A surprising benefit of the digital age is how you can make money online from the comfort of your home. Of these methods, affiliate marketing reigns supreme, and the affiliate marketing strategies that guide affiliate marketers are more dynamic.
It’s become more lucrative as larger brands have begun implementing them in their business operations. Did you know major brands like Nike, Sephora, Home Depot, Adidas, and more have affiliate programs?
While just about anyone with an internet connection can launch a successful affiliate marketing business, it takes time, effort, and the right mindset to drive real profits. That’s why we designed this guide – to give you the best affiliate marketing strategies to navigate the changing world of affiliate marketing in 2023 and stay ahead of the game.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is essentially an advertising process in which a content publisher promotes a brand’s products through an affiliate link and receives a commission in return. You can implement affiliate marketing in various ways, with a blog and social media posts being the most popular.
The idea is that you’re convincing your audience to buy the product you’re promoting. As you convert more customers, this becomes a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation between you and the brand you’re partnering with – you’ll enjoy increased profits and more traffic to your business.
As you can see from the map above, there are four key elements to work through when deciding how to start your affiliate marketing program. Let's walk through each in a bit more detail.
What product or service should I promote in my affiliate program?
The product or service you choose to promote in your affiliate program should be something you are passionate about and that your target audience will be interested in. Passion will typically show in your content, which is ideal for reaching an audience with similar interests.
Additionally, the products or services you promote should have a high perceived value that your audience will find useful or helpful to them. You should also consider the competition in the market and ensure that you can offer something unique that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Finally, you should select something with a good commission structure that will be profitable for your affiliate program. This is especially true if you use a paid advertising promotion model, as it is easy to be underwater quickly from a financial perspective if things go south.
What promotional tools will I use in my affiliate marketing strategy?
The promotional methods you choose should align with you and the affiliate product or service in several ways. You want the content to resonate with the target audience on the channels they most frequent. For example, promoting a D2C product on LinkedIn probably won't work, and Facebook or Instagram would be better.
Advertising a visual product with rich media, such as video on Tiktok or YouTube, aligns well with how the product might best be represented through promotion.
You also want the promotion to align with your skills. You wouldn't write a lengthy informative article if you're not a good writer. You wouldn't produce a video if you didn't have video skills.
The caveat to this is being able to outsource these needs to people who do have these skills. The freelance community is packed with talented individuals willing and able to support your affiliate marketing strategies.
What should I be looking for as it applies to affiliate conversion?
When you sign up for affiliate programs to promote, there are three areas to focus on. The first is EPC or earnings per click. This is important to understand, especially if you run ad campaigns or pay-per-click ads.
EPC = amount of commission earned divided by the number of clicks on your affiliate links.
You can make money if you stay positive where your commission is higher than your cost per click. It's a lot more complicated than what has been outlined above, but to simplify it a bit.
Let's break it down.
If you make a $1000 profit from 100 clicks, your EPC would be $10. You can look specifically for affiliate brands with high EPC but keep in mind the EPC is typically calculated across the entire pool of affiliate partners, meaning that some affiliates might have a significantly higher EPC and some are lower to provide the average.
You will need to test this to determine where you are on the scale to ensure your affiliate marketing strategies bear fruit.
The second thing to look for is the commission percentage and how that commission is structured. Here you will typically encounter three scenarios.
- Commissions are single payouts based on the sale price of the product or service being promoted. If a product sells for $100 with a one-time commission of 30%, you will receive $30 in total commission from that sale. This makes it a volume play to profit significantly from this structure.
- Commissions are paid out over a period of time, say one year. This is typically better than the single payout depending on the product's average order value or sell price. If we take the same $100 with a 30% commission and spread that over 12 months, we receive $30 per month x 12 = $360 total commission.
- The holy grail of commissions is recurring for the life of the account. If you convert someone to a sale, you receive the commission for as long as they are a customer. We earn significantly more if we apply the same scenario above with a customer who pays for 5 years.$100 (product cost) x .30 (commission %) = $30 (commission per sale) x 60 (total contract in months) = $1,800 total commission.
Other commission structures also exist, like commissions per lead, revenue share models, etc, but the three outlined above are the most common. Additionally, there are combinations in structure, like a 30% commission in year one that drops to a 10% commission recurring after year one.
The point is to define what you are looking for and what the brand partner offers and determine if the commission structure works for you.
The last thing to look for is the cookie duration. Regarding tracking, you want to find brand partners with longer cookie duration. Essentially, a cookie is a file with code that is dropped onto the browser to help identify the computer. This way, the computer is tracked until the cookie expires.
How does this apply to affiliate marketing?
Essentially, when someone clicks on your promotional link and lands on the brand partner's website, the cookie is placed on the browser of the user who clicked. This cookie then has a set expiration date.
You can receive a commission at any time within that duration. Once it expires, you will no longer own that opportunity and will not receive the commission if the sale happens.
So the longer the cookie duration, the longer the opportunity you have to earn the commission. A 30-day cookie is a standard affiliate marketing structure, but brands offer 45-day, 60-day, and 90-day cookie durations.
When you do your research, finding the best opportunities is not just about honing in on these three areas, as there are other factors to consider, but they are critical for selecting the right partnerships that meet your needs.
What affiliate marketing program policies do I need to look out for?
When considering an affiliate marketing program, reviewing the program policies carefully is essential. You should look for policies that relate to the compensation structure, such as the commission percentage paid to affiliates and the frequency of these payments.
You'll want to look for routine payments, and you might want lower payout thresholds. You can typically find increments of $50 or $100, but some brand partners will offer as low as $25. You'll also want to confirm the payout options as well. PayPal is the most common, but some use Payoneer, wire transfer if they're international, Wise (formerly Transfer Wise), and some even rely on paper checks through the mail.
Make sure you review the payout options when joining a brand partner, but don't let them discourage you. The most important things to consider are the brand partner's reputation and whether they pay on time. Don't put in the effort only to find out the partner won't pay you.
You should also review policies regarding the types of products and services allowed to be promoted and any restrictions on the affiliate's tracking links, website content, or keyword use in paid ads.
To run paid search ads, you'll need to know what keywords you are not allowed to bid on and ensure those are added to your negative list. The restrictions rarely go beyond brand keywords, but it is always best to check.
Additionally, you should know any rules or regulations regarding marketing practices, such as disclosure and privacy. Finally, it would be best to look for policies related to the program's termination, such as the timeframe and circumstances under which an affiliate may be terminated.
Understanding all of this may seem like a lot. Still, it is just assurance that you are correctly doing your due diligence to select the most appropriate partnerships so you can more easily fulfill your role as a loyal affiliate.
Why is Affiliate Marketing Taking Off in 2023?
Businesses across the board are shifting to a more digital focus for their marketing efforts, and affiliate marketing is booming. It’s a highly effective way for brands to increase sales and publishers to make more money with less risk.
Furthermore, affiliate marketing costs much less to start than most marketing programs, making it more appealing for companies to invest.
This marketing strategy is getting so popular that 80% of digital advertisers claim it to be an essential piece of their marketing plan, and 84% of content creators say that working as an affiliate has boosted their annual income by more than 20%.
As e-commerce continues to gain market size with an annual growth rate of 14.7% estimated between now and 2027 and a revenue forecast of 27.15 trillion USD, according to a report by Grandview Research, affiliate marketing is poised to grow even more valuable.
Now is perfect if you've been considering launching an affiliate marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing strategies are becoming more well-defined and sophisticated, and affiliate marketers understand what it takes to operate a successful affiliate marketing business.
For affiliate marketers who are just getting started, there are five affiliate marketing strategies you can rely on to ensure higher levels of success in your affiliate marketing programs.
What are the Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Drive Profits in 2023?
While there are many different affiliate marketing strategies at your disposal, these five are essential for most affiliate marketers to be effective as we move into 2023.
1. Find a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about
People love to read content written by someone who knows and cares what they’re talking about, and brands love to use this content for advertising their products.
The best way to build a strong foundation for your affiliate marketing business and attract many customers is to select a topic you can inject your personality and expertise.
As you continue releasing high-quality content related to your niche, your audience will grow, and you can position yourself as a thought leader. This is an especially effective way to grab the attention of key affiliate marketing programs if your chosen niche relates closely to a certain type of product.
Companies that sell those products will want to partner with you because you’ll have a captive audience full of potential customers for their brand. This is powerful and where most affiliate marketers plan their affiliate promotions.
Channels on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram provide huge opportunities to grow an audience and turn that into an affiliate income stream. Social media platforms have been closely tied to the rise of influencers, but influence can happen almost anywhere.
In its truest sense, influence is defined as having the capacity to affect the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. To influence, you need to lead. Leading others in the right way is a massive responsibility.
The key to being a leader and thus an influence is best shown in the following inspirational quotes from some of the best leaders in history.
“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.” – Mwai Kibaki (is regarded as one of Kenya's founding fathers)
“Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” – John Naisbitt (an American author and public speaker)
“Leadership is not a popularity contest; it's about leaving your ego at the door. The name of the game is to lead without a title.” – Robin S. Sharma (top global expert on leadership)
Be inspired to do something that is more than yourself. Becoming a contentious influencer in the truest sense of the word will afford you many advantages and, with serious effort… prosperity.
2. Focus on quality, not quantity
You may feel like your affiliate marketing business growth is slow upon launch, but ensuring that you only release high-quality content that adds value to your audience’s lives is the best strategy. If someone consumes your content and feels that they’ve learned a valuable piece of information, they’re highly likely to return to your content and spread the word to others.
Patience as an affiliate marketer is the hardest part of affiliate marketing, and a lack of patience is why so many affiliate marketers fail. The percentage of affiliate marketers who make a significant income is very small.
According to the 2022 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark report from Influencer Marketing Hub, a very small percentage make over $150k per year, and a much larger percentage of over 57% make below $10k per year.
The traffic you bring in and the size of your audience are what brands look for from affiliates, and the best way to bring your numbers up is to impress people repeatedly with your content quality. Furthermore, Google is cracking down harder than ever on “fluffy” content that feels auto-generated or carelessly constructed.
Once you’ve amassed a decent audience and partnered with a brand as an affiliate, it’s time to use your work to convert sales. Affiliate links should be implemented carefully and naturally so that people are convinced to buy the product elegantly and not force-fed.
Allowing your content to weave a compelling narrative about the product you’re promoting will bring you success in the form of satisfied readers and more opportunities for affiliate commissions.
3. Implement SEO to expand your reach
A major part of garnering a devoted audience that wants to buy the product you’re promoting is making sure your content is easily discoverable. Optimize your content to reach users with intent, and this will lead you to higher levels of traffic, an engaged audience, and more opportunities for clicks to convert.
This is a lot easier said than done. But for affiliate marketers, organic traffic is the gold at the rainbow's end. And as such, it's the hardest to achieve. Here are some essentials to get your content marketing optimized.
For starters, you should target relevant keywords for which your content can rank. Identify trending phrases that relate directly to your subject matter and craft pieces that specifically satisfy their search intent. For example, if you run a movie review blog, you can create a “Scariest Horror Movies with Release Dates in 2023” post to scoop up any readers searching for new horror movies.
Next, you'll want to create quality content that answers people's queries, offers insights and value, and is well structured from a search engine optimization best practices perspective. You might be asking… what does well-structured mean? That's a focus for another post, but we can say for sure there are essential elements. We've provided seven vital SEO elements below for consideration.
- Proper title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Content structure (H1s, H2s, etc.)
- Keyword use and intent matching
- External and internal linking
- Content length (longer isn't always better)
- Competitor content analysis
Luckily, enhancing your reach isn’t just about search engine optimization. No matter what niche you create content for, there are many places online where people interested in that topic congregate, so you should promote your work in these spaces.
Oftentimes, you might find that a blog post or video you’ve created can be transformed to thrive on another channel. It takes little effort to boil down the key points of your content and turn it into a social media post or email that captures an entirely new audience.
4. Promote a product you love
Your audience trusts you to steer them in the right direction and only deliver real information you believe in. Any product you market should be one you enjoy and would love to use, even if you've never used it before. People will quickly sniff out a false advertisement, hurting your reputation and causing your audience to lose faith in your content and brand.
Let's face it, you can't have a thorough knowledge of every product in your niche that might have an affiliate marketing program to join. You must thoroughly research what you don't know and what you've not been exposed to first-hand. Relying on outside experts is essential for filling knowledge gaps and architecting thorough content with keen observations.
Creating great content for a product you love is also easier. Your passion will be immediately evident, and you’ll be able to get people as excited as you are about the brand. If you can get your hands on the tangible product and use it before you push it, that’s even better.
Only choosing to partner with brands whose products you enjoy might somewhat shrink your pool of potential partners, but you’ll be better off in the long run. As you start to drive sales, you’ll build up a reputation as a trustworthy source of product recommendations, and you will have an easier time promoting to your audience down the road.
5. Seek out highly profitable affiliate marketing programs
As mentioned, there are various commission scenarios that you'll find as you start researching affiliate partnerships. Aside from these scenarios, companies use different models for their affiliate marketing programs. These are the pay-per-sale(PPS) which we broke down earlier, the pay-per-click (PPC) model, and the pay-per-lead (PPL) model.
With the pay-per-click model, you get paid a small amount for each click you send to the brand partner's website or landing page. Massive advertising networks like Google Adsense, Ezoic, AdThrive, and Mediavine facilitate this model. The per-click earnings are incredibly low, but it can pay lucratively if you amass a large traffic volume.
A pay-per-lead model can be lucrative, and companies always look to improve their lead-generation efforts. For service-based businesses, leads are what they are looking for. Ultimately, they want to convert the lead into a sale, and sometimes, you can earn based on the lead and sale.
Pay per lead can be found across different niches, more prevalently, the financial services and insurance industries, and both B2B and B2C. You might get paid for a free trial signup, a lead magnet download, or when someone fills out to get a quote.
You likely won’t have the opportunity to be as selective when you’re first getting started. You'll get understandably rejected based on failing certain qualifications such as monthly traffic to the site, thin content, lack of content, or a brand might have too many “like” affiliate partners already.
As your affiliate marketing business grows, these constraints will change, and the leverage will swing in your direction at any time. With this in mind, use it and be selective when choosing brands to partner with and negotiating commission rates.
Effective sellers don't want to stay boxed into the same stagnant commission rate forever if more profitable options are on the table. By partnering with a brand that offers commission reflecting the excellent results you drive, you’ll bring in a lot more income.
Of course, if you and the affiliate marketing program you’re eyeing aren’t a right fit, you shouldn’t sign up, regardless of the compensation. Your audience trusts you to promote products that align with your niche and expertise while satisfying their needs.
For example, it wouldn’t make sense for a fitness YouTuber to sell unhealthy snack foods. You must be sure that a partnership will be mutually beneficial, and then you can consider how you’ll be compensated.
What are affiliate networks?
Affiliate networks are the intermediaries between advertisers (known as merchants, brands, companies, or vendors) and publishers (known as affiliates or affiliate marketers) that help facilitate performance-based marketing.
They act as the middleman between the two parties and provide tracking and reporting, payment processing, and other services to merchants and affiliates. Affiliate networks help merchants connect with affiliates with the right audience, while affiliates benefit from the network's tracking and reporting capabilities and access to offers from many merchants.
Should I use affiliate networks?
If you are going to start affiliate marketing, you will likely encounter affiliate networks that merchants have decided to leverage for their affiliate marketing strategies and affiliate program.
Affiliate networks have been around for many years, some with good reputations and others shadier. The chart below shows that the largest market share is Amazon Associates, ShareASale, Awin, Rakuten, and ClickBank.
Unless you hand-pick your affiliates and only choose ones that self-manage their affiliate programs, you will need to choose at least one or two affiliate network partners. We've broken down some of our favorites to help you get started.
ShareASale is the biggest affiliate network by market share and has been in business for quite a while, founded in 2000. ShareASale was sold to Affiliate Window, now Awin, in 2017 but remains a separate entity and website. It is the largest affiliate network with over 17000 affiliate programs available.
Best For: all categories (B2B and B2C)
Most Common Model: pay-per-sale & pay-per-lead (PPS/PPL)
Recurring Commission Partners: yes
Cost: free to join
Approval Process: easy
Dislikes: The user experience is not the best, and there needs to be an infrastructure overhaul as it still appears to be circa 2009 when using the platform. However, it is better than other options in this regard.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy Pro Tip: If you're joining SAS early, look for vendors with auto-approval for easy access. Also, use the filtering system to sort by EPC and other important qualifiers.
PartnerStack is great to work with; they have some really strong software vendors in their program, including Fiverr, Unbounce, Monday.com, and BuzzSumo. It's free to join and even has its own affiliate program that you automatically join once approved.
Best For: software (B2B and B2C)
Most Common Model: pay-per-sale (PPS)
Recurring Commission Partners: yes
Cost: free to join
Approval Process: medium
Dislikes: You can only sign up for a few affiliate programs and must get one qualifying sale before the entire marketplace is open to you. This makes it difficult for new affiliates just getting started.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy Pro Tip: Use paid advertising to secure a quick sale with one of the affiliate programs you join and get access to the entire marketplace sooner.
Impact (formerly Impact Radius)
Impact is another excellent option for opening up a large network of affiliate opportunities. With major brands available in the marketplace like HubSpot, Harry's, Stitch Fix, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Best For: multiple categories (B2B and B2C)
Most Common Model: pay-per-sale (PPS)
Recurring Commission Partners: yes
Cost: free to join
Approval Process: medium
Affiliate Marketing Strategy Pro Tip: Ensure you have established your website with content before joining Impact to ensure approval.
ClickBank is one of the affiliate networks I would consider on the shadier side, which I'll probably catch some heat for from the affiliate community. It does not seem to support the programs of any major brands in its marketplace; there are a lot of odd affiliate programs. They have a decent setup for navigating and evaluating vendors and joining programs.
Best For: multiple categories (B2B and B2C)
Most Common Model: pay-per-sale & pay-per-lead (PPS/PPL)
Recurring Commission Partners: yes
Cost: free to join
Approval Process: medium
Dislikes: The absence of alignment to many niches with quality opportunities, and they are always trying to sell you something after you join.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy Pro Tip: Manke sure you sort the results using the “Gravity” score, a proprietary scoring system to determine which programs perform best.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies – Marketing Campaigns
Assuming you have your affiliate marketing strategies in place and are ready to amplify your affiliate promotions, there are several viable options to invest your time and money to help promote your affiliate products.
Your SEO will take months to gain serious momentum with content and link building, but you have other options to leverage affiliate promotions to your advantage. We've broken down the three primary channels most affiliate campaigns rely on to move the needle.
Paid Advertising Strategies
Successful online affiliate programs use paid strategies is to promote affiliate products, services, or affiliate offers to a target audience, casting a much wider net. However, paid strategies only make sense if you have the budget to support them and you're spending less than you make from the affiliate sales or leads generated.
Adding paid ads to your affiliate marketing system can provide tremendous benefits when constructed and executed correctly. There is also tremendous risk when it is not done correctly.
We've broken down the best affiliate marketing campaign strategies to help an affiliate marketer generate revenue and hopefully attract new customers for their affiliate partners.
Google Search Network
By leveraging Google Search Ads, you can skyrocket your affiliate marketing income. This is achieved by strategically targeting and driving web traffic directly to your website with accurate PPC ad placement on SERPs when users input relevant queries.
It's easy to say that Google is one of the most advanced affiliate marketing strategies for your affiliate marketing products.
When executed correctly, Google Search is a surefire way of boosting visibility and making affiliate marketing work. If you're looking to skyrocket your online ad success, Google Ads is a clear choice — but you must have an in-depth understanding of its policies.
If affiliate marketing with Google Ads has ever intrigued you, here are a few perks to keep in mind:
- You can reach your target audience and measure the effectiveness of making adjustments.
- You can customize your Google ads based on your budget, overall goals, and location.
- You can use Google Ads to learn about the keywords people use to search, which will benefit the SEO of your website content.
- Google Search isn't just about creating ads; you can also use the versatile platform for branding, lead generation, and more.
- You can use Google Analytics to help measure performance and improve your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Be thorough when setting up ads and ensure that your affiliate partners don't ban contextual ads — that is, ads that appear in the SERPs or include media buying.
To be clear, Google also has strict affiliate marketing policies. For instance, you must use a tracking URL, accurately portray your product or service in the ad copy, use a landing page or “bridge page, ” and disclose that you are an affiliate.
Google Display Network
The Google Display Network (GDN) extends beyond search engine results and offers an array of display ads on websites, blogs, videos, and other digital content.
Do you know the image-based ads you see while scrolling through your favorite blog? Those are display ads, and they are specific to you. The GDN reaches approximately 90% of Internet users worldwide across the web.
Ads can be designed to appear in a range of formats, including text, images, and videos. As with any other platform, Google Display ads require understanding the available options and proper audience targeting.
With this network, you can set up remarketing campaigns to woo customers with relevant and timely content. Plus, Google Display offers the opportunity to reach users across different devices, such as desktop or mobile.
To be successful with the network, you should understand the basics of the most suitable ad formats for your business. Above all, you should understand who you're targeting, and if not, you should create a buyer persona.
An affiliate marketer should also be aware of the restrictions associated with Google Display, such as no pop-ups, pop-unders, and other intrusive tactics.
Furthermore, an affiliate marketer should keep this checklist of factors handy before jumping into the world of GDN:
- Does your affiliate program allow for paid ads usage?
- Always link your own affiliate landing page, not the merchant's website.
- Your landing page should offer some value to the visitors through a guide, tutorial, or usage tips.
- Don't use branded keywords, as most brands won't allow this tactic.
- Be consistent and review your ads for performance and tweak them as necessary.
- Start with a small budget and expand when you see positive results.
YouTube provides an excellent opportunity to reach and engage with potential customers. With YouTube Ads, you can create engaging video ads that will capture relevant viewers' attention.
YouTube Ads can be used in various ways, including skippable, unskippable, and bumper ads that are 6 seconds long.
Consider these stats from Influencer Marketing Hub, and you'll see why YouTube is so powerful for an affiliate marketer.
- More than 80% of brands have affiliate programs.
- Over 65% of affiliate marketers connect with their customers on social media.
- Over 2.6 billion people worldwide use YouTube each month.
- Every day, people watch over a billion hours of video.
While many advertising options work well, YouTube is best known for helping creators generate passive income. As with most passive income streams, the YouTube ads you create take work initially.
Still, with a little effort and strict adherence to guidelines, you can easily make money through affiliate marketing.
Getting started on YouTube Ads isn't expensive, as many mobile phones have a good camera and audio quality built-in. You can also use screen recording software to record your computer screen easily. Begin by monetizing your site, choosing a clear area of expertise, and uploading your videos.
Before uploading your videos, you should connect to Google Adsense to make your content more accessible. Affiliate marketers should focus on creating content that centers around the following:
- Product reviews – peer reviews of products always work well if you've gained a trusted following.
- How-to videos – everyone needs to know how to do things correctly. Your know-how has value.
- Tutorials – walk-throughs of accomplishing a task or task are always great content.
- Best of videos – people always want to know what others think are the best types of something.
- Unboxing videos – showing how to unpack something, and how to get it set up, and your input on the subject can be valuable.
Google Shopping Ads
If you are promoting a physical affiliate product or one that can be purchased from a marketplace, there is no better marketplace than Amazon or Google to list the product. By importing the product feed into the Google Merchant Center, Google Shopping Ads is a great way to merchandise a product and gain maximum visibility in product-related searches on Google.
Social Media Ads
Social media offers an outstanding opportunity to reach future clients as an affiliate. Utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest boosts your chances of marketing any affiliate offer efficiently.
When using social media to advertise, it's essential to understand the fundamentals of online advertising. This includes understanding the different types of ads and how to create them correctly for each platform.
Typically you'll need to have an established presence on social media before you see any noticeable success with ads.
It would be best if you also focused on creating content that people want to share, such as videos, images, and articles that provide valuable information. Additionally, you should use hashtags and make sure your posts match the tone of your audience. Overall, affiliates could see many benefits:
- Longer cookie lifespans for tracking referrals (60 to 90 days or more).
- Generally, there are account managers available to help you improve your ads.
- A no-risk vertical from which both parties can benefit.
As beneficial as these types of ads seem, they have some risks. For example, tapping into too many markets or overreaching your target audience could result in a loss of revenue.
It would help if you had an established following to see high levels of success. Social media affiliates can change their programs without much notice to their affiliates.
Social Media Platforms
Affiliate marketers have figured out that social media offers a vast and stable market that allows them to reach potential customers and generate income. By understanding the guidelines for each platform, creating quality content that engages your target audience, and advertising your offers through sponsored posts, you can increase your chances of success.
For example, the leading platforms that tend to work well for affiliate marketers are Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.
Each platform has its own set of rules and guidelines for advertising, and some may be more suited to your offers than others. Let's briefly touch on using each of these platforms to your benefit:
- YouTube – Video ads have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the introduction of short-form videos, such as YouTube Shorts. Depending on your content type, the streaming platform is ideal for guides, product reviews, and unboxing videos. Typically, affiliate marketers can mention their affiliate links in the video or exclusively in the video description. Viewers can click on those links directly to your product landing page.
- Those camera-shy individuals can still utilize the platform as they don't have to be in front of the camera; such is the beauty of YouTube.
- Instagram – The ‘gram is an excellent platform for sharing visual content and promoting your affiliate links. You can also use Stories, Reels, IGTV, and sponsored posts to promote your offers.
- Affiliate marketers may also use the Swipe Up feature if they have a following of 10,000 or larger, allowing followers to swipe up and be redirected to your promoted website. Otherwise, affiliates can only post their links in the Bio.
- Twitter – Twitter is the perfect way for real-time conversations, and it's ideal if you're looking to send out tweets about your business quickly. Not only that, but they also have promoted Tweets and accounts, which can aid in getting your message across even wider! While recent Twitter changes may leave some of these things up in the air, affiliates can utilize their hashtag feature to join larger conversations and promote an affiliate link. Remember, though, that Twitter only allows 280 characters per tweet, requiring much creativity to make the most of it. It's not for everyone, but if you can frequently post, be an authority, and use the proper hashtags, you can reap the rewards.
- TikTok – TikTok is a platform that allows you to share short-form videos and promote your products or services. The key here is to be creative, create engaging content, and use the TikTok algorithm to your benefit. Follow current trends, engage in conversations, post regularly, and mix up the types of content you share. This platform offers the perfect opportunity for users to shine through creative content and viral success, even without showing their faces on camera.
- Pinterest – Pinterest allows you to curate visual boards of your interests, promote products, and link them directly to your affiliate website. While many know it as a fantastic place to find DIY projects and home-based decor tips, it's also great for affiliate marketers to share ideas, tutorials, and product reviews. With the proper knowledge of each platform's guidelines, best practices, and engagement, if you stick with Pinterest's guidelines, you can use pins and boards to spread the word about your products. Remember that content should be educational and inspiring; don't just promote; offer helpful information.
- Facebook – Facebook is an oldie but a goodie; with the right content and strategy, you can leverage this platform to reach millions of users. You can create Facebook profiles, a Facebook page dedicated to promoting products, and groups to share your products or services. It's also great for creating engaging visuals and linking them directly to your website. Remember that product promotion must follow Meta's advertising guidelines; otherwise, your ads will be restricted.
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Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is a great way to promote your products and services. You can create highly personalized emails and segmented lists depending on the type of customers or products you want to target. This strategy allows you to reach out directly to people who have already expressed interest in your promotion.
Additionally, email campaigns allow for more detailed tracking of affiliate clicks, and you can also customize the emails with different images, links, and offers. In general, stick to these guidelines to maximize success and keep your visitors subscribing instead of unsubscribing.
- Join a high-quality email service provider – Choosing a reliable provider like Mailchimp or Moosend will ensure your emails are sent from a legitimate domain. Also, read their affiliate links' policies to ensure they're allowed.
- Use personalized details in your emails – Let's face it, people want to be addressed like a person, not a contact that could generate more money for the affiliate. So make the email more unique by mentioning their name or a particular product they were interested in.
- Careful link selection – You can't just choose any program to market to your email subscribers. So, selecting programs your subscribers find valuable would be best.
- Link tracking – Track the links you send in emails so you can keep track of clicks and conversions and even help prevent fraud.
- Use holidays to your advantage – Holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter offer great opportunities for promotional email campaigns!
- Value your email list – Provide them with the value they signed up for; helpful information, contests, and lead magnets are great strategies to hold their attention.
- Engage fully – Make sure to respond to any queries promptly. Additionally, you should check in every once in a while to ensure everything is running smoothly.
- Use social evidence and data – Social proof is a powerful tool to increase conversions. For example, try mentioning positive reviews or customer testimonials in your emails. Also, use data-driven insights to craft more effective strategies over time.
- Keep in touch with readers – Don't forget about them after they've signed up! Send out newsletters regularly, or keep your subscribers up-to-date with new products or services.
- Straightforward registration process – Explain what readers will get when they subscribe and make the signup process as simple as possible.
- Respect their privacy – Don't spam them with affiliate emails; only send out those that are relevant to them and respect their privacy.
Overall, there are many great ways to leverage paid advertising, social media, email campaigns, and content marketing to promote your affiliate products.
With proper research into each platform's guidelines and best practices, you can successfully promote through all of them.
Don't forget to use engaging visuals, provide links to your website, and create the best landing pages attached to your website. Landing pages are one of the best ways to gain additional leads and convert them into paying customers.
Finally, remember to track all of your conversions with analytics so you can tweak your campaigns in the future.
Helpful Related Content:
- The 21 Most Effective Email Marketing Best Practices in 2022
- Best Email Marketing Software in 2022 (Ranked & Reviewed)
- Email Marketing vs Social Media – The Best Bang for Your Buck in 2023
Affiliate Marketing Strategies in 2023 Wrap-Up
According to Zippia, there are over 11,400 affiliate programs in the U.S. alone. And in a Rakuten commissioned research study conducted by Forrester Research, 80% of advertisers and 84% of publishers run affiliate programs. This is just a small sample of statistics showing that affiliate marketing works for both parties.
The digital marketing landscape is evolving faster than ever, and there’s no sign that this trend will soon slow down. You can stay on the cutting edge by implementing best practices to take your affiliate marketing business to the next level.
It may take time to build up a loyal audience that brands want to sell to, but it’ll be worth it when companies start begging you to promote their products.