Did you know that most affiliate marketers suffer from a debilitating condition
called "tunnel vision"?
No, this isn't a physical illness – but a marketing one.
Instead of creating affiliate marketing content that works well with their brands' overall promotional stance, affiliate marketers tend to narrowly focus on their affiliate links – as though it is independent of the brand's other marketing campaigns. Such a narrow focus can compromise the campaign's overall success, making it a terrible strategy.
In truth, affiliate conversion rates hover around 1% partly because of such poor content decisions are taken by affiliate marketers and partly because of the intense competition. The secret to affiliate marketing success is to create content that uses a multi-pronged approach that leverages the brand's overall promotional lifecycle.
Here, we will explore the various strategies and tactics that you can implement to create affiliate content that is high-in-quality, engaging and highly converting.
What you'll learn in this article:
Alright, we have a lot of ground to cover. So let's get started.
8 Best Affiliate Content Creation Practices To Implement In 2020
it will take is a combination of 8 super-easy tactics to create the best
affiliate marketing content. Here's what you need to do:
Any affiliate content creator should know that passion and expertise about the
subject matter are essential to the successful performance of the content.
After all, that's the only way you can convince your readers to believe what
your affiliate content will be impactful and converting, only if you have tons
of passion, knowledge, and expertise about the brand and product.
as a rule, select an affiliate
brand/product, keeping in mind what
you're passionate or knowledgeable about and to what you can add value.
Recommended tool: You can use Nichehacks for guidance on how to choose the right products and
build a solid affiliate marketing strategy. With Nichehacks, you have a go-to knowledge repository that offers tons of insightful articles, guides, and case studies that budding affiliate marketers can use when planning their affiliate content strategy.
02 – Use High-Performing Content Formats
Not all content types perform exceedingly well. Some content formats are less successful than others, and they aren't the best option when you're trying to get a higher readership for your affiliate post.
The best way to overcome this challenge is only to choose high performing formats:
Evergreen BlogPosts and Articles
Over 3/4th of the internet user base reads blog posts regularly. So you must create blogs and articles as part of your affiliate marketing campaign.
When writing blogs/articles for your affiliate campaign, remember to use these blog formats:
Text Snippets of 300-1000 words in length are excellent for a prospect still discovering the product. These bite-sized reads can easily encourage new prospects to visit and explore your website for more information.
Short, in-depth listicles (about 7-10 sub-headings) – can make a compelling case for why a prospect needs to buy your product. As a rule, write the listicle using a particular angle, such as advice or political opinion, or research.
Let's take the advice angle. You need to sell a flame-proof apron to bakers. Instead of writing an article entitled, "How to bake safely," try "7 lessons on safe baking I learned when I was an amateur baker" for better engagement and conversion. than full-length eBooks and work great when a prospect is just about to convert. An eBook as short as 5000 words can be highly impactful if you use case studies, product reviews, infographics, and images in the mini eBook.
Recommended tool: Narrato offers quick and customized, premium-quality affiliate marketing content. Narrato offers a budget-friendly solution to affiliate marketers who need the services of quality writers with a quick turnaround. When ordering material, remember to lay out clear guidelines for your writers for optimum results. The trial piece is $1.
Podcasts are Increasingly Popular
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the past few years. Today, over 55% of all
Americans who are 12+ years, listen to a podcast every day. As an affiliate marketer, it helps if you use podcasts as part of your affiliate campaign.
Here are a few podcasting best practices. Keep the podcast under 20 minutes.
Create an engaging intro & outro for your podcast – they should be approximately 30 seconds long or up to 75-80 words each.
Get listed on the top podcast directories like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, and iPodder to make your podcast more findable.
Recommended tool: Reaper is a cost-friendly digital audio workstation for creating, editing, and sharing studio-quality podcasts. Use its wide range of functionalities to add music to your games, presentations, and other audio/video files.
Newsletters keep readers engaged and your funnel moving
Did you know that emails have a 1:42 ROI rate? More than 81% of SMBs rely on newsletters and emailers as their primary customer acquisition channel.
As an affiliate marketer, you can stimulate conversions by sending newsletters and emailers to your high-potential prospects.
When writing newsletters, remember to:
Write compelling newsletter preheaders – include a coupon code in the preheader to increase open rates.
Make your newsletter accessible to all types of readers by using complimenting colors, adding ALT text with your images, and using readable fonts (best practice – Arial, Courier, or Verdana at 10/12-point size) Embed videos in your newsletters after your message – remember to turn off autoplay as the footage may otherwise distract the reader from your write-up.
Recommended tool: GetResponse can be used to create segmented, targeted, and personalized email marketing with post-campaign analytics. Test email success with quick split-testing and continuously improve and customize your email offerings to ensure conversions. Infographics can provide great infotainment
Visual content like infographics has a 65% higher recall rate than the meager 10% of word-based content. Even if you've published your infographic a few days earlier, it's highly likely that your readers will remember it, recollect it, and re-visit your affiliate link to learn about the product you're recommending.
As a general rule, follow these tips when creating infographics for your affiliate content:
Be dimension-conscious. For desktops, the ideal L*W should be 1800*600 pixels (if vertical), and W*H should be 1200*900 pixels (if horizontal). For mobile phones with a 4+ inch screen, the width should not exceed 288 pixels.
Match the fonts you use to the theme of your infographic. If your infographic is about something serious, the font should be professional and straightforward, like Times New Roman or Helvetica. But, if it's about something fun/young, you can use playful fonts like Chewy or Lobster.
Play with balance. Stick to symmetric infographics when comparing two or more things – this makes the content easier to read. Use asymmetric infographics when you want your visuals to look more dynamic and free-flowing – this ensures your reader isn't bored and is continuously engaged.
Recommended tool: Easelly contains hundreds of responsive and optimized infographic templates that are easy to use, edit, and share across various social platforms and channels. Select a pre-made template or have your design team create an infographic for you.
Videos can catch and hold on to the attention
Here's an important fact – prospects spend 88% more time on websites that have a video than sites that only have wordy content.
If you include a product review video or a How-to video in your affiliate blog post, you'll encourage more prospects to explore the affiliate brand's store.
When creating videos, there are some things you can do to ensure they yield conversions:
Tap into the viewers' emotions to engage them. These emotions could be love, fear, hope, or sorrow. The best way to use emotions in a video is to tell a story that has a message that viewers can take home. Include your brand's values in the video.
Include animated videos on your list. In particular, explainer videos work best with animated videos. Hire a professional voice actor to bring your animations to life.
Create a high impact with in-video CTAs. The best practice is to include your CTA at the start of the video, so you can ensure that even the most fickle of viewers sees/hears the CTA before exiting. These CTA's could be a click-to-subscribe button or a do-follow link to your social media account.
Recommended tool: Vyond is an excellent tool for creating dynamic and engaging animated videos with perfect background scores and voice-overs. Create and share
professional-looking animation videos with studio-quality effects and make your affiliate content is more appealing to consume.
Okay, now that we know what type of content you need to share, let's just take a moment to understand how you need to share your affiliate content to engage viewers. The content ratio comes in here.
The content ratio tells us to share "a combination of posts" on social media – those created by us and by others. You can use one of the following content ratios to choose the posts you wish to share:
- Five curated posts
- Three freshly-written posts which are not directly promotional
- Two posts that include personal experiences with the brand/product you’re selling (to help humanize the brand/product to prospects)
03 – Share Personal Opinions
As an affiliate marketer, your number one job is to review the product/brand you're marketing and position it positively. The only way you can do this is if you share believable personal opinions with your readers.
Here are some ways in which you can do this:
Give credible reviews
Only 6% of prospects don't trust customer reviews when buying products. But 94% of them do. So it makes sense to write a real review about your affiliate product.
When giving your reviews:
Be honest in your appraisal. Give personal anecdotes of yourself using the products – the mishaps and the victories you experienced with it. You can produce a vlog of yourself using the product and prove how you're recommending a product that you've tried and liked.
SEO-optimize your reviews so they get the highest reach. Ideally, your summary should contain long-tailed keywords. They could be between 4 & 7 words long.
Under-emphasize the negatives by giving them a positive spin, when writing a review for an affiliate product that doesn't work or has many issues. Present the solutions before talking about the problem.
For example, instead of saying,
"This software has only five advanced features…"
"The simplicity of this software makes it perfect for beginners who don't need any
Include your customers' personal opinions too. These types of reviews are the most believable because they come from a customer who resembles the prospect. Just reach out to your loyal customers who have purchased the product through your affiliate link and ask them to write a review or produce a product use vlog for your campaign.
Recommended tool: Airstory offers numerous customizable content templates, from product reviews to copy pages, which you can use to write affiliate product reviews in minutes. Highly collaborative, you can work with your affiliate brands to fine-tune your
content until it's perfect.
Become a comment marketer
Comment marketing is a type of marketing where you use the article's comments as the base for promoting your product/service.
When you actively start responding to your readers' comments, you encourage community participation. This type of banter also stimulates an in-depth discussion about the affiliate product you're promoting and allows you to further market the product in a more personal way to each prospect.
When comment marketing, remember to:
Start the conversation yourself. Invite your audience to engage with you. You can either ask a question at the end of your blog or leave the first comment yourself. Doing so makes you seem more approachable, and there's a higher likelihood of a reader coming back to your post to ask you questions or seek your inputs.
Use humor to make your comments sound more personable. Keep things simple and align your remarks to your audience's preferences & tastes.
Take a moral stance when you can. You see, customers are more likely to spend on products that display ethical values. And since you're recommending the product, your opinions will be scrutinized during the decision-making process.
Recommended tool: Disqus a feature-rich comment management plug-in that allows you to interact with your audience, encourage content engagement, and facilitate blog opt-in. It has an Audience Analytics tool that will enable you to track your audience's devices and the geographical locations of your audience. You can also check how frequent the engagement is and if there have been any conversions or not.
Sales promotions work for a reason. We, humans, are wired to seek things that require minimum effort to obtain, but which provide maximum benefits. Sales promotions in the form of offers and discounts meet this need. They're handed to us by brands, and they offer such a big pay-off.
So, as a rule, when creating affiliate content, including information regarding deals, discounts, and offers the brand is running at the moment in the material. You need to actively work with the brand to get updates on their latest schemes and revise this information in your affiliate post each time the offers change.
To drive lead generation and conversions through sales promotions:
Focus on limited-time offers and seasonal discounts – this creates FOMO in the prospect and triggers urgency.
Include the discount/offer in the subscribe forms & sign-up sheets.
Use a variety of promotions to entice readers, such as free shipping, complimentary gift on first-purchase, abandoned cart savings, cash refunds, referral program earnings, rewards programs, giveaways & buy-back allowances.
Recommended tool: LinkTrust can be used to identify the source of your conversions. Trace back sales and identify critical points of purchase, most often availed sales promotions and channels with the highest affiliate traffic.
05 – Follow the Data
Data goes a long way in convincing wary or unconvinced prospects about the product you're marketing. After all, these numbers are proof of how successful the product is with other customers.
There are three types of data/statistics that prospects love to learn about in a sales pitch or product review –
Data about the product benefits (.i.e. cost/time/productivity savings made using the product)
Data about the product's impact on the market (i.e., how the product is different from others in the market & whether it will change the type of similar products available in the future)
Data about the brand's popularity with other buyers (overall purchase & usage rate of the brand and associated goodwill)
If it's a B2B prospect, there's the 4th piece of data they want to know about – the ROI the product helped other businesses generate.
Now, here are some best practices when including data in your content:
Define the angle which you are trying to prove through your data .i.e. both the "for" & "against." Choose data that is statistically valid and which proves your claims. Include that critical data in your headline to encourage prospects to read through your blog.
Recommended tool: Statista contains an extensive collection of globally-researched statistics, charts, graphs, maps & infographics about various topics/industries. Generate industry-specific and niche-specific reports that can help you make mindful decisions when planning your affiliate content marketing campaign.
06 – Invite Influencers to Create with You
Research shows that influencer marketing generates 11X more ROI than other forms of digital marketing. But, affiliate marketers seldom work with influencers as part of their campaigns.
It's time to set this right. You must contact an influencer whose outlook matches your brand's values & also your personality. Doing so will allow you to collaborate with a popular figure on social media and get the word about your affiliate product to a broader target
Here are some essential tips on getting the affiliate-influencer campaign right:
Develop co-branded blog pages. Such pages will make your content more searchable, and they will attract people who follow your influencer-partner but aren't your core target market.
Create content in formats that your influencer likes to use. Doing so will increase the likelihood of the influencer agreeing to share your content on their channels when you pitch the idea to them.
Share custom affiliate links with each of your influencer-collaborators, based on their unique tastes and personalities. These links will give you the leeway to showcase your product in completely different ways and champion its various strengths.
Recommended tool: Upfluence is a place where you can find the best-suited influencers, manage influencer campaigns, and track campaign performance across various social media channels. The platform has a Live Capture feature where you can identify your brand's biggest customers/advocates and collaborate with them for your organic influencer campaigns.
07 – Make Your Content Less Sales-Based and More Fun
Many affiliate marketers tend to create sales pitches instead of writing engaging thought pieces. Doing so can be detrimental to the success of your campaign. One way out of this mess is to make your affiliate content reader-friendly and less promotional using interactive features.
Here are some things you can do:
Use quizzes, polls & questionnaires to engage users at the first stage of engagement. You can slip in a question or two about their buying preferences and get personal information simultaneously. You can use this data to plan your next marketing measures.
Include an ROI calculator, interest calculator, cost savings calculator, etc. to persuade prospects to move from the product consideration stage to the pre-conversion stage. Your prospective customers can use these calculators and see for themselves what amazing benefits they can receive by buying the product.
Provide a product configurator at the final stage of decision-making to immerse prospects in the product building process. Such a tool is highly engaging, and it makes prospective buyers feel you have specially made the product for them.
Recommended tool: ProProfs contains an expansive library of templates for quizzes, questionnaires, surveys, brain games, and a host of other interactive content. You can customize these tools and integrate them with multiple platforms, making them perfect for all types of affiliate channels.
08 – Optimize Your Content for Mobile
More than 79% of mobile users have made at least one purchase using their smartphones in the last six months. This number will increase as mobile penetration rates increase worldwide.
So, you must optimize your affiliate content for mobile. Here are a few mobile-optimization best practices you need to follow:
Make your layouts responsive by adding media queries, using readable typography, and adding meta tags in the HTML document.
Display your key USP above the fold. This way, your website visitors will see your USP immediately, and it's okay if they're not interested in endlessly scrolling through the mobile webpage.
Increase site load speed by choosing code over the image – pages that load in under 2.4 seconds have a 1.9% conversion rate.
Avoid interstitials ads whenever you can. They ruin readability and can irritate website visitors enough that they may exit your blog without reading it.
Recommended tool: Mobilize to grow and engage your community on a mobile-only platform. Send directed and targeted communication to your audience and measure the success of your mobile campaigns.
Affiliate content creation doesn't need to be a challenging or confusing task. You can create highly impactful content that converts by using the right tactics.
Now that you know what you need to do to succeed at affiliate content creation, why don't you give these strategies a try and see how they work out for you.