Marketing can truly be ever-changing and never stagnant. Just like technology, the development and innovation of marketing strategies and practices have significantly and quickly transformed over time.
In fact, you’d be hard-pressed these days to hear the word ‘marketing’ without hearing the word ‘digital’ pre-attached to it. In particular, eCommerce businesses rely on digital marketing to get the word of their product or service out. It just makes sense to digitally market a product that is also digitally accessible.
These days, a huge part of digital marketing for eCommerce businesses relies on an offshoot of word-of-mouth marketing (considering that these days, more people ‘listen’ to what is posted online than what is actually said in person). This offshoot is referred to as ‘affiliate marketing’, and it can do wonders for the sales and credibility of your company.
So whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or whether you’ve been introduced well to it, it’s always helpful to be reminded of topics about it. This is still marketing, after all, and is part of the ever-changing landscape of the industry.
Here are some top affiliate marketing tips for your eCommerce business:
1. Know Your Audience!
Marketing buffs know that the first rule to beginning any marketing plan is knowing who you’re serving your product or service to. Once you know who you want to make your services available to, it will be easier to find the correct channels with which to communicate with them. This way, you’re almost always hitting the nail on the head in terms of exposing your eCommerce business to your target audience.
2. Collect and Select Your Affiliates
It might sound a bit odd, but there’s nothing wrong with knowing who you’re dealing with, or with scanning the market for better deals on who you’re partnering with. Be discerning with the products, services, or personalities that you associate yourself with. This can have a lasting impact on your customers, so you want to make it a good one to allow your eCommerce business to rake in the good fortune, too. Ask necessary questions from partners, ask for concrete written drafts on their affiliate marketing policies, and keep a record yourself of the essential parts of your affiliate marketing program.
3. Be Transparent
The inauthenticity radar of a lot of people is now stronger than ever. This means that, as an affiliate marketer, you must know how to stay genuine and relevant in the eyes of your partners and audience. The simplest way to do it is to just be yourself. As cliché as it sounds, people are more drawn to authenticity and sincerity that pure hard-sell. Know the product or service you’re promoting by trying it yourself and be completely transparent about what you liked and disliked about it.
On the other hand, make sure to encourage your affiliate marketers to transparently comment on any product or service you may offer. This helps build credibility for your eCommerce business. What’s more, it allows you to see the necessary feedback to improve. Pro tip: make sure that your affiliate programs specify that you may talk to the higher-ups of a company should there be any complaint. This is because you’ll want to resolve the issue from the ground before it blows up online. Yikes.
4. Track, track, track
From the affiliate marketing terms and conditions to the statistics and hits, to the comments, likes, shares, and engagement, to ad words and SEO, and especially about your profit margin, make it a habit to efficiently track every movement you make for your eCommerce business and its marketing strategies.
Tracking helps you understand which ones of your marketing strategies work or not, which areas of your eCommerce business are profitable or popular or not, and which audience to target or not so you know how to funnel effectively. Think of all the things you can and should track about your business, and this will surely help you improve as you continue operations.
Content is still King
This timeless phrase has been repeated across industries for many decades, and it will still stay relevant for many years to come. Content will always be king, especially for eCommerce businesses with affiliate programs. People who don’t engage in affiliate marketing seem to think that creating content is an easy enough task; this assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Stay creative and inspired so all your content is relevant, timely, authentic, and unique. Remember to always go through affiliate program guidelines, and ask accounts managers or project heads to walk you through all the protocols needed. Do this for every marketing campaign so that you’re sure you’re staying true to the affiliate’s rules, and to your own personal values as well.
Take these tips as the first stepping stones to successful affiliate marketing for your eCommerce business, or use them as a refresher after years doing affiliate marketing. Better yet, let us know your favorite affiliate marketing strategies! We’d love to hear from you!
by Lianna Arakelyan
- Yan Anderson is the Social Relations and Content Manager at CS-Cart. He's passionate about creating content that explains complicated things in simple terms. Yan loves writing and making videos about the ecommerce industry and technology trends. He manages this blog as an editor.