7. Affiliate marketing

The Top 7 Uses of Affiliate Marketing in 2021

Aside from the traditional ways of promoting affiliate marketing links, there are distinctive new trends in recent years. This next section looks at some of these trends and more traditional ways of promoting affiliate links.

1. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are one of the top faces of today’s affiliate marketing, thanks to social media and sites like YouTube. 

Celebrities Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Selena Gomez are among the world’s top influencers. However, many ordinary people have become famous just because of their influencer status and ability to create engaging content and interact with their audience. 

Photographer Murad Osmann, TikTokker Addison Rae, and cleaning expert Mrs. Hinch are examples of top influencers that built their platform from the ground up. 

While brands often pay influencers to promote products, it also makes sense for them to share affiliate links with their followers in return for commissions. 

If you’re a business with a considerable or passionate audience, then consider influencer marketing. 

For instance, on Instagram, you can share and promote your links by:

  • Tagging the brand when you’re promoting their product.
  • Add links to your bio.
  • Use Instagram Stories and IGTV to talk about and promote products. 
  • Create product comparisons and gift guides to educate your audience. 

When you add links, make sure to include a strong CTA to encourage visitors to click like Instagram influencer Ashley Spivey does. 

One final tip: choose products that make sense for your brand or niche and only share products you like. Your audience needs to trust you have their best interests in mind. 

2. Blogging

Affiliate marketing is often the go-to choice for bloggers wanting to monetize content. 

Bloggers generally specialize in a specific niche and share products or services of interest to their audience. For instance, it could be customer management systems, health trackers, or credit cards.

This type of affiliate program works well with niche businesses, and the further you can niche down, the better. 

One example is Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits. Besides his main site, he owns several profitable niche sites. You can see how Haws adds affiliate marketing links in the image below:

7 uses for affiliate marketing in 2021 blogging example

To implement affiliate marketing on your blog, include links in blog posts, or add banners, video clips, even pop-ups. Social and email can also help you share your links. 

However, only include links when they’re natural and don’t oversell. If you have a newsletter, share your links through special offers, gift lists, product comparisons.

Finally, concentrate on sharing links that are useful and offer value to your subscribers. Don’t just go for the sale—make sure you provide value first. 

3. Referral Links

When you’ve signed up for an affiliate platform, you gain access to a personalized link, known as a referral link. 

When visitors to your blog, newsletter, or social media page click on the link and make a purchase, you earn a commission.

For instance, BigCommerce has its own high-paying affiliate program, which pays $1,500 for every enterprise referral.

Affiliate Marketing in 2021 - Referral Links

Businesses regularly sending out newsletters or writing blogs/reviews usually find this strategy a good fit. However, you can also use referral links in:

  • reviews/tutorials
  • resource pages
  • some forums
  • banners and video content
  • blog posts

However you use referral links, make sure your content is useful and your links are contextual and visible.

If you send out content to new subscribers, focus on building customer relationships and trust before adding your links. With social media, it’s not good form to share affiliate links directly, but do share links to your published content with affiliate links. 

One final tip, don’t forget the usual standards for creating good content, such as using keywords, including CTAs, and creating clickable titles.

4. Microsites

Microsites or mini-sites are separate from a main website and are often used to target specific audiences. Brands may use them alongside other marketing efforts, like blogging or social media.

A microsite’s format varies from single pages to promote specific products or services to a collection of pages. It may have its own domain or be a sub-domain of the main site. 

Typically, brands use microsites to highlight something specific. This could be: 

  • individual events
  • products, campaigns
  • content/branded content

However, it’s not just brands using microsites. Regular affiliates create them too. Here is an example.

affiliate marketing in 2021 shaver guru example

As you’ve likely guessed from its name, creates content around shavers and includes extensive reviews to help buyers find the right razor. 

Whether a microsite is appropriate for your purpose depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The role in your customer journey.
  • If you need to keep the site up long term.
  • If you’re testing campaigns or keywords.
  • You’re an affiliate targeting a specific niche.

To improve your chances of success with microsites, ensure you: 

  • Write detailed, media-rich content.
  • Highlight features and benefits so visitors can read content at a glance.
  • Include a mix of content to suit visitors’ preferences— for example, video content.
  • Add reviews of products you’ve tried and tested—and be honest. 
  • Use a combination of products from different affiliate programs for a more comprehensive mix.
  • Have a range of products at different price points.

One last piece of advice. Take a tip from ShaverGuru by including a “Check Price On Amazon” hyperlink, taking visitors directly to your affiliate products.

5. Social Media Sites

Affiliate marketers can advertise on Facebook and other social media sites, but you must check your ads comply with the guidelines on each channel.

Sharing your affiliate marketing links on Facebook or similar sites could be ideal for affiliates with a large following or a very niche product.

Some ways of sharing your links include:

  • Facebook ads
  • personal pages
  • groups
  • promotional posts

6. Email Lists

Email lists are another popular way to share affiliate links with your audience. 

Marketers set up email lists of their registered users through services like MailChimp, AWeber, or a similar service. Usually, they give some incentive for signing up, like a free training session, templates, or an eBook. 

The newsletters often include affiliate links, allowing the marketer to make money when a subscriber clicks on a link and makes a purchase. 

Marketers with an existing email list and engaged subscribers can benefit from this type of affiliate link promotion, no matter what niche they are in. 

This method is suitable when you already have a list or share valuable content with your audience, such as training and tips. Time-limited and exclusive offers from affiliate programs are effective, too.

For example, uses this strategy, promoting both its own and affiliate marketing products.

7. Create Videos

People don’t just like video content. They love it. Just look at YouTube and its 2.1 billion active users.

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are perfect for sharing video content, too.

Video content is easily consumable for busy people and perfect for showing people how they can use a product, how it benefits them, and for highlighting the pros and cons. 

The usual best practice is adding affiliate products, pinning them underneath the video on YouTube, adding them to your bio, and being active on your community page, like the gaming product channel Worth a Buy.

Consider using this approach to instill confidence in your consumers and if video demonstrations help illustrate your product’s benefits.

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