When I started out as an affiliate marketer there were many people who helped me learn the ropes. Whether that meant explaining what an email marketing campaign was, connecting me to other digital marketing people or talking to me about the finer points of lead generation and sales conversion. And of course there were the long sessions with landing pages and banner ads, trying to figure out what affiliate marketing approach would be best for which product.
For any of you who are just starting out with affiliate marketing, or for those of you who have been at it for a long time and are looking for some inspiration, here are some thoughts about how to create a quality, effecting affiliate marketing program:
1. Plan Your Content
Whether you are launching a new product or starting with a new affiliate marketing network, you have to know everything, that’s a given. Once you want to start marketing your product, it is a good idea to sit down with all of that information, figure out how it relates to your affiliate marketing program and plan how you will put the content out. Start with information that will build awareness around the field, then information that points them to your links or products, then guide them to information that shows them why your products and links are the best choices. Start with the general, then be the expert they want to turn to.
2. Brand Yourself
You hear a lot about branding these days, especially personal branding. What does branding mean for affiliate marketing? It means creating a marketing identity for yourself through social media channels and your online presence. It means aligning yourself with products that fit with that marketing identity. And then it means creating an affiliate marketing campaign that features that identity. Powerful.
In the evolving social media landscape, successful affiliate marketing programs will need to be creative to stay ahead. Consider direct social media interaction as part of your lead generation approach. Not that you should randomly start cold emailing or messaging people you don’t know, but there is something to be said for an affiliate marketer who reaches out, maybe through a forum or in a Twitter conversation, to people who are already talking about something related to his/her product. The personal touch will never rival email marketing for volume, but it can do wonders for your sales conversion rates.
4. Add Value
In their excitement to be successful affiliates, many who are new to the field get lost in the web design and digital marketing side of affiliate marketing. While absolutely crucial, social media communications and connections have made it necessary to be more than just a merchant. Adding value to your affiliate marketing network and to the online experience of your potential leads. What does add value mean? It means keep a blog, make a point of following up with sales, offer free guides, work with other bloggers and affiliate marketers on projects… just to name a few ideas.
5. Do Details
Details matter. Details is a big concept, and really what it means is making sure that you tie up loose ends with sales, stay in good contact with your affiliate network, and remember the things that are important to the people you count on. Often what seems like a detail to you is a big deal to someone else. Neglecting it will strain the partnership, but making sure everything is taken care of, especially the details, will keep things on the right track.
Please share any other thoughts you have that would benefit someone starting out in affiliate marketing or starting in a new field with a new affiliate marketing network.