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By now, we all know that a great way to make passive income on your site or channel is through affiliate marketing.
Businesses pay you to have a link on your site where you can drive traffic from your site to theirs in the hopes of selling a particular product or service.
Affiliate marketing is continuing to grow, particularly in light of the pandemic. Along with online sales, affiliate marketing looks to continue its upward trajectory. In a report by SaaS Scout on global affiliate marketing statistics and trends, they stated that "the global value of the affiliate marketing industry is estimated at nearly £9 billion. It is expected to grow by 10% in the next few years."
However, it's not enough to have an affiliate link, you need to persuade people to click on the link and purchase the product so that you can get paid.
One of the ways to get a leg up on the competition and increase your chances of having clicks result in purchases is through affiliate product marketing.
WHAT IS PRODUCT MARKETING?
Broadly stated, product marketing is the process of generating a targeted marketing strategy for a particular product.
According to the Product Marketing Alliance, product marketing sits in the center of an organization bringing together the product, marketing, sales, and customer success, as indicated by the diagram below.
(Source: Product Marketing Association)
Product marketing is not a one-size-fits-all process. It will vary depending on the company, the product, and the target customer. A simplistic summary of product marketing is:
WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF PRODUCT MARKETING?
One of the best examples of successful product marketing is Apple.
Apple's product marketing stands out mainly because its products are developed after extensive customer research. They know who their customer is and what they need, and they build their products to fit their customer need.
This customer research is also used in creating their product marketing strategy. Apple markets its products as being better than competitors and filling an unmet need in the marketplace. The success of Apple's product marketing can be seen through the premium prices that people are willing to pay for their products, customer loyalty, and continual market share growth.
One of Apple's recent product marketing campaigns addressed the issue of cyber security. With the increase in the amount of data shared online, data security has become a significant concern.
Apple created a very clever ad (below)highlighting how companies can capture your personal data and how Apple's new App Tracking Transparency feature can "poof" make all of that tracking go away and keep you and your data private and secure.
(Source: Apple via YouTube)
PRODUCT MARKETING FOR CREATORS. 1
You can increase your affiliate marketing conversions by using product marketing techniques in your content creation to promote affiliate products.
When using a product marketing approach, you will create content that is well researched on the particular product and its target market. This approach will increase the likelihood that readers will be engaged, click on the affiliate link, and ultimately purchase the product.
The key to successful product marketing is understanding the product, the target customer, and the relationship between the two. Therefore, before you start to write content about a product, you should be able to answer the following questions:
• Who is the target audience for this product?
The components of a target audience could be:
An example of a defined target audience could be:women living in London between the ages of 45-55 with a bachelor's degree, an average monthly income of between £3,000 and £5,000 that have an interest in urban farming.
• What is the pain point for this target audience?
Sometimes the way to differentiate a product is to identify a target audience's pain point and address it in your product marketing.
Back in the early 2000s, in the highly competitive mobile phone market, Verizon Wireless needed to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
The pain point for cellular customers was reliable cell phone service. People were frustrated with spotty service and dropped calls.
Verizon Wireless decided to capitalize on this customer pain point and created the "Can You Hear Me Now" campaign.
Verizon Wireless marketed its product as superior to its competition, touting that it offered more and better coverage.
(Source: jwyoung5 via YouTube)
• How does this product fill a need in this target audience?What unique problem does this product solve?
Successful products and services either fill a need or solve a problem that exists in the marketplace.
When the pandemic first hit and everyone was forced to work/teach/learn from home, Zoom went from being a platform only used occasionally in certain industries to being used in personal and professional settings.
Zoom decided to expand its platform quickly and started offering educational accounts when schools and universities were forced to teach virtually.
The company's quick response to a market need helped strengthen its brand identity, and now Zoom is known as a go-to video platform.
• How is this product different or better than the competition?
Referring again to the Zoom example, when the pandemic hit, people had several options for video conferencing. People chose to use Zoom over other videoconferencing platforms because of their ease of use.
As noted in this article in Forbes, Zoom is "…Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to change one's background…maximum simplicity, minimal effort."
End users found Zoom to be much more user-friendly than their competitors. When writing about a product, it is essential to highlight how it is better or different from the competition.
• Does this product have longevity? Does it remain relevant?
Certain brands withstand the test of time. How do they do it? They constantly evolve.
Look at McDonald's as an example. They are an iconic brand that is recognized across the globe. However, despite their strong brand, they realize that they need to evolve to stay relevant. They recently introduced the McPlant, a vegan hamburger made with Beyond Meat, to a few locations across Europe.
McDonald's saw the increasing market demand for plant-based fast food and realized that they need to evolve and offer a plant-based option to remain relevant.
PRODUCT MARKETING FOR CREATORS. 2
So how do you take all of this information about product marketing and create content for your site or channel that markets affiliate products?
First, if you plan to enter the product marketing space to help sell affiliate links, it is important to determine upfront the affiliate's goals for the product.
Is the affiliate looking to build brand recognition, or are they bringing a new product to market?
By clearly understanding the affiliate product goals, you can develop aligned content, and the likelihood of affiliate marketing conversions will increase.
To drive customers to your affiliate's site and convert that clink into a sale, you need to take all your research on the product and the target customer and turn that into compelling content. Here are a few tips for creating a solid brand for an affiliate product that can help to drive sales.
• Tell a story
Storytelling is a valuable tool to help you to connect on a more personal level with a customer. In 2017 Hill Holiday's Origin research group conducted a study where they found the perceived value of a product to be higher when using storytelling instead of a simple description.
Storytelling helps to give a company a relatable image, and storytelling is memorable. People are more likely to remember a story about a product, as stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
When you think about some of the most memorable marketing campaigns, they often use storytelling in their advertising.
Using storytelling in product marketing helps you to build an emotional bond between a customer and a product.
In a study done by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, he found that "Emotion is what really drives purchasing behaviors, and also, decision making in general."
By using the information you gathered about the product and the target market, you can craft a compelling story that will help sell the customer on the product's benefits and create a memorable experience.
• Take risks
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns are ones where companies go out on a limb and do what the competition won't do. They take risks.
A great example of a brand taking a risk is Unilever brand Dove with their "Real Beauty" campaign.
This product marketing campaign used women of all shapes, ethnicities,ages, and sizes.
The health and beauty industry focuses the majority of its products on fixing flaws. The Dove "Real Beauty" campaign was risky because it went against this industry norm and celebrated women's uniqueness and differences.
This campaign was very successful as it was relatable to "ordinary people."
Women responded positively and appreciated seeing women that looked like them represented in a global advertising campaign. Dove took a risk, and it paid off.
• Utilize messaging hierarchy
Messaging hierarchy is a greattool that you can use to organize your messaging to ensure that you stay on brand. Ithelps to convey the messaging priorities and communication goals.
In this article on Crayon, "Establishing a messaging hierarchy gives brands a tiered, targeted set of language by which to communicate value – both in different media and to different audience segments."
There are many different types of messaging hierarch templates available that you can use to help you to organize your product marketing content when promoting an affiliate product and its features.
One example of a messaging hierarchy template (below) was created by William Mougayar, called the "Messaging Rocket Structural Hierarchy."
This template outlines a straightforward process for you to follow as you develop your product marketing content.
(Source: William Mougayar via startupmanagement.org)
• Become a thought leader
One strategy to drive more traffic to your site is to become a thought leader.
The more you write quality content about a topic/brand/product, the more people will begin to trust you and believe that you are an expert on a particular product or service.
They will begin to search you out, and trust will build between you and your readers or followers. This trust is the basis of becoming an established thought leader.
If you establish yourself as a thought leader, you can drive more traffic to your site as you will be a "go-to" person for a particular product or brand.
Over on the site Socially in, there are some great examples of thought leaders and content ideas that you could use to become a thought leader yourself.
Using all of the tips previously mentioned for developing compelling product marketing content, you will improve your chances of converting readers into customers for your affiliate partners.
There is still much room in the affiliate marketing space to jump in and earn some passive income.
By marketing affiliate products through developing a product marketing strategy, you will have an advantage over the competition by helping to drive customers to affiliate sites and increase purchases, resulting in more money in your pocket.