When it comes to running your affiliate program, diversity is the key. Operating in multiple traffic sources not only provides you a cushion when one or more affiliates’ conversions drop, but it also helps your business thrive in challenging situations. It leads you to tap into brand new consumers and opens a door with numerous opportunities. You need to consider all the necessary factors before starting your program.
So, the question is, how can you diversify your affiliates? How do you know which specific strategy works for your business? The short answer is, you don’t know anything until you try each and every one of them. Some strategies will work better than others; some will take time to kick off. Then which strategy should you try? And why?
We curated a list of the most prominent affiliate traffic channels. You should test each and every one of them to find out which one works best for your product or service.
Even ten years ago, the influencer marketing territory meant the endorsement of celebrities or some dedicated bloggers. However, the influencer scene has changed drastically. The internet is now flooded with influencers of numerous different niches. These influencers already have a dedicated audience and are considered experts in their respective niches. This gives advertisers an opportunity to promote their products to a relevant and hopefully engaged audience.
If you want to bring out the best in your business through influencer marketing, you require specific targeting and planning. First of all, choose the platform you want to focus on. You can have all of them if you want but it’s ideal to stick with one and expand to others later. Pay attention to the platform where people are talking about your industry and start from there. For example, the fashion and beauty industry thrive on Youtube and Instagram, while the video game industry rules on Twitch. You can invest in a celebrity influencer campaign in order to reach the maximum number of people possible or test micro-influencers with less than 10,000 followers but with high engagement.
Unlike automated ads, influencers are not programs. They can make mistakes in delivering your requested tags or calls to action. Therefore, influencer marketing will require more patience and hands-on action. Decide what goals you are trying to achieve and what messages you want your consumers to get from your product or service. Influencers are able to promote your product to very specific audiences and create meaningful engagements for your business but they need guidance.
You need to choose your influencer carefully. Make sure they have similar posts/videos related to your product or niche. You can research this by browsing their social profiles. They may be able to show you portfolios if they have worked with other brands before along with engagement and revenue stats. Ask to see screenshots of the engagement on their stores, videos, posts etc to prove what they are saying. Many people have been burned by fake numbers or even stats that “look real” but in the end it’s just fake engagements. Be proactive and take the necessary steps to safeguard your risk and maximize the results of your test.
The success of a marketing campaign depends on a strong and resonating message to your audience at the right time in the right place. However, it not only means making a catchy slogan and crossing your fingers that your audience sees it. That’s why you require media buyers.
Media buyers purchase ads using ad networks like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Taboola or Outbrain with an understanding of your marketing goals and target audience. A significant part of the media buyer position is to negotiate with sites, networks, and other channels where your business would gain advantage. They also use marketing performance tools to track performance metrics to see which placements are profitable for their business.
A media buyer purchases traffic on a CPC or CPM basis, hoping that they will get a conversion from your affiliate program for less than their media spend. They often have a widespread network of relationships that can help you leverage maximizing the value of your investment. They understand where your advertisement will be more noticeable and reach more potential consumers in a cost effective way.
Content sites are more like a library for content and information built around a certain topic. The goal is to build and monetize traffic effectively and constantly. There are millions of content sites of various caliber all around the internet. While there are multi-million dollar companies like Forbes and Vogue, numerous smaller content companies are run by only one or two people coupled with a few freelancers. For them, success is highly dependent on crafting the right content on a regular basis.
Should you decide to recruit them for your affiliate campaign, their job is to find keywords with little to no competition and educate the potential consumer base about your business and the product or service you offer. It provides value for your business, makes you relevant in your niche as well as establishing trust and building a relationship with your potential customer.
Content about your products or services can go viral at any moment. In this recent era of social media trending, viral content can grab more attention towards your business than ever before. With one extra view, you can have one more potential consumer to conduct business with. A well optimized affiliate program works great with content sites.
Comparison sites are websites that compare products and services in a certain niche. As a matter of fact, these sites are conducting their business through affiliate products and ads from ad networks. They review various similar products available in the marketplace and compare them based on their quality, pricing, etc. Comparison sites enable your business to gain a certain edge to promote your product/service—all you need to know is how your product is superior to your competitors and focus on those points.
For example, if you are running a makeup brand, the comparison site will compare your product and another similar product of another brand. They will review them for pigmentation, how user-friendly they are if the product contains everything that is claimed, how different they feel, and how cost-effective they are. According to the review, the consumers can determine which one will be better for them, and they will lean towards that product. When these reviews are provided, they also provide links to every product they review.
Often we have seen that comparison sites provide their opinion about products and that influences many potential customers to at least give the product a try.
Emailer marketers collect emails via opt in forms to build up their subscriber list, taking their consent before emailing an offer. They are often seen as authority figures in their niches, and when their consumers receive their email, they don’t directly send these emails to the spam folders without reading. A good portion of the audience is responsive and shows genuine interest in considering the offers they are sent through emails. They can engage their subscribers and provide them with information on recent products that can bring ease to their lives. As a result, your business gets more views, creates conversions, and at least educates a potential consumer about your product or service.
The emailers need to make the emails engaging and provide something to their audience in return. At the end of the day, when the emailers do their job right, you might have a hundred new customers who were unreachable to you before.
News and Media
News and media is the most mainstream method of promoting your business. You can easily spread the word of your business to thousands if not millions of people with the help of some news or media coverage. Let’s give an example; remember how hyped Games of Thrones was? If you have sponsored that show or could get an advertising slot during that show, consider how many people would have seen your product. And when they see your product, you get to have a larger number of people lurking on your website in no time.
Investing in the news and media is not cheap, especially when the channel is prominent and when the time is right. On the other hand, you get to reach a larger audience with the help of this medium, resulting in a large chance at attracting more customers. News and media may not be the best for your business when you are just starting out but can provide you with huge benefits if you have a big budget.
We have mentioned Youtube once back in the discussion about influencers. However, in the modern-day, Youtube has become a phenomenal site, and it requires a separate discussion. With Youtube, the content creators are able to talk more freely about a product. Unlike Instagram, it has no limit on how long a video should be. It enables the influencers to review products or show a tutorial in detail. They can express their thoughts about the product and express what they like and where there is room for improvement. When a Youtuber is creating a video, they are connecting with their audience and thoroughly showing the benefits of a product. This allows your business to communicate with your potential consumers in a personal way. With an authentic video, your targeted audience gets to know the ins and outs of the product and get to see if they really require the product. Everything else works in a similar way as the influencer affiliate strategy.
Affiliate strategies are limitless, and we just stated some of the prominent ones. The best approach to achieve success is to diversify your affiliate’s traffic sources and always be testing new channels. This is how your affiliate program will thrive over the long term.