Are you looking for generating content for affiliate marketing?
Both content marketing and affiliate marketing are effective ways of boosting your brand’s online visibility. Without requiring a huge budget, they can increase engagement rates, drive clicks, and even search rankings by bringing your services in the spotlight.
Many marketers imagine that they have to choose one of these strategies, but content writing and affiliate marketing can be seamlessly combined for incredible results.
So, how can you get the best of both worlds and create an all-rounded marketing plan to make your business shine in 2020?
What Is Content Marketing?
You may have heard that the young generation is obsessed with content, but the rising trend of content marketing doesn’t apply only to them.
As a whole, we consume more content than ever, whether in the form of blog posts, videos, or social media. Content marketing involves using all these types of content to inform, attract, and retain your audience.
If you haven’t used content marketing so far, these numbers might change your mind:
- 65% of the most successful content marketers in 2018-2019 had a content marketing strategy (Source: Content Marketing Institute).
- Marketers spend an average of 41% on generating high-quality, relevant content. (Source: Zazzle Media).
- Last year, the content marketing area with the most significant budget increase was content creation (Source: Content Marketing Institute).
- 71% of B2B buyers read an average of 3-5 blog posts about a product/service before buying it (Source: Demand Gen).
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but it continues to deliver:
- 15% of the total digital media advertising budget goes towards affiliate marketing. (Source: Business Insider).
- 81% of brands use affiliate marketing to promote their products. (Source: MediaKix)
- Affiliate marketing is a growing industry. Revenue from marketing programs grows by 10% annually, and the entire industry is expected to be worth more than $6.8 billion in 2020. (Source: Digital Global).
How to use Content for Affiliate Marketing?
So, now that you know the differences between content and affiliate marketing, let’s move on to how you can combine the two into a seamless strategy that boosts conversions:
Create Long-Form Blog Posts That Educate Readers
No matter your industry, chances are you aren’t the only supplier, and customers have plenty of good options to choose from.
In 2020, it’s not difficult to position yourself as an expert in anything, so the question is: how do you stand out from others and prove that your content is better?
You go the extra mile.
Instead of offering followers the same generic posts that everyone can publish, treat the subject in more depth, gathering more data, and creating long, highly informative blog posts (we’re thinking 3,000+ words).
The average length of Google’s top 10 results is 2450, and most of these are case studies and complete guides.
For added efficiency, you can add affiliate links in these long-form articles.
For example, you can create an ultimate guide for buying X product, detail all the features you need to consider, compare products, and add affiliate links to those products.
Collaborate With Influencers For Affiliate Marketing
Celebrities often endorse products and brands, but many times it’s challenging to draw the line between personal preferences and paid work.
Many times, when clicking on an article about the skincare products that Victoria’s Secret models swear by, we have a hard time believing that they use those products, and they’re not just doing their job as brand ambassadors.
Now, consumers want to listen to people like you and me, who are more relatable and transparent.
Influencers. In “the age of creators,” influencer marketing can increase exposure, drive traffic, and boost sales without requiring as high of a budget as collaborating with a local celebrity.
Sending a product for consideration or asking an influencer to include affiliate links in their posts is a great way to gain the trust of your demographic.
And 71% of marketers say that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
And don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have the budget to collaborate with mega influencers who have millions of followers, because you don’t have to.
Micro-influencers (<100,000 followers) can become great partners because they have a small but loyal community, and they’re generally thought leaders in a specific field.
Update Older Blog Posts
Old blog posts shouldn’t be forgotten. If you’re not actively trying to drive traffic to them, you may be missing out.
“Go over your archives and see which posts can be revised and refreshed. Not all of them will meet these criteria, but look for the ones that are still relevant, and that can be expanded or updated.
For example, if you published a post about the state of your industry in 2015, mentioning trends and forecasts, perhaps it would be interesting to revisit it and write the 2020 update.
Were you right? Did the industry evolve as expected? Did the trends come to life, or did the market move in a different direction?”
explains Judy Carty, a content marketing specialist at IsAccurate.
These “time machine” articles make for an exciting read, and if your SEO results can benefit too, why not try it? After revising an older blog, Google displays the new date in search results, and this can increase website visits.
Create Complete Tutorial Articles That Add Value
The Internet is the go-to place for learning how stuff works, and, as a marketer, you can leverage this.
Apart from getting clicks, high-quality tutorial articles offer value to customers because they have everything from pictures describing every step, to answers to frequently asked questions.
Affiliate links included in tutorials don’t bother the reader – on the contrary, they’re relevant – and this way, you can hit two objectives at the same time: offer support to the reader and drive traffic to your products.
Publish Comparison Articles
At one point in their purchasing journey, customers will wonder which one of your products/services is right for them. Should they buy the compact coffee maker or the regular one? The shared or dedicated hosting plan?
That may not sound like the biggest problem.
Still, a confused visitor who doesn’t know what to choose can leave the website and not buy anything at all, so help them out by posting useful comparison articles or by collaborating with affiliate marketers to post them.
By doing this, you’re not just showing them that your products are great, but also which of your products are right for them, so that they don’t end up regretting their purchase.
The most significant claims and hard data in the world fade in front of a good customer success story. As customers, we’re more likely to trust and relate to the stories of other people because they spark a particular emotion.
Companies make claims and promote products all the time, but do they work, do they add any value to real life?
Customer success stories prove precisely that and give indecisive leads that final push to become loyal customers.
Get in touch with a past client that was particularly enthusiastic about working with you and ask them if you can share their experience.
When writing the story, open with a problem that they experienced, and then explain how your products or services helped them overcome it.
This makes the reader empathize with your customer and ultimately builds trust by providing real-world proof that you’re a professional.
Publish Industry News
Even if they don’t sell your products or services directly, industry news is a great way to offer value to readers and gain more visibility in search results.
After posting about the news on your blog, don’t forget to share it on social media too. This way, you can start a conversation with followers and boost the engagement rate.
No matter which of these strategies you choose to follow, remember: quality is critical. For any content to hit the mark, it needs to be relevant, so always keep the needs of your target audience in mind.
Note: Estelle Liotard contributed this guide on Content For Affiliate Marketing. If you have an exciting topic to provide, then proceed to our guest blogging guidelines.
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