What is an Amazon Influencer? (Part II)

Amazon is popular and reliable so its marketing techniques work.

Amazon is a real partner for influencers who don’t want to commit to first buying their own inventory before selling, or to have to sustain their own e-commerce site. If you want a quick refresher, here’s an intro to Amazon marketing services.

Why you have to be working with these influencers

In a recent study, there was evidence that a recommendation from friends continues to be the soundest form of advertising. Folks are eager to take a referral from an influencer they trust or who they like. 

So, the first reason you have to join forces with these people is that leveraging these social media personalities in your marketing strategy lets you increase direct sales.

Usually, influencer marketing is for brand awareness. With Amazon Influencers, though, your products are displayed in front of your target audience and buying is seamless. 

Why Amazon? 

Because time and time again, Amazon has proven itself a popular and effective way to order online. It’s practically guaranteed that your target customers would like to purchase via Amazon than your customer’s website. 

As a matter of fact, a recent survey found that over 88% of 18 to 34-year-olds in America prefer to buy on Amazon over other online retailers. It’s no surprise Amazon is now worth over $380 billion dollars which is more than Target, Nordstrom, Walmart, and Best Buy put together.

By focusing on Amazon Influencers, you can give your clients specific ROI measures. Since products are bought from a customized URL that the influencer shares, it’s easy to track how many sales are made through each campaign.

They offer you access to niche markets

It doesn’t matter your platform, including pets, fashion, beauty, outdoors, fitness, there’s a lot of Amazon Influencers to pick from and a host of platforms for them to showcase your products.

What is an Amazon Influencer? (Part I)

Amazon influencers’ direct users on social media to Amazon web pages.

An Amazon Influencer is any influencer on social media who directs their followers to a distinct Amazon page where their followers can buy recommended products.

It’s like how Amazon Affiliates function except that they aren’t putting links to their webpage. As a matter of fact, these influencers don’t need a blog or website at all. Instead, influencers are given with their customizable, own site to upload their favorite items to and they endorse this page with their social media accounts.

Mark Cuban is one of the stars participating, but more and more of these influencers are social media celebs and micro-bloggers with a loyal and smaller following.

How does this work?

It begins with an application. Qualifying Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook accounts are reviewed by Amazon. They’re looking for a high number of followers and sure engagement metrics.

A fast peek at some accounts show that usually, these influencers average from 20,000 and 600,000 followers. While the magic formula they seek isn’t public, having a high engagement rate can make up for a small follower count.

If approved, Amazon Influencers then make their storefront (complete with an individual vanity URL) where they share their favorite products. It’s something like having their own Amazon shop, where followers can access advertised products.

There’s lots of incentive for Amazon Influencers as they create a percentage of every sale completed through their page. While commissions favor Amazon’s line of products (with the top being a ten percent payout on their private fashion line), influencers can foresee a steady payout if done correctly. 

Furniture sales reportedly make about eight percent and several items come in at seven percent commission. The range goes as low as one percent. So, Amazon Influencers are very motivated to make convincing referrals, share their page and endorse the products they feature there.

What to Do Before Posting Affiliate Links on Your Website (Part IV)

Take time to think about what’s best for your blog and the types of affiliate links you want in your posts.

Learn from Top Affiliate Marketers

Before starting, it doesn’t hurt to do some research on how top affiliate marketers have been prosperous. Affiliate marketing such as Ian Cleary, Rae Hoffman, Zac Johnson, and Pat Flynn provide a wealth of resources based on their experience. Learning from marketers like them might help you avoid pricey mistakes.

It’s crucial to think about the whole picture when it comes to affiliate marketing. At times that means turning down money-making opportunities that aren’t a fit for your audience. Though, if you’re endorsing a product that resolves an issue that you’ve actually used and can recommend, it can be a win-win for both you and your readers. Continuing to suggest quality products to your readers can lead to a more profitable and sustainable long-term business.

Add Link Disclosures Throughout Your Website

In short, link disclosures are statements on your website that let readers know of the presence of affiliate links. These are legally compelled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as they guarantee fair business practices.

By adding link disclosures to your website, you give total transparency to your readers. This is vital for building trust, and it’s also critical if you want to avoid legal ramifications. To be sure you use them effectively, you must be sure to place them prominently. This could be at the top of blog posts and within the text itself. For instance, you can put an asterisk next to the link and repeat the disclosure at the end of the post.

Also, you must use direct and clear language. This includes using trigger words, like commission and compensation, keeping the disclosure short and to the point. Be sure you’re proactive in disclosing by including them on every page that affiliate links appear and stating any other instances of payment, like paid reviews and sponsored posts.

What to Do Before Posting Affiliate Links on Your Website (Part III)

 

Are You Wanting to Cloak Your Links?

Link cloaking just means you are making URLs that redirect to your affiliate link.

There was recently an excellent post written that covers all you must know about cloaking affiliate links. Here are a few reasons it’s worth doing:

  • Track clicks for easy comparisons to your affiliate’s reports.
  • Create a noteworthy, short URL for your links.
  • Stop other affiliate marketers from changing out your affiliate ID with theirs.
  • Revise a single redirect if you change networks.
  • Cloak all product links to easily add an affiliate later on.

Make your site more technically distinct than the over 3,000 affiliates using the same data feed, if you’re overseeing an affiliate data feed website.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that Google suggests bloggers use the rel=”no follow” attribute for both paid affiliate links and free product review links.

Your affiliate links need to be in the right place in your blog posts.

Where Should You Put Your Affiliate Links?

There’s plenty more to affiliate marketing than just dropping links all in your content and hoping that’s enough to make a sale.

Pro recommends a host of spots where affiliate links might be appropriate:

  • An Extension Page
  • Sidebar Ads
  • Within blog posts
  • Within digital products
  • Within physical products or while talking live

It’s worth testing to see what resonates with your readers and works best for your blog. Then change your strategy accordingly.

Prioritize Your Website’s On-Page SEO

Is your website as user-friendly and search engine friendly as possible?

Continuing to entice new visitors is imperative if you want to be a good affiliate marketer, and better on-page SEO is vital to your website’s visibility in search. Don’t let technical SEO issues stifle your organic traffic growth. A professional site-auditor can help you identify which problems are most pressing, and regular crawls stop nasty surprises by warning you to critical problems often and early.

What to Do Before Posting Affiliate Links on Your Website (Part II)

Before you pick an affiliate, ask yourself if you really like the product and recommend it.

Do You Really Recommend the Product?

One of the reasons affiliate marketing is so well-known is because it sounds like a simple way to earn income. But the fact is, most successful affiliate marketers have spent a lot of time fostering their communities. They strategically pick the products they partner with.

It might seem obvious, but you would be shocked by the number of people who haven’t really used the products they are endorsing. This has the possibility to get you in trouble once readers start asking specific questions.

If you’re pushing a product, you should have elementary knowhow about how it works and how it can make your readers’ lives better. More, educating your audience with a deep dive on all the product’s specifics can make you a more lucrative affiliate marketer.

As a blogger and brand, one of your most precious assets is the trust you have created over weeks, months or even years with your readers. Is it worth throwing away that trust for affiliate revenue from a product you can’t really stand behind?

Does Your Website Have a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a legal statement that lets your visitors know how their personal data is used, collected, and protected when interacting with your website. Several affiliates require them, and privacy policy also helps create trust with your readers.

Privacy policy laws are enforced at both the federal and local level, so it’s worth looking at these details with a legal expert to make sure your website is conforming.

Affiliate Banners

Besides text links in your blog content, affiliate programs also provide links in the form of affiliate banners. You can put these clickable banners in many places on your website, like:

  • The sidebar of your blog.
  • The header and footer of your website.
  • In blog content.
  • In email marketing messages.

 

What to Do Before Posting Affiliate Links on Your Website (Part I)

Bloggers can use affiliate links to generate income. 

Most of us don’t begin blogging with the aim of making money. It’s an opportunity to sharpen your skills, share your expertise, or build authority within your niche. But the hours of editing, writing, promotion, and website maintenance add up rapidly. It’s okay to start wondering if you can cover your costs or even get some extra cash.

There are a lot of ways bloggers create streams of revenue, and affiliate marketing is one of the most well-known. There’s a very low barrier to entry, so it’s simple for beginners to get going. Before you begin sprinkling affiliate links all over your website, there are some crucial things to consider.

How Do Bloggers Find Affiliates?

Once you have gotten some traction with your blog, you might begin getting offers to partner with different companies on your own. Just because this hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean the doors for affiliate opportunities are shut.

Begin by researching which brands rivaling bloggers in your niche are working with. Numerous bloggers are transparent about how they are getting online income via monthly income reports. Take a look at what is working for them. Then, you can see whether or not their affiliates’ products might be helpful to your audience.

After you have decided which companies are linked with your brand, you can apply to be an affiliate through their representing network. Each year, mThink does the largest research study on the leading Cost-Per-Sale (CPS) networks. It’s a good place to begin when you are researching possible affiliates and which networks you might want to apply to.

It’s good to realize not all companies are represented by a network. Numerous affiliate partnerships are relationship-driven. Meeting businesses face-to-face at a conference or networking through social media can be effective tactics for creating profitable relationships.

Affiliate Versus Multi-Level Marketing: Similarity and Differences 

How is the money spent?

The basic difference between Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and Affiliate Marketing lies in how the money is being made by those who participate in these sorts of marketing.

In both instances, we’re talking about a non-salaried workforce, but that’s the only resemblance. The rest of the setup is really so different that they aren’t even related.

Multi-Level Marketing and Affiliate Marketing

In MLM, the workforce is urged to sign up new distributors who are given a percentage of their recruits’ sales. In affiliate marketing, on the other hand, the marketer’s payment is tied to their own sales performance. Affiliates aren’t paid according to how well their referral does. They have a vested interest in giving you targeted users, as they are paid on a performance basis.

The main focus of an affiliate program is consistently on driving business to the company, concentrating on referring incremental sales. The focus of an MLM scheme is mainly to keep on recruiting new salespeople. Affiliates focus on driving leads, sales, or other desired actions. MLM marketers concentrate on increasing their network of salespeople.

The Difference

Affiliate marketing and MLMs are quite different. The biggest difference between them is you have more power when you’re an affiliate marketer.

You get to pick the products you’re going to market and sell. You’re the one who gets to determine how you’re going to promote these products, how you’re going to build your website, etc.

With MLM, you’ll only be marketing the products that are available in the business, regardless if you have experience with it or not. Additionally, you’re sort of depending on how many folks you can recruit to advertise and sell on your behalf.

These are the reasons why most people prefer affiliate marketing. They want to have complete control of their business and the money they get.

Affiliate marketing is better since it’s about helping others. Before you begin earning in this business, you have to assist your target audience.

 

How to Get Affiliate Management Experts to Manage Your Program Without Overpaying (Part I)

What do they bring to the table? 

What can affiliate management experts bring to the table? Their knowledge is second to none in their sector and they can be a valuable asset to your thriving online business. With that being said, how can you get an affiliate management company to oversee your program without overpaying?

First, it’s vital to note, you get what you pay for. You can’t expect to have an affiliate management specialist manage your program for below his or her worth. The best affiliate management agencies tend to handle many programs at a time. Your aim is to get your program to their list!

Next, it’s crucial to realize how affiliate managers are paid. There are several compensation models out there, but the three most well-known ones are:

  • Monthly retainer + performance bonus
  • Flat monthly fee
  • Performance-based compensation

It’s suggested going with the first of the above three. It provides for the affiliate manager’s motivation to keep developing your affiliate marketing program. As the merchant, you will want to concur with the manager on the precise compensation model to use as well as negotiate to be sure you’re not overpaying.

Negotiating Compensation

When the time comes to discuss the affiliate manager’s compensation, it’s first vital that you layout what job-related to your affiliate program you want the professional to be responsible more. More jobs might cost more, but it will make it so you don’t have to worry at all about your affiliate program and you’ll realize that it’s in good hands.

Assuming you want the affiliate management specialist to oversee each facet of your affiliate program. You want to negotiate the lowest possible fee that you can. In order to do this, try offering a big performance bonus to further entice the affiliate management expert.

The performance bonus is usually a percentage of revenue or a percentage of affiliate payouts. This way, the merchant can compute their margins and never lose money on the bonus part of the compensation. It’s a real win-win for both sides because if sales are growing then everyone is earning more.

Using Affiliate Program Analytics to Optimize Its Performance (Part IV) 

 

How Analytics Can Help Optimize an Affiliate Program’s Performance

As you probably realize by now, there are many ways to market your affiliate program. There are also numerous ways to activate, recruit, and motivate affiliates, many types of creatives, etc. All of them necessitate some sort of investment (money, time, energy, etc.) but not all of them propel results.

An important part of effectively managing an affiliate program is to detect which choices offer the best results and apply them. Since there are no general rules, the only way to do that is through trial and error or split testing and analytics.

Split Testing and Analytics

Split testing means testing two different solutions to gage which one propels better results. In the context of directing an affiliate marketing program, the solutions tested could be:

Affiliate program landing pages – You can produce two or more landing pages for your program and watch impressions and conversion rates to decide which one produces lower bounce rates and changes more visitors into affiliates.

Affiliate networks listings – Operating your program on many affiliate networks at the same time can be pricey, tiresome, and not really effective. Split testing can help you decide which network is best for your specific program.

Affiliate tracking software – You can select between network-based, in-house, and uniting affiliate tracking solutions. Testing is an effective way to figure out which software and option work best for you.

Affiliate recruitment methods – When it comes to affiliate recruitment, a few methods and platforms deliver better results than others. You should try a number of them or all of them and examine results to detect the best ones for you.

Stay in contact with your affiliates.

Affiliate emails – Affiliate communication is critical to program success. It’s already been established that affiliates like email as a communication channel. Though, there are several ways to write an email to your affiliates. If you don’t know what they would desire, you can test a few templates and watch the responses to them.

Top New Affiliate Marketing Trends (Part II)

 

The top trend will be to begin collecting email addresses and advertising offers on the back end.

Lead gen is a good fit for this model considering its evergreen and whitehat by nature.

Invest in Quality Automation since having detailed stats gives you all the necessary and, above all, correct information. Having a tracking system lets you use the data to your advantage.

Most of all, having an automated system will have you working smarter, not harder.

Pay attention to your clients.

Paying attention to clients

Offering great service is based on the relationships you develop over time. Nurturing your relationships and answering to feedback keep your services in check. Developing new trends and producing great features follows from really listening to your advertisers and publishers. This is one trend that won’t go out of style.

Mobile will continue to win the battle against desktop

Even with a few negative tendencies, all marketing professionals think push will be the hottest ad format. With native ad networks getting way stricter in compliance, you could see a mass migration to push advertising. With that being said, pop volumes will probably decline, which should result in an enhancement of their quality.

Despite its problems, it believed that Facebook will stay at the top for affiliate traffic sources.

In the future, one of the biggest trends will be to convert current users via desktop and mobile into customers and new leads.

This can be done with the use of remarketing, by showing cross-promotion ads to these users on whatever platform or device that first triggered the cookie.

The key here is to show quick and simple landing pages via mobile, and more optimized and detailed campaigns via desktop. The aim is to be sure your marketing is working for you on each medium.