Five top tips for optimising your ticketing affiliate program

With many brands traditionally associating affiliate marketing with lower-funnel voucher codes and cashback sites, it’s easy to forget that a great affiliate marketing program isn’t just about closing sales. Your program can also be a fantastic way to bring new customers to your website and increase your brand’s market share. It can also act as a USP to promote to event organisers.

By embracing affiliate and partner marketing, you can optimise your investment and reach new audiences. So, how can you maximise your program and ensure you’re reaching the right audience at the right time?

Embrace content

When it comes to launching an event, there are several digital and traditional media channels available to push the message to the masses, from paid social, email, radio, TV and more. Use these channels to raise awareness of a show or production in a certain area. This awareness then leads your potential customers to Google – and here’s where content is important.

Over recent years, the affiliate channel has seen the rise of content partners and media partnerships. Working with content partners will ensure your website is capturing market share in the search results when your audience is searching for tickets. By leveraging these upper-funnel opportunities, you will channel search interest for events into conversions on your site.

Having a strong market share in the search results will therefore increase your overall ticket sales when combined with your digital marketing efforts. In fact, the affiliate channel can offer you a clear competitive advantage within SERPs. Here’s how.

Dominate search engines

At Silverbean, we work with key content publishers within the ticketing industry. We know that by helping these publishers to rank for certain search terms, they’ll help our clients to dominate key search terms, such as Event Name + Tickets, Event Name + Venue or Venue.

By optimising our work with relevant content publishers, we can ensure you have your own SEO ranking for these search terms. With your brand dominating these search terms, any agents or resellers can’t gain a large audience from search results, meaning you create a strong brand advantage.

We‘ve also nurtured a pool of national and regional publishers within the ticketing sector. A national publisher will increase awareness and sales for a tour, whereas regional publishers will drive venue led sales. By combining the two, we will increase sales (and your market share) on both a national and regional level.

Maximise your budget

Within ticketing affiliate programs, we often see a lot of wasted spend. Around 70% of the clients we audit are overspending on their affiliate commissions, leaving less budget for their actual affiliate programs.

Within ticketing, there are numerous variables to take into account when it comes to budget. There are booking fees, restoration levies, VAT and more. We help brands to identify what they do pay affiliate commission on and what they do not. This simple but effective approach has allowed us to save a major theatre organisation over £500,000 in commission and network payments over five years.

Use strategic commissioning

In the ticketing sector, we’ve found that a massive 70% of our clients’ time is spent working to push shows that are underperforming or need additional support to sell tickets – with these often being midweek matinees. How do we decrease that time spent and increase revenue and sales?

Here, the affiliate channel can be used strategically. Depending on the affiliate platform, look to increase affiliate commission based on specific criteria, for example, a seat at a certain venue for a certain show date, where you may generally struggle to sell that band of seats.

We work with a software as a service (SaaS) platform, meaning our clients can strategically and easily offer increased (or decreased) commission at venue, show or even seat level. Of course, you might choose not to go to seat level, but you can look to promote certain bands per show on a certain date.

Better yet, the ability to incentivise publishers based on this strategic model can be leveraged to promote tickets as and when you need it. No more wasted time, no more underperforming shows.

Leverage brand partnerships

Generally, ticketing companies don’t have a huge margin to work with. With this in mind, a good affiliate and partnership program needs to help you to increase your overall revenue per customer. The ticketing sector lends itself to auxiliary products and true brand partnerships.

Consider working with brands whose products – and audiences – complement yours, such as travel brands, or local restaurants and hotels. Brand partnerships are a relatively new concept within the wider affiliate space, but our experience forging partnerships for our ticketing clients means we have considerable knowledge of the space. We’re well versed in reaching, engaging and leveraging partner brands’ audiences to grow brands’ customer bases, sales and revenue.

Looking for new, innovative ways to drive your affiliate program performance? We’re always striving to stay ahead of the game. Get in touch, and start getting noticed.