Promoting products through social media campaigns
Hello, and welcome to your mini affiliate marketing eCourse. ‘
We hope you learn a lot.
Affiliate marketing has been around for about 20 years. Countless newcomers to the world of eCommerce who are starting their own business have become successful affiliate marketers, earning commission from top sites like Amazon and vendors like Apple for helping to sell their products.
Affiliate marketing is more competitive now than it was 20 years ago, however, so it is important to learn the best ways to promote your affiliate product links.
Let’s start with promoting on social media.
Promoting Products through Social Media Campaigns
Social media is an effective way to promote the products you wish to sell because the networks are free to use and chances are you already have an account at all the top ones, such as Facebook and Twitter. The main issue is how often to promote product links. You can’t do it too often, because you will start to look like a spammer. But in general, you can present yourself as a helpful person who is in the know about a certain topic, commonly referred to as a niche.
Know Your Niche
Choosing to promote products based on one niche helps you avoid the “scattershot” approach to marketing and really focus on what that particular target audience wants and needs. Most people have “pain points” or problems in relation to a niche that they would like to solve. The affiliate products you promote could be the solution/s they are looking for.
Your posts can be chatty, discussing a common pain point and then suggesting an affiliate product that can help. You could also post a review. Video is being pushed hard by Facebook these day, so a video review or demonstration video could get a lot of visibility and audience engagement. The more engagement you get, the more visible your content will become.
Search on Facebook and LinkedIn to see how many groups there are related to your niche, and how active they are. If you see regular posting of content, it is a lively group worth joining. Once you join, be patient and just participate. Start building a reputation as a helpful person in the know. Gradually, you can get them to visit your site or blog, or make product recommendations directly. You can also start your own Facebook group if you wish, so you have an active, engaged audience interested in your content.
Twitter and Facebook ads are cheap, but still highly targeted. You can drive traffic to your links or group page for only pennies per click.
Using free and paid methods, you should soon see steady affiliate sales.
Blogging is a great way to make money online, especially if you combine it with affiliate marketing. The content you create can help sell products. It can also help you gain subscribers for your email marketing list/s, so you can build a relationship with these prospective customers.
Types of Content That Will Help Sell Affiliate Products
There are a number of different types of content that can help you sell affiliate products.
1. Articles and posts
These can provide the context for you link. Discuss a common problem, then offer an affiliate product as a solution.
Give an honest review of the affiliate product you are trying to sell. Either ask the vendor for a free copy, or buy it yourself. Keep the receipt in case you want to return it. If you decide to keep it, use the receipt to write off the cost of the item on your taxes. Create a review that emphasizes how life will change for the better once they buy the product.
3. Video reviews and demonstrations
Even better, why not create video reviews and demonstrations? This can get your target audience really excited about the product.
4. Comparison tables and charts
These will take some time and research, but they help position the affiliate product you want to sell so that it compares favorably with other similar products. Note the main features, price and so on.
5. Pre-sell pages
Sometimes an affiliate product you wish to sell is really good, but the sales letter created by the vendor is not that great. It might leave out important details or not have a strong enough call to action. In this case, you can create a pre-sell page that fills in these gaps and gets people excited. In this way, they might be ready to buy as soon as they click, and the bad sales letter won’t matter.
6. Email landing page for lead generation
One of the main problems with affiliate marketing is that you spend a lot of time and effort driving traffic to your site, or vendor sites. If they click over to the vendor without ever interacting with you, you will never see these visitors again in most cases. Putting them on an email marketing list means having a chance to build a relationship with them. It also means putting many affiliate offers in front of them via email.
Your blog should be the hub of all your marketing activity, so make the most of it with great content.
Using SEO to promote your affiliate offers
Optimizing Your Content
Content drives all search engine results. The words on a site and on a page signal to the search engine, such as Google, what it is about. When people run a search for a particular topic, like dog obedience training, Google delivers search engine results pages (SERPs) with what their formula (or algorithm) determines to be the most relevant pages.
There are a number of ways to optimize your content so it ranks highly and you get free traffic. The first is to use keywords.
Keywords are words that are typically related to your niche or topic. They are the kinds of words your prospective customers would use when searching online for the type of content and products you have to offer.
The title of your article, review or post should contain at least one keyword. The content should contain that keyword, and at least two or three others. The keywords all taken together offer what is called semantic support, helping to define what the page is all about.
Some marketers try to “stuff” keywords, using them over and over again, but Google will penalize you for this. It is best to just write naturally, as you would for a person – not just a search engine.
Keyword Your File Names
Use keywords in all your file names, such as keyword.html, .php, .jpg, .mp4, and so on. These other files can be found on Google and perhaps get you more than one listing on the SERPs.
Links to Your Site
Links from popular sites like social media sites can give you a small SEO boost.
When you are creating the hyperlink to go over to the affiliate product page, don’t just say “click here.” Use keywords that provide real information about the product.
Brand Names and Product Names
Be sure to use these as keywords as well. There are a lot of other affiliates selling out there, it is true, but your optimized content can put you ahead of the competition.
Creating tutorial/review/educational/demo videos
Now we’re going to focus on two types of popular content that can help you stimulate affiliate product sales.
1. Review Posts and Videos
Review posts that have a genuine air of authority and ring of truth to them are the perfect context for placing an affiliate product link in order to earn commission.
You should only write reviews of products you are familiar with, and your reviews should be as honest as possible. Otherwise, you will start to get a reputation of being willing to promote any old rubbish, which will damage your standing as an expert in your niche.
Review videos can also help. They are good if you are pressed for time and want to express your opinion without having to write a lot. However, be sure to use keywords in the title of the video and a description of the video.
Videos are also a handy promotional tool that can drive a lot of traffic if you post them on YouTube and Facebook.
2. Tutorial and Demonstration Posts and Videos
These are really popular because they actually show the product in action. People will even watch “unboxing videos” in which a person orders something online and films themselves opening the box when it arrives. Tutorial and demonstration videos can be far more useful, though – especially if the item is an expensive one or a complicated one.
People love insider hints, tips and tricks for getting the most out of what they buy. Many customers also love “Quick-Start” guides that can help them start using the item just about from the moment they open the box. Videos and posts of this nature are therefore ideal for stimulating affiliate sales.
You might also create quick-start guides, checklists and/or cheat sheets they can download if they sign up for your customer list before they go over to buy the item (more on that in the next email). These bonuses do not cost much to create, but they can really help position you as an expert in your niche.
Write a script of what you want to show in each video you create. Try to produce high-quality videos, not tacky home movies. Add interesting elements that show your personality – people do business with people they like.
Reaching out to prospective buyers via email
Now that we’ve discussed creating review and tutorial posts and videos in order to drive sales for the affiliate products you are selling. Seeing is believing, so it is worth it to take the time to produce this type of content.
Now we will be focusing on email marketing for the affiliate products you wish to sell. This type of content also takes time to create, but it can be used over and over again.
Email Marketing Basics
Social media is great for marketing, but email marketing is still the best method for building a real relationship with your target audience over time. Social media posts are fleeting. In contrast, emails can sit in a person’s inbox for some time. They can also be a long format, giving lots of interesting details about the affiliate products you wish to sell.
Getting Them on Your List
One of the biggest mistakes new affiliates make is sending the traffic they work so hard for directly to the vendor’s sales page. This means they never see these people again, and learn nothing about them.
A better method is to create a landing page with an email sign-up form. The best way to get them to sign up will usually be to offer an incentive, such as a free eBook, eCourse, or other very useful informational item people in your niche would love.
Once they are on your list, you can market to them regularly.
Follow-Up versus Broadcast Emails
The other great thing about email marketing is you can upload several emails ahead of time in the follow-up or autoresponder section. You can do the work once, but keep in touch with the people on your list over and over again.
For example, a 7-day eCourse gives you the chance to show what you know. You can also put an affiliate link in every email. As they hear from you and read the emails, they will feel like they know you.
You can also use broadcast emails to send out special offers, such as a tie-in to a particular holiday or a great affiliate product deal they won’t want to miss.
Come up with evergreen email content that will never go out of date, and match it to great affiliate offers. Then see what a difference email marketing can make to your commissions.
Having strategically placed offers on your site
Content Is King
Content is king on the internet, so you need to produce high-quality content that will attract search engines and people alike. We have already discussed writing articles and reviews, and producing review and demonstration videos.
Product comparison charts, cheat sheets and quick-start guides will also work well. They help your target audience achieve their goals, but above all, they provide a logical context for your affiliate links. You’re not just posting links for no reason, which would be like spam. You are providing genuinely useful information for those interested in your niche.
In addition to contextual links, you could also create what looks like ads in relation to the affiliate products you are trying to sell. Smart vendors support their affiliates well with marketing material such as banners, box ads, free articles, and more. Make the most of these if the product is a good one you really believe is worth giving prime real estate to, such as a banner at the top of your page.
If you use WordPress, you can add widgets to your sidebar and have the box ads appear there. You can even use one of the many WordPress plugins that pull affiliate data from various vendors into your blog. A top five bestseller’s list of the best affiliate products related to your topic is a handy time saver.
Rotate Your Products
The most important thing to remember in relation to the links you post is they need to earn you commission. Each time you create content, track and test it to see if it is driving sales of the affiliate product. Don’t forget to drive traffic to the new content via social media and email marketing. If you don’t see sales after a time, and it is a general article rather than a review, consider swapping links and promoting a different product instead.
Offering incentives for buying through you
Let’s discuss how to offer incentives so that people will buy an affiliate product from you rather than any other vendor.
The Excitement of a Product Launch
One of the things to look out for in the affiliate marketplaces is the excitement of a product launch. Whenever a vendor launches a new product, they want big sales right away in order to make up for the cost of developing it, and to prove that it is exactly the type of product people in the niche really need.
So the vendor will create “buzz” about the product, both at their own site and social media sites, and hopefully through those of their affiliates.
Some of the top vendors will actually offer contests with some impressive prizes to those who prove to be the top affiliate each day of the launch, or over a certain period such as two weeks.
As you can imagine, contests to win iPads and maybe even cars (yes, it can happen with high-priced product launches) is going to generate a lot of excitement and get even lazy affiliates up and promoting the new product. The word about the new product is going to be spreading like wildfire on the internet if everyone is doing what they are supposed to.
So how can you stand out from the crowd? The answer is to offer great incentives.
You can’t change the price of the item, because the vendor has set that. But you can add value in the form of bonus items you already have, or are prepared to create in relation to the topic.
For example, if they are offering a product on affiliate marketing and you have already written an eBook on that topic, that would be an ideal bonus. If you already have spreadsheets, templates and checklists you use in your own business, you could use those as a bonus as well.
You could also offer them a special coupon code, such as 50% off one of your items you are selling at your site, if you are selling products of your own already.
Administering the Incentives
If you are going to offer these items, you need to make sure that you have the customer’s email address so you can send them the promised items. You also need proof of purchase. Since many vendors accept PayPal, ask for a copy of their PayPal receipt (or other receipt) to be sent to customer service. Make sure you or your staff is ready to:
1. Send them their incentive
2. Put their email address on a new list for X affiliate product
Use the list to follow up with them on their purchase experience. You could even offer them a quick-start guide as an unannounced bonus. Don’t be too pushy, but do treat them as a potential customer for similar products in your niche.
We have covered a lot of information and we hope you are feeling confident about promoting your affiliate links successfully in a variety of ways. Try each one in turn, track and test your results, and see what a difference it can make to your commissions.
To your success!