Affiliate marketing can be a lot of work, creating the right ads, finding the right keywords and so on, and it can be easy to overlook the power of content marketing when you are focused on everything else.
That would be a mistake though, for several reasons. First, studies have shown that content marketing costs around 60% less than traditional marketing approaches, but not only that, it is also more effective. In fact, content marketing can generate as much as three times the leads per dollar spent. That is definitely something that we should be making the most of as marketers. So why do so many of us ignore content marketing completely?
Content marketing allows us to reach new audiences and markets. By including affiliate links into valuable content that interests readers, we are building trust, encouraging our audience to share the content (and our links), and building the business all at the same time. However, one of the reasons many affiliate marketers avoid content marketing is the difficulty in knowing where to begin. What kind of content works? How should I approach it?
Content marketing does require a little planning. Here are the approaches proven to work that will get your content marketing campaign up and running successfully.
Inform your audience
The first thing to always remember about your content is that it should give something to the reader. Articles that are just a string of keywords may have worked a decade ago, but today it’s all about quality. When you are promoting a product, you want to create content that tells a story about it, informing the reader what it is, what it does and why they should buy it. There are a few ways to do this.
First, you can create reviews of products you promote. While you want to create a positive impression in such a review, content marketing requires trust with the audience, so you always need to appear unbiased. Don’t go over the top with praise, and always point out one or two small issues with any product, that will give your review credibility.
Another approach is to create tutorials, explaining how to use the product or get the best out of it. Comparison articles that you can use to show that your product is superior to alternatives are also extremely effective. As with reviews, in all of these approaches, remain relatively balanced and avoid excess praise. The credibility of your content, and the trust it brings is the most important aspect of content marketing.
All of these approaches allow you to give your audience something they value, important information about a subject they are interested in. This is the key part of content marketing because it is that valuable content that engages your audience and builds trust. It is the trust that will push clicks on your affiliate links and generate revenue.
Create a blog
While it is entirely possible to create this content and publish it on article banks and other options, having your own webspace for your work is a much better idea. A blog allows you to build your brand and audience together, which in turn help with affiliate revenue. If you choose a single niche and find products within it to promote, over time you can become an authority on the subject. In this way, promotion of one affiliate product feeds into others, as your audience can be linked to other content for different products within your blog.
Of course, finding a brand identity, to begin with, can help. By creating a familiar brand presence, you are developing another way to build trust with the audience. That again improves audience response for you any offer you promote.
A blog is also great for establishing your own web presence, and it can be integrated into your traditional marketing to drive traffic. In this way, you gain an audience for all your offers by directing new customers to your site, instead of a single landing page for a single offer. This can see the return on investment for traditional marketing also go up. Varying your traditional marketing this way, including driving some traffic to the blog, brings your business together, building on each successful part of the strategy.
When we think of content marketing, its normally the kind of thing we have discussed, written reviews, tutorials, how-to articles about a product and so on. But online content consumption today is dominated by video. This is especially true for younger audiences, who strongly favor YouTube and other services to obtain both information and entertainment.
It is not just viewing habits either, a video is proven to be more engaging for an audience, with messaging more memorable if delivered through quality video. As a marketer, you can use that to your advantage. Video reviews, video tutorials and so on can be incredibly effective at delivering your message effectively. A video is also very easy for your audience to share, increasing your reach even further.
A video is not difficult to create either, free tools are available that allow you to quickly put together professional-looking content. Because it is so effective, it is worth the effort to use it as part of any campaign.
Use a variety of content
We have talked about a number of different content types, and ways to use that content so far. To get the maximum out of content marketing, the key is to use all of them. A variety of content, reviews, tutorials, written or video, short content or longer content, keeps your audience interested. While all of the approaches are effective on their own, sticking to just one type becomes less useful over time. It is by incorporating all of these into your content to provide constant change that you maximize the potential of content marketing itself.
Content marketing is a proven, effective means of promoting your affiliate offers. While it can seem a complex approach to get started with, the reality is that it can be very easy to start. Using a combination of content styles to promote products not only helps generate more affiliate revenue, it allows you to build a brand and audience that you can deliver new offers to at will. This allows you to grow your business organically in a way that traditional marketing alone cannot do.