years ago.

As the volume of content grows at a staggering pace, there is increasing concern amongst marketers that the value of content to brands is diminishing, as there is simply so much of it and sometimes not properly distributed or aligned.

In our current time, marketers are also all too aware that “Context is Queen”, meaning that reaching the right person, with the right message, at the right time can be immensely effective; enabling brands to be significantly more relevant and helpful to their target audience as they are now able to anticipate their needs, wants, and expectations.

As Raphaël explains the concept that forex affiliate marketing is just outsourced marketing to any willing third party, is fundamentally wrong: “We, at BDSwiss have established a very thorough and demanding partner selection process.”

“We select our partners very carefully, based on their niche and online presence. Our Marketing and Affiliates Support teams align their efforts 100% with our partners and work closely together to achieve their common goals.”

“We further maintain constant communication with our partners, offering regular updates on our latest marketing campaigns, branding efforts, best practices, regulatory changes and overall business strategy. What is more, we have established automated marketing funnels, based on each client’s current lifecycle stage, which has allowed us to optimise our partners’ conversion rates,” commented Raphaël, adding that “Smart marketing is indeed the way ahead if we want to talk about 2019 Marketing Trends”.

Is Forex Affiliation Worth It in 2019?

The short answer is yes, for Raphaël, “With a whopping 92% of consumers stating that they trust referrals from other people or sources they are familiar with, there’s no denying that partnerships are essential for brokers.

That being said, it is undeniably crucial to choose your affiliate networks very carefully and to give them clear guidelines on your brand identity, best practices and regulatory restrictions”. As Raphaël explains, a robust network of affiliates helps brokers increase brand awareness, reach new audiences and attract warm leads to their sites. Increased brand mentions, and citations will also improve a broker’s overall SEO performance.

“As with any business partnership, forex affiliation requires time, effort and fine rapport. Brokers need to be able to anticipate and accommodate their partners’ needs. Building a robust affiliate network requires funds, experienced teams, a competitive offering and refined marketing tools.” states Raphaël.

As Raphaël notes, “In 2018, BDSwiss doubled its partner program budget, on boarded a great number of industry affiliates experts to offer high-level support. The launch of our brand-new partners’ portal and blog also adds to our efforts to support our partners’ community.”

Investing in affiliate marketing and partnerships in general, continues to pay at BDSwiss according to Raphaël, who adds that BDSwiss Partner Program’s success can be attributed to a productive and transparent partner-broker relationship, customised and competitive remuneration plans, fair and timely payouts, high conversion rates and dedicated multilingual support.

Having just recently launched a comprehensive Partners Support Kit program, BDSwiss further commits to continue investing in a number of key projects that will make the broker’s Partner Program even more competitive in 2019.

*Cited marketing statistics based on numbers provided by Forrester, Jan 18, 2018

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is sponsored and does not represent the opinions of Finance Magnates. 

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