Expert Interview: AffPapa’s Yeva Avagyan on Affiliate Marketing in 2024

Yeva Avagyan

At ICS-digital, we specialise in helping brands to increase their online visibility globally – but there’s more to life than the digital world. From the ICS-digital podcast and in-office seminars to global events, we love seeing and speaking with colleagues, partners and clients directly.

One of the most recent events we’ve participated in was AffPapa’s iGaming Club Malaga event, which brought together affiliates, tech brands, industry operators and more – and it was a great experience.

In this post, AffPapa’s Head of Commercial Yeva Avagyan (pictured above on the left) shares more about the brand, the affiliate marketing landscape and AffPapa’s plans for the future.

Martin Calvert: What do you do at AffPapa - how did the company start?

Yeva Avagyan: AffPapa was founded well over 4 years ago. We started quite small, I remember slowly introducing the product to the industry, trying to get companies involved which was not an easy task, since the concept of a directory that connects affiliates and operators so effectively was new.

Due to being a fresh new start-up we had to wear a lot of hats and jugle responsibilities quite often. I was writing content at one point, doing sales as well, anything and everything that had to do with the website overall.

Currently I hold the position of Head of Commercials at AffPapa. To say I love what I do is to say nothing. I’ve grown so much in this industry and am so thankful for having the best mentors – guiding and teaching me along the way.

iGaming Club in Malaga

MC: What is the iGaming Club Series – what was new for you about the most recent event in Malaga?

The iGaming Club Series is exactly how it sounds It’s a series of iGaming events which we started as satellite events to major conferences in 2022, where we gather various affiliates, operators and B2Bs, faciltating an environment for them to network, get to know each other and just simply connect.

Obviously the Conference we organized in Malaga was a new experience for us, given the overall scale of it, different aspects we’ve never considered for our usual networking events etc. I think this was a stepping stone for us to learn more about the hidden challenges and detect the best-practices that will help us improve and outdo ourselves in the future.

Suddenly you’e not an exhibitor or an attendee anymore, and the roles are switched giving you a whole new presepctive on event organization and the logisitics of it. I’m very proud of our team for showing up and giving their 200% in order to make this an unforgetable experience for all the participants.

Our upcoming event is taking place, surprise surpise – in Amsterdam on the 16th of July. Very excited to see everyone, so grab your tickets and join us for an evening of loads of networking and much-needed catch ups!

MC: What excites you about affiliate marketing?

YA: One fascinating aspect of affiliate marketing is its potential for collaboration and creativity.  I'm particularly intrigued by the diversity of niches and industries that affiliate marketing encompasses. Whether it's promoting products, services, or even content, there's always room for innovation and experimentation.

I think these days affiliate marketing offers many opportunities for optimization as well as tailored strategies to help companies achieve their highest potential. Overall, the ever-evolving landscape of affiliate marketing keeps things exciting and I'm really interested to see what new trends are going to emerge in the near future.

MC: Which industries have the biggest affiliate landscape? Why do you think that is?

YA: At the moment several industries are definitely dominating the affiliate marketing landscape based on product demand, consumer dynamics and commission structures. Some of the industries with the most significant affiliate presence include: e-commerce, finance, tech, health. 

I mean with e-commerce it’s pretty self explanatory - online shopping is at its prime, with product diversity, number of potential customers, competitive commission etc it’ll continue to be a driving force.

Of course the iGaming Industry is a prominent figure in the affiliate marketing landscape as well at this point, again due to its competitive market reach, high commission rates, huge global reach and so much more.

iGaming Club Malaga Conference awards

MC: How can brands create the best relationships with affiliates?

YA: I love this question because in my opinion there’s always room to improve and foster better relationships within brands and affiliates. A few key points I have put aside are – clear communication ( sometimes even over-communication can be poductive), dedicated support - as having a responsive affiliate manager or support team enhances the affiliates’ experience and demonstrates the brand's commitment to their success.

Having customized marketing materials help the affiliates promote the brand more effectively, arming them with all the necessary banners, content and other personalized assets. And these are just a few to name.

By placing emphasis on transparency, support, and collaboration,  brands can forge long-lasting partnerships and mutually grow in the process.

MC: What innovations and creative ideas have you seen in the affiliate space recently that interested you?

I'm going to start with the most popular one at the moment –  the integration of AI. Advertisers are taking advantage of AI-powered tools to analyze data and optimize their affiliate marketing campaigns in real-time. These algorithms can identify patterns in user behavior, predict future trends, and deliver personalized recommendations to users, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates which is something every brand strives for right now.

Influencer Marketing is another creative idea to utilize within the affiliate space. Influencers have established credibility and a loyal following within specific niches which makes them valuable partners for affiliate marketers. I keep seeing more Brand Ambassadors joining well-known companies and promoting hem, which helps the customers connect with the brand on a different level and be more trusting.

When it comes to trust and efficiency within the ecosystem, blockchain has gained a vast popularity as well.  Blockchain-based affiliate networks can eliminate fraud, reduce transaction costs, and ensure fair compensation for affiliates. It revolutionized the industry in a way by providing transparent and secure tracking. The goal here is to ultimately drive greater efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness in affiliate marketing for all parties involved and that's exactly what these "tools" are doing.

MC: What are the biggest mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing?

YA: There are several common mistakes that can hinder success really, one of them being plain and simple - choosing the wrong affiliate partner. Numbers are not always the biggest indicator of a promised success.

Brands should evaluate whether there's an alignment with their brand and the set affiliate. If the audience is within their target reach and trivial factors alike. Content quality, transparency in communication, limiting the sources used for driving traffic and so much more can affect the performance and slow down if not completely take away the momentum.

By avoiding these and a number of other errors, by embracing best practices, you can optimize your affiliate marketing journey and achieve success in driving traffic, conversions, and revenue.