“I will give up smoking”,
“I will go the gym three times a week”
We’ve all been there on January 1st, this is the year we will be slimmer, healthier, happier. Goals are set, only to be broken before the start of February.
This year, why not use New Year to focus on your business goals instead? It’s the ideal time to put some plans into place for the year ahead, when you feel driven and refreshed. From an affiliate marketing perspective, your audience will be searching for products related to their own resolutions.
Here are a few ideas to make the most of New Year:
Key business goals
First step, make some goals for your business. The old saying still holds true; it’s difficult to reach the end if you don’t know where you’re going. The secret with goal setting is not to over-stretch yourself; everything you are aiming for should be achievable within a reasonable timescale. So, planning to triple your profit by the end of January is probably not going to happen. Set baby steps that will lead you to your ultimate goal, remember to include milestones, and build a review process to track how you are doing.
Update your knowledge
You never stop learning, and this is particularly true in marketing, and even more so within the online space. Strategies are always changing, new trends hit the industry, and different methods of achieving success come into vogue. New Year is an ideal time to upgrade your skills; grab some books, enrol on some courses, and start building your skill levels.
Conferences and industry events
Make a New Year’s resolution to attend at least one conference and event in 2018. Not only will you learn new ideas, and the latest industry innovations, but they are also great places to network and build contacts. As you can see from our 2018 calendar, from sector-specific Awin Days to dmexco and PI:Live, there are plenty of events to choose from.
Think about what your audience are searching for at this time of year, and if you don’t already cover these areas, consider diversifying.
- New careers
- Improving health
- Losing weight
- Quitting a bad habit
- Starting a new relationship
- Making money
- Time management
Search for affiliate programmes in the Awin advertiser directory and see if anything fits your audience. Plan for the rest of the year as well, considering what might sell well at different times of year.
Build your email list
For affiliate marketers the money is still in your list. Encourage your audience to sign up to your blog, offer a free webinar, or a free report or ebook. Many advertisers in the affiliate industry include some free information to offer your prospects as part of the programme, or further detail around their business offering to aid your promotions. Use these wisely to build your list.
Clean your list
Following on from the last point, make sure your list is as clean and current as it can be. Use the New Year to clean it of dead emails, and subscribers who have not opened one of your emails in years. Deadwood only slows the process down.
Email isn’t dead
There’s no point having a list if you don’t make the most of it. Use email software such as Aweber or MailChimp to write email autoresponders. Initially, use these to build a relationship, but ultimately you are in it for sales, so don’t forget to offer your subscribers something.
As well as using your autoresponder, send out regular campaigns with offers, links to your blog, and matters of interest to your subscribers. Again, make sure these emails have a call-to-action, even as a ps. There is no need to oversell, but if your products, promotions and content are good, your customers want to hear about them. Actively promote your deals and let your customers know what the latest offers are.
Plan your content calendar
Spend some time at the beginning of the year planning your content calendar for your blog or social media pages, as part of your marketing strategy. Think about what type of content will work well at different times of the year, and build them around your affiliate promotions. Being organised will make a huge difference to your overall success of your content, as explained by CoSchedule.
While you are planning the type of content, think also about how you get the best value out of it. Schedule your social media posts in advance through social media management software such as Hootsuite or Sendible, and make sure it goes onto the social media sites that are relevant for your business and customers Make it a New Year’s resolution to subscribe to social media-specific newsletters from sites such as Social Media Examiner, so you can keep up to date with the fast-paced world of social.
Social Media equals more
As well as keeping up with the latest developments, resolve to use social media better in 2018. Get active, and commit to a certain time every day (even if its only 15 minutes) promoting on social media. Use the time to comment on posts, both on your own pages and on related pages. Answer questions, and get your name out there. Try not to be too sale oriented in your comments. Instead, offer good advice that your audience can benefit from. They will start to see you as an authority figure, and trust the products you sell.
Test, monitor, analyse
All good affiliate marketers are continually looking for new products and services. Make it a resolution to test new offers or methods early in the year, so that you can either expand your reach if they are working, or quit plugging them if they are not converting. As part of this strategy, monitor and analyse all your campaign performances. Set a date in the diary each month to dig deep into the numbers, checking them against as many parameters as are pertinent to your campaign. It will help optimise your campaigns, as shown by Conversionxl.
While you are at it, make sure all your campaigns are working. Test your website, check sign up forms, have a look for broken links. Fix everything to make sure you offer your audience a seamless experience.
Know your now
The marketplace is constantly evolving and its crucial to stay up-to-date with your industry and marketing methods. An easy way to keep up with the latest developments is by subscribing to industry newsletters. For the affiliate industry we recommend PerformanceIN, IAB UK and Awin’s Market Insights newsletter for our latest articles, trend reports and whitepapers.
As with any aspect of life, not just affiliate marketing, it’s worth setting out your New year’s resolutions so you can reap the rewards throughout the year. Making them is the easy part. Stick to them and you will see results.