Affiliate marketing online is not just about recommending someone’s product for a commission, but it’s about creating a customer life time asset that will bring mutually beneficial profitably exchanges between the seller and the consumer.
Affiliate marketing is a viable income generator when done right.
If you are frequent visitor to the digital marketplace you have undoubtedly noticed four types of affiliate marketing. In review type affiliate marketing, a marketer builds a website dedicated to a new joint venture product launch and pitches the merits of this new product and very often include his own product bonuses to motivate sales.
Additionally, review affiliate marketing also contain sites that show case multiple product recommendations with links that leads to marketplaces such as Amazon for commissions, for instance, the top ten laser printers.
Secondly, affiliate marketers use a quiz funnel to qualify and interest a customer, which leads to an optin page which the user must fill before receiving the results of the quiz.
This is usually effective in markets such as relationships and personal development. The optin page will then bridge to a page featuring a pre sell or sales page.
Another popular type of affiliate marketing is the solo ad method. In this case the affiliate marketer buys advertising space inside an email list of a provider.
An email swipe is then broadcasted to the list which will ultimately lead to a landing page with an optin or sales page.
Lastly, digital marketers like to drive traffic using adwords to an offer by buying well known terms, for example, a marketer selling Herbalife would bid for related terms such as Amway, anyone typing Amway in the search engine box will have the Amway ad showing.
The marketer will then populate his landing page with quality information featuring Amway and ultimately redirect the visitors to Herbalife. The less the number of advertisers bidding for the same term, the less the cost per click, provided the quality score is high.
However, for affiliate marketing to be executed properly with long term profits and asset creation in mind; the marketer must follow a different approach.
First, the marketer must have the following inventory items: own products to sell, reasonable budget (at least $500 on a shoe string), funnel pages, a niche to target, subject matter expertise and an autoresponder.
Successful affiliate marketing pivots on taking the prospective and first time customer through a pre-determined process called a sales funnel.
The rational of a sales funnel stems from the fact that it takes time and effort to build trust, like and knowledge sufficient enough to get the customer to commit to a seller by parting with his money.
In affiliate marketing, a sales funnel begins by convincing the target audience that you are the best person to solve their problems by demonstrating your credentials. Customers will always check for skill and experience. Therefore, tell your story right in the beginning to endear the customer and build trust.
This story you will tell in your ebook or video product. Customers usually believe your story when they see your product and this is a huge aid to decision making.
The first stop in the funnel your prospect will reach after clicking on your ad is the optin page. This is where you will give a product away in exchange for an email and a name.
This must be your own product, don’t use private label rights, this practice will hurt your brand. Once the prospect has given you his private information, you have a prospect list.
Use your story, as mentioned, and your subject matter expertise on the niche to build up towards getting the customer to buy your ultimate product (ultimate product is the most expensive product in your mix that you want to sell).
For example, tell them about your achievements, money made or qualifications you have; then introduce aspects of the ultimate product and partly share valuable information. Also embed links in the ebook or video product to invite the prospect to a presentation where you pitch our ultimate product at a pre-determined future time.
Webinars work well when selling high ticket products. So the freebie that you give when they optin is an upsell technique. The Inbox Blueprint product by Anik Singal is by far one of the best product in the market assisting marketers to create a funnel process.
When the prospect optin to grab the freebie, he is led to a thank you page. This also called a pre sell page. This is the second stage for our audience.
In the presell page you will then have a short copy that introduces what is called a tripwire product. This a product that is for sale but does not cost more than $10.
A tripwire has to be related to the lead magnet product given for free. The purpose of this product is to give something that is highly valuable in order to stimulate brand advocacy and prepare the first time customer to buy a maximum of two upsell products.
A tripwire also must be the affiliate marketer’s product. When they but the tripwire, you now have a buyers list.
The third and fourth stop is offering your audience an upsell product at something like $47 price point and consecutively $97. This product must also be owned by you. At this stages of the funnel you will have an affiliate list and buyers list.
You will make some money in this front end process as described, but the real profit will come from the backend as you field with newsletter broadcasts from inside your autoresponder.
You will use the affiliate list to pitch your products for the first 5 days with email broadcasts to increase your revenue potential. Then you can begin to pitch other people products that are related to your niche.
Also continue giving valuable information by emailing offers that does not involving selling. Email abuse will spoil your brand and lead to your prospects unsubscribing.
Furthermore, you will then pitch in a similar manner to your customer list. This happens in the backend. And as a marketer you will start earning back end profits.
Remember that the ultimate aim is to guide your customer to buy your most expensive product in your mix, this product will often cost $147 to $247, and this can’t be done without a funneling process.
The final stop is the webinar stage where you leverage all the preceding stages to influence your customers and prospects to buy your ultimate product. This done by using webinar presentations. This is affiliate marketing on steroids.
This process synergizes all the inventory items mentioned previously and exposes why it important to first plan and make sure what you offer is undergirded by your experience and skill.
Credibility, your own products and traffic to this pages plays a critical role. This the ekasi perspective to affiliate marketing done right.
If you are currently losing money on your Facebook campaigns, you are probably being affected by the new algorithm changes recently implemented by Facebook.
As an adwords advertiser, you need to continually monitor your campaign performance and adjust and scale your ad set to optimize profitability.
Facebook constantly makes changes to its algorithm, this is inevitable and part of the challenges of doing business online.
The key thing to do when Facebook makes changes is to figure out what changes has been made and to reset your ad campaigns so that the new algorithm will synchronize with your new ad campaign. This is an essential adjustment to prevent your campaign from remaining in a glitch.
The new changes within Facebook requires an advertiser to master the skill of achieving a campaign sweet spot. This is a point where your budget and cost per conversion is aligned to produce your expected click through rate, and ultimately orders.
The costs to watch on a Facebook campaign are cost per click and cost per conversion. If these are low then your margins will be high, provided that your selling price is good.
Your sweet spot will be the quantity of orders (Budget divided by cost per conversion) which enable your campaign to achieve order volumes that brings about a net profit.
Facebook has implemented a scale of 1 to 10 that determined the target audience that the ad will be served to.
This scale is calculated according to quality, that is, a person who does not know what he is doing and thus can’t transact profitably within Facebook is tagged with 1; and a person who consistently buys within Facebook and know his way around Facebook will be given a 10.
Facebook algorithm collects data on what kind of events users trigger when their on Facebook, people that regularly trigger purchase pixel event are allocate a higher quality 10 and people that are basically non active on facebook get a 1, or a low score along the continuum of 1 to 10.
So when you set your campaign at a $5 budget, Facebook will serve your ad to people on the low score and vice versa.
However, just because you ad is served at people who are categorized by Facebook as having a low score; it does not mean your ad will not convert.
There is nothing an advertiser can do about this, except doing a trial and error method of adjusting your budget until you find your advertising sweet spot.
As explained, your sweet spot is a point where your cost per click and conversion is just generating the right amount of orders that correlates with your sales forecast figures.
It behooves every marketer then to prepare a sales forecast prior to adverting on Facebook, otherwise, you are set to lose a lot of money. This by far the big new change on Facebook.
Again let me repeat by saying that if your campaign is losing money now and it was launched before the algorithm changes, then you have to reset your ad set and launch again with your original settings and work on finding your sweet spot.
Furthermore, for those who have a Shopify ecommerce site like me, the changes will affect the ability of the Facebook pixel to give accurate data when tracking the sales funnel process of your prospects.
Be aware that when analyzing your sales funnel data inside your Shopify site, there may very well be anomalies if your standard event setting on your Facebook ad set is set to trigger a purchase event. That is, if your website objective is for Facebook to optimize for purchase.
This is because the funnel process on Shopify which is: view content→add to cart→initiate checkout→add payment info→purchase; is flawed.
It is flawed not because of a technical deficiency, but because the advertiser will not be able to glean an accurate picture of the activities of the prospects journey inside Shopify due to the way the pixel work.
At the point of ‘add payment info’, many Shopify users have payment gateways that are fulfilled outside of the Shopify environment (for example, Apple pay, Amazon payments and Paypal).
Therefore, consumers that complete a process outside of these environment do not always get back to Shopify to complete purchase; hence the purchase pixel does not fire (and why the data is skewed) to register purchase.
So what you need to do is still aim for the purchase event when you set up your ad but use ‘add payment info’ metric when analyzing your report, assume that the pixel did not fire the purchase event.
The ‘add to payment info’ metric give accurate data, and it is reliable for gauging whether your campaign is profitable or making losses. This where you will either pause the ad sets that are losing money and keep those that are profitable according to your sweet spot.
Moreover, you need to be aware of Facebook changes in the user interface, particularly, in the sections of detailed targeting, placements and overlapping audiences.
In detailed targeting, Facebook will now automatically expand your interests if there is a chance to reach more people, this sound like an excellent change; but the drawback with this new feature is that your traffic data will not give you an accurate picture of how your precise target market is responding to your ad.
It is important to understand the dynamics in one market before moving on to another market. When setting up your targeting, turn off this feature because Facebook is forcing you to expand your market prematurely.
Additionally, there is a change in the placements. When you edit the placement you will notice that under the devices type tab you can only choice either mobile or desktop, not both.
If you choice mobile, I recommend that you always go for mobile first. Then, under platforms my recommendation is that you turn off Instagram and audience network.
Then choose ‘specific mobile devices and systems’ and click wifi. Do yourself a favor, always target mobile audiences first, mobile is hot right now.
Cost per click on mobile are lower that desktop, this is because more Facebook users are accessing Facebook through their mobile devices and Facebook is rewarding advertisers targeting this segment.
Additionally, should you go after desktop placement ensure that you specify the platforms by clicking on the Facebook tab to reveal a feed or right column, by default Facebook will serve your ad on both feed and right column placements.
My recommendation is feed placement. Right hand column ad will increase your frequency (cpm-cost per thousand views) of serves and you costs will be high, remember you want to watch your costs to ensure that your bottom line is higher.
Moreover, the overlapping detailed target audience function has been modified. Facebook used to allow an advertiser to ‘include people who at least match one of the following’ and ‘must also match at least one of the following’ and ‘exclude people who match at least one of the following’ this is where the overlapping audience used to be defined.
The new changes only allow ‘people who at least match one of the following’ and ‘exclude people or narrow your audiences’.
The challenge with this new feature is that your interests that you use for ‘exclusion’ may end up overlapping in psychographic variables, for example, I can’t target the interests of Backpacker Magazine and exclude American Hiking Society for overlap because there are similarities that will clash, and when a conflict arises Facebook costs will skyrocket, you will be bidding against yourself.
Furthermore, you will notice that the ad format section includes video, slideshow and carousel. This gives a marketer the opportunity to split test creatives, which is a good thing.
I know that this piece has been long, but do note this Facebook changes so that your return on investment is secure.
Affiliate marketing is not just about review websites monetized with Jvzoo promo launch, Clickbank or Amazon, but solid strategy to use when you need to capitalize on an emerging opportunity quickly. Two methods I want to highlight here.
The first method is the solo ad affiliate route. A marketer buys traffic from an email list and broadcast to it. The list allows the advertiser to send an email swipe(email copy) which will in turn be broadcasted to the owner's list to generate traffic for the advertiser.
The key is to find a list that is related to the opportunity being targeted. For example, advertise a health product in a list focusing on a health niche.
The advantage with this method is that the market is warm and the owner is already known and trusted by the consumers.
The swipe contains a link that leads to an optin page or a sale page when clicked. You can bridge directly to an optin page. There are no legal pages to adhere to as opposed to advertising through a search engine.
Once the sales funnel is triggered, the consumer will the go through an optin page with a lead magnet on it (either a tripwire under $10 or free giveaway such as a pdf or video course) that leads to a thank you page.
The thank you page real estate is then used to pitch the product the advertiser is going after.
The advertiser will also have the advantage of further pitching the product within the welcome message inside the autoresponder data base.
The big advantage of this quick affiliate marketing strategy is that the advertiser will have created a data bank for regular newsletter broadcasts that will lead to backend sales.
However, if the idea was just to make the consumer aware of an emerging opportunity such as a launch, then the job will be done with just one or two autoresponders. But as an entrepreneur, don’t just stop there.
The second method of affiliate marketing quick market launch is bidding on common terms using a search engine adwords to generate traffic.
You can bid on urls and related keywords to promote your offer to a target audience.
The first step is to search market places such as Clickbank, Sharesale, Amazon, and so on for urls and keywords. Do a Google keyword search to gauge the exact volume searches of this terms you want to bid on.
Then set up an ad set on search engines, such as a Bing; using this terms on your ad headline and body.
For example, let’s say you want to promote the relaunching of Inbox Blueprint 2.0, you will then search Clickbank for internet marketing related keywords and urls that you can use as bid terms on your ad set and redirect to Inbox Blueprint on your review site.
The second step will be to build a review site (ensure that you use keywords that people use when researching an opportunity e.g. insider review, scam, main keyword, comp plan) using content based on the terms from the market place; and redirect the traffic to you offer.
That is, have articles on your review site that talks about, for example, an internet marketing course on Clickbank and then word your article in such a way that it can redirect to Inbox Blueprint.
Your review site doesn’t have to have bonuses but if you can include them, do. Another review site strategy is to do an in-depth review of the offer you are promoting coupled with related bonuses.
When you redirect your traffic to your offer ensure that you have an optin page where you offer a free offer or an offer under $10 to secure the prospects details. You will then use you thank you and welcome message inside your autoresponder to pitch to your prospect.
Some things to be careful of when using this affiliate marketing method. As mentioned, don’t send them straight from your ad set to a capture page or sales page, it doesn’t convert as well as sending them to a review page.
In fact, Google hate squeeze pages (it thinks you are just advertising to harvest emails) but it welcomes review pages.
Additionally, include video as content for the review site and tag it with the market place keyword, if you have it available. Include keyword optimized images as well.
Don’t bid directly on copy protected trade names such as apple, for obvious reasons. Collect as many keywords or urls related to your niche and just continue to scale the ad, ensure that you choose keywords with only up to 3 advertisers on organic search listings(less advertiser means low cost per click).
Affiliate marketing method 2 may not be as fast as method 1, but what-ever method you choose, ensure that you create a list you can broadcast to in order to realize backend sales.
Google is a business and as such there are certain content and search engine deliverables that won’t change; backlinks, anchor texts, trust and authority remain the staple food that energizes the google algorithm to rank a site.
This is good news for all webmasters who understand content marketing from the perspective of search engines.
Content is what is offered to an online target audience in the form of articles, videos, audio and graphics. Webmasters tend to concentrate more on the how to’s of content than solving the problems of their customers, for instance, how to rank a Utube video.
Consumers have not stopped in their expectation of what’s in it for me. The key is to balance the packaging and the benefits.
First of all, I have talked a lot about being an ekasi marketer on this site, that is, first settle the issue of what you want to offer before going digital and match that choice with your unique skill.
David did not slay the giant by going head to head with him on strength, use your ‘sling’ advantage when deciding what content to offer.
The right content marketing builds trust and this is what you need to generate brand advocacy from your consumers. Although you can very well generate content through research, it will not be easy to sustain it like you would when you are a subject matter expert.
Secondly, original content that solves the target market needs is irresistible. Consumers will share, comment, like and spend time on your site consuming this kind of content.
This is exactly what search engines robots look for.
Engagement is an indication of health and search engines rewards sites that have this activity.
For example, when Penguin 4.0 was released, many people scrambled to seo sites seeking guidance, sites such as Moz that were able to articulate a solution and help webmasters address their ranking problems benefited from engagement ranking factors.
Moreover, service providers in freelance sites such as Fiverr that are able to solve their customers challenges consistently; are the ones that regularly get the jobs.
If you don’t have experience in, say malware removal, there is no way you will be able to meet the consumers expressed needs. You need to embrace this approach as you carve your content online.
When you consistently offer content marketing that is unique and solves your target market needs, your pages will rank high from factors such as engagement, on page seo and congruency; this will lead to your site gaining an authority site status.
This happens automatically behind the scenes as robots carry out their search masters instructions. Additionally, other webmasters won’t be wary to link with you.
Google penalizes sites that backlinks to sites that are spam penalized, you can do a check by typing a url in the search box of Google; for example, type in the term moz.com in the Google search box, to show the number 1 results.
Then type the same term now without the .com and with spacing between the site name and com. If your site is not able to appear on number 1 when you do this search, then it is spam penalized and usually in this case the webmaster site won’t be able to appear on the first 4 pages of organic results.
If you link to a penalized site you will hurt your rankings.
Furthermore, don’t make a mistake of building your site and content without ensuring success through keyword research.
A low hanging fruit anchor text is always desirable to a term that is harder to rank. Then build your trust getting content from this keyword by leveraging your unique experience and skill.
It is not hard to produce winning content marketing, even for Google in the days of Penguin! Just do what comes naturally.
Once you have figured out what internet model(ecommerce, blogging, article marketing, membership site, etc..) you are going to use to enter the internet marketplace and how; plus what your brand will be, as an outcome of business planning; then it is time to design and develop a website.
Digital marketing strategy requires a robust content management software that is able not only to consistently build your brand but be able to achieve search engine goals and content management optimization. My pick is WordPress.
While there are many third party blogging platforms with a freemium model such as Wix.com, Blog.com, Blogger.com, none come close to the versatility of WordPress.
The key disadvantage of the freemium blogging platforms is the lack of control in terms of cpanel access and hosting choice. Any change in policy in any of these platforms can adversely affect your website and service delivery.
One of the key brand objectives to prioritize online is the provision of consistent customer service.
A situation where you have no control of such things as changing servers if you don't like the uptime service level or cpanel access to determine what script to install, is highly limiting.
Additionally, it can be a colossal nightmare to migrate your websites from this platforms to another hosting provider.
Conversely, there is always an option to have someone design and develop your website from any of the readily available freelance sites such as freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr.
However, I highly recommend that a digital marketer set up his own website with WordPress. Do yourself a favor and peruse basic HTML and design lessons that are freely available on Utube just like the ones offered by Ro Little 'How To Blog Design'.
This will enable you to get to terms with some coding language, and will prove very advantageous later on.
WordPress is the number 1 brand in blogging platforms and services. There is no other blogging platform like it.
Anyone without any technical background can install and set up a WordPress site within a day with just basic instructions.
The first starting point to consider before installing WordPress is keyword research that is relevant to your niche.
You are going to construct your blog from the foundations of your keyword research to build a highly optimized site based on keyword SEO metrics such as low competition (volume, not more than 100,000 sites and set up of meta tags: that is, keyword in title, URL, description and heading), high exact match search volume(at least 1000 minimum searches), high search engine value based on cost per clicks(max number of visitors from top 1 position multiplied by the cost per click that advertiser are paying on the keyword).
Use Google keyword tool or Market Samurai to do your research.
Once you have done your keyword research then you can go ahead and purchase a domain name from providers such as Namecheap for as about $11 and then proceed to secure hosting, Hostgator comes highly recommended by many digital marketers because of its premium service.
The next step would then be to point servers from inside your domain registrar such as Namecheap to your hosting, when you buy hosting you will receive a welcome email with your dns information and logins to your cpanel included, the dns information is what you will use to point servers to your hosting, this will take about an hour, then you are good to go.
From here you will then be able to login to your cpanel and install WordPress with 1 click from a software called Fantastico Delux. Once installed then you can login into your WordPress site administration area and begin setting up your blog.
There are many free videos online that teach how to set up a WordPress site, the key thing to remember is to ensure that the SEO settings and legal pages are done right.
Unlike the free platforms, WordPress gives more of this options. Perhaps the best add-on features that has boosted the brand is the many plugins that streamlines anything from managing AdSense to posting content, themes, settings, security, updates, customization and speed.
WordPress also integrates well with many third party applications such as Getresponse, Jvzoo; through API protocols.
When it comes to web design and development, the ability to control the look, content and functionality of your site is critical, WordPress gives control and thus freedom to implement your digital plan. Newbies and pros use it profitably, why not you.
Martin Lindstrom was once cited to have said: 'strong branding has nothing to do with a beautiful logo, but everything to do with your brand message'.
Customers respond positively to branding efforts by businesses and this a wonderful opportunity that even digital entrepreneurs can use to create a lasting impact and message that will endear them to their customer base for a lifetime and profitable customer relationship.
During the plenary stages of the business a marketer has to figure out the brand identity that will form part of the brand strategy.
Brand strategy is just the conceptualization of brand processes that will influence all internal and external processes affecting the brand.
The center of brand strategy is the brand identity work and the team that is entrusted to execute it. Think of all the known names in internet marketing, for example, Chris Farrell, the achievement these brands have gained is not by chance, it takes deliberate effort.
Brand identity is the culmination of the visual elements and core messages that formed the branding process in the minds of the target audience.
For example, Hostgator branding is not just about the brand imagery (logo, colors) but the message expressed through brand attributes (product benefits and features) and brand benefits (personal meaning the customer attach to the product).
Hostgator message of 'eating up the competition' is expressed in the level of service which is unmatched within the webhosting industry.
Hostgator protects their brand by ensuring that the brand experience of their customers compared to those of other competitors is unmatched in all touch points in the market.
These touch points involve customer support, guarantees, price, product benefits and features, discounts and coupons, product add-ons.
The company keeps an eagle eye over their brand impact to their target market and make sure that they live up to their brand promise.
Furthermore, a digital strategist has to ensure that his brand value proposition build a strong emotional link between the brand and the customer.
Digital marketers need to understand the needs of their target market and what stimulates their emotional buttons.
Customers form a strong bond to businesses that they perceive to be closest in the ability to satisfy their unmet functional, emotional and self-expressive needs.
Marketers that consistently use their brand to meet the represented functional, emotional and self-expressive needs build an unassailable lead competitively; through a strong emotional bond.
This the key to creating a differentiation and recognition of the brand which not only endears the customer to the business but makes it almost impossible for rivals to copy.
Iam a huge fan of Fred Lam and his training, I like him because he knows what he is doing, he is generous and transparent with his knowledge, and he is up to date and delivers simple teaching.
His personality brand effect on me is a result of more than just a satisfaction of functional needs concerning his products but emotional.
Any digital marketer therefore has to communicate his brand message to his audience, internally and externally. He has to position the brand.
This is the process of communicating the brand messages that the management team desire to be understood by the audience to build a perception in their minds.
Digital branding does not have to be costly, with the proliferation of social media and availability of enabling content management software such as WordPress, the digital marketer can consistently position what his brand stands for by repeatedly and congruently positioning his message.
Most internet marketers leave this aspect of their business to chance and it is what has given rise to guru marketing and hype in the internet market place.
Moreover, the marketer has to know and gauge the effectiveness of all the brand contact points deployed in the market place to deliver brand benefits during the positioning exercise.
Internal contact points include managers, team leaders, call centre, shareholders and partners. Employees and shareholders are an important conduit by which brand associations are built.
Hence, the importance of training staff in brand identity and service delivery. Conversely, external contact points include, media (tv, outdoor, press, radio, ad agencies, event sponsorship), community, service providers etc..
The idea is to know the contact points that delivers brand messages, particularly, the most influential ones, and manage this to ensure that the brand promise and experience is according to plan.
Consistent service delivery and branding enables digital marketers to build a strong emotionally attached clientele that guarantees mutually beneficial relationship that endures for a lifetime.
This is what differentiates great brands from those just getting by.