Spilling the Beans on Affiliate Marketing: Top Secrets Revealed

According to the Oxford Dictionary, affiliate marketing is “a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.” A company will want to recruit and align themselves with affiliates related to their product or service. For example, if your company is in the fitness industry, you may choose to partner with personal trainers’ websites and blogs, lifestyle bloggers and health and fitness digital magazines. But that’s not all there is to know about affiliate marketing, read below where I spill the beans on affiliate marketing secrets.

1 Decide Products to Promote

The first step in a successful affiliate marketing program is to decide which products should be promoted and which shouldn’t. You won’t want to waste affiliate marketing on a lagging product or something that is difficult for your affiliates to promote. When deciding which product to promote, look into competition, earnings per click (EPC) and keyword traffic. The less competition in the market; the better chance affiliate marketing will be successful. However, if the product is in a highly-competitive market, this is a sign that the product is likely a money maker. When it comes to the EPC, it is important you check the three-month EPC on any of the three affiliate networks. This will tell you how consistent the product converts. Lastly, keyword traffic determines if consumers search for what you offer. You need search traffic to earn money on your promotions. The key is not to promote all your inventory, but to select the products that will work best for affiliate marketing.

2 Know Your Audience

I can’t stress this. You must know who you’re targeting. The best marketers research and understand their target audience’s needs and behavior. Promoting the benefits of the product are more important than the features of the product. To know what your audience wants, you need to ask yourself the following:

  • Who are my consumers?
  • What are their needs?
  • What are their fears?
  • What products would help their life?
  • Why would they buy my product?

When you know the answers to these questions, then you will know who your audience is and how your product will fare with them.

3 Don’t Forget Your Affiliate Rep

It’s important to give feedback with your affiliate rep. Although it may seem obvious, it is one thing that is often overlooked. Communication with your rep is vital because it allows you to give feedback on the progress of the affiliate program. It allows the rep to know what’s converting and how their affiliates are performing. The affiliate rep wants to know this information because when their affiliates do well, they get paid. Building and maintaining this relationship is important to strengthening your affiliate marketing connections.

4 Create Quality Content

For those affiliates wanting to succeed, you’re going to need quality content to entice your audience. Making a basic list of great products is not good enough. Instead give your audience the dirt. Review the items in depth. Make it relatable. Think about the content that would make you click to see more or even purchase the item. You can also create product comparison blogs or tutorials. The more you can show off the product; the more consumers can see what the product is. When the content is golden, consumers will be interested in purchasing the products.

5 Track Your Sales

To really tailor your affiliate marketing campaign to be successful, you need to be able to track where your consumers are converting. If one page is doing better than another, why? This allows you to hone in on what you are doing well. You’ll need to attach tracking links from the affiliate company. Making commission may be the end goal, but to really grow your campaign, it’s important to know which pages are working and which aren’t. And the ones that are not performing to the optimum, you can tweak them to perform better.

6 Focus on Helping

You may be asking help what? Who? What I mean is, focus on helping and not selling. Often affiliates will overwhelm the consumer with over-the-top call-to-action buttons and scrolling banner ads but fail to tell the consumer how this product would help them or fulfill a need of theirs. This not only will cause very little conversion, if any, it will cause the affiliate to have an increased bounce rate on their site or blog. Affiliate marketers have an opportunity to show the consumer why they need this product. This is done through the content they create and publish. When they click the affiliate link, the affiliate marketer has succeeded. It is then the product company’s job to convert that click into a buyer with their sales page.

7 It’s Not Automatic

Patience is important to succeeding in affiliate marketing. It’s easy to find blogs and articles on how someone makes big bucks on being an affiliate marketer. “All I have to do is add a link to my blog, leave it alone, and I’ll be rich?” Well, no. First off, you’ll realize quickly that income will not just roll in. It takes time to build your affiliate campaign. It takes a lot of work. You’ll need to find out what pages are converting, which pages aren’t performing, track conversions and create great content. Your next step is to join the large obstacle that is the competition. A profitable niche has high competition. This is where the affiliate needs to beat the competition by tailoring content to the target audience, helping them realize why they need the product without overselling and modifying your website to the liking of your audience, so they click on the affiliate link.

The Final Word

There you have it! The beans have been spilled on affiliate marketing top secrets. The job of the affiliate marketer is to guide the consumer to the sale. This is often confused with the affiliate becoming the salesperson. This is not the case, and that was discussed above. It’s up to the affiliate to create relevant content, track conversions and get the consumer to click on the affiliate link. To be successful on the product company’s end, they need to know who their audience is, choose the correct product to promote and keep open communication with their affiliate reps. Together, the affiliate marketers and the company make the affiliate marketing campaign successful.