Tips & Guides — 08 Apr 2021
How to Build Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel
You could say affiliate marketing is the new in-thing. However, this type of marketing has been around for a while. But today, in a world with so many different platforms, it’s trending again for good reason: affiliate marketing is a great way for two companies to bounce off each other, boost their brand voice, and drive sales.
However, a sale does not occur in one moment. Before making a purchase, a potential buyer goes through a sales funnel. And a sales funnel is a customer journey that starts with a broad scope of interest and narrows it down – that is, until the customer finds the perfect product for them.
Creating a consistent effective sales funnel in affiliate marketing helps increase ROI and generally improve your brand. So, if you’re looking to build the affiliate marketing funnel, here’s how you can do it.
Affiliate marketing is a type of partner marketing that implies paying the commission to publishers for promoting your product or service on their websites or social media accounts. Advertisers can run affiliate programs on their own working with publishers directly or through third parties — affiliate networks or agencies.
Affiliate marketing can take many forms. A popular option for companies is to partner with webmasters or social media influencers. It can be as simple as paying an opinion leader to promote an affiliate product or teaming up with a webmaster to create a blog post about your firm.
Say, for example, you’re looking to sell a cheap predictive dialer but want to access a wider target audience. You may ask someone who is well known in the industry to place your affiliate offer on their Facebook page.
Affiliate marketers or publishers work on commission and earn a fee depending on their performance. This pushes influencers to work harder to become successful affiliates and really be as enthusiastic (while still being genuine) about your brand as they can be.
Thus, affiliate marketing is a great tactic for boosting sales, as a partner gets paid for results rather than for brand exposure.
It also helps you secure sales in areas you may struggle with.
Imagine you sell street wear but are struggling to reach a European audience. To increase conversions, you decide to team with an Instagram influencer who’s big on the continent. You put together a video marketing campaign for your platforms, while the social media star talks publicly about how great your street wear is and calls on their audience to buy from you. Your sales go up in Europe, and the opinion leader takes a reward for each lead that came to you from their Instagram profile.
A sales funnel is all about the customer journey from being unaware of your product or service to buying it. There are usually four steps to a successful sales funnel. These are:
1. Awareness. Making people aware of who you are.
2. Interest. Getting people interested in what you’re offering.
3. Desire. Making people want your product.
4. Action. Encouraging leads to buy from you.
Whatever you’re selling, — a pair of platform sandals, an IP phone service, or a day at a theme park — an effective sales funnel includes lead generation as part of a marketing campaign and then helping those leads through different steps to make a decision to buy your product.
While nudging your prospects down the pipeline, you need to provide them with solutions to their problems and show the value of your product at each step. It helps prove your expertise in the industry and build trust to your firm. When it comes to affiliate marketing, you need to ensure your partners can drive these points home and be good representatives of your brand, as long as you want to make the most out of your partnerships.
Utilizing a sales funnel helps you visualize your customer journey, find the points where your prospects drop off, and, eventually, increase conversions. Thanks to it, you can develop a strong marketing strategy and achieve the best results whatever promotional tactics you’d stick to.
So, now you know what goes into creating an effective sales funnel, as well as the benefits of affiliate marketing. Let’s look at how to use the two together and reach your business objectives. To implement the sales funnel model into your affiliate marketing, abide by the following rules.
It all starts with optimization. One of the first things to do in a sales funnel is to make people aware of your brand. To do this, ensure your website is as high up in the search rankings as possible.
Most Internet users only look through the first five search engine results. Thus, if your company’s website will be among the leaders first on the search engine results page, you’ll get more views from potential customers and high brand awareness. Better yet, you can convert these views into clicks and drive traffic to your webpage.
You can make it to the top of the search engine results page by improving your web content with high-performing keywords. Or you could use link-building tactics such as meta-descriptions and backlinks in your writing. Website’s design is also significant for SERP results, so you could add improving it to your search engine optimization plan too. There are many website builders out there that have useful tools to help you with these tasks.
The better performing your website is, the more of a buzz will be created around it. This is where affiliate programs and partners can come in helpful. They can help with backlinks and the SEO side of things by creating blogs and analyzing the success of your content and products.
As well as having a website that people click on, you need appealing content to drive the prospects down the sales funnel and increase conversions. This means creating informative and engaging work that consumers want to connect with and share. It’s about telling people you know what you’re talking about and links back to the idea of being trusted as a brand.
Remember to craft content for each stage of the sales funnel and provide your affiliates with it. Say, for example, you want to sell project management services. Start with hooking your potential customers’ attention — coupled with an affiliate marketer to create expert blog posts on how these services can tackle your prospects’ issues. Your content needs to be informative, well-structured, and easy-to-read.
Once you’ve captured the target audience’s curiosity, get to work on shaping their experience. Ultimately, you want to turn their interest into sales. It’s important at this stage to think about the type of content you want to make and how it will help people travel through the funnel.
For instance, to fuel a desire to buy from you, you may create a white paper with detailed information about your project management service, or ask an affiliate to talk through it in the video or webinar. Email marketing will also work well for nurturing leads. To encourage the purchase, you may opt for customer testimonials, case studies, or exclusive offers.
An affiliate marketer can create a fresh perspective and sell your products to an audience that reflects on their niches. They can add new twists to old ideas. Say your content involves a piece on small business software. An affiliate marketer can create a fresh-looking blog post on using AI in small businesses or make a video on the subject and share it with their followers.
When a potential client makes it to the bottom of the funnel, your main task is to convert their interest in your products into a purchase. A big way to do this is by helping the client end up on a specific landing page.
Affiliate marketers can help by giving you space at their website to allow you to advertise. Say, for example, it’s an ad about phone services for small business owners. Adding a link to a landing page via a partner blog or sidebar will drive traffic straight to your affiliate product or service. The webmaster can make sure the sales page is appealing, relevant, and convincing to prospective buyers.
A landing page should reflect on your company and, again, increase credibility. Drive the point home with persuasive well-thought-out copywriting. Multimedia is a useful thing to have on your site too, as it allows a visitor to perceive the information more easily and makes a landing page seem more professional. Using clear calls to action (CTA) is a final touch to increase sales, too.
Affiliate marketing is a great and proven way to boost your firm’s exposure and drive sales. It’s also an ideal way of building your sales funnel, because not only can it bring your brand to a whole new platform, but it can refresh your current website and broaden its appeal too.
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