Digital Affiliate Marketing Tips
Promoting digital products is a different ballgame than promoting tangible items. With tangible products, there are manufacturer specifications and consumer reviews. A product works, or it doesn’t.
With digital products, which are informational in nature, there’s a lot of opinion that plays an important role in whether or not a product is viable. For example, with this report you’re reading right now – you can’t fully judge it based on consumer reviews if many of those consumers aren’t action-takers like you are.
That works both ways, too – maybe a product is getting rave reviews and when you buy it, you find nothing new in it. That’s because it was geared toward newbies and perhaps you’re more advanced.
Here are some tips that will help you promote digital products so that you convert better and have fewer refunds along the way.
#1 – Investigate the Person Behind the Product
You can’t judge a product by the product alone. With digital content, you have to stay aware of who created the product and where their moral compass points. In some niches, such as anything health related or financial, you could be promoting something that does more harm than good if you’re not careful.
With digital products, there should be an information trail about the author or creator of the product. You have to be careful about looking up phrases such as “John Doe scam” because many affiliates routinely use those phrases to rank high and promote the content, regardless of whether or not the creator has ethics intact.
Remember that as an affiliate, you can’t pass the blame on to someone else. You’re the first point of content between your target audience and the product creator, so if things go South, your audience will blame you for not doing your homework.
Look to see what other kinds of products this vendor has released in the past. Were they well-received by the marketplace? You want to know what their products are like if you don’t buy and see for yourself.
Also look for other issues that add value or result in a refund. For instance, does this person get involved and become accessible to his or her customers – or do they shut down after the sale and kind of “take the money and run?”
#2 – Determine Whether or Not Add-Ons Are Needed
Add-ons come in the form of upsells and one time offers during the purchasing process. Of course, as an affiliate, you want to maximize your commission potential, so it’s always best if people buy the additional items under your link.
But you have to be a safe voice for your readers and guide them in finding out the truth. Contact the vendor and ask if the OTOs or upsells are necessary for the product to work.
If not, you can just have that information handy whenever you do the review – or when someone in your audience reaches out to you to ask your advice. If they are necessary, it gives you clarity on how you need to compile your review.
Imagine you reviewing a product and saying it only costs $17, but the necessary add-on elements tack on an additional $97? Your audience is going to be angry if they were misled, even if it was unintentional.
#3 – Be a Paying Customer Who Reviews Each Product
Instead of just “writing a review” by simply reading a sales page on a product, you can increase conversions if you’re wiling to roll up your sleeves, buy the product and implement it.
Report on how the buying process goes. What was your impression of the sales page? Was it hype? Did anything in particular pique your interest? Was it too long? Not detailed enough?
It’s important that you voice your opinion honestly as you go through the sales funnel. And it’s okay to have some negative reactions as you go through it, too. It’s simply not believable for you to have a perfect, completely satisfied reaction time after time – and as long as your final review endorses it (IF it does), it won’t matter if you have a few minor gripes.
String your review out over the course of a week or more. There’s no need to buy and implement a course and do a review in one day. That’s overwhelming and exhausting and not realistic, either.
You can have a part 1, part, 2 or day 1, day 2 (and so on) listing. Some of those later day blog post reviews might rank higher than the earlier ones. It gives you more entry pages for traffic and also helps you expose the opportunity to buy multiple times rather than just once.
Share what you’re doing without giving away the product’s secrets. Don’t review and blab about the steps inside of the product. Even Amazon only does a limited “Look Inside: of a book before you buy.
You can share what you did without telling how you did it. For example, you can say something like, “I did the three traffic-generating steps he talked about, and the next morning I saw an increase in traffic to my site by 200 hits in just 24 hours!”
Invite your readers to follow along and implement with you. This is great motivation for people to buy. If they know they’re not going it alone (and this is true whether it’s in the make money online niche, beauty, diet, or whatever), they’re going to be easier to convert than if they know they’ll be buying and trying to motivate themselves to take action solo.
This gives your readers the chance to ask questions and build some camaraderie with others who are implementing it – and all of those discussions can take place right on your blog!
Compile the final review and release it as a free viral report. When you’re done, even if it’s on your blog, paste the content into a document and convert it into a PDF file that has your links to promote the item in it.
Release it as a free gift to your list, and allows others to share it virally so that it gets more exposure. Don’t give it away in a non PDF form because then others can just change your link to theirs and siphon off your commissions from you.
#4 – Choose Reputable Affiliate Programs
Not all affiliate programs are created equally. You want something (or someone) with a reputation for paying out the right commissions, on time. There have been horror stories of companies not giving credit to affiliates and failing to pay them.
ClickBank is a notable authority in the digital content niche. They have a stellar reputation for paying on time, every time – on a weekly basis every Wednesday like clockwork.
You can find thousands of niche products to promote in their marketplace – from making money online to dealing with infertility – every category has plenty to choose from.
But like most sites, the content isn’t vetted before it’s available there, so that part is left up to you – it’s your responsibility to ensure the content is above par before promoting it.
JVZoo is another place where you can find a wide range of categories to promote products in digital format. Many affiliates like to choose from this method because if approved, you can get instant payments into your PayPal account – there’s no wait period to get paid unless the vendor chooses to delay your commission based on the fact that you have no record and they don’t know you.
Warrior Plus is another choice you have as an affiliate. This is specifically for the Warrior Forum products, and sometimes those can be non “make money online” products, but that’s not often the case. Still, if you’re in this niche, it might be a good place to consider.
Amazon can’t be left out. While the commission rate might be lower on digital products since the cost of the product is less, too, Amazon does have an amazing track record for converting book sales – including digital versions!
#5 – Don’t Be a Bandwagon Jumper
As a digital product affiliate, you’re going to be tested by vendors online to see how far they can push you into promoting anything and everything for them. It becomes somewhat of a “good old boy’s” club where they adopt a hefty attitude of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Don’t get involved in that nonsense. You might think it sounds like a good idea at first, but what it does is attach your brand and name to the others who have you making questionable decisions.
If you start promoting crappy products to fulfill an obligation you made to someone, then you tarnish your own reputation and lose the trust and loyalty that you initially worked hard to secure with your target audience.
If someone approaches you for a joint venture as an affiliate, you should agree to review the product, but let them know it will be an honest review so they need to feel confident that their product would pass the test if you take it on.
#6 – Stay Tuned In for New Launches
If you really want to make a lot of money promoting digital products, then your promotion needs to begin long before a product is ever created! That’s right – most super affiliates know what’s in the pipeline and start promoting the product before it gets released.
You should have pages talked about the product as soon as you find out it’s on its way. Sign up as an affiliate pre-launch and get all of the buzz-worthy promo tools you can get that they provide.
You can sign up on sites like JV Notify Pro (owned by Mike Mertz) and have these launch dates and details sent straight to your inbox. Or, just keep tabs on your favorite marketers and see what they’re releasing, when (that is, if they’re vocal about it ahead of time).
#7 – Add Value to Your Product Review
Did you know that many affiliates make bank, not on what they’re promoting, but on what they’re adding in terms of value? That doesn’t mean you have to come out with a special product of your own to add as bait.
Whenever you conduct a thorough review of a digital product, add your own tips to the mix. For example:
Let’s say you’re reviewing a product about how to make money as a blogger. The original product creator suggests that the reader purchase Market Samurai to conduct their keyword research.
You could talk about whether or not you endorse that tool too (and it’s fine if you do), but then add something like this:
Joe’s Tip: For those of you who are already stretched thin on your budget, I have a workaround for the keyword tool. Use Ubersuggest,org or Google’s free Keyword Organizer instead to save money!
This kind of quick tip helps your audience feel like you’re looking out for them. Eventually, if you add enough of these thoughts and ideas that you share as tips, people will be vocal in telling you that they’re buying the product through your link specifically because they love your input.
#8 – Ask the Vendor for a Special Deal for Your Readers
Here’s something too few affiliates have the guts to do. Ask for a special deal! If there’s not already a special going on, you can ask the vendor if you can give your list a discount. Anything will work – even knocking $5 off!
If they balk at that, you can add value in other ways. For example, ask if you can invite them to co-host a webinar with you. In this webinar, you have the expert onhand, so you can ask questions your audience may have.
Being a successful digital affiliate marketer means two things: seeking out the very best products that your niche has to offer and being there for your audience to support them on their journey of implementation.
You can easily go above and beyond what other affiliate do (recklessly promote and then abandon the customer) and you’ll notice that you’re gaining a reputation as someone who can be trusted. This translates into higher conversions for you – and you’ll be able to dominate leaderboards for affiliate contests thanks to your savvy promotional style.