7 Affiliate Marketing Tips
With an estimated $8.2 billion spent on affiliate marketing in 2022 in the U.S. alone, it’s clear that many brands see the strategy as a worthwhile investment.1 If you’re one of the thousands of businesses contributing to that whopping sum (or even if you’re not), you likely understand the importance of an affiliate marketing strategy.
You may not, however, know how best use affiliate to drive revenue growth..
Affiliate marketing—the strategy of teaming up with other entities to have them promote your products—is one of the most promising paths to brand and sales growth. If you’re wanting to learn how to start affiliate marketing, you might need some guidance. And, as with all paths, the journey is a lot less challenging when you have a map.
Well, here’s your map, intrepid traveler. These seven affiliate marketing tips will guide you toward more sales, increased website traffic and a greater market share for affiliate marketing success.
1. Choose your affiliates wisely
Perhaps this first tip should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: Who you partner with matters. Follower or subscriber counts are far from the only metric to consider. Choosing potential affiliates requires considering a few factors.
First, there’s the affiliate’s public perception. Are they seen as a reputable source in the community? Do they produce high-quality content? Are they aligned with your organization’s values? These are all questions to ask as you conduct your preliminary research.
Then, there’s the notion of “fit.” Do these potential affiliates reach your target demographic? If not, your message might reach thousands of people—but they’ll be the wrong people.
Finally—and only when you’re satisfied with the other aspects—look at the metrics. Does your potential affiliate have a sizable audience? Do those three million followers actually watch their videos or read their articles? Some creators artificially inflate their numbers to draw in more marketing dollars; be on the lookout for those “too good to be true” scenarios.
Choosing the right affiliate partner can have significant influence on your affiliate marketing strategies.
2. Avoid the hard sell; provide value instead
Today’s consumers are smart. They know when a listicle or TikTok is pushing a particular product. When it’s easier to scroll to the next piece of content than sit through an obvious ad, the “hard sell” rarely works.
With that in mind, the trick to a successful affiliate marketing strategy is to make the average person not care that they’re reading or watching a product promotion. How do you do that? By producing content that provides the audience value.
Even though your team typically isn’t generating the affiliate’s content, you still have a say as the brand in what the publisher posts. As you write the content brief for your would-be affiliates, consider steering them toward a less sales-y approach. Instead, encourage your partners to create valuable affiliate marketing content that is:
In short, your affiliate ads shouldn’t feel like ads. The organic approach will go a long way in convincing consumers to try your brand.
To help your affiliates create value-first content, try to provide them with as much information as possible. Internal statistics, unique selling points, branded infographics—anything makes a difference.
3. Pair affiliate promotions with deals
Affiliate marketing partnerships allow you to position your offerings in front of more people. But you still need to give those people a reason to try your brand. For many, a seal of approval from their favorite YouTuber, content creator or media outlet may not be enough of an incentive.
So, why not leverage affiliate promotions? Try tacking an offer onto your affiliate marketing. Pairing a glowing, transparent review with a deal is a surefire way to bring interested consumers to your site.
If you’ve been on social media in the last few years, you’ve likely seen some variation of this “promote and promo” approach. Influencers will often post videos and include a personalized 15%-off promo code at the end. Blogs and media outlets often do the same when adding an affiliate link.
4. Push your best-selling products
While it’s tempting to use affiliate marketing to drive traffic to new offerings, your best-sellers top the list for a reason. So, why not put your best foot forward and show potential new customers your bread and butter?
Whether you’re a newer brand or not, there’s plenty to gain from focusing your marketing efforts on your best products. When a consumer begins their journey to your brand with an unforgettable product or service, they’re likely to come back for more. So, when choosing an affiliate product, then of the one that symbolizes your brand perfectly.
5. Set up your website for success (and conversions)
It’s all well and good to run a successful affiliate program that boosts your website traffic into the stratosphere. But what is the experience for the customer like after they land on your site?
If it’s slow, glitchy or disorganized, your marketing spend will be all for naught. Something as simple as a sluggish landing page can cause consumers to head for the hills. Case in point: For every extra second it takes a mobile page to load, conversions can drop by up to 20%.2
Similarly, if your e-commerce site isn’t intuitive, customers may feel confused or frustrated. And, as you know from Marketing 101, that’s the last thing users want.
If you’re running an affiliate marketing campaign with multiple affiliates, proactively prepare for the additional website traffic and make sure its functioning in tip-top shape. Even better, create a simplified landing page for all of your partners to promote. You may even want a product-specific page for each offer.
That way, when interested consumers follow the affiliate link, they can enjoy an intentional user experience. Not only will you increase your likelihood of conversion, but you’ll also provide a memorable first impression that will keep customers coming back.
6. Diversify your affiliate channels
When you think of affiliate marketing, you might picture a product roundup on a blog post or a viral Instagram Reel from a notable influencer. In reality, affiliate marketing is many things—and you should take advantage of them all.
By utilizing multiple channels, you can reach a wider audience than ever before. Depending on your brand, you might target one or more of the following:
- Affiliate email marketing – With affiliate email marketing, you dodge the spam filter by having an already-trusted source reach out to your target audience on your behalf. With the average email open rate hovering around 21%, you’re guaranteed to have eyes on your affiliate content.3
- Social media (influencers) – 59% of brands partner with influencers to expand their reach via social media platform.4 And there’s a reason influencers have dominated the affiliate marketing space in recent years. By connecting with potential customers in a casual, everyday setting like TikTok or Instagram, affiliated influencers earn their audience’s trust—then pass that on to you.
- Blogs and other publications – From news organizations to personal blogs, write-ups have long been staples of affiliate marketing. While an article may not reach as many people as a viral video, the long-form approach allows for quality over quantity—not to mention valuable SEO gains.
- Coupon, loyalty and review sites – Occupying a different online space than media outlets, these sites reach consumers at all points of the customer journey. With a staggering 93% of consumers today reading online reviews before purchasing a product or service, this affiliate space is certainly one to prioritize.5
7. Don’t discount the micro-influencer
More eyes translates to more clicks, right? Well, maybe. But are they meaningful clicks?
While you may be interested in partnering with a mega-famous Instagram star, so is everyone else. The high competition means popular influencers can charge an arm and a leg for a partnership. And even if you do land a contract with a superstar, how can you guarantee that they’ll focus enough on your brand and not on their other partners? You can’t.
Micro-influencers (those with 10k–50k followers on social media)6 provide a welcome alternative.
When you partner with a smaller blog, content creator or website, you open your marketing to several possible advantages, including:
- Reduced costs – Lesser-known influencers are often more willing to accept a smaller affiliate commission.
- Authenticity – Smaller creators post less sponsored content overall, so their audiences have less “marketing fatigue” and more trust.
- Specificity – Micro-influencers tend to occupy niche markets, allowing you to work with prospective affiliates who align with your exact target audience.
Bonus tip: Let affiliate marketing experts do the work for you
If you want to implement all of these tips at once (and dozens of others), consider working with a digital growth marketing firm like Power Digital. Partnering with seasoned affiliate marketing experts saves you time vetting prospective affiliates, strategizing content, and optimizing your website. And the sales? They’ll come flowing in.
At Power Digital, we take affiliate management to the next level by handling the nitty-gritty for you. From start to finish, we’ll take care of every part of the process. Our team will analyze your current efforts to see what’s working, connect your brand with world-class affiliates and fine-tune as we go—with your vision and goals at the helm.
Ready to see where we can grow together? Drop us a line—we’d love to chat.
- Statista. Affiliate marketing spending in the United States from 2010 to 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/693438/affiliate-marketing-spending/
- Think with Google. Marketing Strategies. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/app-and-mobile/mobile-page-speed-conversion-data/
- Mailchimp. 2022 Email Marketing Statistics and Benchmarks by Industry. https://mailchimp.com/en-ca/resources/email-marketing-benchmarks/
- Kinsta. 17 Affiliate Marketing Statistics You Need to Know In 2022. https://kinsta.com/affiliate-academy/affiliate-marketing-statistics
- Trust Mary. Reviews » Online Reviews: Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind . https://trustmary.com/reviews/online-reviews-statistics-that-will-blow-your-mind/
- Forbes. Micro-Influencers: When Smaller Is Better. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/06/02/micro-influencers-when-smaller-is-better