The concept of extending compensation to a person or group that generates leads, drives up traffic or causes sales to happen, for the merchant, is called affiliate marketing. There are many advantages to affiliate marketing for a company. It saves you the work of finding customers, since the affiliate handles this very important aspect. It is in the affiliate’s best interests to find the best customers since the payment happens when a visitor is converted to a customer. Apart from the network fee, the process is cost effective for the merchant as well. There is added visibility for your brand because the affiliate knows where to place advertisements for the most visibility. No wonder then that the common belief is that affiliate marketing is the simplest way to get into the world of online marketing.
If you’re looking to start a new affiliate marketing program, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Find the right spot-or create one
It is logical that people are not going to spend money on just anything. So find out what’s missing or what’s limited in number and plug that gap. This is important because unless money is spent, you won’t make any. Do a little bit of market research, find out an emerging market or cutting edge product and see how you can be part of the whole process. Try the hot trends service from Google or choose keywords to give you workable ideas.
2. Less is more for ads
Once you’ve found a niche and created a website, make sure you update it regularly. We mean update not crowd or clutter. So think along the lines of ‘less is more’. Do away with distracting advertisements and tons of offers from affiliates. What you need is one well-placed ad. If you need more ads, go with one banner ad, one in the text and one on the side. The idea is to click on the ad after they’ve read up on what’s on offer. So keep it simple and focus on fewer distractions.
3. Update, not overdo
Apart from finding relevant ads, you must also work at keeping your content contemporary. Take the time to go through what you’ve put out there and prune, trim and cut if required. Regular updates will ensure that you give your customers the latest news and deals and this will surely score big with them. Content is an effective way to grab eyeballs and seeing how it is the first thing a visitor will notice, make sure it is well written.
4. Think personal contact
The good thing about online marketing is instant connect with the audience. If a visitor has to leave an email id or has an option of signing up for your mailing list, even if he does not buy a product, it can help grow your customer base. You can even throw in a free product or a great offer for each sign up. Making them a part of your mailing list opens up channels of communication and gives the customer the advantage of information. What’s more, the chances of a customer clicking on a link in the email are very bright too. That means more revenue for you. So do consider creating a list.
5. Try the product yourself
If yours is an affiliate marketing plan for a product promotion, do try it out before you promote it. There’s nothing like first-hand information and experience to close a deal. This will also be vital to you because it is your recommendation that people are going to rely on. If you don’t want a loss of reputation, it is better to know what you’re selling or promoting. This is in your best interests, because a bad experience could mean a clamoring for refunds- an end result you can surely avoid.
6. Be honest
Keeping with the previous point, if you’re reviewing a product, do so with honesty. Don’t sugarcoat it, don’t gloss over or pretend that faults do not exist. Tell the customer both sides of the story- you’ll be the better for it. Building trust takes time and effort and you can start right when you speak right.
Affiliate marketing requires effort and consistent hard work. Don’t go in expecting overnight results- it does not work that way. Maintain high standards and keep your eye on the goal.