The landscape for affiliate marketers has changed significantly over the past year.
The combination of ever-growing competition throughout the web, legislation issues and limitations introduced by Google has made things rather tricky. However, Affiliate Marketing is not going anywhere. Not only is it here to stay, but new methods of attribution, technological tools and various best practices are continuously being developed, further pushing the limits. Affiliate Marketers are still receiving great ROI from their activity, and it doesn’t seem like they plan to stop. While there are no big secrets or shortcuts to success, here are a few prominent points to consider when setting up an Affiliate Marketing campaign or fine-tuning an existing one:
Create Content With Added Value
Many fully-established brands have to go through lengthy processes of content strategy approval as part of their overall marketing strategy. For the brand’s part, these processes may be tedious, but are still required for ensuring that every bit of content is in line with the brand’s marketing language. Affiliates, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to go through such processes. This is exactly where they get to shine and prove their added value: As an Affiliate, you can be as creative as you like and think outside the box to bring up dynamic and captivating content, quickly and efficiently. For example, choose a topic that refers to many brands within your affiliate program, and write a semi-monthly article about it. Make it interesting enough, with content that your target audiences would find useful, and include relevant links and references to those brands. Take a look at what your competitors do, and make yours even more visually appealing, SEO-optimized and share-worthy. Pull it off successfully and your article will be shared and circulated among your site’s visitors, your brands and their site’s visitors. Such circulation means scoring big points with Google.
Focus on the Brand Itself
In previous years, building a strong brand wasn’t exactly at the top of affiliates’ list of priorities. Self-branding was considered nice to have, at most, and business would go on as usual. However, this reality has recently started to change. Google has gradually started giving more and more significance to the brand itself, clearly preferring websites that users deem trustworthy and engaging. Let’s take a look at a few of the top websites in the shopping, finance, travel and insurance fields: Nextag.com, Shopping.com, Compare.com, Booking.com, Investing.com and Moneysupermarket.com – to name a few – are leading affiliate sites. Their strength lies in the value they offer their visitors: Credibility, fresh content and editorial integrity. Consumers know to visit these websites on a regular basis for a rewarding experience, and are likely to find Affiliate Marketing content in them appealing and relevant. It is therefore worthwhile to dedicate thought to building a strong brand for your affiliate website. Do it right, and you will win the favor of both your consumers and Google.
More Topic Targeting, Less Keyword Targeting
It is no secret that Google has been making efforts to shift the focus of SEO specialists away from keyword targeting. These efforts by Google, including measures such as removing keyword data in Google Analytics and removing exact-match keyword targeting in Google Adwords, make it quite difficult to target individual keywords.
This news item is actually better than it may seem, as advertisers are now required to refine and reinvent their game. Instead of zooming in on keyword targeting, the emphasis is on creating rich, in-depth, topic-oriented and engaging content. Shifting towards this direction means attracting more long tail traffic, which translates into a higher conversion probability.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
With the digital advertising world going mobile, it is only natural that Affiliate Marketing would join the ranks. The growth rates of mobile commerce continue rising, and mobile traffic already exceeds desktop traffic in several parameters. Affiliate Marketers that have generated good ROI and performed well in the past with traffic directed mostly from desktop must take these trends into consideration. The game is changing, and mobile is definitely a must. You have to make sure your affiliate program is keeping up with the trends.
For starters, make sure all your existing affiliates and brands are fully mobile-compatible, including all creatives and banner sizes. Secondly, ensure that all brands joining the affiliate program are mobile-optimized before they jump in. According to several reports, around 70% of consumers who reach non-mobile-optimized platforms don’t fully complete the funnel and stop before making the purchase. Generally speaking, over 60% of online users regard their mobile experience with a certain brand as a very significant ingredient in their overall opinion of that brand. A brand that provides a positive, memorable mobile experience scores many points. Other than providing a game-changing platform, the world of mobile has opened up certain niches and doors of opportunity for mobile-related products. For example, many partnerships are being formed and developed around buying/selling mobile advertising space in apps and mobile games. Therefore, if you haven’t fully gone mobile yet, the time is now. Don’t be left behind.
MMG manages a powerful affiliate network, and controls a platform from which both advertisers and publishers can benefit. With our advanced integration and real-time reporting tools, accompanied by our vast cross-vertical coverage, we can offer you various solutions for your exact Affiliate Marketing needs. Our experts will be happy to assist you and guide you through your marketing journey, all the way to success.
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