An affiliate marketing campaign, by definition, is a set of processes and activities that an affiliate takes to promote the affiliate product.
Honestly speaking, there is no single best way to setup and create your very first affiliate marketing campaign as affiliates choose to promote products through different ways.
An affiliate marketer who sells products/services via his blog will setup his affiliate marketing campaign differently than an affiliate who chooses to promote products via email.
In the guide, I will share a layout and the series of steps to setting up a successful affiliate marketing campaign. This is a general layout that can be used by every single affiliate irrespective of the product, niche or marketing method.
Let’s get rolling.
Affiliate Network and the Product
The first step is to choose an affiliate network. I am assuming that you have already selected an affiliate network as you are in the process of creating an affiliate marketing campaign.
However, if you haven’t selected a network, better choose one so that you can select an appropriate affiliate product.
The real challenge is to choose an affiliate product.
If you are a beginner, I’d recommend selecting a product that’s not too competitive. It has to be relatively unknown but commission percentage per sale should be significant enough so that you can get a decent return on your investment.
It is a good idea to use the product before you start promoting it.
Request a review copy from the product author. Or, purchase it.
Make sure that it is a product that’s worth promoting. It should be a problem-solver. If it doesn’t please you, it will not please the buyers.
The next step is to decide with the medium that will be used to promote the affiliate product.
The best medium is your own website or blog. I’d recommend sending all the traffic to your affiliate website, pre-sell the affiliate product and then send traffic to the sales page.
There are two ways of sending traffic from your website to the sales page:
- Send all the leads or visitors directly to the merchant’s website.
- Capture the email address of the visitors and then send them to the product landing page.
The second method is professional, profitable and yields better results but it is costly and time-consuming as it involves creating a squeeze page, a free report (known as a lead magnet) and other perks.
But imagine, you will be building your own email list of potential buyers. You can pitch them more affiliate products in the future and can convert them into repeat buyers.
This is one way of doing it.
It is absolutely OK if you do not have resources and time to create a squeeze page since most of the new affiliates don’t have funds or they don’t want to spend money on affiliate marketing.
It is absolutely fine.
You can send traffic directly from your website or blog to the sales page by inserting banners, adding text links, writing product reviews, promoting the product via an article etc.
There are so many ways. The idea is to convince visitors to click on the link and then buy the affiliate product.
Your website or blog is one medium. There are several other mediums that can be used to promote the affiliate product such as:
- Email marketing (If you already have an email list, you can create an email and send it to your list).
- PPC ad campaign
- Forum posting (Not recommended. SPAM)
- Blog comments (Not recommended. SPAM)
Clearly the best medium is to use is your own website or blog.
It is time to set the target audience for marketing purpose.
Target audience refers to the group of people you will pitch your affiliate product to. You have to decide with the audience to be targeted.
It depends majorly on the affiliate product selected. If you are promoting a weight loss supplement, you’d be targeting obese people. Similarly, if you are promoting an android app, you will target android phone users.
Here is the big deal now.
Once you have finalized the target audience, you then need to do market research. Find more about the interests of your target audience, places they visit, websites they visit, social networks they prefer using, where they hang out, their demographics and much more.
Normally, these details are not hidden and can be found easily. Most of the product authors will share all the details of the appropriate target audience with you but you have to take a step forward.
If you want to earn more than an average affiliate, you should do more than an average affiliate.
You should find as many details as possible about the target audience as this will help you in promoting the affiliate product.
Marketing and Promotion
This happens to be the major part of any affiliate marketing campaign where you promote the affiliate product via your blog or website.
Based on the interests of your target audience, choose the most appropriate marketing method.
There are so many different ways to drive traffic to a website. You cannot use all of them. You should use one or maybe two traffic generation methods.
The question is how to choose the right marketing method?
You have to look at the target audience interests. If you are promoting a weight loss supplement, find out which websites and blogs these people visit a lot. You can then publish a guest post on that blog (maybe) to send targeted traffic to your blog.
Or, if you see that there are closed Facebook groups that are joined by obese people where they help each other, why not join a few such groups and start helping your target audience?
I personally prefer and recommend using target audience specific marketing strategies instead of general ones. For example, instead of targeting freelancers by running a PPC campaign on AdWords, you should purchase a banner on Freelancers.com. Doesn’t it make more sense?
If you are planning to go for a paid marketing method, make sure to do your homework. You should know how much you need to spend in order to break-even.
For instance, if you are promoting an affiliate product that pays $12 per sale and you are running a PPC campaign on Facebook with average CPC $2. Such a marketing campaign might not prove to be profitable.
Better use your funds smartly.
Monitoring and Tweaking
Once everything has been setup and things are moving, you have to keep a close eye on the proceedings. You cannot sit back and relax rather you have to monitor the campaign and make necessary adjustments where needed.
Not every affiliate marketing campaign gives results right away. You have to do a lot of testing and tweaking to finally arrive at a winning campaign.
For instance, you might not be generating enough sales even after sending hundreds of visitors on the sales page every single day. In such a case, you have to see what’s going wrong. Is it an issue with the target audience, your website, affiliate product, or with something else.
Monitoring, testing, and tweaking is the most difficult part of the affiliate marketing campaigns as you have to make most of the decisions on the basis of your judgement.
This is the easiest way to create an affiliate marketing campaign. Stick to these five steps for creating successful campaigns over and over again.