4 Essential Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Beginners

People who succeed in affiliate marketing do one thing very well.

They use affiliate marketing strategies that get the results!

You may be wondering,

"What affiliate marketing strategies should I use?"

I am glad you asked because, today, I am going to tell you four marketing truths that are essential to success. 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies Introduction

A key benefit of affiliate marketing is not having to develop the marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion (4P).

The affiliate marketer's responsibility falls squarely into the Promotion part of the mix. The vendor has already determined to use affiliate marketing as one of the product distribution channels.

The 4Ps Explained

Product: An item or service a company has determined to meet the needs and demands of consumers and users.

Price: The price consumers pay for a product or service is determined by the production costs and appraised value, as well as competitor prices.

Place: Place is how the vendor delivers the product to the marketplace. Place also refers to how it is presented or placed "in front" of a consumer. A prime example is product placement in grocery stores product cases or shelves. Products fight for shelf space.

Promotion: Promotion includes product advertising, promotional strategies, and public relations efforts to reach the target audience.

The De Beers Diamond Strategic Marketing Story

Less than one hundred years ago, De Beers diamond company turned a failing industry into a psychological necessity. Buying diamonds was a luxury limited to the very wealthy. But through strategic marketing effort, De Beers created a massive demand for diamonds by expanding the audience.

How did they do it?

They created marketing campaigns that convinced Americans that diamonds are a symbol of wealth, power, and romance. They planned to "create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring." Up until World War II, only 10% of engagement rings contained diamonds.

Since 1948, these four iconic words have been in De Beers diamond advertisements,

"A diamond is forever."

However, the successful affiliate marketer follows the following four fundamental truths about marketing.

Create Marketing Goals

As I stated in the affiliate marketing guide, planning is one of the critical elements to making money online. Planning includes having financial and non-financial goals. Among the non-financial goals are marketing goals.

Marketing goals include:

  • Increasing visitors
  • Increasing sales
  • Improving branding
  • Improving customer relationships

If your goal is to increase website visitors, then traffic generation techniques should be reviewed. For example, if you rely on organic traffic (free traffic from search engines), then paid traffic methods (pay-per-click) may be considered. Or you may want to increase the time spent promoting your content on social media networks or niche-related forums. Furthermore, you may wish to accelerate content development by outsourcing posts.

If it is about sales, then sales techniques would be significant. You may want to focus on conversion rates; increasing the rate of visitors becoming buyers. Or building better sales funnels. Also, it could be about creating a conversion funnel or adding bonuses. If it's about profitability, look at cutting costs until your profitability goes up.

If you do not have goals, you will not optimize your efforts or know what needs to be done first.

Know and Understand Your Target Audience

“Building a website and they will come” is the wishful thinking traffic generation method.

You want to know about your target market, who your customers are and who your competitors are. For example, there is a reason very few companies that sell snow skis to 80-year old women.

What information do you need? You want people with money, time, need, and ability to make a decision.

  1. Someone who has no money or the ability to get money cannot buy your product or service.
  2. Time refers to customers’ schedules and the availability of time to use your product (relates to services). For example, if you offer rug cleaning service, does the customer have time for you to be in their home.
  3. A customer must need your product or service. The need should be urgent or soon versus years from now.
  4. And finally, the customer must have the ability to make the purchase decision. How often have you said you needed to check with your spouse? I know it is a dodge to get away from a sales representative. That’s one of the reasons, home repair companies want all decision makers present during a meeting.
customer profile

Typical customer profile.

You must identify your customers.  This is done by determining who and why would they want (demand) your product. Build a customer profile. What does a typical user of your product look like? What problem does your product solve for them?

Once you have a customer profile, you can build your promotion around the critical characteristics of your customer. Think like your customer. When your customer is searching the internet for a solution to their wants or needs, what words do they use for their search terms?

If you do not know who your customers are, you will not be as successful as you could be.

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

Being a copycat worked in the old days. Not anymore.

You have too many competitors.

Some companies provide their affiliates with promotional material, including replicated sales pages. It is difficult to make money when there are thousands of members all promoting look-alike ​promotional pages. However, many companies require that all custom creatives (your personally developed promotional material) must be submitted for review before to use. Furthermore, they may limit the marketing/advertising channels you may use.

A vendor to its affiliates is like a forest to its trees.

affiliate marketing strategies

Affiliates are to vendors as trees are to a forest

You need to have something that makes you different from everyone else.

I am a U.S. Navy veteran. I am also an affiliate marketer and have been one since the last century.

That makes me a

Veteran Affiliate Marketing Hack!

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) makes you different from your competitors.

Your USP is what helps create your brand.

Theodore Levitt, a professor at Harvard Business School, suggested that "Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage."

People will not find you, a single tree in a forest of trees.

Consequently, they will go elsewhere because they will look at other reviews, the product price, or appearance of quality. They will not see you offering them anything different.

I am "the" Veteran Affiliate Marketing Hack. I have already made most of the affiliate marketing mistakes you will make. So take advantage of my experience. It will save you the frustration, time, and effort of causing and correcting mistakes.

I took a long time to recognize that this is my USP. It is important to me not to be another "me too" affiliate marketer.

And it should be relevant to you. So take the time to figure it out. Or ask someone. Or look at your competitors. 

All these things will help you figure out how to differentiate yourself. 

Up next is the last of the affiliate marketing strategies.

Focus Your Marketing Efforts

A while ago on the Wealthy Affiliate Live Chat, a new member stated he was going to start promoting his business on some social media sites.

I thought that was crazy. But what I said was,

"What social media networks does your target audience use?"

I know social media networks attract different demographics. The following image reflects the differences in audiences.

affiliate marketing strategies include social media demographics

Know where your target audience hangs out.

I have focused my social media efforts on Pinterest because it is where my target audience is. They are not on Instagram. The following screenshot of my Pinterest account shows that I am in the right place.

affiliate marketing strategies include social media

My social media network of choice is Pinterest.

I recommend mastering one social media network at a time. Start with the one that has the most massive target audience for you. Don't use the shotgun method trying to cover all social media networks (or marketing channels) at once. If you cannot master one, then I doubt you can learn all of them at the same time.

Just because you spend a lot of time on Facebook, that does not make you a Facebook marketing expert.


Hint: There are several ways to find your competitors. First, you can search for your subject, product, or keyword in a search engine. Then look at the websites that show up in the search engine results page. An alternative is to use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest. Start by entering a competitors domain name into the query box and see what comes up. It should tell you their traffic sources, which helps you determine what channel to focus on first.

Affiliate Marketing Strategies Conclusion

Mastering affiliate marketing strategies will improve your success rate. Your strategies tie directly to your business goals. And, hopefully, align well with your dreams and desires for a better future.

I love feedback. Please fill in the form below if you have any questions or comments. Please share this page. Moreover, if you have any strategies you like, I would love to hear about them.

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