With people spending more time than ever online in 2020 due to lockdowns and remote working, connecting with consumers through the websites, blogs, and influencers that they follow and trust is a good way to extend a brand’s reach. Affiliate marketing in 2020 is a valuable way of increasing awareness, driving traffic to products, and ultimately getting more sales.
We take a look at how the role of affiliate marketing is changing and growing.
Connecting with target audiences
Influencers and bloggers have an established connection with their audience. Through sharing content that their followers are interested in and care about they’ve developed a long-standing relationship and built up trust. And this is key to the growth and success of affiliate marketing.
However, as the influencer marketing and blogging industry develop, there has been a greater emphasis on transparency and authenticity. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog, and many affiliates will also promote products on social media but most influencers, bloggers, and websites have become far more selective about the brands and businesses they work with and promote to their followers.
This means that when brands that participate in affiliate marketing attract successful influencers or bloggers that align with their target market, those product recommendations and shares are going to be a lot more valuable.
Consumers in 2020 are starting to become more careful about when and where they spend their money, but they also have a lot of trust in those influencers and blogs that they follow regularly. Affiliate marketing links that are recommended by them are going to be a lot more convincing than other marketing strategies.
Captures search traffic with intent to buy
Affiliates talking about, recommending, and sharing one particular product might not drive huge amounts of traffic to your website because it’s so specific that even a relevant audience might not be interested in that product at that moment.
However, if the content is optimised correctly and provides value-adding recommendations, affiliate links can send traffic with buying intent to the right resources. When someone does click through they have a clear understanding of what they’re being taken to. They already know what the product is or what it does, and they’re genuinely interested in it, therefore they are likely to convert into a paying customer.
Affiliate marketing can also help reach shoppers using long-tail search terms to find a specific product. If a website is reviewing, explaining, or talking about the affiliate linked product they’re going to be using relevant keywords that people might be using to look for that kind of product.
A good example of a company that uses affiliate marketing in this way is Learning Revolution. It’s a website for online course creators that shares valuable information and recommends tools to help people create their own courses.
For someone that was looking to create their own online course, they’re probably going to do a lot of research before they get started. Learning Revolution has a number of guides that cover all the important elements of online course creation from online course platforms to screen recording tools. Each of these has a number of affiliate links that are being recommended by a trustworthy source, which is likely to drive relevant, interested traffic to those product pages.
It’s easier to track the value
It’s also becoming easier to track how much value affiliate links are providing. With enhanced analytics, you can see at what point in the sales funnel the affiliate link was clicked.
For example, if a shopper had already visited a company’s website from a PPC advert, but doesn’t buy. Then if they see the product again in a blog post and click the affiliate link, it’s possible to attribute less commission to that sale because the person was already aware of the product.
Or if someone clicks an affiliate link but doesn’t buy straight away, and comes back to buy at a later date, you can still attribute that sale to the affiliate link. It’s easier for businesses to attribute the correct percentage for a sale, which means that they don’t risk paying more commission than they should to affiliates.
Reaching new audiences
Affiliate marketing allows a brand to share out the responsibility of product marketing across a wide range of individuals, businesses, platforms, and accounts. And these often have a more varied audience than the brand itself does, so as well as connecting with their target audience, affiliate marketing can also help brands to reach new audiences.
Products that are shared and linked to by affiliates are going to be seen by people that the brand itself might not be able to reach through their own marketing channels. Even if people don’t click through immediately, it can help to increase awareness of the brand and products, which eventually leads to more sales.
Another example of successful affiliate marketing is Just A Girl And Her Blog, whose focus is on organization, interior decorating, and blogging.
It’s full of short how-to guides that demonstrate small home improvements and organizing tips. The content is relevant and interesting to the site’s audiences but also full of affiliate links to very specific products. Many of the products that are mentioned probably wouldn’t reach the audience that the blog has through other channels.
Affiliate links are a great way for brands to expand their reach and connect with new audiences that they might not have realised would be interested in their products.
As many businesses struggle to recover from the impact of COVID-19, throughout the rest of 2020 affiliate marketing is going to be a valuable channel for getting specific products in front of relevant, interested audiences.