If your company has been looking to expand its marketing capabilities, internal marketing members might have started exploring the creation of an affiliate marketing strategy. There are a number of ways to go about creating an affiliate marketing program, but what are some common pitfalls that plague up-and-coming marketers? What issues halt growing programs in their place?
Here are some common mistakes you should be aware of when first establishing your affiliate network.
1. Over-Selling Your Products
Your products should sell themselves; the copywriting supporting your product — its qualities, value statements — and affiliate representation should be enough to convince someone to visit your website to look further into your product. Some people will try too hard, really telling the customer why they need this product, but such a method is more likely to push away a potential sale.
Let your branding and content speak for itself, and make sure that not every post is about your company selling a product to your audience. Sometimes it’s better to simply connect with your niche audience rather than openly selling something to them.
2. Choosing Quantity over Quality When It Comes to Content
When trying to expand your affiliate marketing program, many marketers will attempt to place as many irons in the fire as possible. One common iteration is to create as much affiliate content as possible, all without any quality control. Customers aren’t going to engage with poorly crafted content, so it’s important that you spend serious time crafting quality content. You’re more likely to convert customers with well-made versus batch-brew content.
3. Accepting Any and All Affiliate Partners
Your affiliate network needs to be supported by fitting affiliates — brand representatives who are as much a part of your niche as your audience. When expanding, you might feel compelled to accept whoever you can, but this might lead to you getting affiliates who generate no conversions. Rather than settling on anyone who applies to become part of your affiliate network, take the time to properly vet them. You want to ensure you have the right ambassadors representing your brand, products, and services.
4. Not Tracking the Performance of Your Affiliate Strategy
Affiliate marketing software is designed to make it easier to track the performance of your strategy. To not utilize that information is a wasted opportunity. Make the most of your affiliate marketing software to ensure you’re tracking how well campaigns are performing, how certain affiliates are doing, and what the conversion rates on specific products are. This can help clarify future decisions while expanding your program, particularly determining where to focus your attention, whether it is on specific products or affiliates.
5. Promoting Too Many Products at Once
Oversaturation happens. While you want to market directly to your audience, you don’t want to market to them too much. People can become sick of a brand after seeing them too many times — e.g., think of that commercial you’re sick of seeing after it plays over 20 times a day. Decide what products deserve affiliate marketing attention prior to implementing them into your strategy. It will make it far easier to target your niche audience, all with the exact products they’re looking for and not boring them with items they couldn’t care less about.
6. Making Your Niche Too Broad
Expansion might lead some brands to stretch themselves too thin, attempting to reach as many potential customers as possible. The issue is that it will cause you to market to individuals less interested in your products than your niche audience, making for wasted time and money. Stick to your niche, but improve the content you’re producing for them.
7. Refusing to Try Something New
Expanding your network means expanding your boundaries. Growing pains are a thing, and you should explore every inch of available growth. Consider testing out some newer affiliates and tracking how they fare over time; try marketing a new product within your affiliate network to determine how it lands with your audience; create new visual content that presents a new representation of your brand to people, seeing if the “newness” of it increases conversions. You’ll never grow unless you take some chances here and there.
Think It Through
Expanding your affiliate marketing program requires due diligence on the part of your company’s internal marketing team. To neglect the data you have available is to neglect future success. Consider taking the time to move slowly but surely, making smart decisions before rushing into growing your program. And, if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to talk to one of the affiliate marketing experts at Refersion.