Do you want to use affiliate marketing to grow your business, regardless of whether you run an online store or a simple blog? If so, you’re in the right place. Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to increase profits, build your lead lists, forge connections with other brands, and so much more.
First, let’s define the term affiliate marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is when another business pays you to drive people to their site and take action; usually, this involves placing an order. Every time a visitor clicks your link and makes it to a partner site, you get the chance to make money.
When you think about it, affiliate marketing makes sense. Many of your visitors will need what you have, and the affiliate products offered on your site. For example, an email marketing firm would benefit from partnering with a hosting company. There’s a good chance the same people who need email marketing software also need a website host.
Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to increase your profits and build invaluable partnerships in your industry?
How much you’ll make will vary based on your partners, individual contracts, and the current industry standards. For context, in 2022, 48.36% of affiliate marketers earn an additional $20,000 every year. This boost in income could make a big difference to a small business owner. If you’re the owner of a large company, don’t worry, there are opportunities to boost this number every year if you’re dedicated and find the right partners for your audience.
Now, let’s look at several practical tips you can use to get more value from your affiliate marketing strategy!
Connect with the Right Affiliates
If you want your affiliate program to be a success, you need to make sure the products you’re offering resonate with your target audience. Imagine if an online pet store only showed affiliate ads for construction equipment and gear. Not only would this (rightfully so) confuse their customers, but these ads would see very few clicks and little to no engagement.
Ideally, every product you offer should resonate with one or more of your buyer personas. Essentially, buyer personas are sheets that help business owners and marketers define the goals, needs, and interests of people who visit their site.
In the pet store example we mentioned earlier, a much better affiliate partner would be a dog kennel company with branches around the country. This service could help their visitors, so it makes sense that they are also more likely to get more engagement.
If you need help deciding if an affiliate is a good choice for your business, ask yourself this question; how does this partnership help my customers, even if it’s just a segment of my audience? If you can’t answer this question, it may be time to look at other affiliate options.
Each affiliate product should appeal to at least one segment of your audience if you hope to see more clicks and sales from your affiliate links. You can easily develop buyer personas by asking visitors to submit feedback forms and by engaging with your audience on social media. Look for patterns in pain points or aspirations, and use this information to connect with the right affiliates for your business.
Create Top-Notch Content Around Your Offers
Now that you’ve decided on your affiliate partners, it’s time to create top-notch content around your offers. It’s not enough to create a post of products and hope people discover your page and make a purchase. Instead, you have to work on bringing potential customers to your site, offering them valuable information or advice, then directing them to one of your affiliate partners.
Blogging is the best way to create and distribute content to promote your affiliate offers. An impressive 77% of internet users read blog posts, and that number is increasing every year. If you can get visitors to read content on your site, you’ll have an easier time generating an impressive commission from your partnerships.
I suggest focusing on broad topics and using your affiliate links sparingly throughout each post. So, the online pet store we mentioned could publish a blog post titled “10 Ways to Take Care of Your Pet While You’re on Vacation” and include kennels (with the associated link) as one of the options.
When you add links to your site using this strategy, you’re helping the community and providing advice instead of just shoveling sponsored links at your readers. If you’re willing to contribute to your industry and offer powerful, actionable content, readers are more likely to click the affiliate links within your posts.
Segment Your Email List
There’s a good chance your existing customers have taken advantage of your affiliate offers. If you don’t segment these users into separate email lists, you’re missing out on a significant marketing opportunity.
Segmenting gives you the freedom and flexibility to create custom offers, both affiliate and otherwise, for your subscribers. When you consider that over 80% of consumers say they want more personalized promotions from their favorite brands, it’s easy to see the benefits of segmenting your email leads.
If you need more proof, consider this; research shows that sending emails with personalized subject lines leads to a whopping 26% boost in opens.
Personalization and segmenting your leads can have a noticeable impact on your affiliate sales. The key to making this strategy work for you is to create an “extra” section on your buyer persona that lists the affiliate products each type of customer might like to buy.
Next, you’ll want to segment existing subscribers that have made an affiliate purchase on your site. Use this information to create email marketing campaigns that promote both the products available on your site, as well as your affiliate partners.
Well-made buyer personas make it easy to create multiple campaigns geared towards customers with specific interests, goals, and problems.
Optimize for Relevant Long-Tail Keywords
The best way to get your affiliate pages to rank on Google is to use long-tail keywords centered around search intent. Google receives over 77,000 searches per second, so it’s no surprise that intent – the ‘why’ – behind a search will directly impact the result.
You’ll have a better chance of matching long-tail keywords to user intent by using a tool like Google’s free Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to search for keywords and discover their competition and search volume. If you’re interested in ranking for a new keyword, I suggest looking for phrases with low to medium competition and medium or high search volume.
When creating content for your site, focus on conversational posts that educate and entertain users. You’ll also want to figure out how and where you’ll add keywords to your blog posts and video descriptions. If you strategically connect your affiliate links to relevant keywords, there’s a good chance you’ll see your post rise through the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Make Social Media Engagement a Marketing Cornerstone
Finally, I want to talk a bit about social media engagement. Regardless of what kind of affiliate partners you find on your journey, social media should be a marketing cornerstone for your business. Over 4.55 billion people currently use social media, and that number is expected to increase over the next several years.
In other words, if your goal is to sell a product, you better believe there’s an audience waiting to hear from you on social media. When you consider that 59% of people on social media use the platforms for shopping inspiration, it becomes more obvious why affiliate marketing works so well on sites like Instagram and Twitter.
The best part about social media as a marketing channel is there are countless ways to reach your audience. You could sponsor a giveaway with one of your affiliate products as a prize. Alternatively, you could invite someone from the partner company to your channel for a live video event. These types of social interactions can help you generate new leads and build your brand reputation.
It’s also possible to create sponsored posts that promote your affiliate products. Much like email marketing, personalization is the key to success. If done correctly, paid ads can result in a surge of new traffic and sales. We can see this is true by simply looking at the numbers. Compiled statistics show that over 130 million Instagram users tap on sponsored shopping posts every month!
There’s no question that social media marketing is one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. If you hope to build an audience, promote new products, and see more sales through your affiliate programs, start thinking about how you can use social media to connect with your target audience.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to supplement your first business, sponsor a second project, or even generate some additional cash to keep on hand in the event of an emergency. The tips outlined today will help you take your affiliate program to the next level and build meaningful connections with everyone who decides to engage with your site.
It’s worth noting that you’ll have to make adjustments based on your industry, marketing style, and budget. Every online store and blog is different, and thus, different strategies are more efficient than others. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find techniques that work for your business. Despite the differences some industries have, I believe that keeping in touch with your audience and finding strong partners are two things that we can all do to improve our affiliate marketing strategy.