Social Media Affiliate Marketing: Guide to Choose Best Platforms and Process

November 23, 2022

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Social media affiliate marketing is a fun and innovative way for content creators to earn extra money by referring potential customers to brands. In turn, brands can reach a wider audience while only paying for actual business results (not just exposure). This is known as the pay-for-result or price-for-action model.

If you’re one of the 20.4% of internet users who listen to podcasts every week, you’ve probably heard about affiliate marketing in action. All promo codes and custom sponsor URLs are used to track affiliate podcast sales.

Affiliate marketing programs can be a powerful way for brands to partner with mainstream content creators such as major podcasters and social media influencers. But they also allow brands and creators to connect in a low-stakes, win-win way. No DMs or media kits are needed!

Who Can Benefit from Affiliate Marketing?

Companies today are increasingly seeing the benefits of affiliate marketing in their strategies. Affiliate marketing allows companies to sell a product effectively with a small budget, little effort, and time, and with a good level of risk, while guaranteeing a high return on your investment, increasing brand awareness and business growth.

Of course, some things are too good to be true, but in this case, the benefits are the result of targeted and effective marketing. Companies can identify the target market and select the perfect set of representatives who fit the brand – that’s exactly what affiliate marketing does.

Guide To Choosing an Affiliate Marketing Platform

Looking for additional income from your established blog, social media platform, or website? Affiliate marketing can be your solution. By promoting a product to your reseller audience, you earn a commission. Every time one of your readers buys a promoted product through your platform, you get a financial reward.

Lighthouse on the side of the cliff.

While this is a relatively simple concept, not all programs generate the same amount of revenue or help your brand to the same degree. Dealing with the wrong seller can damage your reputation. To maximize the benefits and avoid the negatives, here’s a guide to choosing the right affiliate program!

Step 1: Identify demographics and niche market

To earn a meaningful commission, you need to choose products that your followers are interested in and want to buy. The basic rule of affiliate marketing is that your promotions work as referrals, but if you choose products that your followers are not interested in, you are breaking their trust.

For example, readers of a travel blog probably aren’t too interested in a new toolkit, but they’re likely to buy a checked bag or fly on your favorite airline. Start thinking about the themes, ideas, and values that your platform represents. Think about the specific details and the big picture. Then create a list of keywords that describe your audience.

Remember that your readers have some similarities with you, but they are still individuals with differences, so be sure to think beyond yourself in this step. You want to put a lot of effort into this stage of the process. This is the most important part of choosing the right branch.

Step 2: Research programs for your audience

There are two main ways to find online advertising programs. The first way is to find programs for products you use and love. This method is good because you already know that the products work well.

Search for ‘product name and affiliate program’. Remember to make sure the items are relevant to your demographic. The second way is to browse the programmatic networks and look for things you want to try or that your audience likes. However, this option can be expensive as you need to purchase and test each new product to protect your brand reputation. Advertising the wrong product can result in a negative reaction.

Step 3: Find the programs

There are undoubtedly many suitable programs for your platform, but not all of them provide the same benefits. You also don’t want to run too much adware at the same time because you might lose your regular content. When choosing the right affiliate program, you want to consider every factor in the business.

The reputation of the seller and the frequency of payments are two of the most important aspects, but there are others.

Reputation – Check reviews from customers and other partners to understand how serious the seller is. You want to make sure that you as an affiliate and your customers are treated fairly. Remember that when you sponsor a company, you are showing support for the way they operate, not just their products.

Method of payment – The best programs have a clear and regular payment plan. The process of collecting your income should be simple and possibly even automated. Look for established and achievable benchmarks.

Step 4: Reach their point of contact

If you are unsure about a particular program, communicate with the company. Many retailers have contact information on their websites specifically for new branches. If not, please email or call with general information.

Make sure you look professional and show how influential your platform is. Sellers are looking for the same qualities in you that you are looking for in them.

How To Process an Affiliate Marketing Program     

The truth is, managing an affiliate program is a lot of work. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. As with any marketing strategy, it takes time to create and learn the details that will bring results to your business. And then continues to manage your program.

Writing down a plan on a whiteboard.

Some brands with successful affiliate marketing strategies have dedicated staff who fine-tune their programs daily. Now, this is not for your business to try affiliate marketing. If you’re up for the challenge (a marketer, of course), this channel will give you an incredible ROI.

We’re here to help you get started with 5 best practices for running an effective inbound marketing program.

Step 1: Create a plan for success

Identify shareholders in your company who can help run the program. While marketing will likely handle the content and materials, you’ll want to sync with your tech team to add tracking codes to your website.

Step 2: Know your number

Find out your average customer acquisition cost along with customer lifetime value. Using this knowledge, you can create an incentive that colleagues will appreciate while still leaving a healthy margin for your business. Figuring out the incentive structure can be difficult but start with the basics.

Step 3: Invite partners

The next step in the process is deciding whether you want to launch an affiliate program over the Internet, posting publicly available information on your website, or whether you want to keep it exclusive and more accessible to specific influencers or thought leaders.

Step 4: Build and maintain relationships

Whether you choose to run your affiliate program using spreadsheets and manual processes or invest in affiliate marketing software to automate the program, the next phase of the process is underway educating your affiliates about new product launches, updates, and offers.

Step 5: Analyze the success

While affiliate marketing software can show you meaningful metrics, your data won’t help you much if you don’t interpret it. Take the time each month to sit down and analyze which affiliates bring in the most business and how they do it.

Handshake signs made from ligths on the wall.

Which Social Media Is Best for Affiliate Marketing?

A common pitfall when it comes to any form of social media marketing is believing that all you have to do is post here and there. But the truth is, there is much, much more to it. And affiliate marketing is no exception. As with any other marketing campaign, you need a plan. Including gathering the resources you need to get started, evaluating your advertising goals and target audience, and optimizing your promotions to suit different social media platforms.

  1. Set up your affiliate program

If you haven’t already, start setting up your affiliate marketing program. Start with the technical setup by setting up the structure of your programs such as conversions and commissions.

Changes: Which affiliates receive a commission? In the case of e-commerce, this is usually when the referred customer makes a purchase. A conversion may also include email signup, a free trial, or a successful subscription payment.

Commission: How much do affiliate partners get per conversion? It can be a flat rate or a % of sales. Additionally, it can be a one-time commission or a recurring commission.

  1. Do you need social media for affiliate marketing

Find the social media platform that is most beneficial for your affiliate marketing goals. Start exploring the biggest social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok. But don’t forget to also check out the many topic-focused platforms like Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora. There are three things to consider when starting your research:

  • Your sales process
  • Your target audience
  • Data like Instagram statistics
  • Your ad types
  • Sales process
  • Who do you sell to and how long does the sales process take?
  1. Find great accounts to promote on social media

Finding more partners is directly related to choosing the right social media. You don’t want to partner with an affiliate that uses Instagram affiliate marketing when your marketing is better suited to YouTube content and audiences.

When searching, look for the following:

  • What platforms are they actively using?
  • How well does it fit your brand
  • The quality of its content
  • How many followers do they have?
  • How involved are their followers

Wrap up

All in all, the best affiliate programs for beginners are a great way to get your brand out there in a way that is fueled by referrals. It’s reasonably cheap as the platform itself is free and the payout is usually commission only, meaning you won’t be paying for something you didn’t receive.

When you know your brand and how it relates to your social media presence, optimizing your affiliate marketing is easy and simple. There is no perfect social media app, but your business can use each as a different approach in a multi-channel approach to increase brand engagement and awareness. Consider exploring each to increase your business’s reach while improving the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing strategy.

About the author

Ghia Marnewick is a creative content writer for the digital marketing agency Aumcore, an agency that specializes in SEO, web development, and social media marketing services. She is passionate about finding new ways of sharing information on trending topics in the digital world.

Ghia Marnewick

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