15 affiliate marketing tips to improve your campaign efforts in 2020

15 affiliate marketing tips to improve your campaign efforts in 2020

Many predictions made in January for how 2020 was going to pan out have been crumpled up into a ball and tossed straight out of the virtual window.

This includes much of what was thought about the digital sphere and even some affiliate marketing tips.  

Marketing techniques never stand still, but the global pandemic that has hit in 2020 is something new altogether. As the underlying market shifts and turns and with more consumers than ever before forced to stay at home, more businesses are turning to the online world. To stand out from the crowd online retailers alongside affiliate marketers, advertising and promotional methods need to embrace the changing tides.

The good news is, if the future of affiliate marketing follows its pattern to date, it looks set for vast expansion. So far, 2020 has seen some drastic changes to the retail landscape and in some cases, the loss of well-known brands in an uncertain climate. However, it is important that as an industry we are able to evolve and embrace as many changes as possible, in order to sustain growth in the affiliate marketing channel and therefore the wider economy.

1. Building trust

Consumers are becoming savvier and more used to the concept of affiliate marketing and online partnerships, particularly with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruling that content creators have to disclose these by law. They are more aware when they read about a product in a blog or email that the author is likely to be getting some form of compensation for the promotion. This has developed into a level of consumer cynicism, which means subscribers are only likely to listen to those they trust. Building trust is going to become even more important to the future of affiliate marketers.

2. Building relationships

Anonymity is no longer acceptable in the online retail industry, as people buy from people. This will become even more paramount to the future of affiliate marketing, as bonding and building relationships over time are the key to forging trust. However, the benefit to affiliate marketers is they will learn quickly what their audience wants. Although it may take time to initially build that relationship, each campaign will likely become more successful in a shorter timescale, due to the long-term connection with the audience.

A starting point to building relationships is by providing free valuable information to potential consumers, and when the time is right within the sales funnel, demonstrating how affiliate products can help consumers solve a problem.

3. Content

Content has been king for a while now and it won’t be stepping down from the throne in 2020. Building a successful campaign will continue to rely on great content. The importance of original and fresh content that resonates with the audience cannot be underestimated. Marketing campaigns producing compelling and original copy are likely to see higher rates of conversion. Advanced software and technology enabling the testing of sales pages will make this task easier than ever, allowing marketers to utilize the best content within their toolbox.

Focusing on spending more time creating content that offers genuine value to their subscribers for free will help marketers improve their campaigns long term. Marketers who appreciate the impact quality content will have on their campaigns will stay one step ahead of the crowd.

The focus should be on providing quality content in the form of long copy; this is essential for SEO and traffic, and ultimately conversions. Filler content or repetitive sales material is easy to spot by the savvy consumer and erodes their trust. 

4. Telling stories

Human beings are storytellers. It’s something which sets us apart and it helps us connect and engage. Engagement will continue to be key to conversions and should lead to more and more real-life stories and case-studies being used to add credibility and social proof. 

Many consumers are no longer satisfied with just the affiliates’ point of view, but prefer honest and believable testimonials showing how the product can work for them.

5. Utilizing tools

According to top affiliate marketing experts, fundamental affiliate marketing concepts will not change. Instead, what will change is the technology and media networks affiliates use to promote, such as video, audio, podcasts and long-form content. The industry will continue to evolve and expand.

Existing tools, such as automation for email and artificial intelligence bots that chat online, will continue to play an important part of the marketer’s arsenal. What we have seen quite obviously in 2020 is people connecting via video and the rise of the virtual event. This is something brands and affiliate marketers should very quickly get comfortable with. Facebook Live, Zoom and Google hangouts are being utilized far more than ever before to engage the audience and, moreover, audiences are becoming more used to this style of content.

Further development of artificial intelligence and machine learning will also provide advancements in the ease of gaining new customers. Google and Facebook have introduced learning mechanisms which help pinpoint target audiences and aid those using paid methods of advertising to find customers and provide clearer ROI.

Instagram and Facebook have also been quickly announcing new features, such as their ‘shop local’ badge for stories, augmented reality shoppingInstagram Shop and Live Shopping. By connecting with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics, this could be utilized by savvy affiliate marketers to push brands they’re choosing to work with.

6. Marketing channels

As the importance of building relationships becomes paramount, advertisers will focus even more on marketing channels targeting consumers who have already shown an interest in you and your affiliate products. These include retargeting and remarketing through social platforms and search browsers, as these algorithms become more refined and dynamic. Artificial intelligence and technology supported by it are still on the path to becoming more streamlined and effective.

With people having more time on their hands to consume content, blogger outreach strategies will also continue to become more relevant. Building relationships with other influential marketers not only opens up advertiser products to a new market both within and beyond the affiliate channel, but also helps to build upon authority and trust.

7. Micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are said to be those with a following of between 1000 to 100,000. Though there have been discussions around the ability of influencers to effectively market products with the current state of the world, this form of marketing still looks set to grow in the future. Those who are active and engaged with their audience are finding new and innovative ways to connect during the pandemic, and will likely continue to do so after it ends. We will see companies adding micro-influencers to their strategies more and more as trust is stronger on a micro-level. As we have already seen, affiliate links are becoming common across social media platforms, allowing a greater variety of people to become affiliate marketers.

8. Payment on influence

Further to the above, it’s becoming increasingly important to look at how affiliate marketing fits into a purchasing cycle. Some publishers may not always garner the final click, but are still vital in the advertiser’s purchase process. Tracking this across multiple platforms can be challenging, which is why the Awin US Group introduced the Payment on Influence system. This is something advertisers should really consider in 2020, as it can be a contributing factor to being able to work with good quality publishers.

9. Social Media

Social media has been subject to much criticism over the past few years, with fake news and fake accounts top of the agenda. We’ve seen many small changes during that time, such as Facebook announcing the platform would return to its roots in 2019 as a tool for connecting with friends and family. This left some affiliates wondering what the impact would be on their advertising campaigns; however, it was not the massive pivot which was expected from the platform. Social media has remained an excellent place for affiliate marketing, and even more so while people are increasing their online usage in isolation.

The aim of social media should not be about how many followers or shares you get, but rather on the trust and true engagement your followers give to your brand through social media. If you share and comment on relevant and good quality information, your followers soon learn what you are posting is pertinent to them. Shares will automatically follow. This is a great time for brands to build trust, make consumer connections and hopefully instil a little bit of hope.

10. User experience

Your user is more important than Google. Even Google knows this, and as such the web giant has tried to move further towards a user-centric system and algorithms. Though they have made great progress with this, a computer is still a computer; therefore, you should optimize your landing pages for your visitors rather than for Google’s web-bots. The page should load quickly and give them the information they need without having to dig deep. The better the user experience, the higher your rankings will be.

Publishers also favor affiliate programs with a great website focusing on user experience and therefore, providing a strong platform for conversion. Their focus will be to move away from one-off niche sites relying on just one keyword and instead look for brands who provide websites focusing on building authority and offer solutions to the problems experienced by their audience.

11.  Mobile responsive websites

According to ComScore, mobile-only internet users exceed desktop-only internet users. Furthermore, as per Hootsuite’s 2020 Q2 updated report, 76% of internet users have stated they have significantly increased their mobile internet usage since January 2020, compared to 45% for laptop computer usages and 32% for desktop computers. This would be even more prevalent while many people are at home in isolation.

Having a mobile responsive site is also crucial for Google’s ranking algorithms for advertisers and publishers alike. Usability and speed are becoming more and more important, so for affiliate marketers to stay ahead of the game they will need to ensure their website performs spectacularly, both on desktop and across all mobile platforms. Google launched its mobile-first algorithm last year, really highlighting the importance of the platform and having this mentality.

12. Be different

Being different and thinking outside of the box is an important consideration now and in the future. If audiences are consuming more content, there is more noise to cut through and they will begin to search for originality and new ideas. This will mean running an affiliate campaign will take more thought and creativity to attract the right audience. Whether you are an advertiser or a publisher, think about your USP (Unique Selling Point) and brainstorm how you can show the world this in the most creative way. No one is exactly the same (if they were there would be much more copyright infringement). In turn, this will lead to more varied and interesting campaigns with a greater range of products and services, focusing more on the end-user.

13. GDPR and data privacy

The GDPR really shocked the world and panicked marketing spheres, particularly those who dealt internationally, when first announced in 2018. Since then people have found a level of clarity and comfort with the laws. Affiliate marketing covers an expanse of different sized affiliate operations, from one-man bands to large players. The latter have generally been able to put the infrastructure in place to embrace the new regulations with greater ease, but smaller online businesses are finding their way. 

Outside of the EU, there are several other countries with similar privacy laws to consider. This isn’t a trend looking to change. It’s a huge affiliate marketing tip to stay up-to-date on all data privacy laws in the countries you have a large audience, particularly with cookie tracking and retargeting in place.

14. Holistic view

Justin Cooke, Founder of Empire Flippers, wants to see more affiliate sites take a holistic view of their visitors and try to solve a problem for consumers.

Consumers want to know their issues are important to those they reach out to. In response, advertisers will need to take a more holistic view of visitors’ requirements, and right now, there are a lot of issues.  Looking at the bigger picture is going to be a crucial aspect of long term success to affiliate marketers, resulting in all the involved channels taking on a united campaign front. This could lead to email marketing campaigns increasing, using personalized drip campaigns that are segmented and highly targeted.

15. Diversify your offering

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s things don’t always go to plan. If you have created a business around one product or service and the world tips upside down with seemingly no warning, you and your affiliate marketing campaign can be left scrambling to survive. Once you have a firm grip on who your audience or customer is, start to figure out how you could diversify your product offering to suit them in order to create a range of revenue streams.

In summary

Though the world is at a strange place right now, this is actually a great opportunity to thrive in the online world. Affiliate marketing will continue to evolve, bringing more focus than ever before on value and customer experience. Finding a niche, becoming an authority, building links and giving consumers a great user experience will all lead to great long term partnerships. 

Want to Improve Your Ecommerce Product Videos? Look at These Excellent Tips & Examples

Want to Improve Your Ecommerce Product Videos? Look at These Excellent Tips & Examples

In this new economic era, eCommerce product videos have started riding the crest of popularity bringing a staggering amount of profit to the e-commerce marketers.

There’s no room for doubt that in the last couple of years the concept of e-commerce advertising has seen a significant paradigm shift throughout. With mobile phones in every single hand, marketers have been continuously looking for different engaging ways to reach their potential customer base.

Statista shows a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021. It’s estimated that over 2.14 billion people worldwide will buy goods and services online in 2021.

digital-buyers-worldwide

Image Source: Statista

With such a tremendous increase of digital buyers, needless to say, product videos have the prowess to attract new clients and in addition to that help viewers better understand the information compared to any textual messages.

Incorporating e-commerce videos into your business strategy hence make your audience stay longer on your website finally boosting organic credibility and increasing conversion rates.

Ecommerce Product Videos – Definition, Importance & Benefits

A product video is the one that adequately explains the benefits of a product to potential consumers. Such videos demonstrate the features of the product and show the clients how the product can solve their problem.

E-commerce product videos can be of different types as explained by Jayson Duncun (video marketing expert) in ‘A Guide to Eleven Types of eCommerce Product Videos.’ He explains that videos can fall under the following categories, but you need to choose one according to your requirement:

  • Videos with a plain background

These are budget friendly videos and can be used by start-ups or businesses that have budget constraints. Created in the plain color background, these videos are not that effective compared to other types.

  • Videos with real-world location

Quite similar to plain background videos, these types of videos are also extremely popular with small enterprises. The only difference lies in the concept that they incorporate real-world locations which adds context to the product. These types are more effective because they help the viewers to visualize the product in their real life.

  • Tutorials and ‘How to videos’

Popular styles in social media, these video forms are the best ways to introduce your product and its functions to potential consumers.

  • Interviews industry experts

Videos that feature expert interview or talk shows about the product has an added advantage to attract new clients.

  • Animated Explainer Videos

Animated videos are one of the proven ways to engage potential consumers. These types of videos incorporate funny elements to explain your products.

When users record a video about your product, they are termed as user-generated videos. Customers practically love these types of videos because they are more authentic than the other forms.

Now let’s discuss the advantages of e-commerce video marketing:

a) E-commerce Videos Increase Search Engine Results

Adding relevant videos to your marketing strategy will inevitably boost your page rank in search. When search engines see that your page has information pertinent to search requests, they give credit to your page. In addition to that, videos can create backlinks to your site and add value to your content.

b) Product Videos Boost Conversion Rates and Sales

Product pages with videos see 37% more conversion than pages without videos. They have product videos on your site show that a company can experience 10X increased sales. Research reveals that as humans are visual animals, they are more likely to visit a website that has product video in it.

c) E-commerce Videos Build Trust and Enhance Customers’ Shopping Experience

It’s a general tendency of people to see and understand the product before buying it.

Wyzowl says 33% of people prefer to watch a video to learn about a product. Hence a product video helps people to sense the features of the product and its quality. Further, the videos play a crucial role in making an impact on the consumers’ mind. This way they get convinced and finally travel through the sales funnel.

d) A Vibrant e-Commerce Product Video Attracts New Customers With Ease

One of the most compelling reasons for creating a product video is to attract new customers. Millennials and Gen Z prefer to know about a product more in lesser time. So with e-commerce videos embedded in social media channels, you can reach to millions of clients.

a-vibrant-ecommerce-product-video-attracts-new-customers-with-ease

Want to Improve Your eCommerce product videos? Look at These Excellent Tips & Examples:

Are you worried about how to improve your ecommerce product videos? We have compiled a few tips and tricks for you. Get tips & examples and create the most stunning e-commerce video to woo your clients.

Tip#1: Weave A Beautiful Story About Your Product

There’s a famous saying by Seth Godin- ‘People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’ Undeniably this saying is right. Neurologically we are designed to get wired to stories. We respond to stories well.

For example, when you tell about your product like where it was made, who made it, what kind of struggles you had to face while creating the product, what’s your mission behind creating the product – people feel more connected.

Needless to say, storytelling in e-commerce captures your target audience’s imagination and hence has a mesmerizing effect on them.

However, it’s recommended that while you try to tell a story do not make it too complicated. Keep it simple, engaging and allow your potential customers to flow with the narration.

Video Source: 5 Product Videos You Can Use In Your Ecommerce Video Marketing

This video is an example of one of the best product videos 2019. Showing the storytelling skills of the Shopify store, the video narrates about Mucus the villain and Mucinex as the savior (the hero).

Tip#2: Induce Emotions Of Your Target Customers

The products of your company are an expression of your thoughts, your visions. They are designed to satisfy the desire of your target audience. Hence when you create a product video, it’s your responsibility to express to your potential customers how you want the product to solve their problem.

Your audience will relate to you and your product when they find it useful.

How do you make them feel that the product is ideal for them?

The idea is to induce emotion amongst your target audience. Create such a video that undertakes an amusing approach to demonstrate the benefits of the product.

A report published in Buzzsumo states that people can relate more to a product or service when they feel a certain amount of emotion. To conclude evoking emotions like awe, laughter or joy can help you sell the product.

Video Source: 17 Best Ecommerce Product Video Examples

The founder evokes emotions of his target audience giving a personal story behind why he started the company and spoke directly to the parents of kids like he used to be. This video adds a nostalgic perspective.

Tip#3: Explain Your Audience How You’re Better Than Others

Why will people buy your product?

Needless to say, it’s a recurring thought disturbing your mind now and then.

Did you know product videos increase sales?

Let several years of research and development see the light of the day through e-commerce videos. Explain to your audience how your products are better than your competitor’s products.

Product videos are the best ways to inform your potential customers what makes you unique- is it the process or the material? Inform your target audience using a clear message. People will thus understand why they should go for your products.

Video Source: Best eCommerce Product Videos: 16 Tips With Examples

BlenderBottle does a wonderful video to showcase its unique features and benefits to its target audience.

Tip#4: Best Ecommerce Product Videos are Short

Several market research reveals that the best product videos are those that are short and precise.

As humans have lower attention span videos that are not more than 30 seconds have the power to create magic. So, every marketer should focus on creating videos that are short yet informative.

However, sometimes you might get confused with successful stories of some longer form videos. There are certain types of videos that demand more explanation and hence need more time. So, it’s essential to understand the purpose of your video.

Whether you are planning to deliver a ‘how-to video’ or an ‘explainer video’ understand first who your audience is. Then spun magic with your creative talent.

Tip#5: Choose the Right Ecommerce Video Platform

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is extremely crucial for your business. How would you select the platform? It’s simple. Consider the social media channels that boast of a large group of monthly users.

Besides Youtube with 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is popular among the present generation with over 2.38 billion monthly active users and Instagram boasts 1 billion monthly active users.

Once you have selected the social media channels to publish your videos, don’t forget to include the call to action button. You need to understand that videos are a perfect way to nurture a customer-company relationship.

If you don’t guide your consumers in every step, they are sure to get lost and move away from you. You don’t want that to happen right!

Tip#6: Invest in a Best Ecommerce Video Maker

This goes without saying that if you want to make your customers’ head turn, you must invest in quality equipment. Although you might have smartphones to shoot your video yet, it’s not a good idea to depend only on these devices. Why not find a professional way to shoot your next project. You will come across several video making tools ideal for any e-commerce business to choose the suitable software according to your necessity.

Some of the best tools are mentioned below:

Shakr allows you to craft visually stunning and ROI generated video ads so that you can promote on Facebook and Instagram to attract clients.

GoAnimate is a user-friendly video maker that has the drag-and-drop functionality and allows you to create animated videos.

Camtasia assists you in recording voiceovers, editing or adding green screen as per requirement.

Videoshop is a customizable tool that helps you organize, trim and arrange your clips. With it, you can even add in transitions, text and effects like slow-mo/fast-forward, etc.

Animoto is a tool that gives access to licensed music, a huge list of professionally designed video styles and unlimited editing features.

Over To You

When 73% of online consumers say that they are more likely to buy a product after watching videos it has become a bare necessity for every marketer to create e-commerce product videos. Increase conversion, boost your page rank and add to your revenue with videos that matter.

Amplify your business with several such interesting and profitable video marketing strategies from Animatedvideo.com.

 

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

What shows up in the search results when someone searches for your personal or business name?

If it’s not your own web sites, social profiles and blogs, then your online reputation is potentially up for grabs!

Not ranking on the first page of Google for your personal or business name is not the only thing you need to look out for. Just look at the recent celebrity photos that were leaked and all the drama around Google and how they blocking content in the search results. Online reputation management isn’t just about what can be said or done, but also about what’s already out there. It’s much easier to plan ahead and secure your reputation now, then to try and remove something from the internet later on.

Who Needs Online Reputation Management?

When you think of the phrase “online reputation management“, you probably only think about big corporate businesses with high end customers and contracts that are always in the news. However, ORM has become so much more now that everything is accessible to anyone on the internet.

Here are some new ways to look at ORM and who is using it:

  • Doctors, Lawyers & Professionals – Bad user reviews, slander, false complaints
  • Local Businesses – Restaurants and local businesses in your area rely heavily on reviews
  • Celebrities & Personalities – Everything a celebrity or well known person is on the web
  • Politicians – When it comes time for the next election, everything is put out there
  • The Average Person – If your employer searches for your name online, what will they see?

As you can see, reputation management and monitoring how you look online really applies to everyone — especially with all of the personal and financial data being stolen lately! In 2012 alone, there were over 12 million victims of identity fraud!

InternetReputation.com offers a wide range of monitoring services include finding new mentions of names and addresses, negative listings in search results, removal of data from top sharing sites and reducing the risk of private information spreading online — all of which are very important.

To improve upon their list of recommended services, I’ve also compiled seven ways for any individual or brand to better monitor and manage their online reputation vs. leaving it all wide open for anyone to jeopardize.

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

Secure Your Exact Match Domain Name

One of the most simple and cost effective ways to protect your online brand and name, is simply by registering your domain name. When possible, try to secure all variation of your name such as Name.com, Name.net and Name.org. It would be in your best interest to not only register your personal name, but also any business related names as well. Another good rule of thumb is to register any domain names that could be used against your brand as well, such as NameSucks.com.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Create a Blog on Your Site

Improving how your site, brand and company looks in the search results has a lot to do with the type of content you release through your site. In most cases, the most detailed and often you post quality content, the better chances you have for ranking higher and more often in the search rankings. Be sure to create content that people find value in, but also target your content and keywords to phrases people might be looking for when researching your name (ie: name customer reviews, name complaints)

Use a Blog to Protect Your Reputation

Register Your Name on All Social Networks

With over 2 billion users spread across all of the major social networks, it’s a no brainer for you to keep your name and business active on there as well. Each social network allows you to setup a unique URL and username for your accounts. Register accounts for both your personal and business name. If the username you want is already taken, try to secure a closure alternate or possibly try contacting the person who already owns it. Social profiles are very easy to rank on the main page of the search results for personal and business names, so this simple and effective process is a must for every business and brand.

Social Networks

Establish Yourself as an Authority

Establish Yourself as an ExpertIt’s easy for anyone to create a web site, blog and a few social profiles online, but establishing yourself as a credible authority takes a lot of time and works. Some of the best ways to do is by creating high quality and valuable content on your site that other people would want to reference and share. One of the best ways to establish yourself as a trusted authority is to get quotes on news sites and also do guest blogging on top blogs within your niche. This process takes time, but it’s well worth the exposure and credibility associated with it.

Don’t Make Google Angry – Bad SEO Practices

The Google Panda UpdateA great way to lose control of your online reputation is make Google angry and have them penalize your site. Not only would this lead to your site being penalized by Google, but it would push your own site rankings down and make it easier for your competition to rank above you. To stay in good standards with Google, always be sure to look at their most recent algorithm updates and staying in line with Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird best practices.

Build Your Online and Offline Presence

Shopping at the MallEven if you are an online based business, you probably still have a local based operation or headquarters somewhere. This means you can take advantage of local advertising and site directories. If you are a local based business, this should be at the top of your list as local advertising is not only very effective, it’s also quite easy to rank for and control since your range competition is much smaller.

Monitor Online Reviews and Customer Feedback

Customer ReviewsThe final and most important way to monitor your online reputation is to always keep an eye on what people are saying about your business. This can be quite easy to setup through the use of Google Alerts and plugging in the name of your company or brand. If you are a local business or restaurant, your main focus should also be towards sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, SuperPages, UrbanSpoon and others.

Check Your Reputation Score

Internet Reputation MonitoringIf you aren’t currently trained in how to properly monitor and manage your online reputation, then looking to an outside agency may be your best option. Many solutions such as InternetReputation.com have created easy to use backend tracking platforms for anyone to plug in their keywords of choice, set up alerts and track the progress of their data and name mentions.

You can request a free reputation analysis report through their site to see where you could better improve your rankings, reputation and security.