Whether you’re looking for new flavor in your business routine or you just want to pick up a way to grow an organic audience, affiliate marketing could be the answer you need to give your brand a boost. What makes your business right for affiliate marketing? Is there a social aspect? Do you believe in engagement with customers and supporters? Do you have a plan in mind to cater to specific niche in a way that everyone’s a winner at the end of the day? These are all different things to consider when embarking on affiliate marketing program. Here are 6 tips to help you get things started.
Allows You To Stretch Your Marketing Dollars
One of the best things about start an affiliate program is it’s very different than traditional marketing. You don’t buy ads for tv or radio. These can cost thousands of dollars (minimum) and a lot of times it may not target your audience directly. This is a misstep with the use of money. If you’re just starting out your business, it might be wise to come up with your own program. This way you can set up a budget that works for you and you know what goes into a specific avenue. You don’t get that freedom depending on a source that could charge you daily per specific ad or link you want to promote.
These days it’s about having an independent presence and literally starting from scratch to make a name for yourself. Even if you only have a few hundred dollars, you can still get a site together, a simple design, and some recognition behind your product. A lot of times that’s all you really need to get things started. If you have good value, then it’s a lot easier to sell more than a household name that serves bad product. It’s the uniqueness that helps you stand out.
Setting Up a Joint Venture with Tastemakers and Bloggers
It’s not just about having a product, but the right support behind it. What you can do is send out samples to people you trust. Why is this necessary? You need to broaden your horizons so that other people know your brand’s value. The bloggers or tastemakers can get a feel for your product. They have a reputation and many people trust that their word is golden. It’s just like how a customer review of a service is a window into the experience before you try it. It’s better to touch the doorknob and see if it’s hot before opening the door to be engulfed in flames.
A tastemaker has the reputation of being someone who has a great feel for products. They know when something is unique or great to the point that people actually need it. One simple tweet or press release from this person can bring out a lot of traffic. A co-sign if you will, brings a lot of people to the product. This attention is very necessary when launching a product or service.
A blogger does the same but it’s more of in a community setting. Let’s say that blogger does something with cocktail recipes. You come with a certain mixer or bitter that adds a lot of punch to a great cocktail. A good review can bring lots of comments and buyers. You can give them a piece of the profits to sell it directly on their site. Or they can bring you the traffic and leads through an affiliate link. This is perfect because now both sides can be winners. You get the traffic and sale while the blogger makes a hefty profit from being the intermediary who guides the follower to your brand. Furthermore, if the blogger has a reputation on a forum or a community, they have lots of authority to bring you a new demographic. This could help you diversify your business into another product line you may not have anticipated.
This kind of creative branding tactic doesn’t cost a lot of startup cash. All it requires is trust, research, and knowing a particular audience. When you know your audience and get build genuine connections, that opens up a lot of doors.
One Perfect Brick Laid at a Time
It really takes time to build your empire. If you want to do something well, you need the resilience. Just like with any business, you it doesn’t grow overnight. For example, you can set up a Beta program. A good example is how Pinterest started with a few select invites and then they let other people know about it before the official launch. You could do the same thing with your program. Maybe you can give away free new products for giving you a certain number of leads. This also helps you see who are you top notch supporters early on.
It’s better to build a stable relationship with 100 people than 100,000 who are just one-off. Those 100 people are the key to helping you sustain for the long haul. Those are the people who live and stand by your products like it’s a part of their daily life. You need these stand up people to help you find your voice. They will provide their family, friends, and coworkers as supporters as well. This is how you build a good relationship and know that your product provides value.
You learn about your craft and you learn about what works and the things that don’t. Why is this important? It saves you money and energy from going down a path that just doesn’t work. Keep your focus together so that your supporters stay happy. When your supporters stay happy through the products and services you give, this will help sustain sales. Your business has a foundation that’s hard to break and you can really start branching into other things. Don’t just rush out there to produce a sale. Yes, it’s the end goal. However, you want to ensure that you service people that will ride for your business.
Building Your Own Platform or Picking an Affiliate Service?
Here’s another question to ponder. I briefly touched on this earlier but do you want to go with an affiliate network or do you want to do your own program? If you have a big following, it might be a good idea to go with an affiliate service already established. They can handle the big accounts and you’ll actually have more money to use. Your time is everything so an affiliate company can place the right kind of package in your place. It may be a little bit more expensive, but you can have more time to focus on other parts of your business. Make sure that it goes with your plan because an affiliate network may have their own rules and regulations. You may have to meet in the middle so that both sides can achieve their goals.
On another side, you can develop your own affiliate program by using affiliate marketing software. Sometimes you want to set your own rules because affiliate programs have their own regulations. They may give meager payouts or not have a good marketing system that really helps out your supporters. Even if the supporters may have to find other customers, you can make their affiliate cut a lot bigger. Additionally, you can help them with the advertising and content portion. With the smaller number, it’s a bit easier to manage. Also, you could work your budget better because you’re doing everything yourself. A big name affiliate program may have the right connections on a bigger scale, but this doesn’t matter much to a small niche business. Just be clear that this is something you can settle on with your partners. Remember, they are a key lifeline to your business. When they are happy, your business can be more prosperous. With that being said, it’s all about incentive.
Providing the Right Incentive to Keep Your Supporters Happy
Being proactive and creative works wonders in affiliate marketing. Although this should not be the sole way you make money, it can certainly help you in different avenues as far as building your traffic organically and trusting in people who have the same drive as you. First of all, a great contest can help boost morale and give people more interested in your brand. It’s very important that you keep things interesting because people always want something new and refreshing. It breathes life in your business so that you can continue to evolve with the times.
An incentive you can provide is a cash reward. For example, if a supporter does a great job with sales for a particular time period, you can give them a commission boost. This is a good way to say “Thank You” and also helps their end. Your supporters need to eat, too. You might as well share the dinner table because they are part of the reason you’re eating good. Another and more creative opportunity would be to set a prize pack.
This is where things get interesting. You want to set up a contest that helps you increase your sales and leads. Also, it should be intriguing enough for your supporters to lock in. You can have a leaderboard, specific items to sell, and a good marketing promotion that you can spread across different media. You can break it down from a first, second, and third place prize package. Have your supporters vote on what they want. The prizes with the highest response are ones you should pick. This helps them be apart of everything. Not only is this a great creative spark that breaks the monotony of a traditional business, but it lights a fire in them. That fire will help them succeed and give you more sales. This could be a good way of weeding out the supporters who have no ambition and the ones that really separate themselves from the pack. The ones that aren’t in it for the short term will be those that can really help your business evolve. Show special care that you are there for them because at the end of the day, they are the backbone to this sector of your business.
Networking with Social Media
Another aspect you should focus on for your affiliate marketing is social media. Remember, Facebook and Twitter are both great mediums that bring in a lot of leads. For Facebook, you may want to create different ads or image placements that draw in a lot of attention. Set up your own pages to help you succeed in bringing leads to your site. You can have your supporters promote different products, deals, or specials.
Twitter is great for a short message. Maybe you can have a powerful tweet with a good image that can gain lots of retweets. It’s all about interaction as well. Tweet to different influencers and like-minded individuals. A good response from them will encourage clicks to your links and followers. This kind of connection will help you really gain a social following that really values what you have to say.
Don’t forget that YouTube and streaming service give that sort of human element. Create daily vlogs, special promotions, and a bit of product placement. This will create a more visual and sonic element that will capture their attention. These streams and videos can be shared all across other social media platforms. They have the potential to go viral and be a perfect way to market your affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to drum in some extra business. Just be clear with your focus from being independent or using an established network to help you take your business to the next level. Make sure you have a great product and the right support team behind it. It’s very important that you have quality in hand before you truly hit the ground running. With this in mind, you can help sustain a long-term business. What are some ways you use affiliate marketing? Please leave a comment below with your point of view.