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January 4, 2024

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05 MIN.

Content creation to Conversions: A Guide to Boosting Affiliate Sales Online

As a digital marketer, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King” and if you’re an affiliate marketer hoping to boost your sales, creating great content is the way to go. Discover our complete guide to boosting affiliate sales online!

Natasha Hylton

Natasha Hylton

Content creation to Conversions: A Guide to Boosting Affiliate Sales Online

As a digital marketer, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Content is King” and if you’re an affiliate marketer hoping to boost your sales, creating great content is the way to go. Nowadays, simply copying and pasting your affiliate link isn’t enough. The average person spends around 7 hours a day consuming content, therefore if you want yours to stand out, you need to craft purposeful and captivating content that will hook your audience and get you those conversions.

When starting your affiliate marketing career we recommend using a mixture of digital marketing practices like content marketing, social media marketing, email lists, and optimizing SEO to explore every available avenue in depth. Ready to get those conversions and start driving sales? Here are some tips for creating a successful affiliate marketing campaign.

 SEO for Affiliate Success

Image source: Canva 

A solid SEO strategy is one of the first steps in developing a successful affiliate marketing plan. It’s all well and good creating content, but it’s all in vain if no-one can see it. Before you delve into content creation, you need to get into the minds of your target audience and research what they are interested in.

You can do this by conducting keyword research to get a better idea of what topics and products are popular right now. We recommend free SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends. For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer who specializes in technology and multimedia you can start with a search query like “technology”. Then try more targeted, long tail keywords such as “wireless headphones” or "Bluetooth speakers” to see the search volume and to see if it could improve on the search content and how you could market that product.

You can also look at broad and phrase matches to help cast a wider net and reach more people. Organic search is the most popular and cost-effective channel for content distribution, therefore having sound knowledge of SEO and how to leverage organic traffic will give you a leg up when it comes to affiliate marketing. When starting out, you can also benefit from targeting lower volume and lower competition keywords and you can capitalize on this by creating content that will stand out from the crowd. 

Building a solid SEO strategy for your affiliate marketing business is a long-term investment and it may take a while to see conversions come through. Nevertheless, studies show that over the long-term, SEO produces three times as many leads as paid search which is important to consider if you don’t want to invest too much money up front. Knowing your niche and the keywords that you are targeting is the first step to building a great content strategy plan for affiliate marketing. The next step is to decide which type of content best aligns with your target audience and which will be the most suitable for driving your affiliate links.

Image source:

Content Ideas: Case Studies and Product Reviews 

One of the tried and tested ways to promote a product is to write product reviews or case studies. According to BrightLocal, 49% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If you have a blog, adding a product review into your editorial calendar is easy to do and is a win-win for yourself and for the brand too, particularly if your review is favorable. People love to hear about first-hand experience with a product as it feels more authentic and less salesy.

Another way that you can promote a product is by creating comparison pages and “alternatives to” content on your website where you can position your affiliate product as a cheaper or more efficient alternative to the products in that niche category. This is effective because your readers will feel as though they are getting a balanced view of two products and it appears less biased and pushy toward one product. 

Content Ideas: “How to” articles and video tutorials

Affiliates can also use ‘how to articles’ are a great way to promote services and products. Demand Sage reports that 65% of affiliate marketers use blogs to drive visitors. When creating content, try to pick content that will either educate, inform or entertain your audience. You can create “how to” guides in different formats that repurpose this content into many different formats such as educational Instagram and Facebook Reels, and Instagram carousel posts.

These types of articles can also be expanded upon and later transformed into longer-form content like an ebook. 

Image source : Canva 

Over the years, video content marketing has exploded in the digital marketing space and over 91% of consumers prefer it over other forms of content. Typically short or long-form video tends to be more engaging than text-based marketing efforts. Consumers prefer videos as they’re easier to digest and you can experience a range of emotions and tones.

Plus, for affiliate marketers, incorporating video content into your overall marketing strategy could be advantageous as 92% of marketers who use video state that they have experienced a positive ROI since making it a part of their integral strategy (Hubspot). Video tutorials are great for visual learners as they can see the product or services in action, playback, and rewatch at the same time and their own pace. Many sites such as YouTube also have community channels and comment sections where prospects can engage with the creator and ask questions in real time. 

Email marketing for affiliates 

Image source: Canva 

A popular affiliate content marketing approach is emailing and creating newsletters. This is at its most effective once you have built an online community promoting your affiliate product to your audience. Based on data insights, you can segment your audience into different categories and target them with products that you think they would enjoy based on their engagement with your other emails. If you’re sending a newsletter decide how frequently you want to contact your audience, daily, weekly, or monthly.

To run a successful email marketing campaign, you can A/B test different strategies with your audience. Regardless, make sure that the emails have a personalized touch. By referring to your audience by name in the subject line and offering a vanity coupon within the email, will create a sense of exclusivity and is known to increase the odds of a conversion. Another option is to create mini product guides, add a short video to the newsletter or you could even send your audience to a dedicated landing page of your product which could drive traffic to your own website. Whatever you decide to put in your email, be concise and specific to make sure that it has value.

You won’t achieve a good click-through rate (CTR) or open rate if your subject lines appear spammy and you provide little to no context about the product or service that you offer. Always keep your audience's pain points in mind, and try to position the product or services that you're offering as a solution. 

Using Social Media for Affiliate Marketing  

Affiliate marketing on social media is also on the rise as social networks are a great way to create and distribute content to your audience. A survey by Statista reports that there were over 5.19 billion internet users in 2023 and of these, 4.88 billion were using social media. This figure is expected to increase to almost six billion in 2027, therefore this is a digital landscape that you should definitely be tapping into. As you have access to a wider pool of potential customers, many affiliate marketers often double up as nano-influencers and tap into their following on social media to promote their links online. You need to make sure that you pick the best social media platform that aligns with your target audience. For example, if you are an affiliate promoting male athleisure, men between the ages of 25 and 34 made up Facebook's largest audience.

However, if you’re interested in reaching a younger audience, more than 30% of all social media users are Gen Z and they favor short-form video content over other demographics, therefore it could be better to invest time into YouTube shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok. Not every social media platform will be relevant for your audience, be specific and only invest time into the ones where you’ll be able to get conversions. As the biggest social media network,  Facebook is the first choice and most common platform used by around 78.5% of affiliate marketers to leverage their affiliate products and services. 

Image source: Word stream, data from Statista 2023 

To drive sales on your chosen platforms you need to consistently engage with your audience on these platforms by providing them with high-value content. Affiliates may also do live Q&As about their niche product which can simultaneously drive engagement and traffic to your social media profile and generate buzz about the brand that you’re promoting. You can also use tactics to emphasize scarcity and exclusivity by incorporating vanity codes into a link in your bio or maybe host a giveaway, picking a winner.

Once you’ve established a community, don’t neglect them, nurture them by responding to and leaving comments. Staying engaged and proactive will help you sustain relevancy which in turn can help drive sales.

Using Paid Social and Paid Search

Once you’re a more experienced affiliate marketer you could look at including paid ads into your strategy like Google Adwords or Meta and LinkedIn ads. Your brand could also benefit from this too as you could increase your following and drive traffic to your page by promoting posts and display ads. However, this can be expensive and tricky if you’re a beginner in affiliate marketing and have a small budget. Nevertheless, if you can allot a certain marketing budget towards launching a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and are part of a high-volume affiliate program then that could be a great way to drive sales and increase your commissions.

However, if you’re part of a lower-earning commission program then it might not be worth your while. It is important to note that some affiliate programs, like the Iconosquare affiliate program, do not permit PPC campaigns, bidding on similar keywords or may prohibit you from certain platforms if they are also running campaigns on those platforms, so make sure that you read the terms and conditions of each platform thoroughly. 

Pro Tip: Always disclose your affiliate link 

Wherever you decide to share your affiliate link, always be transparent with your audience, and don't forget to disclose that you are an affiliate and may receive a commission from promoting this product. This is also a legal requirement. Striking the balance between promotion and trust can be difficult when starting out as an affiliate. Keep in mind that your opinion on a product matters, if you are marketing too many products at once, your audience may think that you are disingenuous and that you’re only looking to make a quick cash grab.

Moreover, if you’re not interested in the industry that you decide to promote, you’ll have a hard time coming up with quality content and sounding credible when you pitch those products to your audience which will in turn lead to poor engagement rates and lower conversions. 

Analyze and Optimize Your Conversions 

Image source: Unsplash 

It may take some time, but if you’ve been creating engaging content and promoting your niche, you should start generating a stream of leads and even customers. You need to select specific metrics and goals to track to measure the success of your work. Use tracking tools and analytics like Google Analytics or third-party software tools like Iconosquare if promoting on social media to keep an eye on key metrics and KPIs. According to Referral Rock, 83% of marketing experts say the most popular metric to track is the total number of affiliate link clicks followed by conversion rates and sales through affiliate links. If you’re running paid ads, I would also recommend tracking your ROI and ROAS (return on ad spend), that way you can make adjustments to your budget.

Taking these results into account you should adapt and make changes to your affiliate strategy. If you’re promoting services via a newsletter and a click-through rate (CTR) is low you could try adjusting newsletter subject lines and the frequency that you send out your communications. For social media promotions, you can track engagement rates, clicks, and likes on posts to see how you can optimize your campaigns. Regularly keep an eye on these insights and proactively test and modify them as necessary. 

Final thoughts 

There is no one correct way to promote your affiliate product or services to your audience. However, diversifying the channels that you use to promote products, for example, podcasts, video-sharing platforms, social media blogs, and microsites can help you engage with a wider audience and increase your chances of converting them into clients. Test, analyze, and rework to perfect your strategy. Content that is authentic, compelling, and value-driven will be sure to have a positive impact on affiliate sales and commissions.

Feeling inspired and interested in social media? Sign up for the Iconosquare affiliate program now!

the writer
Natasha Hylton

Natasha Hylton

Paid Acquistion Manager at Iconosquare

Natasha Hylton specializes in performance and growth marketing at Iconosquare, which is a powerful social media analytics and management platform for social media marketers. Starting as a Partnerships and Affiliate Program Manager in 2022, Natasha’s role has developed to include managing press relations and external communications as well as generating new and fostering existing partnerships for Iconosquare via influencer and digital media channels.


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