How do you grow and promote an affiliate program? Aren’t they supposed to just “grow themselves” – like the proverbial bunny? Yes, and no. There are many aspiring and seasoned affiliate marketers out there all competing for the same thing: to grow their business network, just as you are. What will give you an edge? In this first post of an ongoing Smart Marketing series, read on for a few quick, practical tips on how to successfully promote and grow your affiliate program through social media.
Social media can be used completely for free to promote your affiliate program. Yes, you can pay to advertise on all of these platforms (and we’ll get to that in another post) – but all social media platforms can be used for free to interact with existing and potential sign-ups, introduce them directly to your affiliate program and its benefits, and drive traffic to your own website or social media presence.
1. Social networking
Establish your own affiliate business pages and profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and LinkedIn. Bear in mind that although the conversion rates through social networking traffic may be statistically lower, social networking is one part of a wider social media strategy to establish presence and credibility for your affiliate business. Once you have built a strong relationship with your audience, start to regularly share affiliate links and promotional image-rich or video posts (for more visibility in feeds) on your personal and affiliate accounts. You could share ads, but people on social networking sites barely click on ads. Try linking your affiliate website with your social media pages and displaying your affiliate link on them. You can also share, like or comment on existing content that can be used to promote your business: for example, if you sign up for the Global Coupon Affiliate Program, you can create your own Facebook page for your affiliate business, “like” the Global Coupon page on Facebook, and comment on posts or share Global Coupon’s posts on your own page.
2. Video sharing
Video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo are massively popular. Start a channel for your affiliate business and generate your own content, or like and share related affiliate content from other established channels. For example, the Global Coupon Channel on YouTube has many shareable promotional videos that you can use to promote your own affiliate program and links. Many of these videos are also available for download through the Global Coupon Affiliate Management Program, once you sign up as a Global Coupon Affiliate Member and sign in to your dashboard.
Forums and discussion groups exist on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Find a group related to your niche – in this case, affiliate programs, networking or marketing. Read a few reviews on the groups and monitor them to see if they are high traffic and have a credible reputation. When you’ve established the above, jump in – join the group and start posting, commenting on, liking and sharing other group members’ posts. Don’t just post promotional materials, offers or statements. Include informational posts related to the group’s topics as well, to establish your own credibility and encourage trust. That way, other group members are more likely to comment on and share your posts, and to click on your posted links.
Start your own blog, either on your affiliate website or using a blogging service such as Blogger, and link your blog to your website. This gives you a “voice” within the global affiliate community and a “forum” for your business that you can completely control. Compare your blog with other established affiliate-related blogs – for example check out this affiliate program-related post on the Global Coupon blog – to ensure yours looks and sounds as professional as it should. Add banners and affiliate links, but if you include too much direct advertising or messaging, your website and blog will appear like just an obvious attempt at self promotion and lose credibility. You can pay someone to write the blog content, or you can write it yourself at no additional cost to you. You can also eventually invite other prominent affiliate bloggers to “guest blog” on your blog. Regardless, ensure the content is highly relevant to your affiliate program and share the latest blog posts through your social media channels.
Write about the benefits of your product, or the kind of earnings that await potential affiliate partners who sign up using your affiliate link. For example, if you are an Affiliate Member of the Global Coupon Affiliate Program, business owners would use your affiliate link to sign up with Global Coupon as Business Members; you earn a percentage of whatever they spend in usage fees on the platform every month, and these Business Members gain the use of all the features and benefits of the Global Coupon digital marketing and advertising platform.