Affiliate marketing has skyrocketed in popularity due to its cost-effectiveness, global reach, and measurable results. Affiliate program search provides both sides with a mutually beneficial partnership unless some fraudulent activity appears. That’s why it is important to find reliable affiliates and optimize affiliate campaigns with tracking platforms.
In this article, we will explore trademark infringement and brand bidding and learn how to find dishonest affiliates with tracking platforms and apply brand protection measures.
Trademark Infringement in Affiliate Marketing
Trademark infringement occurs when publishers use the legally registered symbols, names, or phrases of the merchant’s company without permission. Unauthorized incorporating the trademark into marketing campaigns can lead to several undesirable consequences:
Reputation damage. The merchants looking for affiliate marketers have little control over the marketing practices that publishers use to promote the brand. Sometimes they choose aggressive methods which may be at odds with the brand’s official values and tactics.
Customer confusion. Clients may falsely perceive affiliates as official representatives of the company. This often leads to misunderstanding and an inconsistent image of the brand.
Misrepresentation. The brand may totally lose control over how it is represented to the public because of inappropriate messaging. Publishers from affiliate program search can use their own communication strategies that will make the merchant’s brand building pointless.
So, the merchants should use tracking tools to find trustworthy affiliates and avoid trademark issues. We will tell you how to find proper affiliates with a tracking tool after considering brand bidding.
Brand Bidding in Affiliate Marketing
The difference between the trademark abuse and brand bidding is that the last one may be legal. Brand bidding means that affiliates use specific brand’s keywords in their campaigns. We recommend paying a lot of attention to it while looking for affiliate marketers. The permissibility depends on the merchant’s terms and the policy of the advertising platform.
Yet, brand bidding is considered to be a risky strategy due to these reasons:
Financial losses. Brand bidding makes merchants compete with their own affiliates. If they use the same keywords, the traffic is diverted away from the merchant’s official channels. It results in unprofitable marketing spend.
Traffic quality. The conversion rates may be lower because of brand bidding. It happens because users clicking on such affiliate links may be more interested in the brand itself rather than in the promoted product.
Bidding wars. If you have several affiliates who use brand bidding, their competition will drive up the advertising costs and make the whole marketing campaign less cost-effective.
A great strategy for mitigating brand bidding issues is to monitor the branded search results with and find affiliates who do not use brand bidding. A tracking tool helps merchants to save ads budget and avoid dishonest publishers.
Tracking Platforms for Optimal Affiliate Performance
Tracking platforms return full control over the marketing campaigns to the merchants. So that they can find affiliates who do not abuse trademarks or brand bidding. They can also track conversion paths and assess the ROI to enhance the strategy.
BluePear is a brand violations monitoring tool:
It tracks your branded search queries 24/7. This way, you can see and prevent fraudulent PPC bidding before it harms the brand reputation and customer loyalty.
BluePear provides you with up-to-date reports with the publisher IDs and screenshots of their ads with your branded keywords, which is not provided by a usual affiliate program search.
The tool keeps your marketing costs low as you do not pay for organic traffic.
It provides you with the evidence of violation that can be used to easily win any arguments over violations of the terms.
BluePear does not artificially inflate the number of clicks, so your advertising will not suffer. That’s an important addition that should be used with any affiliate program search.
Proactive Brand Protection Measures
Proactive measures are necessary to anticipate and prevent any difficulties before they even appear. It is more beneficial to find affiliates who match your requirements and cooperate with them, then deal with the failures of unchecked ones.
Apart from tracking tools, the merchants should use the legal framework to protect their trademarks. With registered trademarks, they can set their own rules of using names, logos, and keywords connected with the brand. So, the merchants should:
Establish clear guidelines while looking for affiliate marketers. A transparent agreement will help to avoid misunderstanding and accidental violation of trademark using policy.
Monitor affiliate activities. Use tracking tools to be aware of the ways your brand is promoted if you are looking for reliable affiliate marketers.
Notify affiliates on detected trademark violations. Correct your affiliates as soon as you see any trademark issues.
Use legal resources if notifying does not help. With evidence provided by a tracking tool, merchants can send a cease and desist letter as a final warning before legal proceedings. If it does not help, the brand may even pursue litigation against dishonest affiliates.
Successful Brand Protection and Optimization in Affiliate Marketing
The problem was that some of Wargaming’s affiliates used its keywords in their campaign, even though it was restricted by the Wargaming affiliate program. The company did not use tracking tools and did not know where to find dishonest affiliates. It led to increased marketing costs and overpayment for the brand’s organic traffic.
BluePear was a perfect solution as it showed how affiliates actually had promoted Wargaming by gathering search engine result page and landing page screenshots. Now the company knows where to find affiliates that violated the rules.
As a result, BluePear caught more than 10 dishonest affiliates and 536 affiliates advertisements. Wargaming saved several thousand dollars by cutting payments to dishonest affiliates. That was a great example of how to find dishonest affiliates, using a tracking tool.
Summing Up the Key Brand Protection Strategies
Follow these recommendations to protect your brand and gain success if you use affiliate program search:
Use tracking tools to be aware of trademark abuse or brand bidding and find affiliates you can trust.
Take proactive measures to anticipate the potential challenges while looking for affiliate marketers.
Consider strategies from case studies of successful brand protection and find trustworthy affiliates.
Gather evidence and use legal resources to protect your brand.