In recent times Content Marketing has steadily risen in popularity. Every business on the internet, whether established or starting up, has set up a Blog or use alternate mediums through which they offer useful and engaging content related to their Product/Service; or a problem that their business could solve. A Google Trends search shows a definite spike in the interest that people have had for Content Marketing over the years, and the enthusiasm for it doesn’t seem to be dropping. However, it’s important to understand why Content Marketing is favored by businesses.
Google, in today’s time, is the most preferred Search Engine by users worldwide. People have a natural tendency to use Google to search for quick solutions to their queries or problems. This makes it imperative for businesses to ensure that they’re complying with the ever changing demands for Search Engine Ranking, and lately a lot of emphasis has been placed on Content.
This is where knowing how to Recruit Affiliates, especially the ones that focus on content, can help amplify your Marketing efforts.
The Importance Of Recruiting Affiliates That Focus On Content
To understand the above it’s essential that we start with the importance of content, and how is it helping businesses. Content is the most natural form of a company promoting itself to a relevant audience. With Content, businesses weave up engaging stories through the form of information that can be naturally comprehended by the user. It helps the business take a more value and benefit driven approach while showcasing the product, as opposed to a feature intrinsic and sales approach which a lot of businesses are slowly moving away from.
For instance, when a friend recently wanted to purchase a Web Hosting package he went about getting that done by first researching on what would suit his requirements. He needed to know the nuances of the Hosting options available in the market, and which one would be custom tailored for him. He referenced the ShoutMeLoud blog by Harsh Agrawal and similar sites that helped explain the specifications, use cases and relevant benefits available through some of the Hosting options that he considered. He continued his research on WhoIsHostingThis to perform a limited set of comparisons and finally made a purchase.
In another situation I was researching on tools that can be used to set email reminders for my Blog Subscribers who couldn’t read the article at the time they received the mail. While searching for a solution, I came across Amit Agrawals Blog, Labnol, which spoke about FollowUpThen and how it helps to easily schedule an email to come back to your attention at a later time.
Through this form of information marketing, a user feels a lot more comfortable once the purchase has been made. This is because the product hasn’t been hard pitched by the company sales team to the user with an endless display of features and plus points that the company can offer. Here an advocate of the Product/Service has warmed up the user to the reason why they could consider the product through their own actual experiences and, and how it can help the reader with their current problem.
Who Is A Content Affiliate?
A Content Affiliate is someone who uses unique and creative content as their form of connecting and engaging with a reader, and offering information that could help the reader with a specific query, problem or solution.
The Types Of Content Affiliates
1) Bloggers – these are guys who operate personal blogs that either talk about a specific topic or category. Through the Blog they offer information in the form of Case Studies, How To articles, contest giveaways, free trials to products and more
2) Review & Comparison Sites – these are sites that offer a comprehensive correlation of two products of the similar category. For instance: Pricebaba, 91Mobiles and Policybazaar
3) Email – some of the effective Email Affiliates are the ones that maintain a Double Opt-in (Click on Link to Approve) list on their Blog. They are normally Bloggers and reach out to their email subscribers with updated information on the topics they Blog about, Contest Giveaways, Free Trials to products and more
4) Video Affiliates – similar to Bloggers they offer content in the form of unique and creative videos. These guys could be running a Video Channel on YouTube along with a Blog, or may just be delivering content on their Video Channel
5) Social Affiliates – most of the Social Affiliates are Bloggers and use relevant Social Channels to engage with their audience. They could be using either/all of the popular social networks depending on the topic or category they blog about
Statistics suggest that promoting a business with Content has proven to be a lot more effective than some of the conventional online channels that businesses are used to:
1) 63% businesses said having content on social media has helped increase marketing effectiveness
2) 70% customers would prefer knowing about a company by researching about it through articles rather than advertisements
3) Helps amplify optimization efforts for a business because of the quality backlinks generated
It’s one thing to have really good content that spreads the value of your business, but a whole different task to recruit the right Content Affiliate for your business. In one of my previous articles I have described the different Styles of Affiliate Recruitment, and how they can prove to be helpful while sourcing Quality Affiliates for your Affiliate Program.
In this article I will be focusing on the tools that come in handy while researching, assessing and recruiting Affiliates that focus on content. Always remember the Affiliate Recruitment aspect should never stop; the more time you spend on recruiting and activating Affiliates on your program, the better results you’ll see in the form of conversions and leads.
7 Tools To Recruit Affiliates That Focus On Content
1) Indiblogger – this is one tool that I keep mentioning in all my blog posts that I do regarding Affiliate Recruitment. It has helped me research and come across some of the best Content Affiliates that I have worked with in the past, and I continuously recommend this to people who ask about how they can find good Bloggers. Indiblogger is India’s most popular Blog Network, and has around 37,000+ verified blogs on a plethora of different topics and categories.
This was my go to resource since it easily helped me build a list of Top Bloggers within a specific category or niche. All you’ve to do is go to Indiblogger, type in the category of bloggers that you’re searching for in the search bar (top right corner of the website), and voila you’ve one of the finest list of bloggers in that category.
2) Open Link Profiler – researching about your competitor can also help you with the information you require to source quality content Affiliates. If your competitor has been in business for a while, chances are they’ve already been recommended by relevant Affiliates.
In Affiliate Marketing, when an Affiliate recommends a business, there’s a backlink that they receive from the Affiliate. With OpenLinkProfiler you can scan through all the Backlinks that your competitor receives, and then conduct your own research on them. If you come across any individual making a mention of your competitor on either their Blog, Social Channel, or any other medium that they could be using, OpenLinkProfiler will display it. You should consider connecting with them and discussing the possibility of them promoting your product/service.
While speaking with an Affiliate who promotes your competitor, ensure that you don’t bad mouth the competitor in any way. Chances are the Affiliate could be a strong supporter of the Merchant they’re recommending. Instead highlight the value your product/service could offer keeping in mind their target audience.
3) Google – sometimes a simple Google Search should also be able to provide you with the results that you’re looking for. Initially start by using the Google Trends Explore tool to figure search, and similar search terms that people could be using to look out for information that could potentially lead to your Product or Service.
So for instance if you’re a business that sells Indian Wedding Dresses online, you could use the Google Trends Explore tool to search for similar queries specific to your targeted keyword. Just scroll to the bottom for the results.
You should then enter the search queries in an excel sheet in one column, and enter the most relevant results that come out of for those specific search queries in the subsequent column. A relevant result in this case more often than not would be a Blog.
4) Similar Web – after you’ve managed to source and list a few really good content Affiliates. You can filter them better by doing research on parameters related to their traffic. An Affiliate recommending you can only help your business extensively if they have sizable traffic hitting their website.
Now traffic can come to a business through a list of channels; they could be Search, Direct, Referral, Social and so on. However, it would help you extensively to have this data researched on well and saved so that you spend the right amount of efforts on the right Affiliates. Based on the traffic popularity of a potential Affiliate, you could sweeten the deal and offer them exclusive incentives, bonus commissions and special landing pages to promote your services well.
To get traffic details, just go to SimilarWeb and key in the name of the Blog that you’re researching on. You will be provided with relatively correct information on the Total Traffic, Traffic Sources, Geographical Distribution of Traffic, Social Traffic and more.
5) Quick Sprout – understanding the Social presence of your Content Affiliate is very important in the entire process of recruiting the right Affiliates for your Program. This is because when you invest time and resources in providing an Affiliate with Marketing Material, Content, Exclusive Incentives & Promotions and Bonus Commissions, you need to be sure that the Affiliate has the social liking or is making the effort to have his/her published content shared among the relevant people on the web.
It wouldn’t really help if the Affiliate publishes content on a topic or category relevant to your business, publishes it on their blog, and then leaves it without performing any promotional effort. The more shares the article gets, the better are the chances of your business getting out to the right people and getting experienced.
The QuickSprout tool helps you do a Social Analysis of a Blog, and get information on the content that is being most shared. This way, you’ll also be able to build a good picture of what type of content does the Affiliate produce the most, and which of them are shared the highest.
Once you’ve entered the name of the website in the QuickSprout Bar and hit search, click on Social Analysis for more details.
6) Conferences & Offline Meets – this is one of the most effective offline methods available for a business to scour for good Blog Talent. Indiblogger itself has a section on its website that lists down a variety of meets being conducted in and around India. If your budget permits, you could consider sponsoring one of the events related to your category, or you could check on the possibility of attending any of the relevant events.
Conclusion: Focusing on Content Affiliates can help build the value chain for your business. It takes a little longer to recruit the right Content Affiliate to promote your service, but it’s entirely worth the effort in the long run. People won’t just recognize your Product or Service for its features, but will understand why you are the best option for their current need. And this, as shown by numbers, can help increase your conversions by an additional 25%.
Do you have Content Affiliates promoting your business? If yes, how has that worked for you? If you’re not sure about who’re the different types of Affiliates you can connect with, then review my article on the 5 Types of Affiliates for more details.