Affiliate marketing may come across as a very simple thing. You choose a product you like or know very well, promote it, and earn commissions in return. However, becoming a successful affiliate marketer is a bit more complicated. You’ll need to set up an affiliate landing page, create valuable content, leverage data, perform research, conduct tests and regular updates, and more.
Yes, it can be an exhausting and intensive endeavor, but it can prove to be a profitable venture. Below are a few tips that’ll help you ace your affiliate marketing strategy in 2022 and beyond.
Affiliate Marketing Tips That’ll Help You Win the Affiliate Marketing Game
Prioritize your audience
Your audience should be your top priority. Without them, your affiliate campaigns won’t get the best possible results. Thus, it’s important to establish meaningful relationships with your audience, gain their trust, keep them engaged, and let them know that you value them.
Building genuine relationships with your audience requires a lot of time and effort. You need to work on understanding your audience, their behavior and unique needs, as well as their pain points that need to be addressed. You can do this by creating buyer personas. However, once you’ve built a good relationship with them, they’re more likely to come back, spend more, and make more informed purchasing decisions with your help.
Loyal customers are more likely to spend more compared to new customers, which helps increase your revenue. So, even if you only have a handful of loyal customers, they still have the potential to drive your revenue. Plus, it’s actually easier to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. Furthermore, they can provide you with valuable feedback that can help you improve your affiliate marketing strategy.
For example, you can use an audience-first approach and learn more about the products they love or are already using. From there, you can create objective, value-adding content that highlights the strengths and weaknesses of their favorite products. You can bolster your content by adding links to relevant resources. Doing so can help keep your visitors informed and encourage them to convert into buyers because you’ve helped them make better purchasing decisions.
Apply SEO best practices
Applying SEO best practices can make your affiliate website more visible and easier to find. In turn, you’re making it easier for your audience to purchase or complete a desired set of actions, such as signing up for a free trial. Plus, it’s one way to get recurring and high-quality traffic to your site.
However, before you can do all of that, you need to learn how to identify buyer intent. You can do so by performing keyword research. But keyword research and finding out what your audience is looking for aren’t enough to take your site to the top of SERPs. You also need to optimize your page and your content.
Some of the things you can do to optimize your content include:
- Creating easy-to-digest content by breaking them up into shorter paragraphs
- Creating well-designed content that has relevant imagery
- Updating your old content and adding more recent (but still relevant) information
Building backlinks can help establish your authority and reliability. It tells search engines that you’re a trusted authority and that what you’re offering is valuable and useful. The more quality backlinks (backlinks coming from trusted, high-authority sites) you have, the more likely will your site get higher organic rankings on SERPs. Here’s a fun fact: backlinks are one of 200 of Google’s ranking factors.
Try local SEO
Local SEO expands your reach to include local communities. It improves your online visibility, allows you to reach more customers, gives you access to targeted web traffic, and helps you edge out the competition.
Use data to your advantage
How do you know if your affiliate marketing campaign is giving you your desired results? You examine your data. You can use affiliate marketing tools to monitor the performance of your affiliate pages and links. This way, you’ll see which elements are generating the most commissions and which ones need improvement. These tools also give you insights into where converting traffic comes from, as well as visitor analytics, allowing you to better understand your visitors and their behavior.
Lastly, as your website grows, it’s vital that you organize all your data. You can start by creating a spreadsheet that includes all your published content for a particular affiliate program (include publish dates and all the affiliate links you used) and a list of affiliate partners (you can include their brand guidelines or other helpful resources in this sheet).
Choose your partners wisely
Not all merchants and affiliate marketing programs offer the same benefits and commission structures. Also, not all brands offer high-quality goods or services. As an affiliate marketer, one of your responsibilities is to bring something of value to your audience. If you promote a sub-par product from a shady company, chances are, it’s going to hurt your reputation and drive away your audience.
To retain your audience’s trust and loyalty, you have to make sure that you choose your partners wisely. Work with reputable companies that offer high-quality and useful products.
Also, make sure that you do your research first before joining any affiliate program. Check their commission structures, payment schemes, and affiliate support programs to see which one best fits your requirements. You can start by signing up for affiliate marketing networks, such as CJ or Amazon Associates, to find affiliate programs and learn more about their respective commission structures.
Again, using data to find the right partners can go a long way. Check a program’s conversion rate, average conversion rate, and online reviews. It also helps if you take stock of the brands (their quality, customer support, customer reviews, etc.) that a particular program is hosting.
Become a subject-matter expert
Knowing the ins and outs of the product or service you’re reviewing can help you stand out from the competition. You’ll be able to provide more comprehensive content compared to generic descriptions or snippets, allowing you to offer more value to your visitors.
Aside from knowing your products, how they work, their drawbacks, and what benefits they can offer to users, you also need to tune into what others are saying about them. Check user reviews. Test the product yourself or sign up for a free trial. Get to know the vendor and find out what else they have to offer that’s relevant to your niche and your audience’s interests.
Find an evergreen niche
If you want access to consistent revenue, then finding an evergreen niche, such as health and wellness, is the way to go. This is because it’s consistently relevant, regardless of the season or occasion, which means your content will also likely stay relevant and valuable for longer.
How do you find an evergreen niche? Again, we look to data. Examine consumer behavior and your audience’s demographics, as well as specific market segments. While you can always work with seasonal niches, the downside is that, if it’s off-season, you may experience slower revenue generation.
It’s not all about the clicks—it’s about the journey
Affiliate marketing is all about taking your audience on a journey and helping them make better purchasing decisions. Thus, you shouldn’t just focus on getting them to click on your affiliate links. You have to create an affiliate marketing funnel that will help make their buyer’s journey and, therefore, conversions more seamless.
Below is an example of a simple affiliate marketing funnel that can get you quality traffic, build strong relationships with your audience, and generate revenue for your business.
Set up an affiliate landing page
An affiliate landing page can boost sales and conversions, offer insights into consumer behavior, and is a valuable resource for growing your email list. It’s a valuable tool for building brand awareness and compelling your visitors to make specific actions.
When building a high-converting affiliate landing page, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your copy concise but still engaging
- Craft a powerful headline that draws your readers in
- Emphasize the benefits of what you’re promoting
- Include testimonials or reviews from other customers or visitors
- Create a compelling CTA
- Use your landing page to build your email list
- Keep the design of your landing page clean and easy to navigate
Create high-quality, relevant content
As cliché as this might sound, content is still king. This also applies to affiliate marketing. Your content supplies your audience with important information (about the product or merchant and your expertise on the subject matter). It helps you rank higher in SERPs, improving your online visibility and establishing your authority. It’s shareable and is a key tool in building audience trust.
Plus, it can help generate high-quality leads and drive conversions, as well as build brand awareness.
When creating content, you need to put your audience and their needs. Get to know your audience and find out what their pain points are. Make sure that you’re able to answer their questions, address their concerns, and provide in-depth, useful information. It’s worth noting that your content, despite its depth, should still be accessible and engaging to your readers.
Consider writing product reviews
Product reviews keep customers informed, allowing them to make better decisions. They can help build trust and establish better transparency. Add to that the fact that 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. The same report highlights that more than half (58%) of consumers are more likely to pay more for products with good reviews.
But the thing is, when you perform a search on Google for a specific product, chances are you’ll come across clickbait-y headlines, shady domain names, and landing pages that are filled with dubious reviews.
How do you craft an objective, engaging, and high-quality product review that your audience will find useful?
- According to Google, a good product review is made by evaluating the product from a user’s perspective—not as an affiliate who’s earning a commission. This means you’re able to provide evidence to support your claims, as well as cover the product’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Additionally, you need to highlight what makes it stand out from other similar items. What value does it bring to your readers? What is it best for?
- Make sure that you’re writing for your audience. Add your personal touch to help your review stand out from a sea of other product reviews. Highlight how this product can help solve their problems. Remember, product reviews aren’t just about highlighting every cool feature that a product has—your audience can visit the merchant’s website if they want to read every nifty feature. Writing a product review is also about showing your readers how it works in real life.
- Prior to writing a product review, make sure that you know and understand who the product’s target audience is.
Do comparisons or listicles
Diversify your content by crafting engaging comparison articles and listicles. Like product reviews, they help your visitors learn more about certain products and which options are more suitable for their needs. Plus, they can make for very interesting reads. According to Semrush, lists generate up to 80% more traffic compared to other article formats. Furthermore, the study reports that listicles drive 38% more traffic.
They’re easier to understand and often have clear structures. When writing a listicle, keep things concise (around 500 to 1,000 words would be optimal) and make sure that you offer value (in the form of helpful links, for example) to your audience. Add visuals to keep things engaging. When writing comparison articles, you can discuss points in more depth. Stay objective and write your article in a way that helps your readers see which option is best for them. Also, make sure that you clearly identify your comparison criteria.
Promote more diverse products
Promoting physical products is great and can rake in significant returns. But have you considered promoting digital products like audiobooks, software, and eBooks? They offer instant access to consumers, plus they’re readily available. Furthermore, given their digital nature, there’s no need for brands to pay for storage and shipping, meaning they can pass off their savings to affiliate marketers through higher commission rates.
Don’t just rely on Amazon
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, Amazon Associates can be a good place to start. However, as you grow, you need to look at your data and see which products are bringing in the highest commissions. Instead of solely relying on affiliate programs, which charge fees or get cuts from sales proceeds, you can try going directly to the merchant or another affiliate network and see if they can offer better commission structures and longer cookie life.
Give your audience a good reason to click on your affiliate links. Aside from coming up with a compelling CTA, offer incentives like coupons or discount codes. Aside from attracting new customers, these can help drive more sales. According to a 2022 Capterra survey, 91% of online shoppers look for coupons online before making a purchase. Furthermore, they’re willing to share data, such as email, gender, name, and date of birthday, in exchange for incentives, particularly discounts. The same study shares that while 86% are likely to try new businesses if they have coupons, 39% are much more likely to do so.
Don’t stick to just one affiliate program
If you’re just starting out, working with one affiliate partner works to your advantage.
However, it’s important that, as you grow, you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The unexpected can happen, such as companies lowering their commission rates or ceasing their affiliate programs, thus, it’s important to diversify your revenue streams and work with other affiliate partners. Ideally, your revenue or the majority of your revenue shouldn’t come from just one source.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, you can try looking into working with two or three affiliate programs. Don’t go overboard as applying to multiple programs can make it difficult for you to manage and create quality content for each one. When working with multiple partners, make sure that you go over their terms and conditions carefully.
Keep your expectations realistic
Yes, affiliate marketing can be a rewarding venture, but it’s not something that’s going to make you a millionaire within just a couple of months. According to Glassdoor, affiliate marketers in the US earn an average of $56,939 annually.
It’s important that you set measurable goals and realistic expectations. This way, you can track your progress and see how else you can improve your affiliate marketing strategy.
Be willing to put a lot of time and effort into improving your affiliate marketing strategy
Affiliate marketing is a saturated industry. This means you’re up against a lot of competition. What can you do to stand out? If you conduct a simple search for the “10 best skincare products,” for example, you’ll see a bevy of content talking about the same stuff.
You can create more in-depth content that drives traffic by one-upping the competition. You can do so by providing more value in the form of more authentic reviews or product comparisons. How? You can consider testing out the products yourself and doing more in-depth research to create solid content that addresses your visitors’ questions and concerns.
Affiliate marketing requires that you put in the time and effort to offer something of value to your audience while growing your business. You need to constantly try out new products or services and test new methods and strategies, as well as improve how you deliver value and content to your audience.