14 Affiliate Marketing Tips That Jump-Start Your Business
For many people, registering as an affiliate is the first action ever taken in the ecommerce world. Having no previous experience in this industry, they don’t quite know how to make the right business decisions. Therefore, they mostly have to go with the gut feeling. In this article, we’re explaining the basic affiliate marketing tips and tricks that will help any newcomer affiliate build a profitable and enjoyable venture!
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a web-based business strategy that implies a marketer promoting someone else’s business through his/her channel to his/her own audience. In this case, the so-called affiliate marketer who doesn’t own the business advertises its products or services and earns a commission from each sale. So, such people get paid while the business gets to reach the marketer’s audience of potential buyers.
By placing affiliate links on their sites or channels, many blog owners and social media influencers use this practice to earn money online. If you too want to enter this industry and learn how to succeed in affiliate marketing, here are 14 tips to help you out.
Tip #1: Learn the affiliate program terms
This is the foundation of any affiliate marketing.
Let’s face it: the ‘Terms and Conditions’ part gets ignored all the time.
If you’ve become a part of an affiliate community, take your time to read the program regulations carefully. It won’t simply let you understand how and when you can get your affiliate commissions; it will also guide you through the allowed and the forbidden methods of promoting the program.
Normally, the program moderators prohibit the participants from using any unethical promotional methods. As a rule, these are the strategies that:
- Exploit others’ intellectual property
- Conflict with the local laws
- Confuse Internet users
- In general, don’t look like a fair play
But of course, every merchant has a specific set of rules with regard to acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This is why it is vitally important to know these requirements from A to Z.
Tip #2: Research the affiliate product
None of the affiliate marketing tips will work out if you don’t know what you’re promoting.
Basically, after registering as an affiliate, you get responsible for spreading the word about the merchant’s product or service. That’s the core idea of affiliate marketing, right? 🙂
But, what can you tell a wide audience about this specific company or offer if you know nothing about its features and peculiarities? How can you gain a loyal audience of trusting followers and build relationships with them if this particular business sphere remains unknown to you? Why would anyone buy something through your sponsored links if you don’t seem credible and knowledgeable enough?
Examine the merchant and the promoted product carefully, and try to learn as many details about them as possible. It might turn out beneficial for you to concentrate on some well-defined, narrow part of this business.
Of course, you can’t become an expert in everything at once. Still, it’s possible to gain extensive knowledge about a specific element of the merchant’s activity. It will give you a competitive advantage over other market players. Moreover, you will be able to provide your potential clients with truly valuable content.
Tip #3: Make up a clear action affiliate marketing plan
Create a roadmap of your affiliate actions. At this point, you already know the peculiarities of the business or company you’re promoting, and you know what steps you can and can’t take for this purpose.
This way, you can think carefully about your strength, resources, and opportunities, and find out which ones of them are the best choice for each particular case. If you’re taking part in multiple affiliate programs, you obviously should modify your marketing strategy in order to tailor it to both the promoted product and the target audience.
Tip #4: Research your audience
The needs, wishes, and interests of your clients form the core of affiliate marketing tips. The reason for this is simple: your promotional activity should be precisely tailored and aimed at your potential clients specifically.
The better you know your audience, the greater is the chance of converting your occasional entry reader into a loyal buyer. There are some things that you definitely need to know about your target segments, so whether you’re running an online store or taking part in an affiliate program, do your best to find out as many details about your potential clients as possible.
Tip #5: Respond to your audience needs
Your target audience consists of real, actual people who have their own concerns, issues, and daily troubles. If the product you’re promoting can actually help these people get rid of their worries, your affiliate marketing success is guaranteed.
This is why it’s so important to research your clients’ areas of interest that are related to your affiliate program. With the help of statistical tools like Google Trends and forums like Quora or Reddit, you can find out what exactly bothers your potential customers with regard to this particular sphere. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to understand what topics you should focus on, and what types of content will inspire the audience’s interest towards the product you’re promoting.
Tip #6: Build an active community around your valuable content
One of the most common mistakes made by affiliates is driving traffic to an ‘empty’ community. In this case, affiliates invest time and money into various types of ads in order to attract attention to their activity, and think that the reached audience will start buying immediately after visiting the promoted page.
They, however, don’t take into account the fact that no one would buy a product from a community that doesn’t seem active – or that doesn’t inspire much trust. If your blog, or YouTube account, or other page dedicated to the affiliate promotion doesn’t look like a credible source of knowledge and information, you can’t expect the visitors to gladly risk their money for a dubious purchase.
This is why it is so important to spend some time filling your page with engaging, educational and helpful content that is highly valuable to your target audience. By gaining the reputation of a trusted expert in this particular field, you build an ample base of interested readers who are loyal to you and are well motivated to buy the products you’re recommending.
Tip #7: Become trustworthy
Many people use affiliate marketing only for their profit, and not for the benefit of their customers. There are even those who will purposefully mislead their audience with spammy and dishonest affiliate ads and promotions. Some even hide the fact that it’s an affiliate link.
However, most online users see them a mile away. Nevertheless, if you’re honest about the intent then it’s okay.
If the product or service you’re promoting is relevant to your audience, they won’t mind the content. However, if they feel you are trying to scam them or take advantage of their readership with too many irrelevant ads, they’re liable to leave and not come back.
Always remember who the most valuable users for you are – those who continuously visit and recommend your site. You need to be honest and ethical with your customers, building relationships with genuine content. If all they see is a profit motive – that you don’t ultimately have their best interests at heart – they won’t be back.
One way to show your trustworthiness is to address any weaknesses of your affiliate product or service. Wait…what? It’s true! If you advertise something as too good to be true, they’ll never believe it.
Instead, highlight the strengths, then address a weakness to gain trust (but, always include a work-around to show how you make it work regardless of the weakness, or note that almost all similar products or services share this weakness, etc.).
Tip #8: Show your face and personality
Nearly every one of our bloggers put their face front and center on their blog.
It’s clear that successful bloggers don’t hide behind anonymity. Their blogs have a face and a personality to go with it. And it’s true not only for blogging but for affiliate marketing as a whole.
It’s true that once fake identities and generic web pages were common, however, now, real faces and personalities are the ones that dominate the space.
There are four great reasons why you should do this:
- People remember faces more than names
Putting your face on your site will make you more memorable.
- Stand out from the crowd
A real face and personality helps you stand out from no name competitors. Plus, it might help you with Google’s human raters who are trained to look out for ‘trustworthiness, expertise and authoritativeness’. Since Google encourages websites to have real addresses and contact details, real pictures go a long way in this increasing trust.
- Helps readers relate to you
A real personality helps readers identify with you. Readers are more likely to trust a source if they know it comes from a real person, not just an internet handle. On top of that, pictures of people increase your conversion rates.
So, it’s clear that in order to be a successful affiliate marketer in 2022, you have to start using your face and your personality.
Tip #9: Experiment with various content types
Depending on the product or the company you’re promoting through your efforts, you can try filling your dedicated affiliate page with multiple types of promotional posts. It will give you the chance to monitor the level of your followers’ engagement, view the intensity of commenting, and gather data on other statistical indicators in order to identify the most suitable kinds of content for this particular program and audience.
For example, if you’re running a blog or an account in a social network that allows writing quite long texts, you can try mixing the following types of content:
- Tutorials explaining how to use the product you’re promoting correctly, and how to benefit from it;
- Comparisons that explain (in a neutral tone) how this exact product is different from the similar ones;
- Real-life reviews and testimonials of the people who have actually tried this product;
- Expert opinions about this product that are left by recognized industry professionals or influencers;
- Industry news that is relevant to your target audience.
Tip #10: Use videos in your affiliate marketing campaign
Videos become a more and more powerful promotional tool. Lately, we have even included them in our list of the top 5 digital marketing instruments to use. There is no doubt that this type of content will stay demanded and popular for years to come. So, naturally, it’s a good idea to include video promotion in your affiliate marketing strategy.
Similarly to the already described text entries, you can dedicate your affiliate videos to:
- Real-life customer reviews
- Comparisons with other products
- User-friendly tutorials
What’s especially convenient, you can even take the already written texts, and simply turn them into videos. This way, you will create new, engaging pieces of content quickly and easily.
Tip #11: Respect search engine optimization
There is a popular opinion voiced in other affiliate marketing tips. It says: while filling your page or website with appropriate content, you should, first of all, consider actual users’ queries, and not clumsy SEO phrases.
In our experience, SEO can do magic for your business! This is why we recommend that you always keep it in mind and use all the numerous benefits of SEO to drive the growth of your affiliate business. Start with finding the appropriate keywords for your venture!
Also, make sure to optimize your channels for mobile devices.
Thanks to the growth of mobile technologies, the amount of smartphone users increases every day. For many of them, a smartphone is the only device that lets them go online. This is why building a mobile-friendly destination becomes a task of paramount importance.
So, whatever you’re doing to promote your affiliate program, make sure the content you’re posting can be easily accessed through mobiles. Whether you’re running an affiliate Instagram account or managing a separate dedicated website, the same rules apply! Pay attention to the correct operation of affiliate links as well.
Tip #12: Pay due attention to affiliate links
While efficient affiliate marketing strategies play a crucial role in this industry, you shouldn’t forget about such a simple thing as affiliate links.
First of all, make sure to actually place them inside your blog posts, descriptions to your videos, social media content, ad banners, and so on. Unless there’s a clickable affiliate link in your content, you can’t expect a lot of sales. Even if you have such a link in your social media account bio, for example, don’t expect the audience to go check it.
Remember, an affiliate can earn a commission only if a buyer makes a purchase after following the affiliate link. So, make sure the link is clickable and easy to spot.
Tell your audience that your posts contain affiliate links. It works both as a warning and as a reminder. Often followers do buy the product but forget to follow the affiliate link, so you don’t get paid.
For example, you can place a reference saying, ‘This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase services through my links, I will earn a small commission (at no cost to you.) Thank you for your support!’ Or you could use an official affiliate link disclosure: ‘Disclosure: This blog receives commissions for using [COMPANY NAME]’ products. Nevertheless, we use these goods because of their high quality, and the decision to purchase them or not is yours.’
In this paragraph, you explain that you’re not trying to deceive people, that they lose nothing, and it’s how they can support your channel.
And finally, check all the links before publishing materials to make sure they work properly.
Tip #13: Track your affiliate links
If there’s one big affiliate marketing mistake you can make in 2022, it’s not tracking your links.
It’s simple – if you don’t track your links, you can’t know where your sale came from. And if you don’t know where the sales come from, you can’t understand what’s working and what’s not.
Tracking links helps you to:
- Know what keywords convert best
- Track what pages bring in the most revenue (so you can create more like them)
- Analyze which marketing channels deliver the best ROI.
- Detect whether any fraud affiliate companies are using your traffic without crediting you sales
Simply put, without tracking your affiliate marketing links, you won’t be able to evaluate how well you’re doing your job.
Tip #14: Use retargeting
Retargeting is the process of showing your ads to people who’ve already visited your site but haven’t completed a transaction. It is a massive opportunity to increase sales by targeting people you’ve already engaged with before. Retargeting offers a number of benefits:
- Better conversion rates
Retargeting reaches audiences who’ve already interacted with your site at least once. Because they are already slightly familiar with your brand, they are more likely to trust you, hence, buy from you.
- Higher return on investments (ROI)
Usually, once a visitor has left your site, you have to go through the same acquisition process to attract him again. Retargeting cuts down the time and cost spent in this process by reaching lost visitors directly, so you get much better ROI.
- Increased sales
Retargeting allows you to reach your target audience at scale. With better conversion rates and lower costs, this translates into increased sales and revenues for you.
Retargeting is the most exciting thing in online marketing since the invention of SEO and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, it’s still time to be an early adopter.
If you have some Facebook fan data and a few hundred dollars to spare, you can get started right away.
We hope that you’ve greatly enjoyed this basic set of affiliate marketing tips, and we can’t wait to see you using them for the benefit of your newly launched affiliate venture!