These days, it seems like social media platforms are the go-to channel for all kinds of marketing —- and for a good reason. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have weaved their way into the fabric of our everyday lives and marketers can no longer ignore them.
This includes affiliate marketers. Since people are glued to social media feeds these days, it would be a mistake not to push your affiliate links through any of these platforms. But, how exactly can you do that? Let’s discuss that in this article.
Why Should You Use Social Media for Affiliate Marketing?
Before I answer that, let’s understand what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a model that sees companies called merchants compensating third-party publishers for generating leads and visibility around those companies’ products and services. The third parties are called affiliates, and the number of sales generated through those leads determines their commission.
As an affiliate, then, you want to promote offers that convert. The more you promote them, the higher the chances people will click on them and convert. That translates to commissions for you.
So why should you use social media for affiliate marketing in the first place?
I did mention one reason in passing in the introduction. Social media channels are popular. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have already crossed the billion-user threshold and have tens of millions of users logged in at any given time. That number will include people interested in the products or services you are promoting,
There are, however, other reasons social media platforms are an excellent fit for affiliate marketing. Here are some of them:
- Easy content shareability allows affiliate content to reach different demographics across the globe.
- The ease-of-use content creation tools these platforms all have made the job easier for affiliates and influencers.
- Page and profile follow metrics allow you to build a solid fan base outside of those that just happen upon your content.
In other words, social media’s very nature and features have made it great for publishing and promoting affiliate links through consumable content.
5 Steps to Running Successful Affiliate Marketing Campaigns on Social Media
So, how exactly should you run your affiliate marketing campaigns so they will yield results? This section will explore a step-by-step approach you can use to promote affiliate offers through social media. Note: some of the following steps will only need to be done once (or a few times), while you must repeat others periodically.
1. Select the Appropriate Affiliate Marketing Program(s)
Many newbie marketers see affiliate marketing as a monolithic concept. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Many affiliate platforms, after all, exist. Each has its own set of stipulations, advantages, and disadvantages.
Let’s take the Amazon Associate Program, for example. Amazon vets and approves affiliates that post banners on their respective channels for a predetermined cut of the price of every product sold.
Beyond deciding what products to sell online, you must also weigh the pros and cons to decide what affiliate program is best suited for the merchant’s product(s). Here are some factors you need to take a look at:
- Commission rates: The average affiliate marketing commission rate is between 5% to 30%.
- Product category coverage: Choose the products you’re confident enough to promote and sell. Also, go for quality products.
Look out for the affiliate marketing program that fits all of your preferences and sign up there.
2. Choose the Best Social Media Platform
You can technically create an account on all social media channels and promote your affiliate links. That approach, however, might not yield the best results. Since you’d be juggling your time among those different platforms, you wouldn’t be able to harness each platform’s full potential.
How do you decide, then, which platform is the best for you?
That depends on where your target audience is. If potential buyers of the products you’re promoting are on Facebook, then, by all means, create an account on Facebook. If they are more likely on Instagram, create an account on Instagram or use your existing account.
Make sure you grow your following in your chosen social media platform. If your account only has two to three followers, it wouldn’t matter if you’re promoting your affiliate links on a platform used by your target audience. You still wouldn’t get decent exposure for them.
3. Set Up Social Media Landing Pages
You have to make it easy for your target audience to take your desired action. It’s not enough, then, for you to just post your affiliate links on your chosen social media channel. You need to create social media landing pages so those who click on your links won’t have to navigate an entire homepage to convert.
As part of a specific affiliate marketing campaign, landing pages seek to continue the conversation by providing users with even more information on the product(s) contained in the affiliate link. They are usually concise single web pages with compelling text, engaging pictures, and a distinct call to action (or CTA).
Check out this social media landing page. That’s where people land after they click on the affiliate link of The Slow Roasted Italian on Facebook:
Notice that the landing page makes it easy for anyone who clicks on the link to purchase seeds. All they’d need to do is click on Add to Cart. The purchase can be completed in seconds.
Notice, too, that the landing page contains additional information about the product and social proof in the form of reviews from previous customers. So those can serve as that final nudge for people who aren’t still convinced about making the purchase to take the desired action.
For the technical nitty-gritty on how to create these landing pages, here’s a great resource.
4. Create Engaging Content
Content is king. That means that even if you follow the three tips I gave you earlier, if your content is subpar, you still won’t see a return from your affiliate marketing campaigns.
What kind of content should you produce?
For affiliate marketing, I’ve found that wholesome, relatable content performs best in most cases. It’s better suited to capturing the attention of viewers and hooking them. Sometimes, it’s enough for them to take your desired action.
You must have some prior or current experience with every product that you try to sell or promote. That’s the only way you can create content that accurately depicts the product and its benefits. Don’t write something about a product you’ve never even tried. People can see through the posers. Your strategy will only backfire.
Also, make sure you take advantage of the strengths of the platform you chose to create content. Instagram, for example, is great for visual content like pictures, videos, and GIFs. You will have to specify, however, that your affiliate link is located in your bio. That’s the only place you can share a clickable link, after all.
Twitter allows for excellent content shareability. Facebook combines an easy-to-use interface with features like branded pages, content reactions, and streamlined sharing features. It is great for users of all ages.
Here are a few other content creation tips you should follow:
- Keep the perceived needs of your readers in mind.
- Weave compelling stories around the products you’re promoting. The picture above from affiliate marketer Brianna Dai is a great example of this.
- Post varied content.
In the end, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all manual to creating great affiliate content. Take the tips above as guidelines as you figure out the unique needs of your audience. If you’re still unsure about where to start, here’s an excellent resource to get you started.
5. Improve and Update
The truth is, you might not get it right the first time around. That’s why you need to monitor your affiliate marketing campaigns to check which elements work and which don’t. You want to take note of those so you can run improved campaigns in the future.
So, ask yourself, how can you track your affiliate conversion in Google Analytics to see; what types of content generate the most conversions? Which content generates the most engagement? Which platform helps you generate the most conversions?
Don’t be afraid to experiment. After all, that’s the only way you can get the perfect combination of social media platform, affiliate content, among others, that will yield the best results.
Marketers can no longer ignore social media. Practically everybody uses social media. That most likely includes your target audience, too.
When done well, the power of social media can also extend to affiliate marketing. There is, however, a right way to leverage social media platforms for affiliate marketing campaigns. I shared those five tips with you. Choose your affiliate marketing program, set up social media landing pages, and create engaging content. Don’t forget to monitor your campaigns so you can run better ones in the future.
Follow these tips, and you’ll harness the full power of social media for your affiliate marketing campaigns. You’ll see those conversions coming in.
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