What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the practice of advertising the products of others in exchange for a small commission on each transaction. Many of the websites you frequent probably have “affiliate link” or “sponsored post” headlines, or perhaps you’ve already taken the first step and joined an affiliate network.
Let’s go through how affiliate marketing works if you’re new to it.
To begin with, look for an affiliate program or network that interests you. Examine the program’s overview, which includes the types of items or services available, payment options, and commissions.
Sign up if it interests you and waits for confirmation of your approval. Then begin developing material by incorporating the program’s custom links.
When one of your users makes a purchase using those links, you’ll get a modest commission.
You can work for specific companies or affiliate networks, where you can register and pick and choose which programs you want to participate in. To make it easier to choose, the programs are often grouped into categories.
Start promoting your affiliate links on your website, in newsletters, on social media, and wherever else you’re allowed to distribute them once you’ve been approved.
When you achieve the minimum payment threshold, the network gives you a payment. PayPal, bank transfers, and cheques are the most common payment options.
Common Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
Most affiliates share common practices to ensure that their audience is engaged and receptive to purchasing promoted products. But not all affiliates advertise the products in the same way. In fact, there are several different marketing channels they may leverage.
An influencer is a person who has the power to influence the purchasing decisions of a large group of people. This individual is well-positioned to profit from affiliate marketing.
They already have a large following, so directing customers to the seller’s products via social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their fans is simple. The influencers are then paid a portion of the earnings that they contributed to generate.
Influencer marketing efforts, in which firms partner with influencers who are perceived as experts or authority in their unique fields, are particularly popular on Instagram.
A campaign could include a series of product evaluations with images, account takeovers, or live broadcasts, depending on the deal.
While an influencer may have their own branding and aesthetic, it’s critical to include components that are associated with your company to ensure brand recall and recognition.
This may be accomplished with tools like Instasize, which allows you to instantly change and customize your campaign’s creatives with a single tap.
With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site.
The blogger is awarded for his or her influence in spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales. For example, my article on the best email marketing software includes product reviews and affiliate links.
3. Paid search focused microsites.
Creating and monetizing microsites can potentially result in a significant amount of revenue. These sites are promoted on a partner site or in a search engine’s sponsored listings. They are unique from the main website of the organization.
Microsites enhance conversions by providing more targeted, relevant material to a specific audience, thanks to their basic and straightforward call to action.
4. Email lists.
Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products.
Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product.
Another method is for the affiliate to build an email list over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.
5. Large media websites.
These sites are designed to generate massive amounts of traffic at all times, with the goal of reaching millions of people. These websites employ banners and contextual affiliate links to promote products to their large readership.
This strategy provides greater exposure and increases conversion rates, resulting in higher profits for both the seller and the affiliate.
Tips to Help You Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer
1. Develop a rapport.
When you first start off in affiliate marketing, you’ll want to target a niche demographic with specific interests. This allows you to customize your affiliate campaigns to that specific niche, boosting the chances of conversion.
You’ll be able to sell to the people who are most likely to buy the goods if you establish yourself as an authority in one subject rather than advertising a wide range of things. After that, there was a tap.
2. Make it personal.
There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy.
You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.
You’ll also want to get really good at email outreach to work with other bloggers and influencers. Use a tool like ContactOut or Voila Norbert to gather people’s contact information and send personalized emails to garner guest blogging and affiliate opportunities.
3. Start reviewing products and services.
Concentrate on reviewing items and services that are relevant to your industry. Then, using the connection you’ve built with your audience and your authority as an expert, tell your readers why they should buy the product or service you’re promoting.
If there is an affiliate program, you can evaluate almost anything offered online – physical things, digital software, or even services bought online, such as ride-sharing or holiday resort booking.
Comparing this product to others in the same category is extremely useful. Most crucial, to increase conversions, make sure you’re creating detailed, eloquent content.
4. Use several sources.
Instead of focusing on just an email campaign, also spend time making money with a blog, reaching out to your audience on social media, and even looking into cross-channel promotions.
Test a variety of marketing strategies to see which one your audience responds to the most. Make frequent use of this technique.
For more information, you can check out this article on how to start a successful blog this year.
5. Choose campaigns with care.
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up.
Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.
6. Stay current with trends.
In the affiliate marketing industry, there is a stiff rivalry. To be competitive, you’ll need to keep up with emerging trends. Additionally, you’ll almost certainly be able to benefit from at least a few of the continuously evolving marketing tactics.
Keep up with all of these new tactics to ensure that your conversion rates, and thus revenue, are as high as possible.
What are the Top Affiliate Marketing Trends of 2020?
1. Improved affiliate reporting and attribution.
Many affiliate programs use last-click attribution, in which the affiliate who receives the final click before a sale receives 100% credit for the sale. This is beginning to change.
You can see a full-funnel, cross-channel perspective of how to separate marketing techniques are performing together thanks to affiliate platforms’ new attribution models and reporting features.
For example, you might notice that the first click came from a paid social campaign, the second came from Affiliate X, and the third came from Affiliate Y. With this information, you can set up your affiliate commissions such that Affiliate X receives a part of the sale even if they didn’t get the last click.
2. Influencer niches are becoming hyper-targeted.
Large affiliates used to be the mainstay because catch-all coupons and media sites provided exposure to hundreds or thousands of advertisers.
This is not the case any longer. Influencers can take advantage of their hyper-focused specialty for affiliate marketing success by using long-tail keywords and looking for highly specific items and services.
Influencers may not deliver massive volumes of traffic to advertisers, but the audience they do send is more trustworthy, focused, and converts better.
3. GDPR is changing how personal data is collected.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25, 2018, is a collection of rules that govern how personal data is used across the European Union. Even though they are not based in the European Union, this compels certain affiliates to gather user data via opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notifications).
This new legislation should also serve as a reminder to adhere to FTC guidelines and explicitly declare that affiliate commissions are earned from your recommendations.
4. Affiliate marketers are getting smarter.
Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers.
Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high-paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.
What Affiliate Marketing Strategies Should You Employ in 2020?
1. Only recommend products you are extremely familiar with.
In affiliate marketing, building trust with your audience is crucial, and the quickest way to destroy trust is to recommend things you haven’t tried or that aren’t a good fit for your audience. Also, remember that you are merely endorsing a product when you advise someone to buy it.
The more helpful you are and the more great recommendations you provide, the more likely your website visitors will return to benefit from your knowledge.
2. Promote products from many different merchants.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products.
This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the number of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website. Some examples of affiliate merchants include brands like BigCommerce, Bluehost, and SimplyBook.
3. Constantly test and optimize your conversion rates.
Let’s imagine you have a promotions page where you use affiliate links to promote a product. You have 100 referrals if you have 5,000 visits each month and a 2% conversion rate.
You can either work on gaining 5,000 additional visitors or simply increase the conversion rate to 4% to reach 200 recommendations.
Which option appears to be the most straightforward? To gain more organic traffic, instead of spending months increasing Domain Authority through blogging and guest pieces, simply boost the conversion rate by 2%.
Landing page optimization, call-to-action testing, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place are all examples of this. You’ll obtain significantly better results with far less effort if you test and optimize your site.
4. Focus on your affiliate traffic sources.
It’s critical to understand the origins of your traffic as well as the demographics of your target audience. This will allow you to personalize your messaging and make the finest affiliate product suggestions possible.
You should concentrate not only on the vertical in which you operate but also on the traffic sources and audience that visits your site. Organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, and direct traffic are all possible sources of traffic.
In Google Analytics, you can check traffic source data to see things like time on page, bounce rate, geolocation, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more, so you can focus your efforts on the most converting visitors. This data is essential for making informed decisions and enhancing conversion rates.
Benefits To Joining the BigCommerce Affiliate Program
1. Industry-leading commissions.
BigCommerce affiliates earn a 200 percent commission on each referral and up to $1,500 on enterprise referrals with no commission cap. Furthermore, the more referrals you send our way, the higher your commission tier will rise.
BigCommerce has an industry-leading 90-day cookie, which means you’ll get credit for referrals for up to three months. In addition, there are no requirements or minimum commitments to participate in the program.
2. Strategic growth.
BigCommerce provides unique strategies to help you grow, increase your website’s visibility, and drive more sales. You’ll be able to save time and money on content creation by linking to WordPress blogs, webinars, and more with content developed by BigCommerce for your audience.
3. Powerful tracking.
Our affiliate dashboard offers a comprehensive look at your clicks, trials, sales, and commissions. You can view your earnings, track performance, and get paid at the same time every month.
4. A dedicated account manager.
You will have direct access to an affiliate expert who understands your business and your goals. BigCommerce will work with your team and our conversion rate experts to maximize your commissions and earnings per click.
We provide 1-on-1 support through phone and email, quarterly affiliate contests, and our latest product updates.
5. Promotion made easy.
In your dashboard, you will have easy access to our pre-made text links, banners, and content. Promote BigCommerce anywhere on your site by simply inserting our affiliate links on your pages.
Join The BigCommerce Affiliate Program
We invite you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program if your audience is interested in starting an online business, migrating their ecommerce platform, or simply reading ecommerce material. Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by our team.
You’ll get access to support, tracking, reporting, and compensation once you’ve been approved, as well as your own unique affiliate link, to track every recommendation you make. BigCommerce is dedicated to our affiliate partners’ success.
Affiliate marketing is a great alternative for people who want to take charge of their own finances by focusing on performance-based revenue streams.
Working in tandem with a seller, a determined affiliate marketer can earn a passive income without having to produce their own product or service from the comfort of their own home.
Although the work’s success is dependent on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can be an effective approach to reach your financial goals as a primary career or a lucrative second job.
Affiliate marketing, which may be done through reviews, blogs, social media, webinar software, and other platforms, is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be explored.
Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time.