Over the past few years Content Marketing has proved to be an effective and well adopted medium to drive traffic that eventually translates into business. Most of the research websites that have done independent surveys to gauge the performance or feedback that businesses had for Content Marketing shows that around 72% of businesses believe that content is essential for them; and around 63% Marketers say that well executed content has helped them increase their Leads & Conversions by around 40%.
However, with competition stiffening it’s just not enough to maintain a Blog for your business. In today’s E-Commerce scenario it’s easy to find multiple players within numerous categories whether that be Fashion, Food, Electronics, Jewelry, Education and so on; and almost every one of them is operating a well drafted Blog, Social Channel, Email List and so on; I am sure you reading this are also aware of how your competition is using content to drive relevant traffic to their website. So how does your business then amplify its content creatively and achieve its objectives?
This is where Affiliate Marketing can help you.
Why is Content Marketing So Important For a Business?
Before we delve into how Affiliate Marketing has helped businesses leverage content to produce relevant leads and conversions, it’s important to understand why Content Marketing is so important.
Content is one of the most natural ways that you could use to explain the value of your Product or Service to a potential customer. It helps with relevancy because the user had a genuine problem, query, or requirement and then comes across your business while researching through useful content that helps explain how you can help them with their situation.
Customers also prefer this because they enjoy going through a process where they don’t feel like they’ve been sold to. Rather, they have managed to explain their requirement and have it understood well enough to be provided with a solution that is customized keeping their unique requirement in mind.
Wishpicker, one of the largest online gift shops in India, is a good example of a business that follows this method. They offer suggestions to people on gifting ideas based on the relationship, occasion and age of the person receiving the gift. Taking it a step further they also allow you to connect to their services via Facebook wherein they then study your friend’s likes and interests and suggest relevant gifts accordingly. Once you’re happy with the suggestion, which you can assess through the extensive information provided about the product on the website, you’ll then be passed onto the main website from where you can make your purchase.
Conversion percentages through the above method would be a lot better than a business using Paid Advertising or Display Banner ads to push details about its products and services in front of probable customers. At the end of day it’s more important to make the Customer feel that your offering was specifically built for his/her requirement, and content helps you weave the stories that do just that.
How Affiliates Can Help You With Content Marketing
Affiliates are infopreneurs; that basically means that they’re entrepreneurs who specialize in information. They publish content on categories and topics keeping in mind their audience first, their generic and specific needs and requirements, and then perform extensive research on the topic or category they’re writing about. They then offer recommendations and advice of relevant products and services that can be used with relation to what they’re talking about.
Apart from the above, it’s one thing to create content and a completely different challenge to share and publicize the content published. Affiliate Marketing helps make that a lot more effective. Businesses that operate an Affiliate Program have multiple such infopreneurs advocating their service, but being done naturally.
In one of my previous articles, I have highlighted the different type of Affiliates that are essential for a successful Affiliate Program, and one of them were content Affiliates. Since the topic of this article is how Affiliates can help you with better Content Marketing; I have listed down a few mediums that Content Affiliates use that can effectively help promote the value of your business:
1) Blogs – most content Affiliates are Bloggers and the really popular ones always focus on two or three categories. This type of finite focus on certain topics help the reader easily identify the subject matter of the blog, and decide if they would be interested in following it for more information. As bloggers publish text intelligence regularly there’s a sense of trust that eventually gets developed, and better decisions are made by readers. These decisions could be associated to a purchase, or in terms of actionable steps that need to be taken related to their requirement.
The great thing with Bloggers is that they always find unique and creative ways to present their content to your audience. It’s not always necessary that they display information in the form of an article.
For instance, Chhaya, a staunch enthusiast of everything beauty related (read makeup) regularly publishes articles on tips and suggestions on how to use makeup customized to your particular type or occasion on her personal blog, beautyholic.me. She has recently started using Youtube to convert some of her popular content into videos and visibly demonstrate some of the procedures that she explains through content. This is highly effective since numbers show that users digest content well when presented in the form of a video, and it increases the purchase intent by a whopping 97%.
Apart from this, she has also conducted product giveaways for her audience, and is helping brands reach out to their targeted audience effectively.
2) Social Channels – it’s a well understood case that Social Media is of utmost importance for businesses in the current scenario. The fact that people spend a little more than half of their internet time on Social Channels goes to prove why businesses work hard on building their social presence through which they try and invoke trust and create engagement.
Similarly social is a medium used largely by Content generating Affiliates to engage and connect with their audience; and also to allow their audience to stay updated with everything important that they publish. The best part about Social is that it allows this connection to happen immediately versus the amount of time that goes into building an article.
Content Affiliates use Social Channels like Facebook and Twitter to give out information about Products and Services recommended, their specific reviews, perform contest giveaways and more. Businesses benefit out of partnering with such specific advocates since it helps them reach out to a targeted and relevant audience.
3) Comparison & Review Websites – in today’s time people make a lot of their buying decisions after a considerable amount of research. There are some websites that have been set up to help a reader in getting real user information about specific Products or Services, and in turn make better and informed decisions.
Websites like Pricebaba & 91 Mobiles make the search of getting phone related information a lot easier. Specifications of different phone models are available on both the websites, and it helps to make comparisons as well. Once the user has made a choice, both the comparison websites then help the user with options on where they can purchase their phone from, and the best prices that they’re available at. Similarly there are comparison websites like BankBazaar which helps users with information on the best loan deals, and Policybazaar which provides information on the best insurance policy deals.
As a business you should research to seek if there are similar comparison websites within your category as they certainly help with better conversion percentages.
4) Social Communities, Forums & Question & Answer Websites – platforms like Forums, Quora, Reddit and Communities on LinkedIn and Facebook are frequented a lot by people who have queries or wish to engage in discussions on a specific topic. For instance, you might have a user who’s interested in setting up their own online e-store, but is not sure on how to go about getting it done; while otherwise you could also come across users who know of some service providers that could help them with their requirement of setting up an e-store, but turn to these platforms for recommendations or advice from people with experience.
In a way these platforms serve as hot plates for a business to connect with their target audience, and offer them solutions customized to their requirement. This is another place where Content Affiliates assist with information, provide advice, run contests and offer a recommendation of a business that could specifically help with the users’ requirement at hand, and this once again proves mighty effective in generating conversions
Conclusion: Affiliates are a really good medium to use to help amplify the benefits of content. They use a variety of channels and modes to display their content creatively. For them providing information contextual to their users requirement is key. At times, your Affiliate might even understand your Target Audience better than you; and be able to promote your services effectively. In any case it’s being adopted by several businesses since it effectively has helped increase conversions.
How has Content Marketing worked for your business? What are the problems you experience while executing your content plan?