Affiliate marketing produces measurable results, but what is this approach to plugging and promoting a brand? Simply put, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing, whereby you award your affiliates for the business they bring you, based on their own marketing efforts. It is essentially all about fostering relationships. An affiliate program is all about bringing traffic to your site. Once traffic has landed on your home page, it is really all down to you to convert some of it into sales. eCommerce sites operating in popular niches, do better with affiliate marketing, but anyone can succeed if they find affiliates who understand and appreciate the market their company works in. When it comes to affiliate marketing, it is all about quality over quantity. There are plenty of sites out there that will promote your product, but you need to find the ones that will bring traffic to your site. The keys to the kingdom lie in identifying who your potential affiliates are, based on the synergy your site and the third party affiliate site have.
A strong affiliate marketing program is never ending. It is one that constantly looks to bring in new affiliates and with it, new audiences and new traffic.
The types of affiliates you can look to bring on board, fall mainly into three categories. There are content affiliates, who broadly speaking facilitate the exchange and dispersal of your content. For example, this category includes bloggers, who regularly share your posts and social media guru’s, who supply you with those valuable retweets. These affiliates can bring you the types of consumer traffic that may not have in the first instance been shopping for your product online, but will have arrived at your site by way of a positive testimonial, or blog post. Secondly, we have coupon and deal affiliates, these guys usually enable huge amounts of traffic that can deliver sales. Customers who reach you from a coupon site, may be more price sensitive and deal driven, than those who reach your site via a content affiliate site. Lastly, there are search affiliates that specialise in running pay-per-click campaigns.
So, how do you identify which type of affiliates to recruit? Begin by looking at who is promoting you already. Who through just chance is already driving your revenue? If you are acquiring customers through content affiliates, then look to build on this base. The same rules apply if another type of affiliate is bringing in significant levels of traffic.
Once you know who to go after, the next step is to approach the affiliates based on your current campaigns, most likely those of the seasonal variety. For example, if you are having a January sale, let your content affiliates know well in advance, so they can schedule articles to promote your sale. Deal and coupon affiliates, will typically be already integrated into other deal feeds and will be alerted to your sales when they go live.
Once you know what types of affiliates to go after, start to put together a schedule which plots the times of year that you will approach certain affiliates. For example, if you are promoting back to school products in August, in May of the same year, you should approach content affiliates with a strong back to school theme, letting them know of your planned promotions in plenty of time. Consider offering prizes and giveaways that the bloggers can give to their readers. If certain deal and coupon affiliates seem to bring in a particularly high amounts of traffic and sales at certain points in the year, alert coupon sites to your promos, a month prior to their most active periods.
To find specific websites that you want to have come on board as your affiliates, consider using certain online web tools that can identify sites based on specific keywords that relate to your site. You can even do this by yourself, by just entering the terms into google and taking note of the sites that rank highly for those terms. Social Media is massively effective at helping you build up an effective rostra of affiliates, these channels generate active content that often relates to eCommerce sites and there is a direct way of contacting the affiliates themselves.
Building up a strong collection of affiliates, who you work with regularly, can massively improve the levels of traffic that your site receives. Presuming your site is user friendly and comprised of excellent functionality, traffic will soon flow towards your checkout page and bring you in some all- important revenue.