Best practices for affiliate creatives and banners, and brand assets

AffiliateWP allows you to provide creatives and marketing material to your affiliates to make it easier for them to promote your website and products quickly. Below are some best practice guidelines that will help you provide attractive, effective creatives for your affiliates, as well as brand assets for them to use as they wish.

Creatives provided by site owner/admin

When you're providing creative material to your affiliates so they can promote your products, it’s important to make it as easy as possible by giving them pre-made banner images they can add to their own websites or email newsletters. Follow these simple best practices to give your affiliates a suite of creatives that will showcase your products or services to potential customers.
  1. Creative banners should be simple and effective. Communicate one key message per banner that you want to convey about your product or service, and feel free to use some imagery to make it stand out.
  2. Creative banners should be aligned with your website branding and design. Consistency is key - maintain your brand's look and feel in creatives for greater impact on potential customers.
  3. The smaller your creative banner file size, the more efficiently it will load on websites. As per point number 1 above, simple is best. Try to avoid overloading your banners with hi-resolution images.
  4. Your creative banners can be any dimension or size, however we strongly recommend following regular digital ad banner sizes for best practice - they’re more likely to be compatible across multiple websites and in e-newsletter templates. Check out the IAB's Display Advertising Guidelines for some suggestions.

Affiliate-made creatives

In some instances affiliates may want to create their own Creatives or marketing material. To ensure your business or website branding is as consistent as possible in all affiliate communications, you should give your affiliates some guidance on how to use your "brand assets". Brand assets include elements of your brand or website such as high-resolution logos, colors, specific copy and guidelines on how to use these on other websites or in banners. 
You could create a public Brand Assets page on your website and upload all elements that you want affiliates (or other visitors/customers) to use if they're advertising your site. Here's an example of our own brand assets page on our website which anyone can view: AffiliateWP Brand Assets. Whilst a brand assets page isn't an AffiliateWP feature, it is something we recommend adding to your website if possible.
Providing brand assets ensures that when affiliates (or other people) create their own marketing material promoting your website, your business or brand will have some uniformity. Though creatives will be slightly different, and appear in different places from different people, your brand assets will be the same. Consider providing assets such as:
  • Your logo and guidelines for how it should be used correctly
  • Brand colors
  • Fonts
  • Any product shots or imagery you want them to use
  • Specific copy or content that should be used.

Common banner specs

Below are some of the most common specifications for digital creative banners as noted in the IAB Display Advertising Guidelines.
Creative banner dimensions (Width x Height) in pixels:
  • 300x250
  • 728x90
  • 300x600
  • 468x60
  • 160x600
Banner file size:
  • 40kb is recommended for a faster load time
Recommended file formats:
  • .PNG (preferred)
  • .JPG
  • .GIF
Remember, some browsers and devices don’t support some creative formats (i.e., Flash™) so if you’re using an animated file format, provide a static image in the same dimensions as a backup.

Note: To share creatives to social networks, images can be saved to an affiliate's computer and uploaded to the appropriate social network. On some social networks (e.g. Facebook) the HTML code provided by creatives cannot be used directly inside the share box. In these instances, the affiliate can simply use the text and link where appropriate. For more, see http://docs.affiliatewp.com/article/1170-sharing-affiliate-referral-urls-links