With a content strategy for your affiliate marketing website, you can direct all your content creation efforts towards one common goal. If you don’t have a content strategy, then you can easily end up creating content haphazardly, with no idea what it’s supposed to achieve for your affiliate site. Without a comprehensive strategy, you won’t even know what kind of content your audience enjoys.
In this article, we shall discuss what an affiliate marketing content strategy is, why you need to have it, the information you need to create your content strategy, elements of a good strategy, how to create your affiliate content strategy, and 3 examples of content strategies that we like.
Let’s get started.
A content marketing strategy is a plan that helps you connect with people and grow a loyal audience by creating, publishing and distributing different types of content (including blog articles, social media posts, ebooks, and more). In order to create a good content marketing strategy for your affiliate website, you need to pay attention to what has worked in the past. You also need to identify what hasn’t worked, so that you know what to tweak in the future.
A good affiliate content strategy can benefit you whether your website in many ways. Here’s why developing a great affiliate content strategy is a good idea.
Developing a content marketing strategy gives you an opportunity to boost your SEO. The process of building a strategy includes choosing the right keywords and topics which you’d like to target in your content when building your niche affiliate website. We recommend choosing high volume, low competition keywords, creating high value content and as part of your strategy, publishing the content on your blog and distributing it in various other places.
Make sure to also read: The keyword research checklist for winning affiliate websites
Using your content strategically can help convert your leads into paying customers for your chosen affiliate programs. If you can create content that appeals to your audience who are at different stages of a potential conversion process, then you’re more likely to connect with them and close the final sale.
You see, a potential customer who stumbled upon your website in the process of wanting to learn more about a product or service before purchasing, has more likely been researching for a while. So they are either almost at the purchase point, or in the process of converting.
By addressing them personally, you’ll find it easier to convince them that they need the program you are marketing. If they close, you earn your commission.
Think about your website like a sales tool, but don’t write salesy affiliate content. Craft your affiliate content strategy to guide you towards making the final sale and earning your affiliate commissions.
An effective affiliate content marketing strategy can also help your audience to treat you as the authority in your niche. When you create affiliate content haphazardly, your audience can almost tell that you are working without a proper plan. But a well planned out content strategy for your affiliate website can reap big rewards in terms of your audience perceiving you as the go-to voice.
If they give you the mark of authority, they buy more products from your recommendations and even stay longer on your website learning more about other products as well. Don’t forget that we are in the age of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) where authoritativeness is a major Google ranking factor.
You can add authority into your content strategy by making sure that you address these things:
Before you build a content strategy that works for your affiliate website, you need to do some research. While you’re gathering information, you should aim to understand the following aspects of the affiliate business you want to build:
The aim of any content marketing effort is to connect with your audience. You need to understand the people who you’re producing content for, otherwise you won’t know what to give them.
Take time to get to know your audience. Figure out what they like and what they don’t like. Ask them what content they’ve enjoyed seeing from you in the past. With a good survey, you can collect all the information you need to serve your target audience better.
Assuming that you created a lot of content before deciding to read about content strategy, then you need to go back into the content you made for evaluation. Evaluating the content you’re currently producing is key to getting on the right track for your future content.
What’s worked well in the past and what hasn’t? Which affiliate content generates more engagement and more revenue for your website?
This information should help you to decide what content to produce more of in the future.
Paying attention to the content your competition is producing can inspire you as you develop your own affiliate marketing content strategy.
Study your competition and identify what they’re doing well. Likewise, this exercise can help you spot content gaps in your niche that you can then fill by producing meaningful content to address those gaps.
If you want to develop a good content strategy for your affiliate website, then you need to ensure it contains the following elements.
In order to create a consistent brand image for your target audience, you need to start by understanding your affiliate website as a brand. Ideally, you need to evaluate your brand, what it does well and the environment it exists in.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to develop a clear branding position:
One thing the Kontely team encourages our readers to do, is to treat their affiliate website like a company or a proper business. Grow yourself into a tiny brand in your tiny niche. An affiliate marketing content strategy lays it all out for you gives you the direction to go.
You cannot convince potential customers to buy products or services of the affiliate programs you are promoting if you haven’t identified why those programs are worth the investment. You need to clearly outline what makes your recommended products or services better than others in the same niche.
Tell your audience what your affiliate products have that other products do not. If you can make a strong case for the company you’re promoting, then you can push some sales to them and get your commissions.
In order to set yourself apart from your competition in the same niche, you need to understand what they’re doing well and what you can do better.
Ultimately, you can always learn a thing or two from other content creators – regardless of how big their audience is. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you develop a value proposition for your affiliate website.
While content marketing is designed to help you connect better with your audience, it should also help you meet your website’s business goals. A business case can help you determine whether your content marketing strategy will serve the affiliate business as well as your audience.
Ideally, a business case should be put together at the beginning of any project you embark on for your brand. It covers the who, what, why, when, where and how of your proposal. By answering these questions, your website’s business case can help you to decide whether the affiliate website you are running is a worthwhile investment.
What are your business goals – both short-term and long-term? In addition to defining these goals, you need to be able to prove that the affiliate content you create will help you achieve these goals.
A strategic plan helps you to focus on the goals you just highlighted and how you will achieve each of them with the content you’re creating for your niche.
Highlight who you are targeting (audience or persona) with your affiliate content as well as why you’re targeting that particular persona. Identify what it takes to appeal to this person with the content you’re creating.
For example, if your affiliate website is about fitness, you will most likely be addressing people that want to stay fit, lose weight, or just fitness junkies. That’s your audience. And your affiliate website will be promoting fitness affiliate programs and weight loss affiliate programs to that audience. So you need to create a strategic content plan that communicates to your audience, helps them learn why fitness is important and invokes them to purchase the fitness products or services (e.g Life fitness or Dailyburn) to get to their fitness goals.
By identifying how each piece of your affiliate content contributes to the goals you’ve set out for your affiliate business, you can stay focused and accountable.
Now let’s talk about how to develop a strategic content plan for your affiliate brand.
Your content strategy is designed to help you build positive long-term relationships with your target audience. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand these people before you do anything else. Aside from understanding their needs, you need to build a buyer persona to guide your content efforts.
Developing a buyer persona will help you understand your audience’s needs and motivations. If you’ve done this before, it’s still helpful to do it again. After all, a changing economical environment such as the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can result in changing consumer attitudes.
A buyer persona is a hypothetical representation of the kind of person you hope will buy the affiliate products you’re promoting. In order to develop an effective buyer persona, it’s important to clarify these key points about your ideal buyer:
While it’s important to construct a buyer persona, it’s also important to understand the process your audience go through from the moment they stumble upon your review or guide to the moment they make a purchase. This is known as the buyer journey.
A potential customer for your affiliate products will go through a standard set of steps as outlined in the AIDA model:
Beyond simply understanding the steps above, it’s important to know what kind of content you should give your buyers at each step. By giving them the content they need when they need it, you can guide them further along the path to becoming a paying customer and a referral of yours.
Once you’ve understood the kind of customer you want to reach, you need to set goals for your content marketing. Are you hoping to increase engagement? Do you want to boost traffic to your website or get more contacts for your email marketing process? Or do you want to boost sales?
Setting 3 or 4 SMART goals can help direct your content strategy and keep you focused on the most important goals. If you don’t set goals, then you won’t be able to measure the outcomes of your content marketing in the end.
While Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can seem very technical and out of reach, setting SMART goals also helps you to set clear KPIs. Your KPIs will generally have a metric attached to them, to help you determine whether you hit your goals or not. For example, you might’ve decided you want to:
Once you’ve set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, then it’s easy to set and use KPIs. Simply measure your affiliate marketing goals against the outcomes and decide how you did. If you had a hard time meeting any of your affiliate marketing goals, find out what the challenges were. This might just be a good indication of which goals need to be adjusted next time.
Before you develop a content strategy for the future, you need to evaluate the performance of your existing affiliate content. Identify what content is performing well and what content needs tweaking.
One good way to do this is to study the channels you use and see how people have interacted with your content in the past. Look the blog, social media channels, forums, and other places where you distribute your content. Which content got more engagement? Which content generated meaningful conversations?
If you’d prefer to collect solid data to inform your content strategy, then you can generate a survey. This survey needs to contain questions about what content your audience enjoys and what they would like to see more of. You can even ask them for examples of content that they enjoy from other brands. Once you’ve created the survey, you simply need to circulate it on your social media pages as well as offer it to your website’s visitors.
In order to identify content channels that will work for your brand, you need to pay attention to the platforms where your audience is most active. Which social media channels generate the most engagement? Where does your content perform best? Does your blog content rank well to result in organic traffic?
Once you have an idea what channels will give you more bang for your buck, then you can invest in building an active online presence there.
For instance, if you notice that your blog content performs well on Pinterest, build a noticeable profile and double down your efforts marketing your affiliate content there. Sometimes on social media channels, it’s important to go beyond merely creating and publishing content. You need to go one step further and engage with your audience. Reply to comments and initiate meaningful conversations as much as you can.
If the articles you publish on your blog are generating more engagement and clicks, then invest time on creating more affiliate content for your blog, improving or updating the outdated content, or even pruning content that is no longer useful to your readers.
Now that you know where you will publish your content, you need to pick the right topics and keywords to target. While you’re doing this, you’ll want to focus on high volume, low competition keywords. This way, you can rank for popular searches while carving out a niche by writing about keywords your competitors aren’t focusing on.
Also read: Best Niches for Affiliate Marketing
By looking for these high volume, low competition keywords, you can identify content gaps that are worth pursuing. If you need help getting the right keywords to optimize your content with, you can use the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. This tool helps you analyze the ranking difficulty of each keyword in your niche in addition to calculating its traffic potential.
You can pair the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer with their Site Explorer. The Site Explorer allows you to research your competitors’ backlinks and see what keywords they’re ranking for.
Together with the Keyword Explorer, the Site Explorer should help you identify keywords that are worth targeting. By targeting keywords that people commonly search for, you can boost your online visibility, capture more attention and drive more traffic to your affiliate site.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Ahrefs, SEMrush also offers similar keyword research functionalities.
It’s important to use content formats that your audience will enjoy. This is exactly why you do a content audit in the beginning. A content audit will help you to identify content formats that have performed well in the past and give you an idea what you should be producing more of.
Creating more of what your audience already loves is a sure-fire way to keep getting their attention with your content in the future.
While you’re producing your content, remember that this content needs to be designed specifically to appeal to your audience at each stage of the buyer journey. There are various content formats to use for your affiliate website including blog articles, social media text posts, images or photos, videos, and more.
So you’ve decided what channels you’re going to use and what kind of content you’re going to produce. Next, you need to identify how much money you need as well as how much manpower you need to accomplish your affiliate marketing goals.
It’s important to set a realistic budget and get enough hands on deck if you can afford it. Some beginner affiliate marketers opt to go solo and do everything from content production to marketing on their own. That’s okay too but take care not to spread yourself too thin with tasks because it will just delay your progression where you don’t focus on anything and don’t do it well.
If you are working on your affiliate project solo, focus on one thing at a time. Maybe producing the best articles first, then later building out social media channels, etc. Don’t do everything at once.
If you are using a team, don’t skimp on your content budget and don’t strain a small team by giving them content targets that are impossible. If you do this, you will find yourself with half-baked content and burnt-out employees.
Once you’ve put your resources in place, it’s time to plan for what content you will create and when you will create it. A blog editorial content calendar is a good place to do this. If you use a blog content calendar well, you will be able to see what you need to be working on at any given time.
A content calendar will keep you focused and help you to keep evaluating your content efforts as you go along.
Once you’ve finished building your content plan with the right topics and keywords, it’s time to actually create the content. Focus on it and get the affiliate content out – one article, social media post, or video after another.
When your content is done, you need to publish it online. Before you distribute it, however, it’s important to check when the best time to post on each platform is. After all, you want to share your content at a time when it’ll capture the most attention online.
If you are sharing your content on social media, below are the best times to get the posts out.
As much as content marketing is a continuous journey, it’s important to pause and evaluate your content strategy every now and then. Failure to evaluate your success will only leave you shooting blindly in the dark with no idea of what’s working for you.
In order to evaluate your affiliate content strategy, you need to refer back to the KPIs you had developed for yourself earlier. Measure your outcomes against your goals to identify what’s working and what needs further tweaking in the future.
Evaluate, learn and improve – and you’ll be well on your way to an affiliate marketing career to admire.
You can develop one affiliate marketing content strategy to boost SEO, help with sales enablement and improve your authority simultaneously. To help with this, we’ve highlighted three brands that excel in using content marketing in each of these areas.
Neil Patel has made a name for himself in the content marketing industry as an SEO guru. His content ranks high on search engines even as he promotes hundreds of affiliate programs by teaching his users how to create the best blogging careers. How has he managed to boost his website’s SEO and authority so effectively?
For starters, he writes about topics in his niche that people are highly interested in. For example, he writes about SEO (no surprise there), blogging and digital marketing. Since these are topics that people are generally curious about, Google also records tons of searches related to these topics. By sharing answers to questions which people usually have in these areas, Neil Patel boosts his ranking on search engines.
Neil Patel also presents his written content in short sentences as well as short paragraphs. Short sentences and condensed paragraphs are good for your blog, as they convey conciseness and precision.
Finally, Neil Patel prioritizes quality over quantity. Despite having written more than 4785 blog posts, he believes more content doesn’t necessarily translate to more traffic. In fact, he’s actually evaluated his blog posts to show us that more than half his content doesn’t generate any visits per month.
Rather than churning out one blog post after another, Neil Patel advises bloggers to find keywords that both search engines and people love. Once you’ve found these keywords, focus on writing quality posts around these keywords.
Don’t burn yourself out writing about anything and everything to do with your niche. If you do that, you’ll waste a lot of energy and you won’t have much of a traffic boost to show for it.
Well, in some of these articles, Mailchimp explains how their all-in-one integrated marketing platform for small businesses can help you do exactly what the article is showing you how to do.
Let’s assume you needed help building a new website for your online store. This guide from Mailchimp walks you through every aspect of building a new website, including how to use their website builder.
Dropping mentions of the solution they’re offering to solve your target audience’s pain points into your blog articles is a good idea. Likewise, when you use your blog to position yourself as a thought leader in your niche, people are much more likely to buy into your solution.
Dyson’s Instagram account offers a good example of an authoritative Instagram page done right. Their profile is filled with posts that highlight unique features in their products.
Let’s look at one of their posts about a new vacuum which features a graph that counts the dust it sucks up.
Now let’s look at this post about their air purifier which you can connect to your smartphone.
As you can see, Dyson wants to help you to “get more from your purifier.” If you need help connecting the air purifier, the post directs you to a more detailed guide on the Dyson website.
Their website also boasts a tab called “My Dyson.” This tab offers customers personalized manuals and guides, maintenance advice and tailored support for the products they’ve purchased.
By explaining how their products work, highlighting unique features and offering support, Dyson ensures their customers stay long after they’ve made a purchase.
If your website’s readers get such level of detail for the affiliate programs you are promoting, they’ll be more confident in the product you’re selling them.
Developing an affiliate marketing content strategy can seem like yet another unnecessary item on your already endless to-do list. However, a good strategy can keep you focused and accountable for your affiliate marketing business. After all, creating content without any strategy in mind is like throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Poorly-planned content marketing can easily end in tears when you realize you’ve wasted time and energy on affiliate content that isn’t working. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to develop a detailed content plan and go through all the steps highlighted above.