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3 Small Business Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Costing Your Brand

As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to grow your business.

Spotting growth opportunities is one of the basics of business development.

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to scale your business without working like a slave.

The numbers make a strong case for affiliate marketing:

  • 15% of digital media advertising revenue comes from affiliate marketing. (Business Insider)
  • U.S. affiliate marketing spend will reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022. (Statista)
  • Affiliate marketing is a global industry worth well over $12 billion. (IAB)
  • 81% of brands have adopted affiliate marketing. (Awin)
  • Out of 35% of affiliates who earn more than $20,000 per year, 12% make over $75,000 in affiliate income. (Finch Sells)

Yes, the money’s good.

Sadly, many small businesses don’t see a good ROI from affiliate marketing because they make bloopers which negatively affect their earnings.

Let’s take a quick look at 3 affiliate marketing mistakes and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Poor social media affiliate products promotion tactics

Promoting affiliate products on social media sounds easy.

If you think social media promotion is a piece of cake, you’ll end up:

  • Bombarding your audience with unending offers aka spamming.
  • Selling in generic groups with a little forethought.
  • Pasting clunky affiliate links on your content.
  • Forgetting to leverage the irresistible power of images.

How to fix it

  • Sell occasionally focus on producing valuable content for your audience.
  • Market in niche-specific groups for higher conversions.
  • Create nicer and shorter affiliate links using tools like Bitly, Rebrandly, or ClickMeter.
  • Use captivating images to make your content and offers catchy.

Take advantage of the powers of social media to ramp up your AM sales.

Mistake #2: Failure to do due diligence on affiliate networks

Because the affiliate marketing promises juicy profits with minimal costs, it’s tempting to rush headlong into any network without doing proper research.

Don’t.

If you do, you’ll waste precious time (and resources), get burned, and alienate yourself from your customers.

Thoroughly vet any affiliate network before joining so you see if it’s a good fit for your brand. This sounds basic yet many brands fall into the trap and live to regret it.

How to fix it

I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Here are in-depth review articles of some popular affiliate networks to get you started on your research:

To reap AM rewards, meticulously research affiliate networks beforehand so you find a good match.

Mistake #3: Promoting products only for the money

At the heart of this problem is greed.

If you push products just because they have the biggest profit margin:

  • Your marketing will suffer for it because it won’t resonate with buyers — when you sell a product you don’t believe in it shows.
  • You may end up promoting crappy products and spoil your brand’s reputation.
  • You’ll make irrelevant offers that don’t meet your customers’ needs.

How to fix it

  • Survey your audience to determine their needs.
  • Search for affiliate programs that answer your customers’ biggest question or scratch their biggest itch.
  • See if you can find products that fit your most popular content.

An audience-first approach will boost your affiliate income.

Sidestep Small Business Affiliate Marketing Banana Skins and Score Big

Done well, affiliate marketing can exponentially increase your profits.

Bo Bennett summed up the lucrative potential of affiliate marketing well:

“Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”

If you avoid these glaring errors and work hard, millions are yours.

Well, potentially at least.

It’s all up to you.

Qhubekani Nyathi

Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome (wife’s baseless claims!) website copywriter and long form content strategist. He helps SMBs rapidly grow their income and impact through actionable long-form content that ranks high, builds authority, generates tons of leads, and drives sales. He is a contributor to top blogs like Crazy Egg, Mirasee, SEOChat and Conversion Sciences.

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