How to Create Impactful Affiliate Marketing Content for Conversions

Who wouldn’t want to earn money by simply promoting someone else’s products? That is how influencers on the internet are making money after all and it all looks so simple. That is probably the reason why the search interest for “Affiliate Marketing” grew by 44% between 2017 and 2018, according to Google Trends. But creating affiliate marketing content that converts is not as easy as it seems.

Just like any other content marketing effort, affiliate marketing also requires proper planning and strategy. Writing sloppy affiliate content that adds no value for the reader, but is simply stuffed with affiliate links and half-baked reviews, will get you nowhere. To create quality content for affiliate marketing and generate more revenue, here’s what you need to focus on. The 14 pillars of a successful affiliate marketing content strategy:

1. Choose a niche you are confident and passionate about, and can carry through in the long run
2. Your content should be honest, trust-inspiring and add value to readers
3. SEO is just as important as your content
4. Topping up with fresh content all the time is critical – don’t hesitate to hire writers if needed
5. Be flexible and adapt your content creation approach to the product or service
6. Create a sense of urgency and make readers feel that this is the moment of action
7. Good visuals can give a whole new dimension to your content
8. Video content can give your affiliate marketing wings
9. Share offers and discounts with your audience
10. Affiliate content will only work if the products you promote are in demand
11. Your reviews or recommendations shouldn’t be too salesy
12. Work your affiliate content with emotional triggers
13. Optimize your affiliate content for mobile to increase conversions
14. Experiment with formats, products and channels

1. Choose a niche you are confident and passionate about, and can carry through in the long run

In affiliate marketing, you expect your audience to be convinced about buying a product based on your review or information. So the content for your affiliate website has to be reliable and should reflect your knowledge or expertise on the topic.

In order to make your content more trustworthy and valuable for a reader, it is always better to find a niche for yourself. Choose an industry or an area that you have sufficient knowledge or experience in. If one day you are reviewing a gadget and the next day a cosmetic product, your audience may find it inconsistent and fickle. Sticking to a niche, on the other hand, will make your site a treasure trove of information on that particular area for the readers.

Have a look at this affiliate site for instance. BabyGearLab talks about all things related to newborns and also offers parental advice for new parents. They have chosen an area in which many people may be looking for information. And to make the site more reliable, they also share news and guidance for new parents and to-be-parents rather than just marketing products.

Here’s another example – Gift Idea Geek, a website that does reviews on products available on Amazon for gifting. Again, a very smart choice of niche as gifting ideas are often searched by people online. This site promotes geeky and unusual products as gift ideas and also runs a blog to gain more visibility.

For affiliate sites that are performing well, there are usually many businesses asking them to test new products or run new offers. Some of these may be high paying collaborations too. But it is best not to be tempted by the money and remain authentic instead. Deviating from your stronghold may turn away your followers, who followed you in the first place because of your authority in the niche.

Niche marketing not only makes your efforts more targeted but is also great for SEO. When you write a number of different posts about similar products, you create a kind of content cluster which builds more credibility for your site on Google.

2. Your content should be honest, trust-inspiring and add value to readers

If you are writing only good things about a product to make it sell, you may be successful once or even twice. But if people’s experience with a product does not concur with your content, you lose their trust. So readers stop coming back to your site for information as it is not reliable anymore. Yes, you need to convert more customers, but you also have to retain your audience.

Don’t be afraid to put honest opinions in your affiliate marketing content. Everyone can write a review with product descriptions and the usual pros and cons. To stand apart from your competition, you have to tell your audience what nobody else is telling them. And to be able to form an opinion, you need to ideally have a first hand experience with the product yourself. You should, of course, highlight the positives but you can’t completely avoid stating the negatives too.

Tell your audience how the product can be useful to them despite a few drawbacks and how the positives can easily outrun the negatives. In fact, to make sure you get affiliate marketing conversions, it is advisable to promote those products which you truly believe are worth promoting. It is okay to review lesser products. It is seen that a majority of affiliate marketers usually prefer to promote between 1 to 10 products only. Evidently, the number doesn’t matter as much as the quality of your content.

3. SEO is just as important as your content

Your existing audience are already loyal to your content and will keep coming back if you’re doing everything right. But for more people to find your content, you have to pay attention to your search rankings. In affiliate marketing, SEO is indispensable.

Some good SEO tactics that you should consider when creating affiliate content:

  • Keywords

Choose the most relevant, high-medium volume (if possible low competition) keywords you can find and don’t just stick to one or two, try adding a few more. Long-tail keywords account for nearly 70% of all web searches and are more capable of bringing you leads who have an intention of buying. People usually use long-tail keywords for search when they are looking for something specific and are searching with a motive. So look for relevant search phrases and long tail keywords as far as possible. But it is also important not to spam the content for affiliate websites with keywords or add them in places where they don’t even fit.

  • Featured Snippets

According to a study by Ahrefs, 8.6% of clicks go to featured snippets in search results. Optimizing your affiliate content for featured snippet can be great for your SERP rankings and your search traffic. It is seen that these featured snippets usually come from pages that have an Answer Box or from FAQ pages. So, adding an answer to a search query or a summary paragraph or an FAQ section can be really useful here.

  • Inlink Optimization

Every time you publish new content, try and find other older posts where there is content that you can link to the new post. When adding these inlinks, don’t make it look too obvious and find relevant content where they fit in.

  • Website Speed

Another study published by Ahrefs found out the relation between Google ranking and websites’ loading speeds. The results are visible here.

Source: Ahrefs

Google considers your web pages’ loading speed as a factor for ranking in search results. Also, pages that take too long to load are bad for user experience. Compressing image sizes and removing any unnecessary HTML text to start with can be helpful.

To help with SEO for your affiliate marketing content, here are a few tools that you could try using.

Ubersuggest

Try using Ubersuggest for keyword research. Not only does this free tool give you relevant keywords to choose from, it also gives you content ideas and keyword overview showing search volume and SEO difficulty level.

Answer The Public

Since most search queries are in the form of questions, knowing what questions people ask online would really help your SEO. Answer The Public shows you what people are asking related to your niche. Just type in a few keywords and the tool suggests related questions, which could be very useful in creating content for featured snippets.

Google PageSpeed Insights

This tool can help you check the speed and functionality of your site on different devices. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tests the loading time and performance and also identifies opportunities for improvement.

MOZ Link Explorer

For a full range link analysis, this is a great tool. The Moz Link Explorer tool shows the number of inbound links, most impactful links coming to you and your most linked-to pages.

4. Topping up with fresh content all the time is critical – don’t hesitate to hire writers if needed

For generating a steady revenue from your affiliate marketing campaigns, consistency is the key. Remember this, your consistency in content creation and posting reflects your credibility, and is good for SEO. Coming up with a new review or a post at regular intervals implies that you are constantly working on the field to add value for your audience.

And when we talk about consistency, we don’t just refer to the frequency of posting content. It also applies to the quality of your affiliate content. You may be churning out content daily but if the quality is not consistent, you will end up losing audience eventually.

Create audience-centric content

Affiliate marketing conversions depend a lot on the quality and depth of your content. Even Google wants content creators to focus more on audience-centric content. Google’s latest Webmaster Guidelines clearly mention that content quality will be determined based on whether the pages are made primarily for users, are not deceptive for users and how engaging or valuable the content is. It also asks content creators to strictly avoid using automatically generated content and adding sneaky redirects, among other things.

Content length and frequency of publishing matters

The length of your articles also matters. Google now looks for more authoritative content. Usually long form content is considered to hold more in depth information and hence greater value for a reader. To rank at the top of search results, content for affiliate websites should at least cross the 1000 word mark. In fact Hubspot says that articles with 2,250 to 2,500 words earn the most organic traffic. Also, businesses that post 16 or more posts per month generate 4.5 times more leads.

Content readability is important

Readability is another factor that affects both your ranking and your readers’ experience. Make your content easy to read by keeping sentences short, avoid using adverbs that make your sentences weak and be consistent in the voice or format you use. There are tools and editors available that can help check your article’s readability and offer suggestions for improvement.

Hemingway App is a great tool for this purpose – it offers great suggestions on improving the readability of your content. They also have a Desktop Editor, which can come in very handy, especially if you are dealing with a large amount of content.

Get professional writers to do the heavy lifting

It may sometimes be a little overwhelming to create a steady flow of quality content for affiliate websites. Narrato.io is a great platform to get quality affiliate content written, fast, by experienced freelance writers. Among the many reasons to get content for your affiliate websites and other media from Narrato, these are the most compelling:

  • Lots of affiliate marketers trust Narrato for their content needs
  • It’s fast, simple and intuitive without any noise or clutter
  • You can request unlimited revisions, and pay only for content you like
  • Best writers are matched automatically to your jobs

Content writing for affiliate marketing gets so much easier when you have skilled writers with relevant knowledge working on your projects.

5. Be flexible and adapt your content creation approach to the product or service

 

Different products and situations demand different affiliate marketing tactics. Selling a television is not the same as selling soap or a software. As an affiliate marketer, you need to understand the need to adapt to different situations and mould your content accordingly.

Affiliate marketing content can be of many types. You could write a product review, case study, product comparison or even create a tutorial video. Depending on how the product would best be promoted and what your audience wants to know, you can develop an affiliate marketing content strategy. Each of the affiliate content types has its own purpose.

Product Review

A product review is the most tried and tested type of content used in affiliate marketing. It could include a short description of the product and your experience with it or your opinion on how it works. An honest review that talks about both the positives and negatives of a product can be quite valuable to a reader.

The WireCutter is one of the most popular affiliate websites that reviews gadgets and electronics, with nearly 8.6 million monthly visits.

Case Study

A case study is also a kind of review but one that has a more detailed testament of your experience with a product. To write a case study, you can use the product over a longer period and see how it performs for you. You can then write about your case and tell people about the actual results you got from it. Say you are using a skin cream that claims to treat dark circles in three months. Use it for a period of three months and then share your before and after pictures with the case study. This is a more reliable review that people are likely to trust more.

Product Comparison

If you are reviewing more than one product of the same kind, why not just draw a comparison? It would be easier for you as well as for the readers. You would be able to review all the products in a single post while your readers would be able to compare and decide which product suits them better. Again, try to be honest with your reviews and avoid showing any bias towards one product.

Source: helpiewp.com

Here’s an example of a product comparison table.

Tutorial Videos

Tutorial videos are a slightly different format compared to the ones mentioned above. Here, you are not just reviewing a product but also telling people how to use it. So they can see for themselves whether it would be useful to them.

Source: Youtube

This Youtube channel, for instance, does only Bluehost reviews to earn affiliate commissions.

Apart from these few, there are many other types of content that affiliate marketers can work with – How to articles, Tutorials, Landing pages, Guides, e-Books, Emails, Listicles, Seasonal Content, Social media content. We shall talk about all types of affiliate marketing content you can try in another post soon. So keep an eye out for it.

6. Create a sense of urgency and make readers feel that this is the moment of action

To get affiliate marketing conversions from your content, you have to be able to convince your audience that they need to get the product right away. It is not easy to do that unless you offer them some incentives for buying the product immediately.

Offers & Discounts:

The best way to instill this sense of urgency in your audience is by giving some limited period offers or early bird discounts. These time bound offers tend to attract people and urge them to buy immediately.

CTAs:

Adding prominent and catchy CTAs to a page has been found to increase conversions for many businesses. For instance, a button colour test performed by Hubspot on Performable’s website revealed that 21% more people click on a Red CTA button than a Green one (Note: It’s not proven that Red is the best CTA color – this can vary from case to case. A/B testing is a good way to determine what works best for your audience). CreateDebate found that adding CTAs as buttons gave them a 45% increase in clicks. So, don’t forget to add an attention grabbing CTA placed strategically with your content, preferable below an offer or a discount.

Emotional triggers:

Emotional triggers can be very useful to create a sense of urgency in your buyers. Psychological triggers like the fear of losing out or competitive situations or instant gratification can really urge people to make a purchase. Using triggers like “Don’t miss this opportunity” or “Let this be an object of everyone’s envy” in content for affiliate marketing can elicit feelings of fear and competition. Make use of such phrases wisely. You can also achieve this by describing a difficult situation and then offering a solution to it.

7. Good visuals can give a whole new dimension to your content

 

Visuals in your content can give you far more affiliate marketing conversions than just using text. According to a survey, 69% of marketers believe that visual assets are an absolute necessity for their marketing strategies. 40% also said that original graphics, such as infographics, performed the best.

Studies suggest that visual content also helps in better retention of information among readers. So, go ahead and add as many relevant images, charts or other visual assets as you can. If something can be said through a visual instead of text, go for it. You will reap the benefits of this little extra effort put in.

Images are a must if you are trying to sell a product. These can be clicked or taken by you or better still, you could ask the brand to provide their own. They can also provide you with charts and infographics to aid your content. Other than that, you can create your graphics using free online tools like Stencil or Easil.

8. Video content can give your affiliate marketing wings

Whether your entire product review is in the form of a video content or you embed a video within your post, you are sure to increase your chances of getting affiliate conversions. According to a research conducted by Adelie Studios, businesses that use video content grow their revenue 49% faster than those that don’t. The same research also suggests that 74% of millenials find videos more helpful for comparing products when shopping.

Using video content opens a whole new world of opportunities for affiliate marketers. There are so many ways in which you can use videos for your campaigns. Product review videos and FAQ videos are definitely the best way to reach out to potential customers.

Source: Youtube

This is an example of a product review channel on Youtube that is extremely popular. The channel reviews gadgets. The quality of videos are top notch and the reviews are extremely reliable, which is probably why the channel has a huge following of around 10.5 million subscribers.

There are also other video content formats that are gaining popularity, such as product unboxing videos. Video tutorials can add a lot of value for consumers too and can be a great way to show your authority on a topic and build trust. Other than these, you could also create testimonials or live streaming videos for your followers on social media, which is quite trending currently.

9. Share offers and discounts with your audience

I’ve already talked about how limited period offers can instill a sense of urgency in buyers and get better conversions. But apart from these time bound offers, you should also include other promotional deals that the brand may be offering.

If there are no ongoing deals to share, you can ask the businesses to offer some deals through your affiliate site to increase click through rates. If a business sees potential in your affiliate content, this shouldn’t be a problem. When there are exclusive discounts that buyers get on purchasing through your site, it improves sales for the business as well as increase traffic to your site. Mention cashbacks and price drops in your content, if there are any.

How you place these offers on your web page also matters more than you would expect. For the offers to catch customers’ attention, you can display them along with an eye-catching image. Another important factor is the color contrast you use. This is why most sites use red as the color to highlight their offers.

Taking the example of these two tags – the image on the left is definitely much brighter and more attention grabbing than the one on the right.
Also, place offers and discounts where your readers can easily see them and there’s no chance of missing or scrolling past them.

10. Affiliate content will only work if the products you promote are in demand

You cannot expect something to sell just because you have written excellent things about it. No matter how hard you work on your affiliate marketing content, if people don’t want the product, it is just a waste of your time.

So be very careful choosing products to promote. Study the market and find out which products are in demand. See which keywords are being searched the most. What are people asking online about these products? Who are their competitors in the market? For a successful affiliate marketing campaign and good conversions, this research is essential.

Once you’re confident that a product is worth promoting, study more about it. Read as many reviews as you can. If possible, try and get a trial of the product yourself to make sure if people would be willing to spend on it.

11. Your reviews or recommendations shouldn’t be too salesy

The problem with most affiliate reviews is that the motive becomes too evident to the audience – “to sell”. There is every chance that a recommendation or review that looks forced and too keen on selling the product will get you no affiliate marketing conversions. People are not here for another sales pitch, they’re looking for genuine information.

Of course, you need to convince your audience to buy the product but that has to be handled tactfully. Don’t exaggerate the good things about a product or write just the advantages. This makes it too obvious that you are desperately trying to sell it. Use a natural conversational tone and make your reader feel like you are more keen on helping them rather than selling the product. When giving away the pros and cons, use proper reasoning to make your review more credible.

12. Work your affiliate content with emotional triggers

Your content relies a lot on the emotions that it is able to stir up the audience. Drab and impersonal looking content will not generate any interest in your reader. For content to be successful, it has to be able to connect with the audience and use their emotions to make them take the next step.

The first thing that any reader would see before getting to the actual content is the headline. Your headline determines whether a reader dives deeper into the content or just skips it. Data suggests that 8 out of 10 people never go past the headline of an article. So if you don’t have a headline that stands out of the crowd, you will end up becoming an invisible part of the crowd.

To create attention grabbing headlines, look for posts relevant to your topic which have the maximum shares on social media or are high ranking on search engines. Note the headlines used by these posts and create one of your own based on the structure. It is usually seen that using strong and positive adjectives like powerful, effective or smart can have an impact on the reader. For instance, “Comparing 3 Popular Laptops of 2020” wouldn’t generate as much intrigue as “Comparing the 3 Most Powerful Laptops of 2020”.

The other important thing that can tap a reader’s emotions to get you more conversions are your CTAs. Knowing which CTAs to use when emotions are high can be very crucial. Once readers finish reading your post or review, and if you’ve been able to convince them, they might be interested to know more about the product or even buy it.

So, place a CTA very strategically at the end of your content. It could be a “Learn More” button that directs them to your detailed case study on the product or a “Buy Now” button that directs them to the product page. You could also place a “Get your free trial” button if there is a free trial for the product, which more people would prefer rather than buying immediately.

13. Optimize your affiliate content for mobile to increase conversions

Another aspect of maintaining consistency is giving the same user experience to your audience across all channels. Your content should appear consistent, irrespective of whether it is being viewed on a computer screen, a mobile phone or a tablet.

According to the affiliate networking site Awin, more than 50% of their affiliate referred traffic comes from mobile devices. So, optimizing your content for mobile phones is absolutely necessary if you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. This means you will need to use the right themes, optimize the images for multi-channel viewing and format the text accordingly as well. Mobile friendly content should also be quick to load and convenient to view on a small screen. Google says that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Format your content for easy scanning on small screens. This would include keeping paragraphs short, having more white space, using clearly legible font, good contrast and more sub heads or bullet points. In short, divide your content into smaller chunks. Also, visual content, esp. videos work well on mobiles.

14. Experiment with formats, products and channels

With content creation, even in affiliate marketing, there is no one correct way of doing it. Depending on your niche, the products you choose to promote, the platforms and channels you use and the content format – you should experiment with all of these to find out which ones give the best results.

There is no better way to find out what works best for a particular niche than to try as many different formats as you can and settle on the ones that are most successful. This kind of experimentation will give you a clear idea of what content works for which category of products.

Besides your website, try out different channels such as social media , Youtube or podcasts to diversify. For instance, posting an image of a product on Instagram, with a detailed description or a short review could get you some click throughs. On Facebook, you could share live videos or start a dedicated page for your content. You can even try creating a slideshow on SlideShare if you are good at making presentations. Build an email list and send offers and discounts to subscribers. Anything that gives you better reach.

In conclusion

Affiliate marketing is certainly lucrative for both the business as well as affiliate marketers. But for your affiliate marketing campaign to bring you the desired returns, all of the above discussed core aspects are key to your ongoing success.