Affiliate marketing certainly has the potential to drive sales and generate significant revenue. More than that, it is a highly cost-effective lead generation tactic where you pay solely for performance.
That’s why more brands are leveraging this performance-based marketing tactic more often.
Google Trends data also suggests that the number of searches for “affiliate marketing” has grown significantly over the past five years.
Image via Google Trends
These searches likely come from both brands and affiliates as affiliate marketing can help them both grow.
If you are still confused about whether or not to use affiliate marketing, check out these interesting statistics:
- 81% of brands use affiliate marketing to capture customers’ attention, engage with existing customers, and generate more sales.
- Affiliate marketing spend in the US is expected to rise to over $6.82 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 10%.
- 79% of marketers leverage affiliate marketing to drive conversions and increase purchases. 83% of them use it to increase brand awareness, and 79% of them use it to engage existing customers.
Before I discuss the most effective affiliate marketing strategies to grow your brand, let’s take a look at what it is all about.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is also known as performance-based marketing.
Brands collaborate with various affiliates who then promote their products or services. When promotions by an affiliate lead to a sale, the brand pays them a commission.
This commission differs from brand to brand. You can either pay your affiliates for each sale, lead, or click.
Affiliate marketing helps you leverage the power of influence. You can partner with many affiliates to tap into new audiences. It can be a very effective way to fuel your sales funnel with significant leads and conversions.
However, using it to grow your brand takes a lot more than just that. It takes time, effort, and well-thought affiliate marketing strategies to drive the best results.
Here are six of the most effective affiliate marketing strategies that can help you grow your brand.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Brand
Many successful brands work with a lot of affiliates to increase their sales. But not all of them use the same techniques to increase the visibility and demand for their products.
In fact, there are several different affiliate marketing strategies and channels you can leverage.
1. Choose the Right Affiliates
Affiliate marketing allows you to leverage the power of influence to get people to buy from you.
If you want to influence consumers’ buying decisions, you should choose to work with someone who has an engaged audience that trusts them.
When choosing an affiliate to help you with your product promotions, check whether or not:
- They have a good rapport with their audience
- Their audience might be interested in your products or brand
- They have a good following, site ranking, views, engagement, and authority
All of this is important to ensure that your efforts aren’t in vain.
For instance, if you are a food company, choosing a coupon site that offers discounts on travel tickets wouldn’t make any sense.
Similarly, a blogger who receives only 10 unique visitors a day can’t help you grow your sales funnel.
So you should choose your affiliates wisely to gain maximum conversions with minimum effort.
2. Attract Sales with Coupons, Deals, and Promotions
Everybody loves a great deal.
Leveraging coupons and deals is one of the best affiliate marketing strategies to boost sales. That’s because many consumers love the savings power of coupons. They often search for discount vouchers on various coupon and deals sites before shopping for any product.
Check out these statistics to understand consumers’ love for coupons and deals.
Image via Blackhawk Network
There are many coupon and deal websites that allow you to attract more customers by offering a significant discount. Groupon and Offers.com are a few such sites that you can use to drive huge traffic to your business and increase conversions.
Image via Groupon
Coupons work best in markets that are highly competitive such as food, beauty, travel, or gadgets. However, you need to manage them well as an extravagant discount offer might simply eat into your margins.
To make the most out of your coupon affiliate marketing strategies, choose working with a few, high-quality sites. See where their visitors come from. Do they highly rely on search traffic or do they have a user base of their own?
You should also check the authenticity of their site. Try using their coupon codes for a few popular brands. If they don’t work, it’s a red flag.
3. Leverage the Power of Niche Influencers
Influencer marketing has become much more than a buzzword in recent years. And brands are continuously learning to tap into this source of referrals effectively.
Many brands choose to work with a large number of social influencers and bloggers in their niches. Influencers have more authentic relationships with their followers. They can effectively get their audience to trust your brand and convince them to use your products or services.
Influencers may not send you huge amounts of traffic compared to coupon sites. But the audience they send is targeted and more likely to be interested in your product.
Thus, you can boost your conversion rates with effective affiliate partnerships with influencers.
While most influencers expect monetary compensation, many agree to work for free products or a portion of each sale they drive as well.
Nordstrom Rack, a US fashion retailer, gifted their products to a number of influencers. The influencers then featured those products in their blog posts and social media posts effectively. These series of posts helped them reach 500,000 potential customers and increase sales in a cost-effective way.
Image via Instagram
However, to get the best results, you need to associate with influencers who are relevant to your brand. This demands that you look at much more than their following size.
You need to analyze various metrics to see if an influencer is fit for your affiliate marketing strategies. A few important metrics that you should check include their:
- Audience demographics
- Follower growth over time
- Alignment with your brand’s values and niche
All of these factors contribute to whether or not an influencer is a good fit for your affiliate marketing program.
4. Build a Robust Affiliate Network
Instead of tapping into various affiliate networks, build your own. It can be really difficult to recruit your first few affiliates. But expanding your affiliate network is comparatively easier.
To attract affiliates, you should follow a clear, to-the-point approach. Provide your potential affiliates with all of the necessary information such as what to do, how it works, and the commission you’ll pay.
You should also encourage your affiliates to recruit more sub-affiliates. You can offer them a small commission of the sales that their sub-affiliates drive. That can be quite encouraging.
You should always take some time to appreciate and reward your most loyal affiliates. Track their performance, and analyze the lifetime value of the customers they bring to your brand.
You can reward them with a slightly higher commission rate in the future. You can also offer them benefits such as buying any product at the best price or one free delivery every month.
These affiliate marketing strategies can help you build a strong network and encourage affiliates to give their best shots.
Amazon Associates is one of the largest and the most successful online affiliate programs in the world. They have a network of over 900,000 affiliates who proudly promote various products listed on the ecommerce site.
Image via SimilarWeb
5. Leverage Affiliate Promotions From Multiple Sources
Instead of focusing on just Instagram influencers or coupon sites, spend the time to reach out to your audience through affiliates from multiple sources.
You can test a variety of affiliate marketing strategies to see which audience responds the best and is the easiest to reach.
Some promising sources to leverage affiliate promotions include:
- Product review blogs: A review-focused affiliate blog can help you promote your products effectively. They are more likely to drive customers who are really interested in making a purchase.
- Email marketing: Affiliates with a huge list of email subscribers in your niche can help you drive more conversions.
- Webinars: Experts who host webinars on topics relevant to your niche can also be an amazing source of targeted leads. With an audience who trusts their recommendations, they can boost your affiliate marketing strategies.
- YouTube videos: Getting your products featured by a popular YouTuber can help you drive instant sales. After all, 40% of millennials admit that their favorite YouTubers understand them better than their friends.
Using multiple platforms can help you drive the best results from your affiliate marketing strategies. This can also help you analyze the platform where your audience is most engaged on.
6. Optimize Your Product Pages for Conversions
Many brands invest in affiliate marketing strategies and expect their affiliates to drive conversions on their own. You can’t rely completely on your affiliates and sit back to watch sales come in.
Affiliate marketing can help you to drive interested consumers to your product pages. But it’s your job to make sure that they buy your product once they reach there.
If you want to generate more sales, you should deliver a good customer experience to them. For this, you need to optimize your product pages to boost conversions. It’s simple, just make sure that:
- Your site loads fast
- You provide sufficient information to help your customers buy the product they want
- You display impressive, high-quality product photos that grab your visitors’ attention
- Your product descriptions include engaging copy that speaks of your brand and tells them why they should buy from you
- You should clearly feature customer reviews to build trust
Optimized product pages can give a boost to your affiliate marketing strategies and effort. They can help you retain more customers.
In fact, you can also use your product pages to upsell and cross-sell relevant products.
There’s no doubt that affiliate marketing can help you attract customers and convince them to buy from you.
In fact, 38% of marketers consider affiliate marketing as one of the top customer acquisition methods.
But you need to realize that it can’t happen overnight. You need to choose the right affiliates, channels, and affiliate marketing strategies to boost conversions.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.