When you start with affiliate marketing, you are dizzy with the things you have to do. In reality, we don’t have much time to promote our online activities. Simply because other activities often have more priority.
4 steps in 4 hours
The question is actually: ‘How can you set up a reasonable affiliate marketing strategy with the smallest possible investment in time and energy?’ An investment that is at least enough to have some impact.
I started with that question and set up a mini affiliate marketing strategy consisting of 4 steps. And that together, when you get into this routine, shouldn’t take more than four hours. How often you repeat the steps depends on your needs.
Don’t have 4 hours to spend on your website now? Then hire an Adwords specialist to set up an Adwords campaign for you. Keep in mind that this costs a few hundred euros per month, and its impact will stop once you stop paying.
What about an SEO specialist?
When an SEO specialist optimized the website, and you started to receive more visitors are already several years behind us. There is now so much content available online that a distinction must be made mainly regarding content. Besides, we will also look at what happens after a visitor comes to your website within the mini affiliate marketing strategy.
Step 1: Analyze
This is a relatively simple but important step because the analysis gives us the information we need in the following steps.
There are several ways to analyze your website. There are statistics systems such as Google Analytics, tools that record your visitors, such as Hotjar. There is the Search Console from Google, and there are services that keep an eye on which position your website can be seen on Google.
These are super exciting tools for when you’re a full-time internet marketer. We only have four hours for all four steps for this mini affiliate marketing strategy. We’re focusing on one system, and that’s the most used of all: Google Analytics.
Google Analytics offers a lot of data. Much of that data is only interesting when you view it in a particular context. For our next steps, we want to know a few things:
Number of visitors
By looking at the number of visitors compared to previous periods, we learn whether our affiliate marketing strategy is paying off or not. The real indicator lies, of course, in the number of contact moments, quotation requests, growth in new members, or registrations for the newsletter. But the growth in this starts with an increase in the number of visitors.
To see if there is an upward trend in the number of visitors, it is best to go to the ‘Target group’ and then to ‘Overview’. You will immediately see a graph with the number of unique visitors per day. You must look at a longer period, for example, 30 days or three months. Especially then, you can clearly see whether there is an increase. See the period set at the top right.
Average time on a page
This tells you which content resonates with visitors to your website. Visitors do not read, scroll, or avoid pages with a lot of text that is often assumed. However, practice and research into this show the opposite. When visitors are interested, they want to read as much as possible before taking the next step.
When you go to ‘Behavior’ in Google Analytics and then to ‘Site content’ and then click on ‘All pages,’ you will see the’ Avg. Time on pages’.
By default, this overview is set to the ten most popular pages. I would leave this sorting as it is. Depending on your website’s amount of content, you can increase the displayed pages within Google Analytics.
High bounce rate
A bounce is when a visitor from Google goes to your page and returns to Google (presumably not finding what they are looking for). This tells you which content does not work or at least fails to persuade visitors to click further.
You can also find the bounce rate on the content overview in the column ‘Bounce rate.’
We should now have an idea of good and less good content, and we know whether what we are doing has any success. We will take this information to the next steps.
Step 2: Optimize
We have to lead the visitors we get to our website to a specific goal. This can be registration, a request for quotation, or the download of a brochure. We also call the navigation towards such a goal a marketing/sales funnel.
But don’t let this term intimidate you. A website is quite simple. They are HTML pages with links to other HTML pages. Our visitors click from page to page. By responding to the visitor’s needs, we can show him or her the correct information and thus persuade them to click further. That, in a nutshell, is the affiliate marketing/sales funnel of your website.
Why not just one page with a button ‘Request a quote?’ On the homepage. Because as humans, we are suspicious, and we must first be convinced.
A car salesman does not approach you with a contract in hand as soon as you walk into the showroom. First, your interest is aroused, you have explained the advantages of that model, you can sit in the car or take a test drive and then have a cup of coffee with the seller.
This is quite a process, and your website can work the same way.
First, arouse the interest, on the next page explain more and show the benefits, show examples of other customers, and then offer a cup of coffee, eh newsletter.
Just as the car salesman has a certain process in mind, you can also use this process on your website. However, that does not mean that the visitor must necessarily follow this. Everybody is different.
An affiliate marketing sales funnel can look like this:
- Blog article. You arouse the interest of the customer and immediately show that you are knowledgeable.
- Cases. You show examples that give the customer the idea: ‘I want that too.’ The case reference ‘proves’ that you are a reliable partner. The visitor wants to know more about you or your company.
- The ‘About us’ page. You will tell us about what makes you unique. You can gain extra trust by showing the people behind the organization or showing certificates or awards that have been obtained.
- Contact page. Here you show how you can be reached. This also creates trust and makes the threshold for requesting a quote lower.
When creating the funnel pages, also look at the information we collected in step 1. We would rather not see the pages with a high bounce rate on our website, let alone in our funnel.
The pages that are read well, so with a high average time on the page, we would like to put in the affiliate marketing sales funnel.
- Each step in your funnel should have one clear call-to-action button. Preferably, it should be at the bottom of the page and have a clear design. You can place multiple calls-to-actions, but it is wise to send the visitor to one next step.
- Set up each page within your funnel with a clear visitor in mind and consider what question that visitor has at that moment. Do you notice that the page also serves all kinds of other questions or visitors? Create extra pages for this.
- Remove as much noise as possible. Let the visitor focus on the content of that step and the call-to-action button to the next step. We are quickly inclined to want to tell everything. Sometimes this is because we are enthusiastic about our products or services. We often also see that different departments within an organization want to promote a product or service as prominently as possible. Watch out for this. Anyone can get a place on the website, but this should not be at the visitor’s expense.
- Make the page a pleasure to read—clear headlines, a pleasant layout, a picture every now and then, or a bullet list. Naturally packaged in a clear design that also looks good on a mobile or tablet.
Step 3: Create content
As you can see in the affiliate marketing sales funnel, I start with a blog article. That is not without reason. A visitor (unfortunately) usually does not come to your website because of the description of your product.
The visitor is usually not actively looking for that information. The visitor is busy solving his or her own problems and probably doesn’t know much about your product or service yet.
That is why we need to bridge the gap between visitors’ problems and the affiliate marketing sales funnel you would like the visitor to go to.
That requires some empathy, but you can start with the questions that visitors are already asking in many cases. They often put this to sales or help desk employees, so they usually know the customer’s problems. Based on this information, you can often already write dozens of articles. You usually see that even more ideas emerge from starting.
Write these ideas for content in a document, share it with colleagues, and use it to keep an overview of the content you have already created and that you want to create.
Tips to make your content even more effective:
- Use a question in your title. As humans, we’re naturally curious and are more likely to click on a title with a question because we want to know the answer.
- Showcase your knowledge and make your content substantive. In practice, I regularly see our clients use copywriters who produce short, easy to read articles. However, the question is whether this fits with your target group. Who Google on technical terms, and is looking for a partner with expertise.
- Make sure the visitor clicks further. Preferably to the next step in your funnel, of course. (See step 2) To provide a clear call-to-action button towards that next step.
Step 4: Promote
The content you have created can not only be used as a magnet for Google users, but you can also distribute it through other media to reach even more people.
Think of a newsletter that you send out once every few weeks to collect your created content. Also, posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. in which you report your new content. Tools such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor make setting up your newsletter incredibly simple.
Once you have chosen a template, it is a matter of title, intros, and a picture copy and pastes, and your newsletter can be sent out.
Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer help you to quickly post your posts on social media, leaving you time for other things.
Which social media platform you are active on mainly depends on your target group, what content you create, and what product or service you offer.
Not a social media fan at all? No problem, there is really no obligation to be active on this. In fact, many companies and organizations are withdrawing or focusing on one or two platforms.
When the newsletter is out and your social media posts have been sent, the affiliate marketing activities are over.
Good luck, and if you have any questions regarding this article? Then I’d be happy to answer them below in the comment section.