Have you ever read someone’s blog, watched their YouTube video, or seen an Instagram post that immediately made you want to purchase a product they mentioned? I know I have.
As consumers, we believe what other shoppers are saying about a product over polished corporate messages and ads. In fact, a report from Forrester revealed that 70% of U.S. adults online trust recommendations from each other far more than statements from brands. That’s why 81% of marketers have leveraged the power of affiliate marketing and worked with influencers, bloggers, and even “regular” customers to promote their products and boost sales.
In the past, we’ve talked about how to maximize affiliate marketing in our blog post, 5 steps to build a successful affiliate program. The steps included:
- Conducting research on the payment system you want to use
- Recruiting the best affiliates by working with genuine fans
- Educating your affiliates thoroughly so that they are on-brand
- Engaging your affiliates to build a true partnership
- Expanding your affiliate pool by including all members of the brand community
Now, we’re discussing how to increase affiliate marketing sales. Here are 3 ways that creators can bring in more leads for their favorite brands and earn more commission as a result.
1. Build trust with your audience.
Building trust is extremely difficult — especially with an online audience. But creators should follow these four steps to ensure you’re being authentic with your followers, even as a brand affiliate.
- First and foremost, establish a solid personal brand on the platform of your choice. Your unique personality and niche content will attract those with similar interests to join your community. For instance, if you are a health and wellness blogger who focuses on nutritious recipes, other health-conscious foodies will be drawn to your content.
- Understanding your audience is the secret to success. So, engage with your audience and directly ask for feedback. This will let you know what kind of content they want to see and how you can best resonate with them.
- Next, become an affiliate for brands that you actually like and be proud to represent them. Not only is it obvious when you’re going against your personal brand, but it could also damage your reputation as a trustworthy resource. Talk about brands in a way that seamlessly fits with your content, but don’t forget to disclose your affiliate links.
- At the same time, remember that nobody likes being bombarded with ads. It’s the same when it comes to affiliate marketing. Don’t go overboard with affiliate links, banners, pop-ups, and the like. Your audience wants real value out of the content you produce. So, make sure to alternate your unpaid content with affiliated content. Include affiliate links when relevant, but don’t try to plug it with every piece of content you produce.
Once you take these measures, you will be able to build a stronger relationship with your community, provide relevant content, and increase your chances of bringing in leads.
2. Leverage video.
Make sure video is part of your affiliate marketing strategy. Why?
- Videos are consumers’ favorite type of content to see from a brand on social media
- The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with a video
- 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media
While you might love the product you’re promoting, your audience may not necessarily see all the great qualities of it at face value. This is especially true in industries like technology, which have a multitude of gadgets and gizmos that may be harder to understand than say, a piece of clothing or a makeup product. In fact, 80% of people have purchased a piece of software or app after watching a brand’s video.
Whether it be a tutorial, webinar, or short film, creating a video around a product about how to use it or how it has affected your life can influence your audience to purchase the product and use it as well.
Check out how YouTuber Jenn Im seamlessly incorporated some of her affiliate links to her “February Favorites” video, and disclosed the partnership in the description box.
3. Create educational content.
Provide value to your audience by creating educational content. From step-by-step guides to tutorial videos, people are constantly looking for educational resources. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Tutorials and how-tos are two very engaging ways to share useful information. Even those who are unfamiliar with your industry may come across your content and be appreciative of the tips and tricks. For instance, someone who is completely unaware of how to apply makeup will find a beauty influencer’s how-to video extremely helpful.
Take a look at Desi Perkins’ tutorial video. Beauty lovers and makeup beginners alike came together to learn how to achieve a flawless “no-makeup” look, and many commented on how much they loved her tips and ideas.
Another idea is to share honest reviews and product comparisons. Focus on the product’s useful traits and benefits. Make sure your audience is learning about what they can gain from using the product and prove to your audience how the product has helped you overcome a problem or reach your goals.
The secret to increasing sales
All in all, the success of your work as an affiliate ultimately depends on how authentic you are. If you’re a genuine fan of a brand, you have more praises to sing when promoting their products. It’ll be clear that you are a true brand advocate, potentially inspiring someone else to try out products from the brand and eventually increasing your affiliate marketing sales.