Affiliate marketing has emerged as one of the most successful marketing strategies this decade.
Everyone from start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises is using it. The best part about it is that you can do it too! But, how? Business-owners often ask themselves: how can I find affiliates to sell my product online?
If you already have a business, you can skip over most of the difficult parts of this process. If you don’t, well, you first need to learn how to start a business in the first place. There is plenty of product and market research involved, as well as investment and risk. If you do everything right, you can get your business set up pretty fast!
Let’s suppose you own a skincare products business. You did appropriate market research and found an untapped niche. The product has been created, the social media pages have been set up; so, what next?
At this point, affiliates can help you secure your footing in the ground. They can bring visibility to your brand, traffic for your website, and make sales too! However, it is up to you how you take advantage of the affiliates on the web available for your product.
Let us introduce affiliate marketing, and then tell you how to get started!
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
To put it very simply, affiliate marketing means hiring a third-party to publicize and sell your product online. As a business, you look at different bloggers, influencers, and celebrities to market your product to their followers/subscribers/audience. You, as the product owner, are the merchant while the brand hosting your product is called the affiliate or the publisher.
Instead of the merchant being directly in touch with the consumers, they can take advantage of the affiliate to reach them. This gives off a sense of credibility to the marketing of the product. About 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend!
The affiliate works by building up its own audience. Once a sense of trust is developed between affiliate and customer, only then can any product be marketed well. This doesn’t mean that bad quality products will also get sold as well. In fact, if customers perceive that the affiliate is conning them, the trust is lost forever.
What Makes a Good Affiliate Program?
There are hundreds of thousands of affiliates present in the market today. But there is a difference between an effective and ineffective affiliate program. The former is long-lasting and amicable, while the latter is little more than a short commitment.
If your brand is already huge, you will have affiliate partners lining up to advertise for you. But the game may not be as easy if you’re just starting out. You don’t know which publisher to choose, or how to look attractive to the ones who matter.
So what makes one affiliate better than another? How do you differentiate between a good and bad affiliate program? Have a look at the following.
Beneficial for Both Parties
A great, and potentially long-lasting, affiliate program must be beneficial for both parties. If either the merchant or the publisher feels that they are being conned, the deal will not work out well!
As a merchant, you are looking for quality content that places your product at the center. Whether through direct or indirect marketing, the end result should be a redirection to your eCommerce website. If a publisher is doing their job well, they should be compensated fairly.
One quality that brings good affiliates to you is the amount of transparency you offer. If your affiliate contract lists all the details without holding any back, this is the first step towards transparency. Publishers should know exactly what they are signing up for, and they will only choose you if they feel you are good at your word.
Besides clear policies, another way you can be transparent is by creating an accessible dashboard for the affiliate to see how much revenue they have generated so far. Even though affiliates have their own dash set up, it gives off a good impression if you have one too.
Affiliate Partner Training
Many affiliates, especially newer ones, prefer to go for a brand that offers affiliate partner training. Some publishers have a vast audience reach, but they are fairly new to the affiliate business. For them, it is necessary that their partner merchant tells them exactly what to do. Use your marketing expertise to help the affiliates in any way you can.
From Udemy to Quora, there a hundred and one affiliate partner training courses for newcomers in the field. If you are supportive and helpful during the process, they will end up doing a better job for you! It’s a win-win situation in the end, to be fair.
How to Find Affiliates to Sell My Product
Now that we have some basics down, let’s get down and dirty in the affiliates business. How exactly can I find affiliates to sell my product? Do I look under the carpet or in the attic? Well, all you have to do is follow some simple tips, and you will find yourself the perfect affiliate sooner or later!
1. Make Your Program Visible
Okay, first things first. How will affiliates find out about your program? In order to market well through publishers, you must make your program as visible to them as possible. The more publicity you have, the more you will be interesting for affiliate marketers.
You can take many roads to fame, but we would suggest you start by adding your affiliate program link to your website; maybe as a prominent feature in the footer. You can also add this information to your social media or sign-up page. Go on, bring it into the limelight!
2. Join Networks and Directories
Another way to connect with affiliates is to join affiliate networks and directories. Check out forums like Affilorama, Clickbank, and JVZoo. These are free resources that can help you connect with potential publishers for your products. Affiliates visit these websites in search of programs and you might be in luck if they find yours there!
With these networks, there is the added benefit of free learning. As a newbie, you will find plenty of tips and tricks that will boost your brand performance.
3. Get in Touch with Influencers
Influencers are the new celebrities of the times. Whether beauty or food, art or technology, people buy what they are recommended to buy. As mentioned earlier, influencer reviews carry immense weight for consumers when they are choosing what products to buy.
To market your brand successfully, you too should get in touch with influencers. They can be anyone from Twitteratis to Facebook activists—the choice is yours. Depending on your product and your affiliate requirements, go for the influencer that you feel has the right marketability.
Be warned though, most influencers, rightly, want to be paid for their reviewing efforts! If it works out well, you can even consider a long-term affiliate relationship with them.
4. Offer Discounts
Many eCommerce websites offer big discounts to affiliates. In fact, some brands even offer discounts to the customers that are brought in by these affiliates with a special voucher code! This not only pushes more people to buy your product but also raises the bar for competitors to lower prices.
5. Take Advantage of Social Media
Gone are the days when you had to spend an immense amount of money on advertising. On social media, you can do it for free! As a business-owner, make sure that you are taking full advantage of the space available to you on different social media platforms.
You can recruit influencers and affiliates by being active on social media. Make sure that you post regularly on your page, join relevant groups, and engage with the subscribers of your page. While you’re at it, inform people that you’re offering an affiliate program so you can easily connect with potential publishers. Building a relationship is a prerequisite, so don’t jump right into business.
There are various ways to search for influencers on different social media platforms, but one important method is searching for hashtags. If your new brand of lipstick isn’t selling fast enough, try finding an Instagram makeup reviewer and send them a care package. If they like your product, they will review it and yay, more exposure for you!
6. Online Ads
Many brands use paid ads to spread the news of their affiliate program far and wide. By tailoring the target audience, Google AdWords can locate who is the most relevant receiver of your message. Once your ad is out there, affiliates will start reaching out to you in no time!
7. Use Online Freelancing Websites
Another great way to connect with affiliates for your product is freelancing websites. Many sites, including UpWork, Freelancer.com, and People Per Hour try to connect merchants with affiliate partners for a small fee.
Affiliates join these sites hoping to find affiliate marketing gigs so they can work from home. You, as a merchant, can join to connect with these publishers looking for someone like you!
8. Affiliate Events
Other great ways to meet future affiliate partners are conferences and live events. As a speaker or just as an attendee, you can enter events like Affiliate World and the Affiliate Summit to have an opportunity for connection. Many will show up who can be significant for your business-building. They don’t have to be affiliates, but their contacts can sure come in handy.
9. Turn Customers into Affiliates
The average number of Facebook friends these days is about 338. This means that even if one of your customers shares your product with a good review, there is a good chance of it working! You can generate as many interests (if not sales) as the number of their friends.
Besides, places like Twitter have a global outreach. Your customer’s recommendation can go a long way, so remember to always ask for reviews and keep your customer service up to the mark. Your very consumers will turn into successful affiliate marketing projects!
10. Cold Calling
One of the oldest methods of marketing is cold calling. This requires the business-owner to dial numbers and see if the person on the other end will be interested in what you have to say. In affiliate marketing, cold calling would mean finding contact numbers for different publishers you come across. If their niche seems relevant to your product, you can go ahead and give them a ring. Who knows, they might be into the deal!
11. Hire Professional Help
If your budget has the room, try hiring professional help to take care of your marketing needs. An affiliate manager will be a beneficial addition to your team. Instead of you going door to door, metaphorically speaking, your manager will do it for you.
They can find and filter affiliates that are most suited to your business. They can respond to queries, track conversion and sales, negotiate with sought-after affiliates, and develop tools and ads. It’s not that hard to find a manager that fits the bill. Post the position on affiliate forums or freelance websites and the employees will come to you.
As a brand owner, there are several more ways to find affiliates to sell my product online. You can choose any one of the methods listed or be creative with your search!
Determine Terms of the Program
Before starting out, make sure the terms of the program are clear between you and the affiliate. Here are some things to keep in mind when drafting a contract for the publisher.
Write Clear Terms
As a brand name, you don’t want anyone, let alone your affiliate partner, accuse you of being unclear. Your job is to outline the terms and conditions as clearly as possible for the other party. Don’t write anything in fine print; be upfront about everything from the very start. This is essential to keep your brand image as pristine as possible.
Offer a Suitable Commission
Set a market competitive commission that doesn’t feel like a rip off to affiliates. Publishers don’t always go for the highest paying merchant in the market; there are many pros and cons that they consider and keep in mind.
You don’t have to offer top buck to affiliates, but make sure it’s a suitable commission that feels like a good package combined with other pros.
Provide Marketing Material
Some brands provide affiliates with the marketing material they want promoted—for instance, banners, photos, slogans, and other professional-looking material. Some even consider it the merchant’s responsibility to provide a collection of such material to their affiliates. Make sure you also offer plenty of good material that can be posted straight away!
Building an amicable relationship with the affiliate is a great idea. And it can prove to be monumental in the longer run. Care packages or gifts are a great way to do this! By sending a few free products every time you launch something new, you will earn yourself loyal affiliates that may stick by this business relationship.
Improve Your Product Quality
This is the most important part of marketing any product and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. For affiliate marketing to succeed, you must make sure that your goods are top-notch. If the quality of your product isn’t up to the mark, it can turn out to be a complete failure in just a couple of months.
Let’s suppose your skin care product does not do what it claims to. Not only will customers stop buying it, but they will also post negative reviews that will end up being circulated everywhere. Needless to say, you and your affiliate will both end up losing face.
This is why you should keep taking constructive criticism from customers and assure them that you’re dedicated to improving your product.
Many new business-owners and entrepreneurs worry before launching a new product: Where will I find affiliates to sell my product? With our exhaustive list of tips and advice, we hope that we have made the job slightly easier for you to do. Stop contemplating and get started!