Guest post by Tierney Stout, Director of Interactive Marketing at The Orchard.
Do you use music affiliate programs? Do you know what an affiliate program is? If you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions… keep reading! As an affiliate, you can earn commissions on all qualifying revenue generated by links to iTunes. MONEY!
To start, determine which regional affiliate program best matches your audience – LinkShare (United States and Japan), TradeDoubler (Europe) & dgm (Australia and New Zealand). More than likely, you will want to be set up with all three programs. Next, visit the affiliate network and complete their online application. After you have been accepted into the affiliate programs, you need to apply to the iTunes program from within the affiliate. To apply, find the iTunes program in the affiliate network, complete the forms, and read and agree to the program terms and conditions. You will then be notified of your approval to join the program in one to two weeks. MONEY!
Once you are set up, you can use the LinkMaker tool to create your new links pointing to iTunes. This tool can be found inside the affiliate programs’ interface. With the Link Maker tool you can search for and create links to songs, artists, and albums. Note: It is best to make a shortened URL of this link as it is very long. The affiliate programs are not only beneficial for the MONEY. They also allow you to see how many clicks your link has received, and how many purchases were made via this link.
Are you still with me? MONEY! Is this old news to you? Well, keep reading…
Once you are all set up with the relevant affiliate programs, it’s time you start using GeoRiot. GeoRiot links eliminate error messages for international users arriving at the wrong storefront. Unlike the affiliate links, a GeoRiot link works for any user and all the iTunes stores. A GeoRiot-enabled link is instantly processed in three steps:
- First, the service geo-targets where the consumer is coming from to determine their national iTunes storefront.
- Second, the service translates the link to work for the consumer’s storefront and directs them to the best match of the desired item within iTunes.
- Finally, the new link is affiliate encoded so commissions can be earned on all potential subsequent sales. This should help…
To request a GeoRiot account, fill out the form on the Get Started page, and include an example affiliate tracking the deep link URL generated from the iTunes Link Maker tool. You will then need to identify and add your traffic source. Your traffic source may be your website, advertising campaign, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. You can create multiple traffic sources in your GeoRiot account. Next, you will add your affiliate programs, and you are in business.
To create a GeoRiot link, click “Account” on the top right corner. Then click “Manage Traffic Sources.” Choose the proper traffic source, and to the right of that, click “Manage Affiliate Program Set.” There, you will see all the territories, where you have active affiliate programs that are synced to GeoRiot. Click on “Link Maker” next to your base country.
Once in Link Maker, you can find the artist you are looking for using the search bar similar to the process laid out above, but now you are creating a GeoRiot link that includes all of your affiliate programs. Releases in iTunes associated with that artist will auto-populate. Click “Album Link” for the proper release, and your link will appear in a new window.
If you are looking to create a link for a release that is only live as a pre-order in iTunes, you will need to click “Bulk” in the top right of the image below. Then enter in the direct link for the iTunes pre-order. For now, this will create a link that, if used in an outside territory, will point to the artist page. Ideally, the current album live for pre-order will be the first release the fan sees when they land on this page — thus creating one more click to the user experience, but still not hindering the international experience. Again, you will also want to make a shortened link from the generated GeoRiot link as it is very long.
Note that GeoRiot never takes clicks from the “base country.” The base country is the country from which the link was initially built. Typically this is the U.S., so you would always earn 100% of the commissions from the U.S. This ensures that you will always earn more using GeoRiot than you would with just using a single affiliate program.
I know this can seem like a complicated process, but once set up… it’s M-O-N-E-Y! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments field, and I will get back to you.