Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Vaibhav Kakkar, Founder of Digital Web Solutions.
Ever since the release ‘Four Hour Work Week’ the number of people interested in automated incomes and as a result, affiliate marketing has dramatically increased. In an increasingly digital world content becomes more important, and it’s easy to see that affiliate marketing is here to stay.
As more people begin to leverage content and discover affiliate marketing, competition is on the rise. Innovation will be a key to the success of new-age affiliate marketers, should they embrace it at the right time.
Personalization of customer experience sits at the top of the priority list, and innovation makes it possible. Advertisers are investing efforts and significant budgets towards providing customers with personalized content. In an Infosys survey, 31% respondents said they wish their shopping experience were far more personalized than it currently is and it is time affiliates jumped on the personalization wagon.
However, as far as affiliates are concerned, resources are limited, and personalization isn’t in easy reach. While this is a challenge, it can also be an enormous opportunity. With a little extra effort, affiliate marketers can enjoy the early adopter benefits of personalization in the form of higher conversion rates.
How would you go about personalizing your content for your audience to drive higher conversions? Let’s jump right to it:
Precision Communication With Data-Driven Approach
Personalization begins with understanding your audience’s affinities. Whether your primary source of affiliate income is a landing page, a website, or an email newsletter, data is readily available.
Understanding which links visitors click on, what products they purchase, and what brands they interact with, along with metrics like platform or device usage can prove to be advantageous. One way to use this data would be to build different email lists based on the preferences of your audience.
You can then send relevant content to each email list, and of course, related products, and in the online landscape, relevance is the key to success.
Sure, the amount of effort that goes into sending out a personalized email blast will go up significantly. However, personalization has multiple advantages for affiliates:
- Improved conversions: This one is a bit obvious. When prospects come across products they are more like to need (or want), leading them through a purchase funnel becomes much easier.
- Audience Loyalty: Personalization is a two-way street. As an affiliate marketer, when you think about your audience and offer them a personalized experience, they will be attracted to the products and content. If done right, your audience will soon be looking forward to more content from their favorite influencer!
- 53% of consumers will readily give away personal information in exchange of a personalized shopping experience. As an affiliate marketer, your success depends on obtaining said information and using it to your advantage.
Tip: If you have a website, you can also use web push notifications to send customized offers to your users.
Choose Your Advertisers Carefully
As a beginner in the affiliate marketing domain, it might make sense to sign up for several affiliate programs, but the reality is quite contrary. To achieve lasting success as an affiliate marketer, it is crucial to analyze each program carefully before you decide to sign on.
The reason behind this becomes apparent when we look at an affiliate marketer from the consumer’s point of view. For a consumer, you are not an affiliate that is trying to make a living by advertising others’ products. For a consumer, you are a trusted source of information that will help them achieve their goals. Being a successful affiliate equals being a successful influencer, and as an influencer, it is your job to ensure your influence on your audience is positive.
As consumers awareness rises, marketing becomes more customer-centric. Smart influencers are understanding the same and addressing the needs of their audience. Doing so is extremely easy with valuable data available to us, thanks to the digital platforms we all use.
Build Lasting Relationships
Relationship building, for affiliate marketers, is split into two — one, the obvious, is having a strong connection with the audience. Conversion rates will skyrocket when your audience trusts you more like a friend instead of a person that is trying to advertise products. However, almost everyone that is familiar with affiliate marketing knows this.
What most affiliates don’t realize is the importance of building relationships with the advertisers whose products you are marketing to your audience.
When you choose your advertisers carefully and treat them as partners, it opens up new avenues. For instance, by sharing your audiences data with your advertising partners, you can push them to introduce custom offers tailored to the needs of your audience. Doing so will improve sales numbers, which will bring symbiotic benefits to you and your partners.
Sharing audience data for more precise marketing is not possible with all advertisers. While it is evident that finding several advertisers that you can trust with audience data is a challenge, even if you find one, it’s a great start.
Pay Attention To Adding Value
Personalized shopping experiences, and even the idea of affiliate marketing, only work when your audience trusts you as a source of credible information. In recent times, high quality and meaningful content has come to play a central role in building this trust.
Keeping that in mind, use your audience data to not only enable personalized recommendations but to build yourself as a figure of authority and trust within your niche. Use the intelligence gained from analyzing audience data to drive a content strategy that addresses the most common problems of your audience, and adds real value to their lives, even if they don’t end up purchasing anything.
The conversion funnel is evolving fast, and content has emerged as the most important factor that not only influences buyer decisions but to some extent, shapes their views about brands and products.
Test Test Test!
With data-powered marketing endeavors, testing remains the most powerful tool to drive results. Since none of us is the marketing Oracle, we have to depend on A/B testing to figure out what is working with our audiences.
There are several tools available online that will let you test variations of emails and landing pages. For example, VWO is a visual A/B testing tool that lets you test different variations of a landing page, and has a drag and drop feature that lets you modify different elements with little efforts. By A/B testing variations of not only content, but product positioning, you will be able to educate yourself, as well as your advertiser partners on what really works for your audience.
Personalization is the holy grail of all aspects of marketing and affiliate marketing is no exception. As more brands realize this, the availability of tools that make personalization easier, and hence, the competition, will become fierce and early adopters will enjoy an advantage.
Vaibhav Kakkar is the CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing & development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has invested in multiple tech startups including RankWatch, NotifyFox and a CRM software to help scale up client agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.