You’ve researched affiliate marketing and spent time creating a great review site to hear crickets once your website is up and running. Your SEO strategy may have plateaued, and you’re looking for new ways to attract attention to your platform. No matter the source, you’re hungry for clicks, impressions, sign-ups, and sales after the normal channels have been exhausted.
Most small businesses are aware of the power of Search Engine Optimization – the art of optimizing your site and content to attract search engines, bring more consumers to your site, and drive traffic to your content. Without question, conducting keyword research and optimizing content is central to any online marketing strategy. Likewise, paid ads on platforms like Google AdWords and Yahoo can also help drive traffic and boost your affiliate’s earnings.
SEO and AdWords are the jump-off points for affiliate marketers. Your material and any off-site marketing strategies are the sustaining energy that drives your SEO campaign.
If you’re trying to push traffic to your review pages or social media posts, or if you want those clicks that make a profit, there’s a lot more you can do in addition to optimizing your website.
Have you considered complementing your SEO effort with PPC, considering that 46 percent of clicks go to the top three paid ads in search engine results!
Have you ever partnered with bloggers or influencers to reach out to a wider audience?
How about attending an affiliate marketing conference to learn from the brightest industry. Yes, successful affiliate marketing may also involve some IRL interaction!
Driving traffic to your affiliate links takes a bit of effort, but you can do something with little experience and a limited budget. Let’s start driving more traffic to your affiliate content without delving into SEO’s messy business. Here are a few strategies that you can adopt right away.
Supplement your SEO strategy to PPC ads
It’s fairly common for affiliate marketers to deploy pay-per-click (PPC) ads to generate clicks on their content. You pay for better exposure in the search engine results. PPC ads are those that appear as people search for targeted keywords. Several sites are providing PPC. Place ads to draw users by browsing Google, Bing, and Facebook, to name a few.
How is PPC working?
With paid advertising, you pay the network every time anyone clicks on your ad. The price you pay for each search term (keyword) is determined by the market’s value. Many PPC marketplaces offer auction-style ads, where advertisers are bidding on keywords for their ads to appear in search engine results.
Year after year, statistics tell us that PPC is a reliable way to drive metrics, and it is also well known that PPC is not a viable choice for long-term affiliate marketers. As soon as you stop bidding on keywords, predict a traffic dip. That’s because you’re again dependent on your organic presence, your social media popularity, and your word of mouth to maintain your success.
With this in mind, it is recommended that you use PPC depending on your other methods. If you’re having a bad week, sure give PPC a shot, but bear in mind that unless your budget for your PPC advertising for your keywords is infinite, PPC isn’t sustainable in the long run.
Three steps to a good PPC ad campaign
Running a PPC campaign can be broken down into three stages. Choose where you want your ads to appear, create content for people to click on, and develop the type of ads that people want to click on.
Step 1. Choose a network
We stated that there were many places where you could view PPC ads. In short, we’re going to focus on the key platforms: Google AdWords, Bing Advertising, Facebook, and YouTube. First, let’s take a look at each quality to help decide which platform matches your needs.
Since Google handles the most online search queries, we’re going to start here. Google has a sizeable scope, which means that you’re more likely to find an audience for your ads, no matter how niche your niche is. Even if you have the least popular affiliate product, chances are that Google can do that.
Before you scramble over to AdWords in a frenzy, here’s some pause for thought; there’s no question that Google’s AdWords PPC platform is perfect for growing search visibility. But,-Google AdWords is a highly competitive site, with everyone competing for the Holy Grail-the top three rankings (paid) in their SERP.
To see a return from AdWords, you need a plan in place and a budget to stick to it. Fortunately, Adwords was developed to give advertisers a close grip on their spending, and within a few clicks, you can change your campaign spending when it suits you.
Grow your company with Google Advertising
In reality, Google is #1, but don’t be so hasty that you’re forgetting Bing. Bing has 63 million searchers that you won’t be able to navigate with a Google Ad. The best part of it? You’re not looking at anything like the Adwords market on the Bing Advertising PPC site. What’s more, Bing offers better targeting options so that you can be ultra-specific on who sees your ads, and generally, Bing provides a lower cost per click.
The supremacy of Facebook in the social media world makes it a strong outlet for paid advertising. One of the best things about Facebook Advertising is the opportunity to aim. With Facebook’s PPC tools, you can be more specific about small details such as language, gender, age, jobs, interests, and more, as illustrated below.
YouTube Ads Ads
YouTube is another common location for affiliates to put paid advertisements. Why? Why? That’s simple; you put ads for a devoted user looking for support and finding your content. Generally, YouTube users look up stuff they’re curious about, like a hobby or something that they’re interested in. They’re out there to do something, learn something or even buy something. This makes high-intent audiences of YouTube visitors. Targeting these people right, you can show them exactly what kind of content they’re looking for.
The downside, huh? If you don’t have a background in video production and editing, you’ll need a budget to make a good commercial for this site.
Irrespective of the platform you select, it is suggested to start small and scale to become more comfortable with your account and objectives.
Step 2. Send traffic to a particular landing page
Most people are searching for ways to help them in making a purchase and why landing pages are indispensable. A landing page is a standalone web page that appears in response to clicking on an optimized search engine, online ad, email marketing, or promotion. Creating a landing page with the answers the readers ask questions is vital for solving future visitors’ problems.
The related landing page will easily double your conversions compared to sending clicks to the home page.
Conversion rates are higher for advertisements that go straight into sales. Instead of sending people who click on your PPC ads to home, product, or contact pages, please send them to a dedicated landing page.
Step 3. Build your content for higher conversions
Not all PPC material looks like what we saw in the examples above. The contents will be shown differently, depending on your purpose. Above all, keep your customer in mind and keep the contents succinct, appropriate, and specific.
Google’s role in PPC affiliate marketing
Google has two types of PPC campaigns. They are based around Google’s advertisement networks: the Google Search Console, the Google Display Network, and the YouTube Network. These three networks cover all locations where your ads can appear, including Google sites and websites that display relevant Google ads.
Keywords are important for searching for network advertising. If you are confused about the most popular keywords on your website, Google Search Console will support it. When your Google Advertising campaign is launched, you can add or delete more keywords to increase your conversion chances.
Bing’s role in PPC affiliate marketing
Microsoft published several instructions for the successful copywriting of Bing Advertising. They recommend using the most common search query keywords of your visitors in the Bing Advertisements titles and text. Use the remaining characters to highlight your goods and advantages (rather than exclusive advertising language) and use persuasive action words to immediately inspire people to click on your ad.
Facebook’s role in affiliate marketing
Facebook Ads offer a range of formats, including video to view product features, an image to push users to a website or app, and a set of images to promote shopping. You can use it to view objects from your catalog of goods. To make sense of creating content that fits each format, head to the Facebook PPC Advertising Guide. This helpful post is filled with tips on the innovative and technological side of using Facebook Advertising for companies.
Facebook Ads are just like every other form of advertising; your ROI depends on the quality of your copy and your imagination. If you’re stuck with suggestions, think about mastering persuasion, infuse your Facebook Advertising with some classic concepts of persuasion.
YouTube’s role in affiliate marketing
Other forms of ads require clear static visuals. Of course, making YouTube advertising requires a little more focus, namely creating videos. There are many ways to make a video; use animation, stock images, or, most of all, with proper video production if your budget is going to run out.
Advertising on YouTube is, of course, somewhat different from classic paid social campaigns. You need to deal with unique creative constraints, and there are several ways to get acquainted with this site, including the numerous advertisement formats available. You should have some knowledge of video editing to make the most of YouTube’s paying opportunities.
Partners with writers and influencers
There was a time when publishers could push traffic on their own, but today they’re bloggers and social media stars. If you can afford to miss out on potential customers’ swaths through blog recommendations and social media, create alliances with the brightest stars that cover your niche.
One of the easiest ways to get attention and buzz is to get other bloggers to write about you. The more blogs and influencers that mention your website, your ratings, or whatever traffic you drive to your affiliate links, the better. This also comes back to your site in the form of a hyperlink. This is the text that people need to click on for more detail, such as the one below. Any such link back to your website is known as an inbound link, and it’s very good for SEO.
If you have a blog, just drive for sales this way. This segment focuses on how you can win lucrative partnerships to give your affiliate a much-needed boost.
What do bloggers have to do with me?
Blogs and bloggers play an influential role in every step of the way through the marketing and sales funnel. Likewise, social media stars are driving surprising metrics. Both of these crafts are sought after in the affiliated sector. This is not surprising; these online personalities can have a large, loyal audience with targeted and unique content.
A favorable node from an influencer who suits your niche will serve as a powerful way to persuade potential customers to visit your website and purchase the goods or services that you are promoting. Common partnerships include reviewing your website, recommending your blog, or even giving gifts to followers (such as your ebook) – think about it. Any mention of your site helps with your promotion.
Influencers are people who have amassed huge audiences through social media like Facebook and Instagram. Social media has become highly shopper-friendly, and this is not lost on those referred to as influencers. Implementing a strategy that cultivates the leadership of social leaders in your niche will encourage the conversions of their followers.
Bloggers are also known to influence buying decisions. Bloggers may be considered to be the original influencers. Recent statistics on what a blog can do for business might astound you. According to statistics compiled by BlogHer, a publishing network of female bloggers, 87 percent of customers made purchases on the basis of a recommendation from a blog post. More than eight out of ten people trust blog posts and feedback when making buying decisions.
How to create a partnership
In the perfect world, bloggers will be more than willing to send you a supportive mention of a total stranger on their blogs, social media posts, and rest. This isn’t how it plays out. Bloggers have an audience that looks at them as thought-provoking leaders, and they’re going to want to make sure they hold that position. So how are you going to win these partnerships?
Ramp up your social events
Build some chatter around social media about your website. When a blogger tests your qualifications, everything from your website’s look to the quality of your content and the depth of your social interactions will influence their opinion about whether you’re trustworthy enough to work with.
Build content that makes your audience excited and passionate, and use that energy. -Only the best material is shared, and those feelings are shared more often. Your fans, for example, are more likely to share a piece that inspires awe. When was the last time you hit a boring or unpleasant part of the sharing button?
Another way to push for a share is to connect with your fans. It’s common practice in online marketing to ask your readers about stuff, such as if they’ve enjoyed a review of your new Xbox game. If that is the case, ask them to share your post and spread the word.
Don’t stop posting on your entries. Get out to bloggers via their social media platforms. Join them, comment on their best work, and let them know when you have something you think fits their requirements.
Don’t be scared of the long-form bits.
Some people are afraid that readers will lose interest if the post is too long, so they stick to smaller blog posts. It might come as a surprise that the longer content—between 6,000 and 10,000 words—is becoming a new standard. People get more sophisticated when it comes to the material they expect to see and start absorbing more words on the website, particularly if they get simple navigation.
With long-form material, you have more space to go deeper to fully answer the issue. There is no straightforward answer to anything when each reader’s condition is different, and longer-form content offers answers that can satisfy the most. Providing in-depth and actionable knowledge from one location saves people time compared to reading several short articles crafted with brevity in mind.
You may have written a longer piece that spreads to a blog published by someone major in your niche. Check the interest of their readers. If this is the sort of content that your readers will drink in, approach the blogger. They can have a backlink on the original blog (“for a more detailed description of XYZ, head over to (link to your blog). Or you might consider publishing a guest blog post that includes a backlink to your leading site.
Customize the contents
It can be tempting to use software to relay your new content to your social media. These tools can catch the bits of your article, such as the title and meta description. Automating aspects of website management have their advantages, but auto-generated content falls flat. Customized posts are getting stronger responses and more shares. What’s more, bloggers are going to verify if your social partner is going to partner with you. What’s the point of a backlink from a platform without social media traction?
With this in mind, think about making the titles interesting, and tailor the post descriptions to the audience of the website. Apart from Twitter, most platforms allow you to post an embedded video or a featured image. If possible, use eye-catching graphics to attract people to your posts.
Using the visuals
It’s not just social media posts that take advantage of the visuals. Humans are drinking in exciting pictures. Your website graphics bring your material to life and help people appreciate what they’re reading.
Have you had enough of your website to look-wise? Relevant images put on a web page make written content more attractive and interesting.
How to Screen Bloggers?
The blogger you choose would, of course, be determined by the types of items you endorse. Are you looking for a tech expert, or does your mom’s blogger suit the bill? Whatever the niche you’re working in, you’re going to have to create a blogger outreach list. You may have already searched Google for potential bloggers in your industry, but how do you decide which one to hire? Please search for the following:
Relevance-The most important thing is that they target a similar demographic that you want to draw. Build a list of writers who impact your group and review their most recent posts to ensure that their subjects are important. For example, if you are promoting “underwater headphones,” the search would most likely include general audio reviewers and bloggers. In this situation, the most important blog would be one that focuses on swimming or sports culture. Search engines can also return music accessories and sports equipment blogs.
Date of the most recent post-Make sure your blog is still running. Ideally, their most recent place should be in the last few days.
Frequency of blog posts-Check out their post frequency. Ideally, every week, you’ll see about 3-4 entries. If they post less, there may be a good reason to do so. Some bloggers favor a more important weekly post that goes into more detail on their chosen area.
Audience engagement-Assess the traffic on blogs and social media scope. We’re talking about blog posts and social media discussions. Are there multiple responses from the posts? Have social media sharing options been included? If so, how many times have Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., been shared?
Contacting bloggers should be fairly straightforward, given that they are naturally social beings. With a little testing, such as searching their social network accounts, you can find a contact form to handle Twitter. Or email address, please.
When you’re happy with your lineup of possible applicants, it’s time to get in touch. To save everyone’s time, prevent misunderstanding, and start building a paper, there are some things you should include in your email address.
Develop Report-not It’s good enough just to mention the latest post to shape a link building relationship. Bloggers are fairly used to cold emailing strangers with a courtesy comment and asking for links. Refer to the recent pieces they’ve written and let them know that you’re also a favorite if you have something good to tell about their web design, writing, audience, etc. It’s never hurt to express a compliment. This way, instead of going straight to business, you can warm up your relationship.
Convince-Why are they expected to work for you? Working with bloggers is about forging relationships. It’s awesome for you to feature your home decor website, but they’ve got a lot to lose if their audience doesn’t get into it. Start with what sets you apart from the competition and why exactly their followers will fall over themselves for your reviews/blog, product landing page, etc.
Offer something-If you want them to have a link or suggest your review site’s content. How can you help them out? When you reach out to a blogger, give something back. Start asking yourself, “What’s in it for them?” A backlink is a good place to start or a free copy of any tools you have that could persuade you. How about a guest blog post, huh? (more on that later).
There is an array of online newsletters covering everything from Star Trek figurines to last-minute flight sales. Reach out to the related newsletters if you have any in your area.
If you looked far and wide and found nothing to compliment your niche, that’s an opportunity for you to shine and build something unique.
Write a newsletter of your own
There’s no newsletter like that. Design characters, tone of voice, frequency, etc., will vary depending on their target audience’s needs and wishes. Irrespective of your niche, certain elements are required to make a good newsletter. To create your newsletter from scratch, please be sure to include the following:
Get creative with the headlines.
Enter your reader to open your email, and make sure your headline reflects the content. For people to open your email, your content needs to be truly interesting, not just a sales pitch. On the subject line, offer something informative, something amusing, something provocative. Whatever works best, as long as you’ve ignited their interest. Make sure you follow through on the commitment of your subject.
The most successful newsletters are informative, not sales-driven. How much do you neglect your mailbox of sales, promotions, and special offers? -Look for a 90/10 split, 90 percent of the details, and the remaining 10 percent based on sales. With this balance, the instructional content will drive sales instead of a bog-standard copy of the product.
They will also allow you to demonstrate knowledge and authority in your niche. Tell people why some goods are popular, why some materials are better at work. A newsletter will differentiate your review site and forum, wherever you serve affiliate links from everyone else out there.
Be important and consistent;
For example, your content should be customized to suit your target audience. Be sure to publish regularly, be it every Friday, twice a week, or once a month.
Keep this tidy
The format should not be cluttered, confuse or overpower possible leads, and risk unsubscriptions.
Attach a stand-up call to action
What action do you want the reader to take? Give them a straightforward direction to do that. Your call to action button should be easy to understand in a few terms. The CTAs appear prominently on the page and stand out from the rest of the material. Learn more about effective calls for action in our guide to building an effective landing page.
The function of the associated newsletter
Some of the affiliates send out a newsletter; most of them smell. If you don’t have the time to get together a form of a newsletter that will engage your readers rather than irritate them, someone else’s feature. Let’s presume you’re a makeup-focused affiliate marketer. What about having your website featured as a good reviewer in someone’s newsletter in a similar field? People interested in hair care products, skincare, or nails, for example, are likely to enjoy makeup.
Targeting more full groups of people is a perfect way to increase traffic to your site. How are you going about that?
We’ve been talking about targeting and demographics-The first call port is looking at who’s generating content that appeals to your audience.
Next up, make contact-Introduce the type of content you specialize in and be straight out of what you want from this contract.
Negotiate-How will they profit from it? A solid tactic is to barter a spot in your newsletter for the same slot in theirs.
Writer tips to endorse affiliate links
You’ve identified the publications that you want to partner with, so the next move is to compose content that works to support your affiliate links. How do you write content that helps you achieve your goals? Take the following.
Know your things
Study the affiliate goods in more detail. The purpose is to provide readers with new knowledge, not to regurgitate what they may already believe. Your expertise is a distinct selling proposition. The unique value you can offer, the better your chances of winning their confidence and inspiring them to purchase or take some other action that the article is driving.
Emphasize the benefits
Why are you paying for a service or purchasing a product? It’s always that you overcome a dilemma that you face or change your life for the better by doing so. What kind of issue can be solved with the product or service you are promoting? Identify that, and you’re halfway through there. Explain this in simple and attractive prose.
Take your inspiration
If you don’t know how to write or find it hard to get started, take inspiration from popular bloggers and posts that cover your niche. How do they cover themes? Do they follow a specific writing style that you can use to fulfill the standards of the audience? You might want to build something that is strikingly different from the average writings of the industry.
Get to know the platform.
Study the platform specifications. Look for items like the chosen duration of the post, how many links you can provide the most desired topics to cover, etc.
Spread your term
Don’t forget to list your external publications in your own blog posts! This will have a positive influence on both your SEO and your credibility.
Attend trade fairs & Affiliate conferences
Of course, making money is the driving force behind affiliate marketing services, and that’s all the motivation to join an affiliate marketing conference. Take the chance to develop your network, learn a few things, and go home with several exciting new business opportunities.
Who’s going to these events?
You’re going to find a mixed community of dealers, sellers, and affiliates, of course. Almost every online business marketing product can find value in attending one of these events.
Take the opportunity to learn more about the industry and generate additional value for your company. Think about it, when was the last time you had a new face-to-face business relationship?
It’s fun to talk to like-minded business people to get fresh insights, new ideas and learn about what they’re doing. This can be unexpectedly refreshing for an affiliate marketer who has become too used to the sometimes faceless world of web-based communication.
Reasons for attending an affiliate trade show
Affiliate marketing is a big business these days, with an expanded menu of trade shows and conferences to fit. Let’s look at how participation in these events is advantageous and can help you gain traction for your content:
Discover the latest news in your business
There are exclusive activities in which affiliates obtain unique access and insight into the affiliate marketing industry’s future. Stay at the forefront of the industry by using the latest technologies and developments to help affiliate marketers drive more traffic to unique websites, blog posts, etc.
Visit the show floor developers offering demonstrations of their applications and services for the latest ways to track links and sales, Ad analytics tools to track the rivals, affiliate link cloaking software, and so on.
Attend conferences and seminars
Affiliate activities are the best in affiliate marketing. By attending workshops, you can hear experts offer real-world examples that are important to your work. Discover their recommendations firsthand and apply them to your company.
The Affiliate Summit 2019, for example, features guest speaker Neil Patel (a top influencer on the web, according to Forbes – and listed by the United Nations as the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35). Any information gleaned from this man is worth a trip alone.
Get inspired by this.
Discuss current trends and share new ideas and techniques with people involved in affiliate marketing. It’s worth hearing the struggles and success stories of others. You are likely to discuss your struggles, and by holding discussions, you can discover new ideas.
Don’t miss a chance to meet high-volume content creators and inspiring influencers. –What’s the best thing about listening to enthusiastic affiliate marketers fired up for their job? -It is infectious. You’ll leave them inspired to succeed.
Enjoy it yourself!
Of course, conferences are focused on getting ahead in the affiliate marketing industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get lost and have a fun time. You will also find conferences that provide ‘networking time,’ but take the opportunity to involve people in your company in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Expect a reliable downtime schedule. Expect the end of the day to have drinks, parties, and structured events that have enough opportunities to mingle in a more relaxed atmosphere. The European Summit in Sitges just outside Barcelona, for example, has a relaxed kick-off with enjoyable events, followed by two days of seminars, product exhibits, and networking opportunities.
Apply to your company what you learn
According to the Affiliate Summit, “The best trade shows are those where you can leave the show with some actionable plans, execute those strategies, and then quantify the impact.”
You’ve studied the speakers of interest to you, and you’ve had the opportunity to listen to them and take tips from other affiliates you’ve met along the way. Conferences offer a valuable opportunity to learn firsthand and apply new techniques to your affiliate initiative. Don’t let the experience go to waste.
What event am I attending?
There’s no lack of activities to attend. Conferences range from large gatherings covering every industry imaginable niche to more specialized events with a specific emphasis. The Phoenix Forum, for example, is a small but devoted community of dating affiliates, advertisers, and operators. The Affiliate Summit is a much larger annual affair. The gathering, held in New York City this weekend, covers all facets of affiliate marketing.
How are you going to find anything for your vertical industry? Google has a smart idea of your niche + affiliate conference. If you’re just interested in learning more about getting yourself into the affiliate industry, attending a more general conference could suit the bill. You can search what’s going on locally, or you can throw your netback and make a weekend.
When you’re in there
Now that you’re sold on attending a competition, how do you plan for the event? Planning, as with all meetings and activities, is key:
Create a list of the most valuable sessions for your niche, mark certain times in your calendar.
You will also find that you will have free admission to an event if you are a hosting affiliate. If this is not a choice, make sure you purchase tickets for events early for discounted ‘early bird’ prices. For example, the ICE Totally Gaming & iGB London Affiliate Conference (LAC), which attracts gaming and casino affiliates, provides free entry to its affiliates.
Book workshops that you would like to attend as soon as you can to prevent disappointment.
Accommodation-Secure a meeting room if necessary. You could get a discount rate, plus, because you’re on-site, you can retire for a break in your room during a day of rest or work.
If you’re on your own and have a squad, take notes and more information to get them back.
Suppose people can find your affiliate links or be introduced to your website. In that case, they can make or break your affiliate marketing career; after all, you can’t make sales without visitors. Luckily, driving high-quality traffic is not rocket science with the right strategies in place.
With the strategies listed, draw your attention to your affiliate program. Suppose you’re working on attracting people to your review section, clicking on your social media links, or stumble on your landing page. In that case, it’s about making every effort you’ve created. In this article, we outlined four ways to do just that, all focusing on targeted traffic.
- Consider PPC advertisements, choose the right medium, and create ads that suit the criteria.
- Partner with bloggers and influencers-get the right people to talk about your content.
- Media Placements-Get your head to some important PR for more online visibility.
- Get the fuck out there! Attend related trade shows and conferences to get in touch, get ahead of emerging trends, and get the advice of trailblazers in your profession.
Building traffic could be a slow operation. Be patient, and stick to it. The most productive way to move traffic is by targeting more than one road. Try to test a few of the ones you described, and figure out what works best. By integrating a few of these strategies with a robust SEO approach, you’ll be on the fast track to push more clicks and convert.
We’ve got another rollout of expert advice from some of the industry’s best affiliate experts. Founders, corporate associates, and marketers are these affiliate experts, so the insights you are about to uncover come from the chief minds behind the result-oriented marketing campaigns.
According to these experts, some of the affiliate marketing best practices that marketers should pursue in 2020 include the following:
- Focus on a particular audience from a niche
- Constructing ties of quality that actually add value
- Use targeted ads to ensure that knowledge about the product/service you endorse is obtained by the right audience
It is now time to find out some of the most severe affiliate marketing errors these affiliate marketing influencers want to prevent for newbies in 2020, including:
- Not adjusting to developments such as catering to voice searches on Google
- Publishing content of low quality which does not add value to the audience
- Hard-selling products/services before establishing a long-term partnership with customers
They want to make some mistakes avoided by the fresh and aspiring affiliate marketers and adjust to the changing affiliate marketing ecosystem.
Here’s a rundown of what these specialists think this year can propel affiliate marketing and promotion.
Let’s dive right in without further ado and find out what these industry experts have to say about common errors in affiliate marketing.
Opinion of experts: Three affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid in 2020
Founder, Nights of IM.
Promoting any type of offer, a lack of targeting, and finally, a lack of landing pages would be three things that would not work for affiliate marketing.
First of all, when it comes to affiliate marketing, the offer is everything. You need to make sure that you cherry-pick that set you up for success properly. I thought I would never succeed when I first started affiliate marketing online. That’s simply because I was recommending an offer that was never going to convert. So promoting anything just isn’t going to work under the sun.
Next, when it comes to affiliate marketing, targeting is huge. Who do you target? What are their most profound fears? What would they like? What is it that keeps them up staring at the ceiling at night? These are the kinds of questions that you need to know the answers to whenever you create content related to affiliate marketing. When you speak to everybody, you speak specifically to nobody.
Finally, many of the top affiliate offers are becoming more competitive. Without offering some type of bonus, you just won’t be able to compete. This is where the landing pages come in and allow you to increase your conversions and make more sales. So if you want to compete in terms of higher conversion offers, use bonuses from landing pages. Use landing pages for bonuses if you want to get the edge when it comes to offerings that are not as competitive.
From Michael Anderson
Founder at Explored Passport.
This does not work because unless the webmaster guides them through the process, users will not click on or buy anything from an affiliate link.
It’s much better to use a limited number of affiliate links contextually within articles instead of inserting as many affiliate links as possible. This way, when your reader sees an affiliate link, it seems natural. In addition, you have the chance to tell the reader why the use of your affiliate link will benefit them.
Overall, it will not work in 2020 to leave many affiliate links throughout a website. Instead, a webmaster must strategically place affiliate links within the content and work to guide the reader to make a purchase.
Affiliate Marketer at Mom Beach and Business Blogger.
Simply putting a link to an affiliate in your content will no longer work. The product needs to be sold to your audience. Why would this product need them? How can their problems be solved?
Using hashtags on Facebook to promote your affiliate marketing post is another affiliate marketing idea that will no longer work. On Facebook posts, the use of hashtags reduces their visibility and can be marked as spam.
You are making a huge mistake if you refuse to get into the video to promote your affiliate marketing. Right now, video is a big medium and will only get more popular in 2020. If you choose not to use a video, you leave money on the table.
Jake Hay: Jake Hay
PopShorts Partner and Head of Development.
This year, having too many affiliate links associated with one influencer will not work. Quality over quantity is important in 2020.
It is important to make sure that an affiliate aligns well and makes sense with your brand, and without being reviewed, they are not just auto-approved.
Promoting affiliate links on one platform only: sharing connections across multiple platforms enables a wider reach because each social platform reaches different segments of an influencer’s audience.
In 2020, not informing affiliates about brand messages and product information will not work: An educated affiliate is the one on which a company can rely with conviction to promote a product or service.
Alexandra M. Cote: B2B Digital Marketer, Content Writer, and Strategist.
Relying solely on your blog: While many affiliate marketers are happy to do blog posts such as reviews or lists to promote their links, video creators and influencers on Instagram gain more traction from the visual content they put together. More and more individuals are moving away from written content, so you also need to tap into other channels to maintain a sustainable affiliate marketing strategy.
Not running tests: In an affiliate marketplace, it’s easy to just put a few words on your product and some images, but you also need to optimize them.
Every once in a while, change your image files. Do a different thing. Provide an ebook or even a pitching template and ad placement suggestions, perhaps.
Low-quality content creation: If you give bad content, in return, you’ll probably also get low-quality content. Put your best effort into the content that your affiliates provide. Also, remember you are no longer writing for search engines. You write for real people who want explanations, advantages, and clear tips.
Director of SEO at Edge Marketing.
Putting all your eggs on one micro-niche is one of the largest affiliate marketing errors.
Meanwhile, no idea or market is undiscovered in 2020, while discovering untapped markets was a great way in years gone by.
A better bet is testing out a few niches. Within a few months, you can establish which test performs the best, then switch your efforts to that.
Manager for Career Development at Velvet Jobs.
He believes that having a blog or website will no longer be limited to affiliate marketing. This means that affiliates will exclusively use social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to promote their offers to affiliates.
On the other hand, content-related collaboration, pushing bloggers and other content marketers to the forefront, will become even more popular.
Also, traditional tracking technologies will become obsolete, which means that affiliates will not need to embed or add affiliate links to tracking codes.
Analyst-Organic Augurian’s Search.
A cadence of sponsored content that is too frequent is something I see far too often in the influencer space. Influencers’ marketing space is becoming increasingly saturated, and followers are becoming much less likely to convert to seemingly inauthentic content. Every brand deal that is offered may be tempting. Still, influencers should think about their brand in the long term and concentrate on relationships with brands they genuinely love.
The best practice when blogging became popular may have been to send impersonal emails to gain backlinks. Still, blogs today receive hundreds of brand-link inquiries. Sending mass emails to all of the industry’s blogs won’t work as well. In the additional work to build close relationships with a few relevant blogs, brands are far better off-putting.
In 2020, big influencers won’t be worth the cost anymore.
Their demographic is often too broad. Only a small percentage of their followers may make up the audience that a brand is trying to reach. A brand could afford several micro-influencers for the same cost as a mega influencer. Smaller influencers are more affordable and have more followers involved, so a brand may see fewer general impressions, but relevant impressions may increase.
Social Media & Manager of Content at Carro.
Offering a measly percentage: To make sure that you offer competitive rates in the affiliate space, you should do the research. If an influencer can go for a 12 percent commission somewhere else, then none of the good influencers will accept 6 percent from you.
Working with random influencers: With black hat tactics running rampant, the potential of affiliates abusing your network is greater than ever before.
Make sure that you see what they are posting and know where they intend to promote your brand if you are working with affiliates and influencers. If you build a relationship with them and know about the influencers that you work with, this is easiest.
There are many affiliate programs that are set up and left to rot, hoping that the program will run on its own. In order to keep your affiliates engaged with your program, you should send out newsletters at least monthly, as well as offer bonuses, promotions, and other offers.
Provide the lowest price: No one wants to work with brands offering their affiliates the lowest price. People from affiliates and brands want to get value.
Work without training and onboarding materials: When buying a product or a service from an affiliate, people want convenience and comfort. The process of selling should be easy. You must have outstanding documentation to ensure convenience for your buyers.
Lack of a clear USP: The market has many offers available. Today’s affiliate marketers will select those who are the easiest to sell. Note that businesses that do not have a clear mission, value, and USP will not be able to build a sales strategy for partnerships.
About Jenna Alburger
At Outlier Creative, Cofounder / Marketing Strategist.
Less is more: It can be a challenge to try and manage a large team of affiliates. Choosing a few partners who can contribute to your brand in an impactful way is better.
Look for highly engaged audience affiliates. It is better to have a small, highly engaged audience than a large, disengaged audience.
It’s important for brands to have some level of control over how their brand is promoted, to insist on having a lot of control over the message. Too much control, however, can backfire. Authenticity is what will move the needle in 2020, and an overly-scripted message will just not work. Instead, partner with affiliates that you can trust to keep it personal by taking a few creative liberties.
Advertising with an affiliate just once In affiliate marketing, frequency is often overlooked. Your chances of success can be harmed by advertising too much or too little) with a specific affiliate. The frequency will depend on the platform/channel, but more than once, you will definitely need to advertise
The opinions of these affiliate marketing experts suggest three aspects for 2020.
- Targeted audience focus
- In the correct niche, promote
- Build links for quality
Consider these three points mentioned above, and in your journey, you can surely avoid making affiliate marketing errors.
In addition, in 2020, the practice of link building is going to change significantly. Quality of content and quality of link building plays a major role in driving your audience – that’s why it’s important to spend time making sure none of these two are compromised.
Can you write an article about cookies,” my boss ordered me over the Monday morning coffee. I looked at him desperately and replied, “I am a copywriter. I don’t understand anything about cookies.” To which he said, “That’s why you are so perfect for the job. Nobody understands cookies. If you, as a layman, research it, you may succeed in making this matter understandable.”
He then sipped his coffee again, nodded affirmatively (not at me but at himself), and returned to his office with a satisfied expression.
And I? I murmured to the coffee machine, “But I really don’t know anything about cookies.”
What are cookies? (If you ask me)
What do I already know about this? These are the things that come to mind:
- Cookies are invisible files that are installed on your computer when you visit a website.
- These files ensure that your experience on the site is better. For example, your details are already entered in a contact form, and you see advertisements for products you like.
- Cookies also ensure that the website owner can earn more money from you. Not only because the advertisements, as mentioned earlier, are more targeted, but also because it can bombard you with re-marketing at later times. (Not familiar with the term re-marketing? Suppose you visit the website loreleiweb.com. Purely hypothetical, huh. For another week, ads from loreleiweb.com will appear on numerous unrelated sites. That is re-marketing.)
- Quite a few European laws surround cookies.
Aah, not bad.
Apparently, I know something about it. However, I am sure my more tech-savvy colleagues can add depth to the topic—time to ask around.
What are cookies? (If you ask a whizzkid)
First of all, I went to my colleague Hana, a programmer with a brain that thinks in binary numbers. This is her answer to the question of what a cookie is according to her:
“Cookies are the storage of or access to information in the peripheral equipment of a user via an electronic communication network.
“Hana, you sound like a law book,” I said. As if I were the greatest fool in the world, she replied, “That’s the law book’s text.”
I asked her what is meant by ‘peripherals’. I was under the impression that cookies only apply to computers. Is there more? She said with a sigh:
Ah. So so.
I thanked Hana for the explanation and turned to my colleague Raf, a front-end developer. Maybe he talks more like a, um … human.
This is what Raf says:
What is funny is that cookies do not work optimally on mobile devices. Apps on smartphones technically work differently from web browsers. The Mobile advertising ID is the most commonly used alternative on GSM. However, the purpose is the same as with traditional cookies. That is why they are placed under the general heading of cookies.
My response: “Funny indeed.” Before continuing with his work that I don’t understand, Raf said: “I’ll email you a list of all types of cookies. Maybe that will benefit you.”
A list of all types? Chocolate chip, macaron, shortbread, candies?
What types of cookies are there?
It may not need to be said, but Raf’s list was a geek’s wet dream. In other words: I didn’t understand anything about it.
But my mission has settled in my head: I want to understand cookies. With a lot of research, I have deciphered the list. I am proud to present the result to you.
- Necessary cookies
This is essential for the proper functioning of the website. This category only includes cookies that guarantee essential functions and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information. That’s nice.
- Analytical cookies
Analytical cookies ensure that the website owner’s visit to the website is made transparent by analyzing visitors’ behavior and their origin. They are used to measure and optimize the performance of a website. The site owner can find out which information visitors find useful or unnecessary.
Analytical cookies, for example, keep track of how often a website is visited or how often a blog article is read. They can also keep track of which region the website visitors mainly come from and whether the website’s mobile version is more popular than the desktop version.
- Functional cookies
Functional cookies ensure an optimal user experience of the website. They are used, among other things, for the automated filling of forms and for the proper functioning of the chat function and the shopping cart. They remember that you are logged in as a user or that you have placed items in the shopping cart. With a multilingual website, the language preference or country preference of the visitor can be remembered.
- Tracking Cookies
Tracking cookies create a profile of the website visitor. For example, a modified version of the website can be displayed. These cookies follow the visitor’s surfing behavior so that he can receive personalized offers or advertisements even while surfing other websites. For example, he may see a previously viewed webshop item (or catalog bride) reappear on other websites.
Some of these cookies are placed by the website you are visiting, while others are placed by external parties (advertisers, news feeds, plugins). In the first case, we talk about first-party cookies, in the second about third-party cookies.
Incidentally, I was wrong with my assumption that cookies are always small files installed on the user’s computer. It was indeed twenty years ago, but the term ‘cookie’ has now been broadened. The law speaks of:
… Store or access information in a user’s peripheral equipment via an electronic communications network.
Interesting fact: there are even cookies that ensure that you can consent to the use or not of cookies.
Should we be afraid of cookies?
It depends on who you ask. On the internet, I meet loads of anxious people who say that cookies violate our privacy. That they belong in a cookie box, not on a computer. But is this fear justified?
I admit: if you allow cookies that aim to store your personal preferences, you can indeed speak of an invasion of privacy. You may indeed reason: it is no one’s business that I prefer Nike sneakers, flying holidays to Tunisia and Eastern European women called Natascha and Tatiana.
If it is indeed a problem for you that a website gathers this information, then that is completely OK. Simply do not permit to place such cookies in the cookie preferences. However, I also know people (I’m thinking of my lovely girlfriend) who love it when a website shows ads with products they actually like.
Do I personally see cookies as an invasion of my privacy? No. But I also do not always agree with all cookies. It depends on how much I feel like being bombarded with advertisements related to the website I just visited for the rest of the week. Also, consider the following:
Cookies can only be read by the website that places the cookie.
A cookie from Nike, for example, cannot also be used by five hundred other sports brands. I find that reassuring.
As a company, how do you ensure that you are safe?
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned a fine that was handed out to a Belgian site for not having their cookie statement in order. The site has had to pay $15,000. (Ironically, this site provides legal advice.)
However, as a website owner, you don’t want to pay a fine, so you need to make sure your site is in order. You do this as follows.
Not every website uses them, so not every site is required to list its cookies.
Low budget tip: you can, of course, also purchase this plugin yourself and run the scan personally.
- Ask explicitly for permission.
I consciously say explicit permission, because (be careful!) Implicit permission is not enough. Implicit consent means that you assume that the user automatically consents to use the site. The user should have the opportunity to click on an ‘OK’ button or ‘Agree’ button. The user must also have the option to give permission per cookie type.
This cookie notice is an example of what not to do :
This cookie notice is an example of how to do it :
Do you see the difference?
- What are cookies, what types are there, and what are they for? Briefly explain what cookies are and what they mean for the site visitor. Then tell us which cookie types there are and what the benefits are for the user. Start by clarifying the distinction between first-party cookies and third-party cookies. Then split these into necessary, analytical, functional, and tracking cookies. You know, that list we discussed earlier.
- Which cookies do you use, what purpose do they have, and how long are they stored? We are not talking about cookie categories now, but a summary of all the individual cookies that your site may place on the visitor’s device.
- Please explain how the user can delete his cookies. This can be done, for example, by consulting the help function of your browser.
- Indicate when your policy was last changed. If you change your policy, you must also request permission from all visitors again.
- Originally, cookies are small files that are stored on the device of the person who visits a website or webshop. Still, the term now encompasses all forms of ‘storing or gaining access to information in a user’s peripheral equipment via an electronic communication network’.
- They ensure that the site provides better user experience, and they enable the site owner to run a more efficient (and thus more commercially stronger) site.
My assignment has been completed: I have made cookies transparent. Or yes, that’s my hope.
Is this all there is to say about cookies? No. During my search, I came across pages of other interesting (and relevant) information. However, a person has to make choices in life, and I did.
Now I’m going to the store to buy a box of cookies. I got hungry.
The future of blockchain in affiliate marketing technology business, what does it hold for us?
In recent years, a considerable increase has been evident in the affiliate marketing industry. Money is falling from the skies in this business, and people are constantly working on innovation and new creative ways to improve affiliate marketing channels.
One of the innovations that people expect a lot of profit from is the blockchain technology.
When you think of blockchain, you may immediately think of cryptocurrencies, but you can now extend this unique technology.
Therefore, it is expected that affiliate marketing and blockchain technology will become closely intertwined in the (very near) future.
In this article, you will find more information about the current state of affairs, the possible future of blockchain in the affiliate marketing business, and the software that can be used for it.
Blockchain technology in the affiliate marketing industry is currently in its infancy, but that is likely to change soon.
The current state of affairs; blockchain in affiliate marketing
The affiliate marketing industry is growing by a few percent annually. Check out this article on affiliate marketing stats. This applies to all parts of the world, not just the US market.
As a result of this growth, more and more companies are becoming involved in affiliate marketing (directly or indirectly), while more and more marketers are interested in this form of online marketing.
However, there is a lot of criticism about the affiliate marketing industry.
This criticism is mainly related to the lack of transparency. It is ‘the expectation’ that you trust the links of the advertisers; if these links don’t work, you don’t earn anything as an affiliate marketer.
Besides, it is relatively easy to scam in this industry. Partly because of this criticism, there is an increasing demand for a fairer and more transparent process. A process, in which there is no more room for mistakes or deceitful techniques.
At the time of writing (2020), blockchain technology is slowly entering our industry. However, this is not moving too fast, as there is the inevitable resistance.
After all, many people earn (a lot of) money with affiliate marketing; a shift in technology can possibly change this.
Since we don’t have a crystal ball and cannot foresee for sure what’s ahead of us, it is exciting to look at the future of affiliate marketing and guess how blockchain technology will shape it.
Nowadays, with the help of certain software, including affiliate marketing software, blockchain technology can already be partly used by affiliate marketers.
How exactly? Let’s dive in.
Blockchain technology software
It is fascinating to look at the connection between technology, affiliate marketing, and cryptocurrencies in the current market. For example, there are several marketing platforms for which companies and affiliate marketers can sign up. These platforms take over the functions of the affiliate networks and offer several models.
To explain this better, let’s take Scaleo platform is an example. This is an affiliate software, a SaaS performance marketing platform for creating networks and managing, tracking & optimizing online advertising campaigns.
It is striking that Scaleo also offers a built-in tracker; thanks to this tracker, it is possible for advertisers to see how well the campaigns are performing.
Such a platform offers many advantages for both parties. There is much more transparency for both companies and affiliate marketers. Thanks to blockchain technology, it is also possible to save costs, work more efficiently, and go through life completely anonymously. After all, that too is one of the most important features and advantages of blockchain technology.
Scaleo currently is not using blockchain technology, but it may change in the future. However, some affiliate marketing platforms focus purely on cryptocurrencies; Scaleo offers a wide range of benefits for anyone. For example, you can integrate it with Shopify, WooCommerce, and other platforms.
If visitors to your affiliate website buy cryptocurrencies via that platform, you will receive a certain commission for that. As soon as you have earned a commission, you can have it paid out immediately. That, too, can be called a relatively unique feature.
With the above examples, the problem was also directly touched upon.
There is still too little certainty, there is still no clear line, and there is also insufficient development in the industry.
The concept of the future: blockchain in affiliate marketing
Earlier in this article, you could read that blockchain technology entails the necessary resistance. Which is logical, as no one knows what this technology will offer us. Partly because of this uncertainty, affiliate platforms and companies are not yet too keen to actually use blockchain technology now.
At the same time, it is interesting to see that various affiliate networks are already implementing changes.
According to various sources, affiliate network can play a decisive role. TradeDoubler wants to use the blockchain technology for the following:
- Save data
- Make transaction data (more) accessible
- Make the transactions a lot more transparent
- Prevent fraud
- Implement new functionalities more easily
The benefits of blockchain technology in affiliate marketing
There are no discussions about the various advantages of blockchain technology. Many people certainly see the value of this technology, in combination with the cryptocurrencies, but there is nevertheless the necessary friction. Friction because the old monetary system should change, while so many people make a lot of money and want to stop.
It is only forgotten that many people fraudulently earn money and actually abuse the banks’ power, for example.
This is actually also the case in the world of affiliate marketing.
Some parties have too much power, while many other parties depend on them.
In fact, blockchain technology offers everything one needs to combat this.
This affiliate platform gives some reasons why people are so eager to get started with blockchain technology on its own website. These benefits are summarized below:
- Affiliate platforms expect to be able to pay out much faster with the new technology.
- Affiliate platforms expect to be better able to comply with the GPDR; after all, the new technology offers more options for protecting users’ data.
- Affiliate platforms expect to be able to bypass the adblockers, which should increase revenues.
- Affiliate platforms expect to be able to exercise greater control over publishers; after all, the technology provides all kinds of relevant information, which Tradedoubler can then react to.
- Affiliate software platforms expect a direct connection between advertisers and publishers to emerge; it is expected that this will increase the conversion rate (significantly).
- Affiliate systems expects much better attribution; thanks to the technology, it is possible to measure all clicks’ conversion, and it is no longer possible to ‘falsify’ the attribution.
- Scaleo expects a lot less fraud; this makes the entire affiliate marketing industry a lot fairer.
All in all, this affiliate marketing platform expects quite a lot from blockchain technology. Is technology going to deliver on all of this? That is the question currently in the affiliate marketing industry.
The expectations; blockchain in affiliate marketing
It is absolutely clear; blockchain technology will bring about the necessary changes. These changes will make the entire affiliate marketing industry a lot more transparent, fairer, and more enjoyable.
Both advertisers and publishers will benefit from this.
For you, as a publisher, it is important to keep a close eye on all development. This allows you to respond to developments so that you can take a head start on your competition quickly. It is expected that within x number of years, the blockchain technology will be applied on a large scale by several European affiliate platforms.
Should that be the case, the entire affiliate marketing industry is going to change, but, no one knows what the future will bring.
Much has changed since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. B2B online affiliate marketing also needs to rethink its strategy. As absurd as it may seem, now it’s B2B companies’ time to focus even more on their affiliate marketing strategies.
And change them.
Because now it is particularly important to be prepared not only during the crisis but also for the time afterward. We asked seven of our departments what can be done now.
- B2B companies have to change their affiliate marketing strategies
- A lot can be achieved with B2B online marketing even in a crisis
- Ideal for this: Measures from lead generation to content optimization
- Newly conceived online affiliate marketing measures now offer the potential for B2Bs
Use lead generation strategically now.
Lead generation is even more important in times of economic downturn. Anyone who now reduces affiliate marketing costs and thus loses leads risks a leak in the so-called sales funnel during economic recovery and upswing.
Demand is currently (temporarily) decreasing in various B2B sectors. However, it is postponed to a later date. And then it is important to have enough leads for sales.
Even after the crisis, companies should be present in the minds of buyers, influencers, and decision-makers.
Lead generation is one of the most important measures for B2B companies and is considered a decisive metric. But it’s not just about gaining contact details from potential corporate customers.
Establishing and maintaining new customers is just as important.
Reminder advertising for brand maintenance and lead generation is, therefore, the order of the day. Used strategically, lead generation via various online channels has a short, medium, and long-term effect. The following measures are particularly suitable for this: Search engine optimization (SEO), Google Ads (SEA), social media, website optimization, email marketing, and content optimization.
Be found with SEO despite the crisis.
Inevitably, life is currently almost exclusively online. This applies to private life, but also to everyday work. Customers and interests also move on online channels in the B2B sector. To be found quickly and easily via search engines is currently indispensable. Now is the best time to look at and optimize previous SEO measures.
The website should be optimized for search engines, both technically and in terms of content. Because such SEO measures largely determine the ranking on the results pages. This is the only way to move into the focus of users and to assert oneself against competitors.
More and more users will get used to this digital restructuring, albeit by necessity. Presumably, the use of online channels will continue to increase even after the crisis. Many dealers and companies also recognize this. Therefore, you should act now and use this crisis as an opportunity not to lose your digital connection in the post-Corona period.
Google Ads ensure visibility.
Reduced budgets also affect Google Ads’ actions. In the PPC channels, it is clearly obvious what to do first: Lower the budget and wait until the corona issue levels off. What sounds sensible at first has no lasting effect. Simply reducing the budget will not produce long-term positive results. It makes more sense to readjust the Google Ads strategy.
The focus is now even more than usual on the visibility of your company. Because it is especially important in times of crisis for customers to know that a company is available to them.
This can be achieved with simple adjustments to Google Ads. For example, with a redesigned banner in the display network or a reformulated ad text in the search network. For example, formulations like these are helpful: “Despite working from home, we are always available for you” or “We are there for you even in difficult times.” This creates trust and security, informs, and promotes a positive corporate image.
Social media acts as a direct line to the target group.
The Corona crisis is helping social media channels, in particular, to soar to new heights. In times of exit restrictions and home offices, social media is ideal for the outside world. Are there also suitable opportunities and possibilities for B2B companies?
The answer is: absolutely. Because of companies, there are employees and potential customers who are now more often and longer on social platforms. Right now, these can be achieved particularly well through targeted social media affiliate marketing.
The demand in some B2B sectors is declining. Still, those who show presence on social networks in crisis times will be remembered by existing and potential customers. You should definitely go into current events: How is your company dealing with the crisis? How do you master current challenges? By showing that you are there for your customers, you present yourself as a reliable business partner.
Therefore, social media marketing is an ideal instrument for retaining existing customers and winning new ones for you, especially in times of crisis.
Optimized websites as a guarantee for better user guidance
The flagship for your company is your website or landing page. The website is indispensable for anyone who wants to provide their customers with current and relevant information. Communicate important information there, such as the availability of goods or delivery times. A FAQ area that is appropriate to the situation can now also be useful.
In order to be able to contact you as a customer quickly, if necessary, you should make sure that he also has the opportunity to do so. This does not only apply to the establishment of contact, but to all information and offers that you make available online. Make sure that the user and, therefore, your customer can get the information they want quickly and easily.
Check whether the available options for contacting you are practicable and sufficient. At the moment, it makes sense to adapt existing contact offers to the situation and e.g., B. to enable the integration of live chats. As part of an optimal usability and user experience, the target group and their changing requirements and needs should always be considered.
Effective crisis communication with mailings
Communication is one of the most important factors in times of crisis. It can be used very effectively in email marketing. Many B2Bs are currently reducing budgets and pausing projects. The dialogue with customers, partners, and employees should, however, continue. This works very easily, for example, with a newsletter.
Mailings allow you to provide your recipients with information. But they also have another effect. They convey security. You can continue to send newsletters, but adapt the content, where necessary, to the current situation.
Besides, use factual company information mailings to inform you how you can be reached soon, how projects will be handled, and also stress that things will continue to run as usual if nothing has changed. Pay attention to a positive address and increase trust by showing how you, as a company, react to the circumstances in these times.
Content optimization creates security and offers new offers.
In times like these, new doors are also opening up for content formats. Crisis-oriented, open, and transparent communication is particularly important now. Now and for the time after the crisis.
At the moment, customers primarily want to know what changes are taking place, what they can expect from your company in the future, and how things will continue. All of this primarily transports textual content. But it does more than just convey objective information. It can now also convey security and create trust. This is exactly the key to solid customer relationships.
But now there is also the chance to offer new content formats. (Working) life is happening online and at home. Companies can now expand their online offering. Live videos are perfect for an expert chat on various topics. Online training courses give your customers the chance to be trained by you in the home office.
There are many options for content. Whether as a new content format, as crisis communication, or on various channels such as social media, Google Ads, and your website. Textual content conveys factual information and security and continues to generate leads. Different content formats ensure that your company is and remains present.
All content forms must be adapted to the current situation. Only in this way is it credible and fits the requirements of your target group.
Conclusion – Affiliate Marketing in Corona Times
Right now, it makes sense for B2Bs to adapt their own measures in B2B affiliate marketing to the current situation. Be it in crisis communication via various channels, in lead generation, or through new online offers. This pays off in the long term after the crisis and opens new doors for B2B companies and customers alike.
Time to think about how we are going to approach target-setting differently.
The summer period, a good time for managers to take stock. And? Are the numbers in red, or are they in green? Should adjustments be made, and if so, how? Most results-oriented managers do not turn their backs on that challenge.
They know the value of “affiliate target-setting,” calling the team to account for their responsibilities to achieve agreed goals. The team meeting for August is already planned. But what if addressing and settling the team on affiliate targets turns out to be the mistake of the year afterward?
53 reasons not to target
Focus on affiliate targets. In order to achieve the CEO’s ambitious goal, Ford was forced to make risky design choices with the Ford Pinto in the late 1960s. The petrol tank was placed directly behind the rear axle, and the number of damage claims from possible victims weighed against the cost of redesigning the car. The design was maintained with 53 fatalities and many injuries as a result…
Goals Gone Wild
The positive effects of goal setting within companies have been extensively described in recent years. Still, relatively little attention has been paid to the systematic adverse effects of target setting. At least four researchers associated with the Harvard Business Review claim that in the article “Goals Gone Wild” (pdf download). They mentioned, among other things, these 3 mistakes when managing affiliate targets:
- Blind through tunnel vision. The account manager had only one goal in mind. This customer visit would seal his annual affiliate target, now or never. The meeting was prepared down to the last detail. A beautiful PowerPoint presentation would seduce the customer with “an offer he couldn’t refuse.” As he waited at the reception, he couldn’t help but smile, fantasizing about his triumphant return to the office in two hours.
- The customer was also prepared down to the last detail and immediately brought up a serious complaint. Deliberately, the account manager was not put off: “Uhh, I can’t imagine our people making that mistake! Anyway, let’s discuss more important things, like this PowerPoint that I made especially for you….”
- The result is easy to guess. A fanatical focus on one goal makes people blind to their work’s success factors, such as customer focus. And let anyone who brushes this trap away with a “That doesn’t apply to me!” feel challenged to watch the video “The Monkey Business Illusion” on youtube.
- Can’t see the forest for the trees. Average handling time, first-time fix, net promoter score, average waiting time, telephone etiquette. These are just a few balls that the average customer service representative has to keep high during the conversation with you. At the same time, you grumblingly notice that very little empathy is shown.
- Research shows that employees with too many goals will automatically limit themselves to one goal in complex situations. And they often opt for the easier to achieve quantitative goals (talk time, script), at the expense of more complex qualitative goals (Net Promotor Score). Important Question: What is the main objective with which you want your team to go into the field?
- Short term politics. Quarterly Goals, Monthly Goals, Week Goals, Day Goals. The shorter the period, the greater the team’s focus, and the greater the chance of success, it turns out. Unfortunately, this formula applies mainly to routine work and not tackling and creatively solving complex problems. Ask two groups of people to solve a complex puzzle, 1 group with time stress and 1 group without time stress, and the last group turns out to be significantly faster. Dan Pink has a wonderful speech about this on Ted.com. Why is this important? Because our work is becoming less and less routine in nature and increasingly requires creative solutions to complex problems.
Specific and ambitious goals generally yield better results than motivating a team with “Do your best!”. That is beyond dispute. Goal setting and monitoring works as a powerful medicine against persistent ailments in your team, such as de-motivation, frivolity, and laziness.
But powerful drugs sometimes have powerful side effects. Where things go wrong is when generic goals are imposed on a large group of people, without regard to the nature of the employees, the effect on customers, and the company’s long-term interests.
Therefore, the setting of the charities should be done more like the way a doctor prescribes the medication: First, a thorough analysis per patient and then the right medicine, in the right dose, for the right period.
Affiliate targeting – conclusion
In other words, the meeting for August can remain on the agenda! And instead of re-dictating annual goals to the team, this is a great time to invite the team to brainstorm important questions together:
- Which goals motivate you to achieve the best result for everyone?
- What else do you need to achieve those goals?
- How can I help you with that?
And then continue to take this medicine monthly for at least 1 year.
Simplicity really works. How to keep strategy translation and KPIs simple.
During this period, many affiliate businesses are busy drawing up and finalizing plans for next year. The goals and strategy have been determined, and now it comes down to making this meaning for everyone within the affiliate business. One of the most common techniques for this is making a strategy map with KPIs, whether or not linked to a model.
A good strategy map tells ‘the story’ of the company. A story that makes clear what is important and in which the KPI’s scores indicate how you are doing on these important things. That story only motivates when people who read/hear it:
- Understanding (head);
- Wanting to go for it (heart) and
- Understand what they have to do there (hands).
In short: a story that unambiguously connects your goals and strategy with people’s actions that take place within the affiliate business. “Hey, that’s about me !!”
That sounds quite complex. And that is exactly what many businesses (or the hired consultants) make of it. Google “strategy map,” and you will get pages full of strategy maps like this one:
Very complicated strategy maps packed with KPIs as an impressive result of months of hard work behind closed doors. In almost all cases, ‘the story’ of the company disappears completely, with the result that such strategy maps lose their credibility. Nobody cares about it anymore, let alone people do something with it!
It can be different. Based on the belief that simplicity really works, you can also keep strategy translation small and simple. And it looks like this:
This is a real situation of an existing, quite large company. Only the name and industry have been changed. Over a period of more than 6 months, this company has managed and improved its performance based on these 5 KPIs.
Were more KPIs possibly relevant? Did the MT also look at other figures and reports? Sure! Only the focus remained on these 5 as they told Flash’s most current strategy story. The online market performance was on the MT table every week, and the performance in this market had to increase.
The figure above is a ‘KPI train’, and it tells a mini strategy story. A KPI train has 4 features:
- It connects strategic objectives that are currently current with actions within the company;
- It makes an explicit connection between Result and Process indicators;
- It is the link to the customer (you are viewing Customer-to-Customer processes);
- It is the link to the people who work within the processes.
It is beyond the scope of this article to go into detail about Flash’s strategy. The elaboration below examines the link between result and process indicators in the case of Flash.
Growing in the online market was the single most important strategic goal for Flash. It was the only way to achieve the desired profit level. Hence the 2 results KPIs in the boxes’ Ultimate goal’ and ‘Growth goal’.
This is, of course, not enough. Because you cannot steer a company on the basis of financial KPIs alone. Immediately the question follows: What exactly does Flash have to do to grow online sales?
You then need more information: information from the Customer-to-Customer processes related to the spot market. These indicators are the second part of the KPI train. And this second part is the most important part of the KPI train because it touches the ‘moments of truth’ for result improvement:
- As mentioned, the process KPIs form the connection to both the customer and the people within the business;
- And it is in the employee-customer and employer-employee interaction where the actual performance takes place;
- So if you as a business really take performance improvement seriously, you must have information about the quality and results of these interactions;
- Without this information, performance management and, therefore, performance improvement is impossible!
- Flash’s customer-to-customer processes have been analyzed based on the following question:
Where do we need to excel to get the necessary online sales from the market in the Customer-to-Customer process?
- The answer was at both the start and the very end of the process and translated into two process indicators for Sales and one for the administration.
Flash has started this with great success. For the first time, management, sales, and administration sat at one table to discuss how they could do things better in the online market. On that table were simple reports in which the scores and affiliate trends of the KPIs were made visible. After a somewhat awkward start, the results quickly turned in the right direction.
The general director summarized the process nicely:
- “I now have 100% more insight, with only 20% of the data that I had to dig through before! The story behind the data is always immediately clear to us!”
The salespeople were also pleased with this way of working:
- “It is simply very nice to immediately see the effect of the work you are doing every day. And especially when you see that things are getting better. That motivates enormously! “
And that is exactly the intention!
It is, therefore, possible: to manage a company based on 5 KPIs. The KPIs must connect the current objectives strategy, customers, and people.
And keep it simple even if it is difficult because: Simplicity really works!
For many businesses, the market in which they operate is becoming increasingly dynamic and faces increasing challenges. Demanding customers, shorter lead times, and a massive increase in technological developments, among other things, have ensured that the attention for performance management software has expanded enormously in recent years.
However, performance management is a broad subject. You often see that businesses think too lightly about it. Please provide a list of KPIs, communicate this to the administration, make their bonus dependent on it, and people will manage. Nothing could be further from the truth, and you often see disappointing results. Setting up good performance management is, therefore, not easy.
Performance management can only succeed if the correct preconditions have been met.
- There must be a clear link between formulated KPIs and the organizational objectives. Often this link is missing, with the risk that people are not steering in the right direction.
- A useful decomposition of processes is important in order to be able to do a good translation from strategic goals to operational objectives.
- Make sure you don’t have too many KPIs that make businesses micro-manage. This indicates a lack of focus.
- The introduction of Performance management requires a different way of leadership. Managers must be willing and able to steer based on the insights obtained. It requires a change in managers’ behavior in which addressing people about their responsibilities is of great importance.
- Ensure that the preconditions (rewards, responsibilities, etc.) are properly fulfilled for managers to fulfill their role properly.
- Good and sufficient communication about the implementation of Performance management is necessary. The business’s employees must be sufficiently informed because otherwise, resistance may be perceived as threatening as a possible consequence.
- The setup Performance management system must be sufficiently flexible. Inevitable business changes and adjustments in business goals must be easy to process if people want to continue to manage in the long term.
- Performance management is, therefore, more than just managing based on a few numbers. Performance management is acting on business questions that play a role within the company. Good Performance management must ensure that an organization
- Can respond quickly to questions from the market
- Ensures the required transparency
- Manages the realization of the strategy
Performance management is, therefore, more than drawing up a few KPIs. If businesses actually want to implement performance management and control performance, the preconditions are also important!
What is the right mix of tools to measure affiliate marketing performance?
Despite all the advanced tools, just think of automation’s possibilities, there is a strong need to see at a glance how the organization is doing. The more complex organizations and the more complicated the management task for management, the greater the need for simple tools to measure actual performance.
Measuring affiliate marketing performance is a prerequisite for providing feedback on the progress of processes. Feedback is needed to control and improve processes. Therein lies, of course, the practical importance. This contribution concerns an exploration of the possibilities. Building up and working with (a set of) indicators is important. This is a practical aid for managers who need compact information about their organization’s state of affairs.
Why is feedback a management principle?
Feedback, or feedback, derives its value only when it is part of a feedback loop. This feedback loop, also known as a feedback loop, makes it possible to take corrective action and verify whether the correction is effective. Therefore, feedback is the assessment of the current performance of a process on information from an early or previous stage of the process.
Feedback is, therefore, necessary to be able to control processes. From a technical point of view, it is often necessary to install several feedback loops one after the other before the desired degree of control is reached. Control need not be limited to production processes. It can also be applied more widely; in this way, design and preparatory processes with feedback can also be better controlled. Organizing feedback is actually a fundamental management principle.
Feedback can be easily integrated into reporting relationships.
Feedback is important at every aggregation level in the organization. Besides providing feedback in the organization’s breadth, vertical loops, i.e., construct cascades of feedback throughout the organization. After all, what is the means for a certain level of the organization is the goal for the next lower level. Feedback can, therefore, be easily integrated into reporting relationships. This makes it important for those who hold leadership or power in the organization.
To properly allocate responsibilities, for example, in the case of delegation and mandate, it is necessary to agree on how to report on the use of that power. It is about giving an account of the assigned responsibility. This is especially the case in vertical relationships. Feedback is, therefore, an instrument for controlling authority relationships.
Feedback can also be applied to continuous performance improvement programs.
Feedback has another application. Organizing feedback loops is an important part of programs for continuous improvement of existing affiliate marketing performance. Feedback is applied to the learning theory. Feedback should be specific, relevant, concise, and prompt. It is about finding the best, and most obvious are areas for improvement.
The entire organization is usually involved in these programs. They focus on increasing the satisfaction of both the internal and the external customer. This is necessary in order to stay ahead of the competition. Here we do not so much look at the vertical relationships, but do everything to optimize the horizontal process flow. This leads to the bottlenecking of progress and improving quality.
- Feedback of information about the delivered performance: provides a vertical reporting relationship with concrete information
- is the basis for process control and corrective action
- is used for process improvement and prevention action.
The informal feedback instruments
At this point, we would like to point out – perhaps unnecessarily – an important informal instrument. These are the expectations of the leader, whether expressed or not. The employee notices how his boss reacts to his affiliate marketing performance, or (unfortunately) does not respond. The saying goes that the master’s eye makes the horse fat. Some leaders manipulate: they speak out (at least not in advance) what is being watched, gaining additional influence through the created uncertainty. The way in which the leader gives feedback is very important. This also applies to the way in which he uses more informal feedback instruments.
Which formal instruments can be used to measure performance?
Measuring performance and giving feedback about it can already be very important for management for several reasons. Traditionally, ‘control’ from vertical relationships has been a well-known example of performance measurement. However, it will have become clear that feedback is more than just control. It also has an important horizontal component: process control and improvement. This horizontal approach is currently receiving a lot of attention. Numerous instruments have been developed for this, one of which, working with indicators or key figures, is central to this.
In large companies, the need for optimize and measure affiliate marketing performance assessment is growing. Consideration is given in advance about which matters feedback is given. It is also clear in advance what level of detail will be used. This is one of the most important elements of organizing feedback. The more and better you organize, the more explicit you can be in advance, and you know better what tools are needed. In practice, four types of instruments are distinguished, each of which is capable of providing feedback.
- inspections; checks
- This is understood to mean the usual checks and measuring points that are applied during the daily process execution to see whether the process or the product meets the specifications.
- This is a periodic and scheduled evaluation by independent persons that is carried out according to a set procedure and with checklists to determine whether a system (e.g., a quality system) has been developed, documented, and installed in accordance with the requirements set on site.
- This tool is used for design assessment. It takes place at an early stage of the design process to optimize suitability for manufacture and use. It is a formal, written, systematic investigation to evaluate the design requirements and to determine whether the design is seafront and complies with it.
- and… indicators
- These are cues collected at predetermined points in the process. The intention is to use these indicators to assess the performance of the process. Examples of indications are the percentage of failure, hours needed for rework, the percentage of B-quality, the percentage of rejected parts, machine downtime, average waiting time at the counter, etc. The characteristic of these indications is that they are indicative. They indicate the existence of a problem and not so much the cause.
There are, therefore, four types of instruments available to meet the need for feedback. With each of these instruments, at least in part, the realization of the effects intended by management can be made visible. Feedback using indicators is just one of these tools. It is this variant that manages to lock up a lot of information in a single clue.
There is now a great need for this. This does not alter the fact that before starting to work with indicators, it must be checked whether the same information can not be obtained better with other instruments. Even if this is not the case, harmonization, or the right mix of instruments in a total information framework must still be pursued.
What is the right mix of instruments to measure affiliate marketing performance?
The choice of instruments depends on a number of factors. The most important, of course, is the actual information requirement. It’s just about finding that tool that can at least provide the data you need. When several instruments can now meet the same need, additional considerations are made.
- the time required to design the instrument
- construction and maintenance costs of the instrument
- timeliness with which the results are obtained
- (after all, it is necessary that the indication comes at a time when intervention can still have an effect)
- the character of the instrument (anticipatory; guiding or correcting; controlling)
- the style of the organization
- The ability to fulfill the conditions of existence of the instrument.
In many cases, the same considerations also apply to the weighing up between one option and the other within a type of instrument. So the trade-off of one check against another, or one indicator against another. The list of factors can also be used to assess existing information systems for their suitability for continued existence.
A critical review often leads to the conclusion that traditional systems are no longer always adequate. We mainly refer to the long processing times of the source data. Moreover, the incorporation of all kinds of information wishes in the past has contributed to the information ultimately delivered being (too) late or insufficiently specific.
Who takes the initiative for a measurement system with indicators?
In the first place, they are interested managers and executives who want to improve their information system because they strive for a better organization’s performance. The horizontal information flow (information about the status of processes) is therefore central. But it can also be managers who strive for greater control. This is more in line with the vertical approach mentioned above. This involves the use of indicators to give concrete substance to a reporting relationship. For example, quality management by objectives is based on this philosophy.
What steps are needed to get started in practice?
In general, an approach that leads to an indicator in three steps is sufficient.
- Determine the so-called preferred search fields. It is also referred to as the performance areas. A search field is an even broad indication of the subject to be viewed. For an organization, the search fields are linked to the strategy and the strategic success conditions. For a department, they are linked to the department’s objectives.
- Subsequently, it is determined – very precisely – which type of information is most meaningful.
- Then it is provided with a target or norm value. Only then is the indicator of a fact.
Using the outlined approach, it is possible to generate maximum information with a minimum of effort.