Maybe you’ve tried affiliate marketing, but you weren’t successful, and now you are looking for answers. I hope this article will be able to provide you with the answers.
To be successful with affiliate marketing, you first need to know how to find people who may be interested in what you promote (traffic). Then, you need to get people excited about the product you promote through a process (affiliate bridge). And finally, the product you promote must be what your audiences want and need (profitable product).
In this article, I will go over, and above sharing with you the affiliate success formula, as well as an important concept, called the “stages of awareness”.
If you’d rather watch a video explanation, then here it is:
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What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply a strategy for companies to promote their products without having to pay for advertising.
Instead, the companies will pay a defined amount to people, like you and me, whenever we can bring leads or sales to their business.
Referring to the above image:
- Company A wants to promote its product through affiliate marketing, so it created an affiliate program that pays its affiliates 30% commission whenever a sale is made.
- People like you and I can join the company as an affiliate.
- Once we are approved as an affiliate, the company will provide us with a unique affiliate link. We need to use this affiliate link to promote the products of the company so that any sales or leads generated through this link will be tagged to us.
- We will go out there and share our affiliate link to the world, and how we do that is through mediums like a blog and social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever. All these are called traffic methods.
- There are people using these social media channels, and they are your potential prospects (Traffic).
- Someone clicks on your affiliate link.
- Your affiliate link sends that person to the company’s website, and that person made a purchase worth of $100.
- You made a $30 commission for making that sale happen.
The Affiliate Marketing Success Formula
There are 3 elements of the affiliate success formula:
Every person online is considered a “traffic”, but we do not just want traffic, we want traffic that has the potential of buying products through our affiliate link.
There are basically 3 types of traffic:
Whoever that comes in contact with your content or anything that you produce online will have different intentions.
Most of the time, people consume content when there is a need. The need could be to solve a problem, or it could be for entertainment.
And, as affiliate marketers, we need to understand the temperature of our traffic to provide the content that they desire.
Cold Traffic – These are people who have not seen you before, they don’t know what you are about, and there is a trust barrier.
To promote your product to this group of people, you need to build trust and rapport with them and warm them up.
You can do that by providing the best answer to the query that your traffic is searching for on search engines (free/organic traffic). Or, you can advertise on social media channels by targeting interest groups (paid traffic).
We’ll talk more about the differences between free traffic and paid traffic below.
Warm Traffic – These are people who have come across your content, they like the value that you are providing, and they are interested in what you can offer to them. This type of traffic is the best traffic for affiliate marketers because you would have already built trust and rapport with your audience.
Hot Traffic – Unless you are a product owner, this may not apply to you. However, as affiliate marketers, we can build a loyal following of people who will buy anything that you recommend. There are many methods for affiliate marketers to grow a loyal following, for example, creating a private Facebook group that is hyperactive with lots of value as well as user-generated content.
Free Traffic vs. Paid Traffic
Let’s talk about paid traffic first.
Paid Traffic – You will pay money to buy ads; it doesn’t take as much effort to create an ad or to run an ad campaign.
But you need a lot of knowledge and skill, like copywriting, motivation, and persuasion.
You need to understand what makes people click on an ad, what makes people want to pursue further through your ad, and how you get people to buy something at the end.
If you are a beginner, it is tough for you to acquire this kind of skill, it requires a lot of practice.
Every guru will tell you that you shouldn’t scale an ad if it is not a winning ad.
A winning ad means a dollar in ad spend that converts into more than a dollar in revenue.
But, for beginners, as you are acquiring the skill, you’d take probably 20 to 50 tries or even more, before you find one successful ad.
This means that you are probably going to spend another $200, $500, $1,000, or even more on buying traffic to find that winning ad, that’s on top of the money that you’ve paid for the course.
Many people go into this expecting to earn quick money. They go in there, create one ad, they run it, and expect things to happen.
But after they tried 2 to 3 times, and spent quite a sum of money, they found themselves losing money. Then, as they progress without results, they didn’t think that finding a successful ad is possible, and they quit.
Why do I know this?
Because I’ve tried it myself, and it is not that easy.
You can earn money really quickly if you found a successful ad, but for you to find one, it requires a lot of knowledge and skill from you, as well as a lot of money to spend on ads.
In general, if you intend to go into paid advertising, I would recommend that you join a training program that comes with personal coaching.
Because, you’ll learn a lot more and a lot quicker if you have someone more experienced and successful coaching you.
If you decide to go towards the path of paid advertising, I recommend check out this program.
Free Traffic – It is suitable for someone who wants to earn money online without spending a lot of money upfront.
But, here’s the reality.
Nothing is easy, especially acquiring free traffic. And. free traffic doesn’t really mean it’s free. There is always a trade-off.
With Free traffic, you gotta spend a lot of time and effort on research, content creation, and lots of other stuff, and you have to do it consistently.
And, unlike paid traffic where your income can take off relatively quickly if you found one successful ad, free traffic will take months before you see a little results, and it could take a year or more to earn a substantial amount of money from affiliate marketing.
However, it is still very lucrative, and it is a good way to build passive income for years to come.
So, if you choose to start with free traffic, the best program I have come across is this. It is free to get started as well.
Once you got the traffic, you gotta send them to an affiliate bridge.
An affiliate bridge could be a way for you to get the contact information (like first name and email address), or you could send your traffic straight to a video or blog post where you will convey a message that you:
- Understand the needs, wants, problems, and desires of your target audience;
- Build rapport and trust, either to you as the affiliate marketer or towards the product that you are promoting.
- And finally, demonstrate that the product you are promoting can solve the problem of your target audience.
If you can hit all these pointers, you will have a very profitable affiliate bridge.
Example – Refer to the image above.
- The article is about “best guitar to buy for beginners”. In that article, you deliver the information your traffic (person) is looking for, but you can go further to figure out the guitar journey of that individual.
- Maybe that person is a beginner who wants to learn how to play guitar. Then in that article, you can pique the interest of that person by offering a simple chord progression training that will help that person play like a professional in minutes.
- Before he or she can get that training, you ask for an email address.
- Once he or she put in the contact information, you can send that person to a video where you teach the chord progression, you introduce yourself, share with him or her your journey to playing professional guitar. You deliver what you promise to that person.
- You recommend that person to check out a guitar training course. If that person joins the training course, great, you made a sale, but if that person doesn’t check out that training course right at that moment, that is fine because you have the contact information.
- A day later, you send a useful email to that person and teach a second set of chord progression.
- A few days later, you send another email that provides more value. If that person consumes your content, more likely, he or she would have already established some trust in you or whatever you promote. Then again, you ask that person to check out the training course again.
I hope this is making sense to you.
There are a few things to look at to identify a profitable product.
- Commission rate of the affiliate product or program.
- Value Ladder of products.
Commission Rate – Assuming your goal as an affiliate marketer is $3,000 per month. If you are selling a product for $100, but you are only getting $2 for each sale (2%), then you need to sell 1,500 items per month to get to $3,000.
However, if you sell a $100 worth of product and you are getting $50 out of it (50%), you only need to sell 60 items per month to get to $3,000.
Simply speaking, the higher the commission rate, the quicker you will reach your goal.
Value Ladder – A company may have multiple products that serve needs for its customer at different stages of its journey.
How it normally works is that a company will have a free offer or freebie for its affiliates to share with their audience.
When the audience finds value in the freebie, they may want to learn more about what the company can offer. In that case, the company will have another product that most maybe a couple of dollars.
And, as the company provides even more value, and the audience is really liking what the company offers, they may want to start spending a couple of hundreds or thousands to buy the higher level of products from the company.
Example – You got a free voucher to a dentist to clean your teeth, the next thing you know, after the Dentist worked on your teeth for a few minutes, she will ask if you are a smoker and that your teeth are yellow.
No one likes yellow teeth, so the dentist says no problem, I will get this fixed if you want to. Then you consented, and she starts with teeth whitening.
The dentist doesn’t stop there. After a while, the dentist suggests that you need a retainer because your teeth are shifting.
Before you know it, you’ve spent $50 on teeth whitening and hundreds of dollars on the retainer. This is what we called the value ladder.
The Dentist assesses your needs and then suggests a higher valued product to you. And in this case, the teeth whitening and the retainer.
The better the company can identify its value ladder of products, the better for its affiliates. Because, you can promote a low ticket product upfront for a company, and you continue to get paid whenever the consumer buys a higher ticket product.
That’s how you earn a lot of money with affiliate marketing.
Stages of Consumer Awareness
The stages of consumer awareness is a very important concept to understand if you want to be successful in selling anything online.
Everyone who ever considered buying something online will go through these stages.
It ties very closely to the affiliate success formula above.
Let me share what those stages of consumer awareness are, and then I will wrap it up by combining all the concepts talked about in this article into one big picture.
Now, there are 5 stages in the consumer awareness.
Unaware Stage – This stage is where a person who doesn’t know that they have a problem. Like for example, a teenager who has an oily scalp that might lead to hair loss, but right now, he has his hair intact. Or, when a person is young and healthy, and they don’t feel the need to buy insurance. This stage is where the problem of that person is not apparent yet.
Problem Stage – This stage is where a person acknowledges that they have a problem. It is up to the individual to decide if they want to progress into the next stage of awareness to solve their problem, or they want to just leave their problem hanging.
Solution Stage – This stage is where a person has buying intentions. They become a consumer. The consumer won’t necessarily spend a couple of hundreds or thousands on a product upfront, but is willing to spend small amounts of money to try products.
Product Stage – This stage is where the consumer found a suitable product or service through the samples he or she has tried in the Solution Stage, and is willing to spend a lot of money on that product or service. For example, it could be a $30 spa treatment in stage 3, but because the consumer likes the therapy so much, that he or she purchased a year-long package that cost a couple of thousands.
Transformation Stage – This is the stage where consumers become advocates of a company’s product or solution because of the transformational experience they had. For example, if the consumer was plump who now turns muscular, or if the consumer was bald but now has baby hair. The consumer is highly likely to share their experiences with other people who faces the same problem they once had.
These are the 5 stages of consumer awareness. We as affiliate marketers need to influence the consumer to move from one stage to the other, however, not all stages are applicable.
It would be a waste of time and money to convince someone in the Unaware Stage that they have a problem. And, the Product and Transformation Stages are more applicable to product owners because they can control the consumer experience with their product or service.
So, we need to shift our focus to the Problem and Solution Stages as affiliate marketers. We need to identify where our audiences are in terms of the stages of awareness and provide relevant content to them.
If our audience is in the Problem Stage, we want to help them solve their problem by providing useful information and recommending relevant and useful products to them.
And, if our audience is in the Solution Stage, we want to provide more information about the product that we recommend, and help them decide on the best product to buy to solve their problem.
I hope this is making sense. Feel free to leave a comment below this article if you have any questions.
Wrapping this up
There are 3 elements in the affiliate success formula. Traffic, Affiliate Bridge and Profitable Product. And, the formula ties very closely to the stages of awareness.
The beginning stages of any affiliate business is always traffic from search engines or social media channels. Initial sources of traffic could be in Stages 1, 2, or 3, depending on the content the audience is consuming.
If a traffic (person) was to consume a content that is pure entertainment, then they are most likely in the Unaware Stage. But if a person is searching for problem based keywords on Google or YouTube, then they are in the Problem Stage.
And if a person is looking for solution based keywords, like a product review or a best of kind of content, then they are in the Solution Stage.
So, wherever your audience is in terms of the Stages of Awareness, you need to lead them through to an affiliate bridge. Because through an affiliate bridge, you can lead consumers in Stage 2 into Stage 4 progressively (see Affiliate Bridge above). And, Affiliate Bridge is the best way to build trust and rapport with the consumers.
By selecting an affiliate program that has a good commission payout rate, and a value ladder (see Profitable Product above), you can promote the low-ticket affiliate product to people in Stage 3.
The company will take care of the consumers you sent them, and lead them into Stage 4.
Any good affiliate program will pay you commissions whenever a consumer buys any products on top of the one that you initially recommended. For example, if a company has products in the range of $1, $7, $28, $148, $1,000, you could lead your audience to buy the $1 product, and if your audience bought the $1,000 product in the end, without any further effort from you, you will still be compensated.
That’s how you can be successful as an affiliate marketer. Every element of the Affiliate Success Formula must work together to achieve great results.
That’s all I have for you, and thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that I have provided you with a good answer to how to be successful with affiliate marketing.
If you find value in this article, please help to share it…
And, if you have any questions at all, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Looking forward to see you succeed with affiliate marketing!
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