With the era of remote-working on the rise and the internet opening up a multitude of opportunities for talent and innovation to shine, more and more people have started to adopt a passive income stream into their lives.
Whether you’re finding it difficult to make ends meet or looking for ways to make a living out of an additional, untapped skill you possess, having an additional flow of income from a handy side hustle is beneficial.
One of the options available to you is affiliate marketing, that is, the promotion of your products or services to another demographic/market. This involves partnering with other influencers and attracting views to your website through new channels. With more and more people working remotely, you will have a bigger talent pool to choose your affiliates from.
However, to implement affiliate marketing successfully, you have to earn the trust of your audience and prove your authenticity as a brand.
Using the right combination of strategies can do just that. Read on to find out just how.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Sales
However, as you begin your journey as an affiliate marketer, here are a few to get the ball rolling and build your sales from the get-go.
1. Go With the Right Affiliates
Affiliate marketing is all about using your influence to persuade people to buy the products/services you promote.
A good way to do this is by working with the right affiliates who have a strong audience-base that also matches your target demographic. This can be anyone, ranging from a Youtuber with subscribers from your target market or a store that sells a complementary product/service to what you offer.
As you do your research and decide who to work with as your affiliates, here’s a check-list of questions to ask yourself as you make your final decision:
- Do they have a good relationship with their audience? Have they built their trust with them?
- Will this audience be genuinely interested in your products? Do they have something to gain?
- Does the affiliate have good visibility on the internet? (Think: rankings, site views, engagement stats)
Asking yourself these preliminary questions as you consider your options is crucial. Why?
Think of the time, money and energy you invest into these affiliates. You don’t want your efforts to go to waste with an unsuccessful partner’s remote onboarding which is why it’s completely reasonable to spend a good chunk of time in this stage.
If you’re in fashion, you would rather partner with a model or influencer who has a strong following on Instagram over a blogger with just 15 visitors on their site per day.
Choose the right affiliates, the ones that can help convert your efforts into a top-sales model.
2. Use Social Media and Influencer Networks
Like any other marketing strategy, you can use affiliate marketing as a means to promote your blog posts and brand activities.
Don’t wait for your target audience to find you; be proactive and promote yourself and your posts on multiple channels including all your social media channels. Just getting the word out there can make a huge difference.
You might be wondering, “how does this lead to affiliate marketing?” If you promote your posts the right way, it can reach the right audience in which there could be powerful influencers themselves. They might share it with their own audience, expanding your reach automatically to a new market that may have otherwise remained untapped.
Partnering with social media influencers can also help drive traffic to your site and social media platforms. They have a good rapport with their audience and the power to sway their audience due to the authenticity and trust their followers associate with them.
Think: cross-promotional collaborations with niche influencers such as shoutouts on social media or referral programs! Like this, you can even work toward opportunities for having influencers represent your brand as ambassadors.
Source: Smart Insights
Pro-tip: make sure you partner with influencers who aren’t already promoting competitors’ affiliate products.
Having an effective and smart partnership with the right influencers on social media can boost your conversion rates. Most influencers expect some form of monetary pay but others may agree to work for free if they like your brand and you develop a good relationship with them.
As you implement this strategy, you can always consider multiple influencers and see how each one fares by using reporting tools like Voluum. Seeing which influencer performs better over others can help you make a final decision for a long term marketing strategy.
3. Leverage Email Marketing Tactics
Did you know that email is 40 times more effective than social media for customer acquisition?
Email marketing is a great way to directly get in touch with your audience and build a relationship with them.
If you haven’t already, you can easily collect email addresses from visitors to your blog or site to build a mailing list. Then, focus on engaging them with good content that is helpful to them while simultaneously building your brand and building up to a sales pitch.
Source: Smart Insights
It’s important that your newsletters aren’t overly promotional in a way that can get them flagged as ‘spam’ in the mindset of your audience. Your audience should not feel like they are being ‘badgered’ into buying the product/service you offer.
An even smarter tactic is to connect with influencers who have their own mailing circles and distributions lists. You can ask them to include affiliate links to your products in relevant areas of their newsletters.
Pro-tip: use the Rebrandly URL shortener to build trust with this new audience.
Using email marketing agencies or automation software can also help you segment your audience and fine-tune your strategies to specific niches. This can help you send targeted emails or even help you frame better affiliate links to provide to your affiliate partners.
Email marketing is an essential part of managing customer relationships and can be used both by yourself, and your affiliate partners, to grow your sales. By getting click-throughs only from the interested individuals in your audience and the affiliate partners’ networks, you’re moving along the sales funnel and have higher chances of converting them to loyal customers.
4. Go With Deals and Coupons
Everyone loves receiving a message from their favorite brands saying there’s a deal on offer for them to grab.
This same strategy can be extended to affiliate marketing. Leveraging coupons and deals is an attractive way to appeal to your customers. Everyone wants a good savings deal and a lot of customers search for discount vouchers on deal sites like Offers.com, Groupon or Grabon before purchasing a product.
By partnering with these sites, you can directly appeal to customers on the hunt for a good, economical purchase. This will increase the chance of successful conversions for you. The audience you attract at this stage is already halfway down the funnel after all.
However, the effectiveness of this strategy is dependent on the kind of market you work in. Coupons, for instance, work best in competitive markets, for instance, FMCG related products, cosmetics and even travel. Also, offering a huge discount can lead to a big chunk of your profit margin being eaten away.
Therefore, this strategy should be carefully balanced while keeping your financial position in mind together with the type of product/service you sell. How can you test what works best for you?
Choose 2-3 high-quality deals and coupon-offering websites. Do a thorough scan of the audience that visits them, how often they rank on search engines and how reliant they are on SEO-based searches versus having their own dedicated user base.
For your brand’s safety, it’s also a good idea to test out their authenticity. Run a trial on some of their coupon codes and see if they work the way they should.
5. Optimize Your Product Pages
Investing in affiliate marketing strategies is a smart way to create more income and boost your brand but it’s not enough to sit back and expect your affiliate programs to wholly elevate your sales.
Affiliate marketing gets your target audience where you want them: to your site. From there, your brand’s presentation and how you appeal to your audience will cement the deal with them.
This is where the importance of delivering a solid customer experience comes in. One way to do this is by optimizing your website, particularly your product pages. Your customers should have a seamless experience on your website in order for them to build a good impression of you. This extends to the audience that filters in through affiliate channels as well.
Ways for you to do this include:
- Ensuring your site loads up fast and has no broken links
- Providing all the vital information to your customers
- Showcasing high-quality visuals of your product/service
- Featuring customer testimonials
- Optimizing your product page is one of the concluding strategies for your affiliate marketing efforts.
All these strategies will eventually lead to more site visitors/increased prospects. You shouldn’t let all the hard work you put in through your affiliate marketing efforts go to waste here due to a website design that could have been improved on.
Start your affiliate marketing journey
Affiliate marketing is a great complementary side-hustle you can take on to your primary business to boost sales.
By leveraging the power of existing influencers and combining them with your product’s strengths, you can bring in an additional flow of income through authentic and reliable sources while also boosting your site.
It is key that you partner with the right people and promote your existing products in the right way. In the process, you could even make this a mutually beneficial partnership and cross-promote your affiliate contacts’ products as well.
So what are you waiting for? Your affiliate marketing journey is just beginning.
Do you have any preferred affiliate marketing strategies that have proven successful? Let us know in the comments.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS writer and marketer that helps SaaS brands create and distribute rad content. On the personal front, Mark is a Digital Nomad who’s been traveling the world since 2018. Learn more about Mark here. You can also reach him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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This blog post is about:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing Strategies
- Generate Sales
- 5 Awesome Affiliate Marketing Strategies