Affiliate marketing is becoming one of the main tools of engagement for many brands and service providers. Paul Skeldon takes a look at three ways that it can be deployed to drive engagement
There are some tried and tested ways to use affiliate marketing to drive engagement and interaction – and sales – not least the tried and tested routes of PPC (pay per click), email marketing and of course coupons and vouchers.
But, successful as these are, the burgeoning world of affiliate marketing and ecommerce are starting to make other things possible. Here we take a look at three alternative ways to leverage affiliate marketing in new ways that can take your business to the next level.
Be an influencer
The idea that you need a website to drive traffic is bunk. There are plenty of sites out there that already have a lot of traffic – you just need to tap into that.
And the best way to do this is to become an expert or an influencer on some of the more well-known sites – and drive from there.
Firstly, find the main sites that work for what you are doing, research them and start to contribute. Sites such as Quora offer an ideal opportunity to do this: just find the area that works for your brand or products and become the ‘go to guy’ in that area. Before you know it you are an expert.
The next step is to become a leader or community head on one – or more – of these sites and then start to leverage that and social media to create the idea that you are the oracle of that topic.
Facebook and Youtube offer magnificent reach for the non-website marketer. The key thing with affiliate marketing is to create compelling content whether on your ownsite or on social media or a forum. Crack this and you will start to reap the rewards.
Get into ecommerce
The basic premise of affiliate marketing is that you let other people sell your products for you – extending that to becoming a fully-fledged ecommerce business, with affiliates as your sales channel is a small leap.
Start looking at the products or services you want to sell or want sold (depending on what side of the fence you are when it comes to using affiliate marketing) and work out what cut you can afford/want to offer.
For many affiliates, it is an affinity with products that drives them – they already use and love the product and so are keen to promote them. Giving them a unique link and code to track sales is vital.
If you are already an expert, then pick the products and service carefully, get the code and away you go.
Before you know it you are a fully-fledged ecommerce channel.
Use exit traffic
It is a given of the web that most traffic bounces. Even with well targeted marketing driving eyeballs to a popular site, many people will leave before they engage. This exit traffic has, for many years, simply gone back into the ether until marketers realised that there was value in it.
To date, most exit traffic has be monetised by pushing to towards other offers, almost randomly on the principle that some of it would stick. That which didn’t may well be targeted again, but by this point the user is getting fed up with ads.
But exit traffic has value and increasingly, affiliate networks are deriving ways to monetise it and generate engagement from it.
12Ca$h has developed algos that can better target that exit traffic at things that are likely to be useful to the consumer who is exiting one site – and is generating quite a bit of revenue from doing so.
But ultimately there is something good about the randomness of doing it the ‘old’way. It pushes people to new sites and is probably, in this ultra-controlled world we now live in, one of the few ways to find things by random chance – remember that?