Branding your eCommerce Site Through Affiliate Marketing
Build your brand with affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, there are three significant actors - the business (seller), the affiliate (marketer), and the consumer. The same rule applies whether you are an eCommerce business or a construction company - there should be clear communication between all three.
However, this will mostly depend on your approach to the matter. Without planning, you cannot expect instant success if you launch an affiliate program. On the other hand, you can expect everything if you put your sweat and tears into creating a frictionless affiliate program.
The first step is learning as much as possible about this popular marketing tool. Read on and discover how to brand your eCommerce site properly through affiliate practices.
Choose The Right Affiliates
Whether you are just starting your affiliate program or want to improve some aspects, we suggest you take another look at your affiliates. Reevaluating them can help you filter out the "bad apples" and focus on the ones that bring results. As any good guide to affiliate marketing will tell you, results matter.
However, remember that bad results might not always be the affiliate's fault. Sometimes, people put their eggs in the wrong basket. In affiliate marketing, this means collaborating with a partner unsuitable for your niche or campaign goal.
In other words, the affiliates should be in the same niche as your business or, at least, have the same target audience. This is arguably one of the finest strategies for eCommerce business affiliate programs. To explain better, let's go over two practical examples.
The Right Approach
Imagine you have a clothing e-shop. What is your first instinct about choosing an affiliate partner? Is it somebody who created fashion-related content? If so, you have the right mindset!
Choosing a fashion blog, influencer, or a review site as an affiliate for your clothing business is the right way to go. They will communicate with the same audience as yours - people interested in clothes and fashion. Plus, they will be more attracted to your brand in the first place and create better content for it.
The Wrong Approach
When an affiliate matches your niche, there will be greater chances for conversion. But let's imagine another scenario - choosing a DIY home improvement blog as an affiliate for your clothing shop. In this case, you will be investing time and money into a partner that won't bring revenue from the get-go.
They might get clicks, but the chances of conversion are reasonably low. Why? Because their blog's readers are not specifically interested in fashion but DIY renovations. Even if this affiliate manages to bring new buyers, it's still a risky endeavour.
Extra Tips on Choosing the Right Affiliate
Besides choosing affiliates with related niches, it's also preferable that they share similar values. For instance, if you are promoting eco-products from your shop, don't choose an affiliate that doesn't care about ecological issues or has little knowledge. The more they know, the better they can relate to your product and create more engaging and informative content.
Another great tip is to check the affiliate's previous work before hiring them. Look at videos, images, blog posts and how reputable they are in the community. Even though affiliate marketing payments are result-based, you don't want to waste time or take risks with unreliable marketers.
If you already have affiliates, use an affiliate tracking platform to see which ones perform best. Then, focus on them and encourage further growth with bonuses and tiers.
Combine Your SEO and Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is a vast industry, and affiliate marketing is only one piece of the puzzle. To increase sales, you must focus on multiple digital marketing niches simultaneously. For starters, combine your SEO strategy with your affiliate marketing campaign. These two not only go hand in hand, but they are the most effective.
For instance, a good affiliate program will lead target consumers to your website. But you won't transfer those clicks into conversions if your site is slow, has a poor design, or lacks appropriate content. In this case, you can use SEO strategies to fix the issue and boost conversions. Finally, use affiliate tracking for eCommerce to see whether the condition has improved with each change you make.
Types of SEO Practices
Before we get into tips on mixing SEO and affiliate, familiarizing yourself with the basic concepts is essential. So, here are the three types of SEO:
- Technical SEO - Encompasses all SEO aspects that concern the technical aspects of your website. This includes site indexing, speed, mobile optimization, meta robots, HTTTPs, and XML sitemaps.
- On-page SEO - Includes every SEO tactic that involves your website and enables it to rank higher in search results. Content, URLs, meta descriptions, alt texts, internal and external links, page headings, etc., fall under this category.
- Off-page SEO - This covers all SEO actions outside your website, including affiliate marketing campaigns. Some examples are backlinks, guest posts, reviews, PR, and social media posts.
Mix SEO and Affiliate Marketing
Combining SEO practices with affiliate marketing is not limited to Off-page SEO tactics (looking for review sites, building backlinks, collaborating with an Instagram influencer, etc.). For instance, you can increase conversion from affiliate links by improving on-page SEO.
If you decide to take this road, ensure that your content (blog posts, web pages, meta descriptions, headings, etc.) has keywords that match your target audience's search intent. Then, focus on improving the content's readability and engagement. Besides boosting conversion, this will also get your eCommerce site to rank higher on search results.
If you want to outdo yourself, automate your affiliate marketing. High-quality software can show which areas need to be improved when it comes to customer behaviour and engagement.
In addition, you can use SEO software to gain insight into your business performance (traffic, ranks, average time on site, etc.). Then, you can utilize that data to create better affiliate campaigns.
For example, with keyword analysis and backlink building, you can discover which keywords are the best performers or which backlinks are considered the most trustworthy. These types of details are critical for affiliate marketing success.
Integrate PR With Your Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
Besides SEO strategies, you can also integrate PR into your affiliate marketing campaign. Affiliate marketing is linked to PR, to begin with, is based on word-of-mouth.
Consumers trust your affiliate partners because they perceive them as an objective and honest third party. Most consumers consider the referral you get from your affiliate as an honest opinion.
So, if consumers trust the affiliate, they will come running toward your website sooner than later. However, they will be looking for more information from you as well.
This is where a PR strategy comes in! It would help if you made sure that new visitors perceive your brand as trustworthy. If you succeed, you will increase the chances of conversion and potentially create new loyal customers.
You can seal the deal and engage audiences with classic tactics like press releases, media appearances, collaboration with influencers, self-promotional social media posts, etc. For example, you can share an award you received or a customer's positive review. However, you must follow specific steps to ensure optimal results and maximum revenue. The key ones are collaborating with suitable affiliates, integrating SEO, and using PR affiliate marketing strategies.