How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI (Part I)
Getting a good return on marketing investment: It keeps plenty of people up at night. How will the money spent on that marketing firm convert into sales dollars? How will that big advertising campaign that cost a million impact my brand? For most marketing initiatives, deciding ROI is an unpredictable waiting game with no decisive outcome.
There’s one marketing model that plays by another set of rules. Though, rules based on paying for performance after results have been driven. Affiliate marketing once thought as a shot in the dark, is driven today by intelligent technology, transparency between partners, and compensation tied to measurable and specific results.
That said, a thriving affiliate program necessitates the right experience and partners. Regardless if you’re looking to begin an affiliate program or take a current program to the next level, you must have a strong team working with you. Here are the things you need to make sure you’re driving the affiliate ROI you want:
Unless your business has the resources to create a team of numerous people with extensive affiliate marketing experience and skills, hiring an agency is the best choice. Agency marketing pros are knowledgeable at managing the multifaceted complexities that come with growing and building a high-performing program.
Be sure you’re clearly looking at the agency’s setup, making sure it’s based on performance. Make sure it puts its money where its mouth is. If it doesn’t come with it in the short term, chances are high it may not be able to meet long-term expectations.
The affiliate space has expanded well beyond coupons and deal partners. To drive incremental revenue on a performance basis in your program, consider working with publishers who are advanced in e-commerce technology, including artificial intelligence and website integration.
Regardless if you’re new to affiliate marketing or just need to step up your game, checking off these boxes will help you create a strong affiliate marketing program.
WordPress Monetization Plugins to Help You Make More Money
With ad blockers cutting into ad revenues across the board, bloggers are feeling the heat. Thankfully, when it comes to other means of revenue generation… there’s no shortage of options. You can pick to sell affiliate products, enhance your existing ad operations, or even sell digital products and content subscriptions with micropayments.
In this post, we cover monetization plugins for WordPress that will aid you in boosting and augmenting the money you earn from your blog.
WordPress Mobile Gesture Monetization
The WordPress Mobile Gesture Monetization plugin from errnio have tools to enrich touch gestures on your mobile site and enriches UX while making new channels of monetization in addition to whatever ad setup you may now have.
The four touch gestures that are triggered when you install this plugin include:
Scroll: When folks scroll down your webpage, errnio shows a mobile search box, which monetizes any outgoing actions.
Swipe: Left and right finger movements allow easy browsing of your site content, through a mobile friendly article gallery which endorses your site content, the plugin gives recommended content here to monetize as well.
Tap: Tapping action trigger the display of more information about the selected text, along with additional monetization.
Zoom: errnio let users zoom images without distorting your site experience, recommending other images inside the experience, along with added recommendations for monetization.
The biggest advantage of using Clk.im is that it doesn’t put any banner ads or pop-under windows on your web pages, so your blog visitors aren’t going to be bombarded with ads that spoil their browsing experience.
All you need to do to get started is sign up for Clk.im, install the plugin, and configure it by copy-pasting your public API key which will be available to you after registration
AdPushup is an automated advanced testing tool that enhances display ads layout for increased click through rate and bigger revenues.
Instagram influences almost 75% of user purchase decisions
As social media continues to influence consumer shopping behaviors, Instagram is no exception. Of over 1, 500 Instagram users surveyed, a huge majority reported following accounts that are fashion, lifestyle-focused, or style while over 60% consider themselves a fashion-forward person.
The report also noted the effect that Instagram has on purchase decisions, with over 70% saying they have made fashion, beauty or style-related goods after seeing something on Instagram, with the most-purchased categories being makeup, shoes, jewelry, and clothing.
According to research, the generational breakdown of Instagram users is made up of: over 80% of millennials, 80% of Gen Xers and 60% of baby boomers, while the percentage of those who made purchase based on Instagram followed a similar pattern: over 73%, 60% and 50% respectively.
As consumers become more digital-savvy and social media-driven, platforms that can be used to get to the younger generations are regularly under examination.
Although this study surveyed exclusively Instagram users, which no doubt influenced the results, the report found that of those interviewed, half said Instagram was the social media platform that most influenced their shopping habits, followed by Facebook (25%), Pinterest (24%), Twitter (5%) and Snapchat (2%).
Snapchat held its ground much better in a study which found that over 20% of millennials were influenced by the platform while making buying decisions, along with 11% of millennials. Instagram, though, was also highly popular with millennials in that study (over 40% said they were influenced by it while making buying decisions).
Despite the large impact that Instagram has on shoppers, one in three of those surveyed had used Instagram inside a retail store to help with their buy8ing decisions — the platform’s “Shop Now” feature, which lets users shop products straight from their feed, stay very unpopular. Over 17% of respondents said they use it.
Why Social Commerce Isn’t Trending (Part II)
According to a recent study, over 40% of online shoppers have seen others post visual content (videos or pictures) of a brand or product on social platforms. Over 40% follow brands on social media and over 50% have purchased a product they heard about on social media. No surprise since social media-engaged shoppers buy more.
When it comes to really convincing a shopper to buy something on social media, though, consumer or user-generated content is the “holy grail” for retailers.
Research mirrors that, as over 75% of consumers reported that CGC enhances product discoverability, enhances brand trust and creates a more engaging experience, while over 55% say that seeing product ratings, social media pictures and other consumer-generated content is crucial.
“It’s trusted, it’s watched, it has a very high click-through rates, but traditional CGC isn’t always brand-safe, it doesn’t have high quality all the time, and there’s no scale.
Plenty of brands have seen positive results from initiating user-generated content themselves — something marketing professionals preach.
For example one brand saw a 1% click-through rate on videos that it asked customers to create and share on social, with an average spend of $108.00.
Other retailers, such as Warby Parker, have also been very successful with social media campaigns, including Warby’s now-famous push for customers to share pics of themselves in their glasses and get a friend’s opinion before making the final decision.
You feel confident that your frames look awesome, but you also just shared content that keeps Warby Parker top of mind for your friends, who when they want to buy frames, look to Warby Parker. Here’s a glasses company that has an over $1 billion valuation after four rounds of VC funding in huge part since they made their product experience shareable.
When you are growing your business, use the social media tools at your disposal.
Why Social Commerce Isn’t Trending (Part I)
Social media is undergoing yet another change. As Gen Z, a group hugely dependent on mobile looms ever bigger in the consumer space, retailers are progressively trying to meet them where they are: on the social channels where they post pics, talk, and follow their favorite people, places, and things.
There is some authenticity in social posts and the good brands use that and intensify consumer voice in their social postings as a way to make them more relatable and more honest.
What we’ve seen over the past years is folks bringing social photos into their product pages and making it a section of the traditional e-commerce experience. So that you’re bringing the shopping experience into social which is much more nascent.
So nascent, that social commerce made up just 2% of revenue in ’16. Over 30% of shoppers who had never bought anything on social media at the end of ‘17 and the only big success story of social shopping in ‘18 is the well-known 23-minute Air Jordan sellout on Snapchat. Otherwise, the channel has about as many trophies as the Chicago Cubs, meaning not many. Here’s some information on shopping on social media and how long before the industry really nails it.
Fertile ground for a social invasion
Social media platforms are now playing a big role in influencing consumer buying decisions, especially with millennials. They are twice as influenced by social media as by deals and 80% of the group are influenced by social media when buying.
Leading the charge is Instagram, which alone influences over 70% of its users’ buying decisions — not to mention the platform’s influencers, which are used by over 69% of retailers and brands. Part of the reason for social media’s success is how visual the platforms are, which has driven social media to become more of a “third channel” of sorts, behind brick and mortar and ecommerce.
Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Go Hand in Hand (Part II)
Affiliate marketers use social media in the process of endorsing their products and making people aware of the products. It proves to be useful to increase traffic and awareness. Here are the reasons to include social media in your efforts.
Today, there isn’t anyone, basically, who does not have a Twitter or Facebook account. There will also not be anyone who doesn’t watch videos from YouTube. You will find very few who aren’t active on social media. In this way, you can consider social media a solid medium to endorse your business as you can find folks from online conversations and scrolling timelines. It has become comparatively simpler as folks access the web over their tablets and smart phones.
Link placements are fine
Google Penguin has made the guidelines of link placement severer than before. The website owners have to be careful regarding the links. Some websites that accept your guest posts or other content eliminate the links from the body of the content if they find it too promotional or not related to the topic. However, social media lets you put as many links as you want without punishing you. You just need to make sure that these links must be useful to your followers or subscribers.
Reaching to target audience gets easier with social media
Social media functions as a link to come together and discuss common interests, grievances, and experiences. Affiliate marketers can seize this opportunity by making the customers conscious of the products. This way, one can get more clicks and improve the purchase of products.
Thus, social media is really a great way to achieve a known online presence. It depends on affiliate marketers on how they implement these social media strategies to increase sales and traffic for their respective products and services.
Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Go Hand in Hand (Part I)
It is a fact that social media plays a crucial role in building relationships and reconnecting with family and friends. But, it has also opened many doors for the folks who want to make money online. Both big and small businesses have been using social media to endorse their products, brand, and services. Affiliate marketing is a method where other websites and publishers endorse your business. An affiliate gets rewarded each time a sale, customer, or visitor is created via an advertisement on the website.
Affiliate marketers also use social media to promote their products and making folks aware of the products. It seems to be useful to improve awareness and traffic. Here are some reasons that support social media in your efforts:
Free of charges
One of the main reasons that social media is greatly preferred because it does not cost anything, at least for the basic features. You just have to create an account, add your group, get familiar with the features and follow those folks who have the same interests as you. These platforms are free, but you have to invest both time and efforts. You have to run your social media campaigns for around 90 days and you have to devote hours for it.
Freedom to manage the account on your own
If you take the challenge to manage your social media account on your own, then you can subtract the cost of outsourcing someone to do it for you. The job of updating your social media accounts can be done in your free time. It is true that it takes plenty of time, but it is so entertaining that you do not feel like you are doing any work at all. Moreover, people working in day jobs can use their break time to check updates for their accounts.
Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Make
Those of us who have spent years in the affiliate marketing industry have come to the conclusion that there are big mistakes new affiliate marketers make.
Selling Instead of Helping
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of affiliate marketing. But, our job as an affiliate is not to sell. That is the place of the sales page our affiliate links lead the consumer to.
When I first began, my impulse was to fill my pages with links and words that shouted “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t tell the reader learn why they should have this product. I just wanted them to click a link which would expectantly lead to a commission for me.
Folks want to hear from others when making a decision to buy a product or not. That’s why the reviews on Amazon products are so good. Those reviews are real feedback from folks who have nothing to gain if someone buys the product or not.
When we talk more like an unbiased reviewer instead of a high-pressure salesperson, we’ll discover we generate more sales and folks will come back for suggestion on other products in the future.
This is another huge mistake I made when starting out, joining any and every affiliate program I came across. While I do believe in promoting multiple streams of income when working online, there is a point where you have too much to deal with and it becomes uncontrollable.
Pick your affiliate programs sensibly and don’t overload yourself.
Whenever I decide to promote a Clickbank offer, I put myself in the shoes of a would-be customer and opt in to test the vendors’ follow up sequence.
I learned this the hard way.
Nothing dissolves a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
Affiliate Marketing Tips to Raise Your Commissions
The supreme internet marketing dream is sitting by the beach on a remote island with a margarita while piles of cash are put into your bank account.
This article will save you the frustration, show you the correct path, and help you get more money via affiliate marketing. This is what you must do to succeed.
Pick the right product(s)
For most affiliate marketers, this is the difficult part, but it’s a vital first step. Usually, you can endorse physical products, software, services, or courses. These categories are very broad.
For instance, physical products can be clothes, fitness equipment, or books. You’re only limited by your own imagination. The question is, how can you pick the right product(s)?
To answer this question, you have to find out what your audience’s goals are or what they want to achieve. That way, you can suggest products that can help them achieve their goals. The easiest way to determine what your audience wants is by asking them. You can do this in one or any of the following ways:
- Ask folks who have subscribed to your email list
- Discover their goals by using a survey
- Read some feedback on current posts through comments or emails
- Visit forums
Remember that your ultimate goal isn’t to pick products that offer the most commission, but products that will really help your audience.
Construct and endorse valuable content
If you’ve used Google to do a search for reviews of services or products, you’ve seen reviews that were written solely for the affiliate commission.
Usually, they’re reviews flattering the product and listing, with little commentary, the features of the product you can find on the product’s official page. These reviews may have worked years ago, but they’re useless now.
Offer additional incentives
Sometimes you may make the perfect content and send out the perfect emails. But adding incentives to your affiliate offers can improve your conversion rate.
How to Win Loyal Customers with Affiliate Marketing
Word-of-mouth has long been a strong marketing tool. But with today’s social media, it’s even simpler for shoppers to turn to folks who they know for endorsements. Truthfully, according to Nielsen, over 90% of global consumers have faith in this type of “earned media” above any other form of advertising. This craze has led to an increase in affiliate marketing and influencer. Once we make clear the difference between these two, we’ll provide strategies for how to get faithful customers with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing vs. Influencer
First, let’s look at influencer and affiliate marketing. Both see brands connecting with individuals online who have reliability with the brand’s target audience. These folks are usually active bloggers, vloggers, and on social media. They have loyal followers who share their interest in a particular niche.
A shoe distributor, for example, might connect with a famous video blogger (vlogger) who concentrates on athletic shoes to enhance credibility and produce brand awareness for a new running shoe product launch.
In an influencer marketing scenario, the brand might offer a sample of the shoes in the chances that a positive video review would improve sales. Or the shoe company might ask the vlogger to make a video for his/her site to help create buzz for the launch and increase brand awareness.
However, taking an affiliate marketing approach, the same business would partner with the same vlogger, but this time would provide a revenue share of any sales they helped make.
While free products and even just the thrill of being the first to know about the brand’s business can be plenty to motivate influencer marketers. Also, some influencers are paid a fee for their partnership.
The affiliate marketer, on the other hand, is paid constantly based on an established compensation structure. Whereas influencer marketing is usually more focused on brand awareness, the affiliate marketer is working to aid the brand grow revenue and get customers.