To put it simply, affiliate marketing is a partnership developed between a brand, looking to increase sales and promote their products, and an affiliated person. Affiliates can be anyone from influencers, to bloggers or other businesses. In return for their services, brands offer financial incentives for every sale that happens as a result of the affiliate’s work.
Most bloggers and influencers earn money from doing affiliate marketing for brands that relate to their niche. The reason why affiliate marketing is considered one of the best online marketing strategies is that most of the time, it provides benefits for both parties. Brands get exposure, meaning sales will increase, and affiliates get remunerated for their work, as well as the chance to create content for their visitors.
Most of the time, affiliate marketing benefits the buyer as well, because they get to see the product in action before making a decision.
The reason why affiliate marketing is so successful for businesses is that consumers trust influencers the same way they would trust their friends for recommendations.
But just like any other form of marketing, in order for collaborations to succeed, you need a killer strategy. So, before you start looking for affiliates, ensure that you know exactly what you want for your brand.
1) Find collaborators that are related to your niche
The number one thing you need to do, to ensure the success of your affiliate marketing campaign, is to find affiliates that connect to your niche. But for this to be possible, you need first to identify your ideal customer.
Who are they? What do they like? What do they do in their spare time? What is their usual online activity? Answer these questions first, and it will be much easier to identify who they will take advice from.
When looking for affiliates, find those whose values and content relate most to your customers. If you sell skincare products, for example, your best collaborators will be make-up and lifestyle bloggers. When their audience is looking for new products, chances are they will follow their advice instead of just browsing through online catalogues.
To find affiliates, pay attention to what your customers look for online. Who are they turning to for advice? While you may want to collaborate with the best in the industry, to get access to a broader audience, you may want to take a closer look at micro-influencers as well. Studies have revealed that people trust micro-influencers more, as they seem to be more genuine, making reviews appear more like a recommendation from a friend, rather than advertising.
2) Ask for honest product reviews
Product reviews are one of the preferred types of content for affiliate marketing collaborations because it gives customers a chance to see the product at work and understand its benefits. This is where things tend to get a bit conflicted.
It is perfectly normal for you to want to showcase the best features of your product, but praising it up and down will feel unnatural and, quite frankly, it will affect credibility. No product is 100% perfect, and people know that, so when they are looking at reviews, they want to see honesty. They want to understand how that product will benefit them, but also know about side effects, or situations when the product may not give out the best results.
Apart from making the review look genuine, an honest review may bring to the attention things that you were not aware of. Think of it like extended feedback that you can learn from, to improve your product in the future. Maybe the packaging is hard to open, or delivery was an issue. Customers rarely take the time to tell you to want is wrong, but an affiliate will do that both to help your brand and maintain their credibility in front of the audience.
3) Position yourself on the market with product comparisons
The ultimate goal for any business should be to become a leader of the industry and prove that their product is the best of the best. One of the best ways to do so is through side-by-side comparisons with other similar products.
“Ask your collaborator to include your product in a comparison video or blog post and highlight the features that make it stand out. Let them decide what those features are and how they can put them in the spotlight, based on their personal experience and on what they know the audience is looking for Top Writers Review.
If you fear it may be too much to ask from an affiliate, keep in mind that they sometimes receive a multitude of products they need to review. If their other collaborators agree, they can do one single piece of content for more than one product and simplify their work.
4) A photo is worth a thousand words
Affiliate marketing does not always mean elaborate videos or blog posts. Sometimes, a single photo can be more important than five hundred words on why your product is the best on the market.
When asking for visual content, make sure to recommend affiliates to use certain hashtags or keywords that represent your brand. This way, if you are collaborating with more content creators, they can all use the same hashtag and make it easier for you to follow their content. At the same time, if a viewer clicks on the hashtag, they can see all photos related to it and form an opinion.
Let’s say you run a retail business that sells clothes. A photo of the blogger wearing those clothes may have a much bigger impact than a 20-minute long video explaining the quality of the material and the nice packaging.
5) Bottom line
Affiliate marketing is amongst the most beneficial marketing strategies because it provides a trustworthy way to get to the audience. Recommendations from people they trust are much more valuable than coming across your website and reading the product description. If done correctly, affiliate marketing can be a cost-effective what to reach out to people, even if they never ever heard about your brand before.