Wondering how to use affiliate marketing to grow your business? Whether you’re promoting products for a brand or want to run your own affiliate program: Read our top tips to leverage affiliate marketing to create revenue for your business.
Nowadays, affiliate marketing is responsible for a big chunk of revenue for many companies. Getting your product or service promoted by influencers in a specific niche is the perfect way to reach your audience. On the other hand, influencers and marketers can leverage their websites and social media channels to promote products while earning commissions.
Enough reasons to explore the best strategies and tips to grow your business with Affiliate Marketing!
We asked 10 digital marketing and affiliate marketing experts the following questions:
- How have you used affiliate marketing to grow your business?
- What is your number 1 tip to grow your business with affiliate marketing?
Here’s a summary of our experts’ tips to grow your business with affiliate marketing:
- Focus on a specific niche and demographic
- Provide free products for influencers
- Think carefully where to place your affiliate links
- Offer generous commissions
- Promote products you truly believe in
- Set up email campaigns with auto-responder emails
- Find affiliates of competing products
- Communication with your affiliates is key
- Instead of product reviews, create “how-to” guides
Read on to find out how you can implement these tips to grow your business with affiliate marketing.
Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Mothers Family Rings
“We run a high-end jewelry business and have an affiliate marketing program in place. We don’t advertise it heavily, instead, we proactively go after affiliates ourselves. In the last couple years we have been able to grow our business and 15% of all sales are now from affiliates.
The #1 way that our company was able to sign new affiliates was by using a 3rd party tool to spy on our competitor’s affiliate traffic. We then contact those affiliates, tell them about our company and offer them a higher commission rate that who they are working with now. This normally works pretty well, and we have gotten about 90% of our affiliates this way.”
Matthew Ross, COO at Slumber Yard
“My business is heavily dependent on affiliate marketing. It’s the largest portion of our revenue mix. My company has grown to employ 12 individuals and is on track to exceed $5 million in revenue this year. Our company is a mattress review site.
Some people assume that by incorporating affiliate links into their content, you’ll start earning thousands of dollars overnight. Even if your website attracts lots of traffic, that doesn’t mean you’ll start generating huge commissions. Traffic is a big component of the equation but there are other factors that determine your level of success. The design of your website and the placement of links is huge. A well-placed link generates a much higher click rate, then a lazy, buried link.
My biggest tip for publishers is to focus on a specific niche or demographic in the affiliate marketing world. By concentrating on an underserved niche or segment of an industry you’re interested in, your content will have a much better chance of standing out and ranking. Don’t immediately jump in and start trying to compete in a saturated industry. That would be a recipe for disappointment.”
Sarah Donawerth, Content Manager at GetCarro
“When I worked as a brand manager and affiliate manager, I always used affiliate programs to reward the customers who were recommending us. After that, I would grow the program to include influencers and brand ambassadors who want to recommend our brand. The key to a successful affiliate program is communication. Your affiliates should feel like VIP customers that get a sneak peek into your brand. Communicate in advance to let them know promotions, new releases, and sales. This will help them feel engaged with your brand.
My number one tip for growing your business with affiliate marketing is to provide the products necessary to promote your brand. Upfront purchasing costs may be a deterrent to participating in the program. Providing products to the influencers can help drive results.”
Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs
“Our brand has partnered with influencers who feature our product line with affiliate links. It’s been extremely beneficial for us, because affiliate marketing has zero financial risk to the brand. As long as there is a profit margin on top of the affiliate’s cut, it’s a win-win. Either the influence doesn’t sell the product and you get free brand exposure, or the influencer does sell product and the brand makes a profit on each sale.
My number one tip is to offer a higher affiliate rate than competitors. Since affiliate marketing is so beneficial to brands, the market is becoming a bit oversaturated with brands offering this service. A new business can quickly sign up new affiliates by offering them a larger cut.”
Allison Hott, Content Marketer at Blog Tyrant
“We use affiliate marketing to grow our business by becoming affiliates for products we already use. One criteria for the products we promote is that we know they will be useful for our audience. Our readers are bloggers or aspiring bloggers and they need certain tools to build a successful blog like plugins, software, etc. In our blog posts, we recommend these tools and we use affiliate links, which brings in additional revenue for our business.
My number one tip to grow your business with affiliate marketing is to believe in the product. Don’t become an affiliate for a bunch of products and services that you haven’t used before, your audience will see right through it. When you truly believe in the product you’re promoting, your audience will trust you and be more likely to take action.”
Stacy Caprio, Founder at Accelerated Growth Marketing
“When I write blog posts I often include a few affiliate links if they make sense in the context of the post. When writing ‘How To’ posts or ‘Product Review’ posts, affiliate links are often natural since people want recommendations of how to complete a task or what product to buy, so it’s beneficial to add affiliate link in these types of posts.
My tip to grow your business with affiliate marketing is to set up an auto-responder email sequence that goes out to all new subscribers, including a few affiliate links. This is an easy, hands-off way to set up recurring affiliate income with the click of a button that you don’t have to hustle for because it will happen automatically as each new subscriber signs up for your list.”
You can read a full guide on affiliate marketing with email campaigns in the article: How to Boost Your Affiliate Marketing with Email Campaigns.
Aqsa Tabassam, Senior Growth Marketer at Brandnic
“I use the WordPress plugin ThirstyAffiliates to boost up my affiliate commissions. This plugin automatically searches potential keywords in the article and link them with affiliate websites.
Nowadays, people are not that interested in reading the reviews of products. They know that website owners are creating them for commission. My tip is to create “how-to” guides instead that relate to soft skills. This way you can integrate multiple links to products and services.”
Hamna Amjad, Content Marketing Executive at Gigworker
“We use SEO to optimize the content on our website to improve our visibility on search engines. Our company earns money through affiliate marketing. We mentions sites like Uber, Grubhub, Limescooter, etc. and offer promo codes. Whenever anyone uses those promos, our company gets an affiliate commission from that site.
My number 1 tip to grow your business with affiliate marketing is to find a specific narrow niche. You need to define your target audience so that you can focus entirely on them. Keeping a wide range of audiences can have a negative impact on your promotional activities. When you know your specific narrow niche, you can establish yourself as an expert in that area. After that, you can tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that they’ll convert.”
Enstine Muki, Content Marketer at Enstine Muki
“Affiliate Marketing is the lifeline of my business. Before I got into creating products and writing books, I wrote a couple of blog posts aimed at ranking on Google, driving targeted traffic and earning commissions. This worked (and still works) well.
While Social media traffic has been a good source of my affiliate income, My email list and Google are the best sources of traffic that convert.
My #1 tip for Affiliate Marketers is for them to work closely with the Affiliate Manager of any product they want to promote. They can help with customized promotion tools to make your campaigns unique and boost conversion.
And for product owners who want outstanding results from their affiliates, have an affiliate manager who works hand in hand with your affiliates to monitor their progress and make meaningful suggestions. Have a general toolbox for everyone but go beyond that and be ready to design custom banners, unique discount codes, personalized sales pages, etc for your affiliates.”
Devesh Sharma, Content Marketer at DesignBombs
“We’ve had massive success with creating affiliate sites to promote mostly digital products. Affiliate Marketing is a business that will never fail but marketers have to be able to connect the dots for maximum results. One of the things we’ve found to work best is the promotion of products that pay recurring commissions. These are mainly membership platforms where members renew their subscriptions month after month. Each time our referrals renew their accounts, we get a cut.
This is the best source of passive income. As long as we keep getting more sales and the members don’t cancel their subscriptions, our income keeps growing tremendously.
Therefore, my number one tip for marketers is to focus on programs that pay regularly after the sale is generated once. There are months we do not make many new sales but the commissions we earn from membership renewals on platforms we promote keeps pouring in.”
Growing a new affiliate program and finding new affiliates can be challenging. Besides these tips you might want to have a read on How to Measure the Marketing Effectiveness of Your Affiliate Program?
If you’re considering to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog, have a look at 6 Tips to Prepare your blog for Affiliate Marketing.