Making Affiliate Marketing Work for You
We know that affiliate marketing as a business model is not always one at the top of marketers’ lists. Because it is performance-based, it can mean a greater shared risk for a marketer if they are only being compensated for conversions.
While that may be the case, when done right, this type of marketing model can be the most profitable and sustainable revenue earner for brands and affiliates alike.
At Fintel Connect, we talk to hundreds of affiliates daily and have insights into what sets a successful affiliate apart.
We’ve summarized our findings into the following top four tips to help you make affiliate marketing work for you.
Tip 1: Give affiliate marketing time
Something that many new affiliates forget or don’t realise is that this type of marketing can take time to gain momentum and see results. When starting up, remember to factor in this time at the start. For brands launching their programs, we suggest giving it up to six months to really see a program at full steam. For affiliates, it can take a similar amount of time for your site to start generating the sustainable results you’d expect.
The reason it takes time is that your website may not have high traffic numbers yet. This is something you can work on with SEO tactics. With this in mind, if you are an established publisher with an invested audience, you can expect to see results quicker.
Another reason is that audiences may need to become familiar with new products – it usually takes about five unique views across channels, before people will action anything or click on an ad. This is why it is important to choose products carefully, which takes us to tip two.
Tip 2: Choose products carefully
It is imperative that you choose products that will work with your audience. As a quick reference guide, we’ve listed the things you can consider doing before promoting a new product:
- Choose products that you really like and see the value in. If you’re working with a brand because they have high commissions but you can’t genuinely speak to it, it will show, and you won’t achieve the conversions you hoped for.
- Try products before you promote them where possible so that you can give insightful and honest reviews.
- Consider whether your audience will see the value of this product.
- Ask yourself if there are any competitors that offer the same product that may be better and/or cheaper and if yes, ask yourself what makes the product you’re working with stand out.
- Unless a product is really attractive, keep to your niche and work with brands that fit your ethos.
We have learned through talking to many affiliates that the number one reason their previous efforts did not work was because they were promoting the wrong products.
Tip 3: Incorporate links correctly
When you join an affiliate network, such as Fintel Connect, you will be able to access the links that enable you to track referrals and earn commission. Once you have these, there are a number of ways that you will be able to include the links on your site.
The first and easiest way would be to place banner ads throughout the site with the tracking links embedded. These are images or gifs that sit on pages, usually framing or throughout articles. At Fintel Connect, we recommend our merchants provide a variety of creatives in different sizes and with different wording or images to help match the needs of the publishers in their programs.
We recommend affiliates try out different placements for ads to find the top performing spots as well as different creatives. Some placement ideas could be 2/3 of the way down a blog post (because then you know people are invested in your article) or embedded in deeper pages on your site for more contextual placements.
The second way to use links is to embed them in text as a hyperlink. This is usually done when publishers have content such as a product review or a comparison piece. This usually sees great results as it is a very contextual approach.
Product reviews are a great way to add unique content to your site and provide helpful recommendations and guidance to your readers. This can help to educate them on the product(s) and will likely result in customers converting.
A third way that we see many affiliates using links is to include them in emails, either in footers or as a feature in an e-newsletter.
We find the best performing affiliates in our network incorporate a mix of all three of the above links on their sites and use them to drive conversions.
Tip 4: Invest in your SEO strategy
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the biggest tool in the box to help publishers grow their sites and improve their results from their affiliate marketing partnerships.
There are many factors that go into a successful SEO strategy. Two of the biggest facts include the genuineness of your content and how specialized or focused your website is. The more effort you invest in creating real, genuine content and the more focused it is, the greater the likelihood that it will be more easily found by the search engines.
Search engines like Google have created an algorithm to help them find the most relevant information for people’s search terms. By aligning your site with their criteria, you are more likely to rank higher.
We’ve included some helpful focus areas related to building out your SEO strategy:
Content is the most influential thing on any site, whether it be a long-form piece like an article, an image, or a simple CTA button.
Read our blog here for our guide on common mistakes to avoid when creating content.
UX can have a major impact on the traffic flow on your site. Check out this article to see how you can utilise it to help with traffic and minimising bounce rates.
The main things to remember are: keep your site clean, make navigation easy and remember to ensure all content is relevant.
- Titles and descriptions
Titles need to be eye-catching and inform readers at a glance what the content is about. Descriptions should build off the title and further expand what the content includes and what topics it covers.
Try to front-load your keywords (i.e. put them in at the front of titles/descriptions) to help the search engines readily determine what your article is about.
- Social media
Support all your content releases with organic social media posts and make sure you give audiences the option to share on their timelines.
Keywords are the phrases or words that people will search for, i.e. “best credit card for travel” or “travel cards”. It is your job to ensure that you are aware of the possible keywords relevant for your audience and incorporate them into your website.
You can use a keyword research tool like Semrush to help you understand the strength, cost and competitiveness of these words when you start out.
After you have done your research, you can add keywords into metatags, headings and throughout your text, but remember not to saturate your content with keywords unnecessarily as search engines will take this as spam!
Affiliate marketing is available to everyone and while it may take some time in the beginning to gain momentum, it can prove to be a lucrative income source for many publishers.
Below is a recap of what we have covered to help get you get started on your journey to making affiliate marketing successful.
#1: It takes time. New publishers will take time to build a site that can successfully support affiliate marketing before they see a high return.
#2: Choose the right products. Selecting the right products that resonate with your audience is paramount to success.
#3: Spot the different link usage. Tactfully incorporating different link types on your site will have a big impact on helping your audience convert.
#4: Know your SEO strategy. Develop a keen awareness of SEO and how you can implement basic strategies to help boost search engine rankings.
We hope that you’ve found this blog helpful and that you’re ready to get started.
If you’re interested in working with financially-focused brands, we can certainly help and welcome you to sign up for our network by clicking here!