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Why are you bidding on Hybrid Opportunities in the marketplace? Does this scenario speak to you in one way or another?
Suzanne is a lifestyle blogger who shares her experiences as a work at home mom juggling all the responsibilities of work and family. She loves connecting with her community and helping her followers navigate through these busy years of raising children. Her numbers are rising as she continues to post on her lifestyle blog and she knows she could be earning more money for the hard work she puts into her business. One of Suzanne’s fellow bloggers whom she trusts posted something on Twitter about a new influencer marketplace called Fresh Press Media. So, she decided to check it out.
After setting up her account and taking a look at all the opportunities in the marketplace, Suzanne noticed a different type of payment structure. These opportunities include a small placement fee up front along with commissions on the sales made through an affiliate link. Suzanne has heard about affiliate marketing and knows there is earning potential through a commission-based payout structure. But, what if no one purchases anything through her link?
Suzanne, the Affiliate
Suzanne worries that she won’t earn any additional commissions even though she is putting in the hard work to promote a product. She thinks it over for a while and decides, what the heck? At least she’ll be provided the placement fee and product to review up front. This will give her an opportunity to “test out” affiliate marketing on her blog and see if it’s a good fit for her business. Suzanne bids on her first hybrid opportunity and gets hired for the gig!
A few weeks later Suzanne begins to feel discouraged because her apprehensions were valid. Not one sale has been generated through her affiliate link even though she wrote a blog post and shared it on her social media accounts. She finds comfort in the fact she received the placement fee and product as part of her compensation, but she is now convinced that affiliate marketing won’t work for her business. Suzanne wonders, “what did I do wrong?”
What did Suzanne do Wrong?
Nothing. Suzanne did nothing wrong. She did exactly what was laid out for her to do in the deliverables of the opportunity. So, why hasn’t anyone purchased anything through her affiliate link?
Instead of wondering what went wrong, let’s ask, “What could Suzanne do better?” Let’s take a look at three pieces of the affiliate marketing puzzle that Suzanne is missing from her strategy.
1. Transfer Emotion
Use your unique voice to describe the history between you and the product or brand. Share a story that tells how you came to work with them, what drew you to that particular company in the first place. Transfer your feelings of trust to your community and let them know why they can trust them too. It is important to share a relatable experience with the product or brand. If there’s no history between you, it is difficult to influence others to begin a new relationship with them as well.
Telling stories is what bloggers like Suzanne do best. Use this to your advantage when sharing information about the products or brands you’re working with on affiliate opportunities. Give your readers a reason why they should purchase an item from the affiliate link listed in your post.
Here are a few ways you can transfer trust to your readers:
- Share how the brand sets themselves apart from their competition
- Tell your readers how a brand serves the community
- Describe the benefits you’ve received from using the product and the value it has brought to your everyday life
2. Create Evergreen Content
Affiliate links are best delivered through evergreen content. Why? Because this is the content that your readers can enjoy repeatedly over an extended period of time and the information will never be irrelevant. This is exciting because a post that you wrote two years ago could still earn you income today.
Suzanne is skeptical of this because her SEO rankings aren’t displaying her articles on the first page of a Google search. She wonders how people will continue to find her evergreen content even though it’s buried on her blog with all the other posts she wrote two years ago. The short response to Suzanne’s concerns is that she’s right! If Suzanne is relying on Google to direct readers to her evergreen content, then it will likely remain buried on her blog. The good news is, she doesn’t have to rely on Google.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your evergreen content:
- Keep your evergreen content up to date – be sure all your links are working correctly and if any information has changed, update it
- Display a list of “top posts” in the sidebar of your website that contains your evergreen content
- Curate your evergreen content into a “best of” or “training guide” page that will hep your new readers locate it quickly
- Publish an introduction page containing links to your evergreen content that you can direct new readers (or email subscribers) to when they join your community
- Occasionally re-run evergreen posts on your blog or recycle them to post every 30 – 60 days on your social media accounts
3. Implement Repetition
Influence is built through gaining someone’s trust. If Suzanne posted about a product on her blog one time does that give the impression that she loves and uses it on a regular basis? Is this a true recommendation from her that will influence her community to use and share the product too? Likely, no. Suzanne’s community will see through her one-off blog post and chalk it up as an ad she was paid to promote on her blog. It’s not a true recommendation at all. Suzanne has a smart community.
In order for Suzanne to influence her community members to purchase something through her affiliate link, it is absolutely necessary that she gives them multiple opportunities to do so by repeatedly posting about the product she was given to review. This doesn’t have to be a complex strategy of content creation that takes her hours to assemble.
Here are a few repetition ideas:
- Schedule multiple posts on multiple social media networks using a social media sharing tool like Shareist (It will seriously take you 10 minutes to schedule a month’s worth of shares.)
- Mention the product and include your affiliate link in your live video footage
- Feature the product and link in your future gift guides
- Talk about the product in your conversations on social media and show your community how it’s improving your daily life
- Provide savings or incentives to your community when they’re available
Affiliate Marketing is Long Term
The most important thing to remember about your affiliate marketing strategy is that it’s a long-term investment. Every time you promote a product or brand using its affiliate link you’re reinforcing the relationship between them and your community. As these relationships get stronger your earnings will increase through more frequent sales from trusting readers and higher negotiated commission rates from brands.
We are here to support you as you publish and promote your hybrid gigs in the marketplace. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can join our Facebook Group or Twitter Chat, #FreshChat to connect with, learn from, and support other influencers in the marketplace. We are looking forward to connecting with you!