So we all understand the concept of ‘going viral’, right’? Remember the “getting the flu” analogy? It all starts with one member of the family getting infected by a friend or a relative. He brings the virus home and pretty soon the entire family gets hit… but not before the ‘carrier’ passes it to others too!
Just like that, viral marketing is leveraging tools to drive traffic to your website and profits. A good way to go viral is with an eProduct. The ebook could be yours or someone elses. If allowed, you can place advertisements strategically in the back of an ebook (under Recommended Resources). These can be ebooks with resell rights (any form that allows the product to be easily passed to another – master resell rights, unrestricted PLR rights, rebranding rights or giveaway rights – more on these in a moment).
But how do your find the ‘carrier’? Obviously a suitable carrier could be a niche-targeted eProduct. Those like-minded individuals, who have a passion for the topic of the ebook, will ingest, and spread it, generating targeted traffic to your sales letter page. Some specific eProduct examples could be:
• Unrestricted PLR ebooks or special reports. The easier it is for people to get their hands on your book, the better the traffic! Do not worry about people altering your ads – people are usually too lazy to alter the book. They will promote your links for you! The most appealing thing about unrestricted PLR is that people can SELL the PLR rights to others making it highly valuable!
• E-books or special reports with Master resell rights. The same applies as unrestricted PLR. Resellers can resell your books, bundle your books together as a package or into a fire sale or offer them as a bonus. You can watch as your books (and your links) fall into the hands of readers all over the world!
• Products with giveaway rights. If you have excellent content, people are more than willing to give away your book to others and the virus spreads. Although it carries less perceived value compared to a ‘paid’ product, nevertheless, it still has it usefulness if your content is good.
You can create as many viral campaigns as you can for your website. Once they are all setup, all you need to do is tweak your sales pages or landing pages to maximize your profits. And who said viruses are bad for you????
The key to maximizing your earnings is engaging your readers. Unlike traditional ads where you are paid for impressions or clicks, affiliates are only paid when/if a specific action is performed. The action might be a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, but regardless, you are not paid until you’ve compelled your readers to act.
With that in mind, here are the Top 5 attributes of an engaging affiliate marketing initiative:
1. Know Your Audience
The most successful way to use affiliate programs is to anticipate and meet the needs of your readers. Consider why they are coming to your site. What are you providing that they are looking for? Make sure the affiliate products you are promoting provide a solution to your audience’s problems.
If you are writing about sports, don’t put up affiliate ads for printer toner just because everyone has a printer and those programs have a high payout. The people who are coming to read commentary or get stats for their favorite teams aren’t thinking about those things when they’re on your site.
The more relevant the ads are to your readers, the more likely they will use them.
2. Be Trustworthy
Readers are savvy. They know an affiliate link when they see one. If you break their trust by promoting a product you don’t believe in or take advantage of their visit with too many ads, they will leave and never come back.
It is your repeat visitors that will drive traffic. They are the ones who will give you linkbacks, spread the word, and recommend your site as the go-to place for valuable content. You need to build a relationship based on genuine content.
If your visitors don’t think you’re being honest, they won’t read anything else you have to say.
3. Be Helpful
Think of affiliate ads as additional resources that complement your content. Give value to your content by making it helpful, useful, and informative.
Don’t put up a list of your favorite books, hoping people will click on the affiliate link, purchase the books (just because you listed them), so you can cash in on a sale. Take some time to write a detailed review, and use affiliate ads to point them in the right direction if they decide to act on your information. That’s what affiliate ads are for. If you write a great review recommending a book and readers buy the book because of it, you should get something for that.
But just throwing out links to products with no rhyme or reason will result in a quick exit by visitors.
4. Be Transparent
Always disclose your affiliations. Your readers will appreciate your honesty, and will feel better about contributing to your earnings. If they sense that you are being less than honest about your affiliations, they are savvy enough to bypass your link and go directly to the vendor just to avoid giving you referral credit.
Honesty and full disclosure is a necessary part to building a loyal reader base. They know they are supporting you by using your referral links. Make them happy and eager to do so.
5. Select Carefully
Take the time to go through all the different options for products or services available through the programs. Put some thought into which products or services your readers may need or like. Also, change the ads around often, try different ones, and use different graphics and text to see which are the most effective.
Hmm, there’s actually more to share here, but I’ll share more in a future post, soon – I promise………
The first time that I was exposed to this tool was when I was presenting at The System Seminar in 2008. On of my co-faculty members was Tom Leung from Google and he did a presentation on Google Website optimizer. This is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to do A/B split testing and multivariate testing in order to improve conversions. You can test any element on your landing page such as headlines, sub-headings, call to action, images and many other variable. He said something that has stuck with me every since I saw his presentation.
He said, “Bad landing pages are where clicks go to die.” Now if you are buying traffic and you are sending that traffic to bad landing pages, you are essentially paying for clicks that die. Not only is it important to test various ads you create to generate traffic to your CPA offers, it is equally important to test various elements on your landing pages in order to generate more CPA leads.
Although you have little control over the advertiser’s landing page on the CPA network if you are direct linking, you do have the ability to better pre-sell your prospects with your own landing page. To learn how to use Google Website Optimizer, I recommend going through their website tutorials.