You’ve spent an excessive amount of time creating a blog. You post unique content regularly, so you’re starting to build a legion of fawning fans (audience). And to ensure your hard work pays off, you monetize your blog for affiliate marketing.
But how important is affiliate marketing?
Research shows that 80% of brands globally have affiliate programs — a significant revenue generator for content creators, website owners, and publishers.
Additionally, Google Trends data reveals an uptick in affiliate marketing in the past five years. Or better, a sobering rise of the “affiliate marketing” keyword search volume.
But running an effective affiliate program is a laborious undertaking. Fortunately for you, leveraging the best affiliate marketing strategies will get you on track.
10 Best affiliate marketing techniques
Here are the top ten affiliate marketing tactics you can leverage to grow your brand:
1. Find good-fit affiliates
Affiliate marketing is about powerfully influencing people to buy from your affiliates’ links. So if you want to influence consumers’ buying decisions, you must choose the right affiliates (with an engaged following that trusts them, no less).
But how exactly do you start finding good-fit affiliates?
The short answer is word of mouth.
Word of mouth is an effective marketing tool that you can leverage to find the right affiliates with a massive and engaged following.
Alongside an engaged following, consider finding good-fit affiliates with great authority, high engagement numbers, page views, and site rankings.
Another thing: do the said affiliates have a good rapport with their audience? Does their audience show some keen interest in your brand and products? Take them in.
A great example is GFUEL — a gaming and esports energy drink. They chose Pewdiepie as an affiliate to promote their product’s discounts, promo codes, and affiliate links.
For the uninitiated, Pewdiepie is one of the most prominent YouTube gaming influencers, with over a million subscribers (and counting).
2. Leverage deals and coupons
Want to increase your sales? Leverage deals and coupons. Almost everyone loves a great deal, so collecting coupons never goes out of fashion.
Before shopping for products, people with money-saving intent often hunt for discount vouchers on different deals and coupon sites. Research shows that 97% of shoppers seek the best deals regularly. That says a lot about consumers’ shopping behaviors.
The good news about leveraging coupons, deals, and promotions to attract more business sales is that you can do it with coupon and deal websites. They’ll help you attract more customers by offering mouth-watering discounts.
Some best examples of coupon and deal sites include Groupon and Offers.com.
While these sites boost conversions and even increase traffic to your business, ensure to manage them properly because outrageous discounts may dent your profit margins.
3. Take advantage of social influencers
Leveraging social influencers is a perfect way to source referrals. That’s because most have already forged strong relationships with their followers.
Social influencers can also successfully persuade their target audience to trust your brand and engage with your products. Still, influencers and bloggers can’t compare to coupon sites, which drive massive business traffic.
For example, in her Instagram post, this social influencer featured a gifted product from Nordstrom Rack — a US fashion retailer. Her series of posts helped the retailer garner up to 500,000 potential customers, effectively increasing their sales.
So, what tips the scales in social influencers’ favor?
The legion of targeted audiences they send your way can strongly show interest in your products. In short, partnering with influencers can boost your conversions.
(Side note: Some influencers may ask for payments, while others may agree to work for complimentary products or take a cut of the profits they drive to your business.)
4. Build an affiliate marketing network
There are many different affiliate networks you can tap into these days. But what if you frustrate the status quo and build a robust affiliate network? It’s possible.
Of course, you’ll experience challenges when recruiting your first affiliates. But things subtly fall into place once you expand your affiliate marketing network.
So how do you attract affiliates to your newly established affiliate network?
- Follow a transparent approach. Furnish your potential affiliates with all the necessary information, including what to do, how it works, and expected commission rates.
- Encourage your new affiliates to onboard more sub-affiliates. Encourage them with small commissions each time their sub-affiliate drives sales to the business.
- Reward your most loyal affiliates. Track the affiliates’ performances, and then evaluate the value of customers they bring to your brand. If the lifetime value of the customers they bring is significant, appreciate and reward them.
5. Advertise during peak shopping seasons
Each year, people spend so much more on holiday shopping. Retail sales statistics reveal that the toys, gifts, and clothes market generates more sales (up to 27%) in the holiday quarter of each year’s total sales.
The best explanation for more spending during major holidays is that most fall in the last quarter of the year. Think Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.
These holidays present the best time for most businesses to get their holiday products or services to affiliates to start running ads.
6. Leverage Affiliate Marketing Tools
Creating and running an affiliate marketing campaign is a tremendous undertaking that requires a thought-out marketing plan, goal-setting worksheet, and software to make things right. But the good news is that you can leverage affiliate marketing tools to help you successfully track, manage, and grow your affiliate marketing campaigns.
There’s no better way to grow your brand and boost your sales. Now, before choosing an affiliate marketing tool, consider these factors:
- It can manage multiple affiliate programs. Ensure it’s an all-in-one platform, or it can manage several affiliate programs in one organized place.
- It integrates into your e-commerce sites. Ensure the affiliate marketing tool can seamlessly integrate into your e-commerce websites.
- Easy to set up. Ideally, the affiliate marketing tool you select should be easy to set up, user-friendly, and complete with an intuitive interface.
- Compatible with mobile devices. The tool you choose should be compatible with mobile devices. After all, half of the web traffic worldwide runs on mobile phones.
Dig through the upsides and downsides of using affiliate tools for better decision-making.
7. Build an Affiliate Marketing Shop
You don’t need a website as an affiliate marketer to start making money. You can leverage social media platforms such as Instagram to get paid.
Last year, Instagram began testing a native affiliate tool (Instagram Affiliate Shop) that can help content creators grow and make a living — all within the social media app.
The tool lets you recommend commission-eligible products available on checkout and share them with your audience. You get paid for each sale your audiences’ posts drive.
Instagram first ran a pilot test of the affiliate tool on eligible creators in the US before releasing it to the public. Before using the native tool, build a (loyal) target audience to test the Instagram affiliate shops tool.
8. Write reviews for affiliate products
About 90% of customers read product reviews before buying a product — all the more reason to write product reviews for your affiliate products. Search engine-optimized product reviews help reach people already making informed buying decisions.
Let’s say you want to publish a review of Sony’s car speakers. You’ll pepper your content (albeit sparingly) with the target keyword “Sony Speaker Review” — a term with an estimated monthly search volume of 600.
Researching keywords before writing product reviews will help people click your affiliate links, earning you more money on each sale. And it doesn’t matter whether they showed some interest in buying the product or not.
9. Publish comparison blog posts
Product reviews are subtly different from comparison blog posts. A product review examines the strengths and weaknesses of a specific product. In contrast, a comparison blog post compares two or more products.
Publish comparison blog posts on your site to get people to click your affiliate links. And research your comparison post keywords before guiding readers through your links.
An example of a comparison blog post is Khris Digital’s “ClickFunnels vs. ConvertKit.”
Monetizing both tool’s links in the post helps Khris Digital earn affiliate commissions each time a reader buys either of the marketing products.
10. Have multiple affiliate partners
Quit putting all your affiliate marketing eggs into one basket. But rather, get into the habit of diversifying your affiliate partners.
Why? Because a company can shut down its affiliate program in an instant’s notice, slash your commission rates by half (or more), or entirely deny you commission payouts.
And guess what? There’s nothing much you can do about it.
Take Amazon Associates, for example. They once slashed affiliates’ commissions — from 8% to 3% — across several affiliate product categories (with just a week’s notice).
If one affiliate partner makes you more than half of your organic revenue, it’s time to diversify. Otherwise, you’ll be left groping in the dark if the worst happens.
Which is the best affiliate marketing tactic?
Armed with the best affiliate marketing strategies, you can woo potential customers and convince them to buy from your affiliate links.
Of course, affiliate marketing is one of the most efficient channels to help increase your sales because of its ability to both acquire and retain customers.
But getting in front of as many eyeballs as possible is a complex undertaking.
That’s why you need to find good-fit affiliates, channels, and the best affiliate marketing strategies to help increase your conversions and drive more incremental revenue.