You only have 280 characters to sell your product. That really isn’t a lot. This is eaten up pretty quickly especially if you post a link on Twitter even if it has been shortened. Why do your followers need the product that you are promoting? What good will it do them? Will it solve their problem? It sounds daunting but in some ways having a very limited amount of text can actually be a good thing. Some affiliate marketers try to put in too much information on Facebook or Instagram and they put potential customers off. With Twitter, you have to sell the product right away and marketing in Twitter can often be more effective.
Before I really get into the meat and potatoes of this subject, I want to remind you that my YouTube channel is business-focused and I have a business outside of the YouTube channel and affiliates so I have to tread a fine line between promoting affiliates and promoting my own products and/or services. If you’re reading this and you have a blog or a YouTube channel and you’re considering the possibility of making affiliate income your main source of income, you can absolutely do this on a higher level.
To stray from the legalese for a moment and put a bow on all this, there are a couple other things that suggest that using affiliate links is acceptable. For one, highly successful channels have, and continue to, feature affiliate links. Secondly, everyone benefits from quality content that is enhanced by affiliate links. YouTube gains videos and viewers that they can monetize, Amazon (and other businesses with affiliate programs) gains a new inlet to their shopping site, the viewers get entertaining and informative content that offers them a way to buy what’s been discussed, and the content creators (you) are rewarded for hard work and creativity. In a situation where everyone wins, it is hard to see why anyone would want to fiddle with it.
Just like in our lemonade example, a good affiliate marketing program reduces overhead costs and reduces risk. Since it can be quite expensive to hire sales & marketing employees, having an army of affiliate partners can give you the reach and sales you’re looking for, without the staffing investment that many e-commerce businesses can’t afford in the first place.
If you think about the shares you see on Facebook and Twitter, they often have a “newsy” component to them. So I like to give our affiliates the inside scoop on what’s new, and update our social sharing content at the same time so that they have something unique to share (and our commission-based public relations team hits the social media streets on our behalf!)
In this example, a blogger might put this link on their blog to try to get their readers to click through to your “blue widget” page and hopefully buy something. If the visitor who clicks on this link actually buys something, affiliate tracking software will automatically (usually – depends on what system you are using) pay your affiliate a percentage of the sale.
Affiliate marketing isn’t the only strategy to have evolved recently. Influencer marketing has undergone a makeover of its own, becoming more transparent, more streamlined and more effective. If you have felt in the past that influencers do not offer the same transparency or sales-driven results as affiliate publishers, you might be pleasantly surprised by recent updates and changes in the industry.