Too many marketers get hung up on the where. In my opinion, not enough attention is given to the how.
One of the things that consistently amazes me is the constant recommendations by affiliate marketers to affiliate marketers to upgrade with programs X, Y and Z. There is simply no point in making that recommendation without detailing how to advertise and setting some realistic parameters. Buying advertising without preparing the ground first is like playing roulette. You might get lucky, but you probably won’t.
So what does preparing the ground involve?
Here are a couple of quotes that have stuck in my brain over the years.
“A visitor is a visitor is a visitor”
Graham Hamer (retired Internet Marketer and author of the Traffc Jam)
“There’s no such thing as a bad advertising campaign – even if you make no sales, you get valuable data”
Perry Marshall, Adwords and marketing consultant
“He who markets best wins”
Unknown – Scott Douglas quoted it to me once and its seems to be used fairly regularly
“What’s the ROI on your mother?”
There’s an awful lot in all of those quotes. I try to keep all of that in mind. It isn’t always easy. So let’s take each of them and break them down a little.
A visitor is a visitor is a visitor
It’s all about traffic. The more visitors you get, the more success that you will have. It’s a simple numbers game. Different traffic platforms will give you different response rates. For example, Traffic Exchanges give you guaranteed visitors. These visitors are incentivised to view your site. Because they are, their value is frowned upon in some quarters. I don’t share that sentiment, but I understand where it comes from. Traffic Exchanges require consistent advertising with a message that is unique. I liken them to the billboards I see on the freeway. They create awareness over time. At the other end of the scale, paid targeted traffic will deliver not as much traffic, but far greater results – but the cost will be exponentially higher.
The point is that if you structure your advertising to suit either market, you can succeed. A visitor is a visitor is a visitor. Don’t blame the platform, look at what you are advertising. This leads us to …
There’s no such thing as a bad advertising campaign
This is a hard one to get your head around. I know in the early days of my online business experiments, I kissed a lot of money goodbye advertising. Adwords in particular seemed to be a bottomless pit.
I didn’t have the necessary knowledge, strategy or tracking mechanisms to make advertising work for me, even when I wasn’t getting results. I was trying to sell rather than engage. The advertising platforms were giving me data that I wasn’t noticing and I was failing miserably.
What was that data?
In a nutshell, cookie-cutter affiliate pages are neither productive nor efficient as an introduction. Once that penny dropped, my results slowly improved. I started to build my own landing pages and split test them for effectiveness. Slowly, inch by inch, I managed to see improvements. The data told me what was working and I worked to constantly tweak that process.
Never go hard at the outset. Test, observe, tweak, monitor and when you’re confident in the process pull that paid advertising trigger.
He who markets best wins.
What does “markets best” even mean? It certainly doesn’t mean spending all your waking hours earning advertising credits on advertising sites. Nor does it mean hanging around social media platforms and posting product opportunities on the hour.
Marketing is about solving problems, building a brand, developing business relationships and being consistent about your approach.
Create interest through advertising sources
Offer solutions through reports and/or blog posts
Follow up via autoresponder
Build relationships through your autoresponder, blog posts and video communications
Put people first in every interaction
Tell your story
Don’t be afraid of rejection
Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Rinse and repeat over and over again.
What’s the ROI on your mother?
Return on Investment is our bottom line. At times the pursuit of ROI becomes such a focus that we lose sight of what’s really important.
Vaynerchuk’s quote is used specifically in relation to social media and it was really in vogue maybe five or six years ago when Web 2.0 was at its peak. I still think it has great power, but like to apply it across all of my business dealings. A lot of what we do does not have an immediate payoff. My blog posts for example rarely make a sale. They’re not designed to. They’re made to help people. If you’re reading this., I’m investing in you by being honest and upfront. If what I’m saying resonates (and it won’t always) then a layer of trust is built. That trust should never be abused and is why it’s vitally important to only make recommendations that I truly believe in.
Trust is ultimately the only real commodity that an affiliate marketer has.
So, what’s the bottom line
Stack the odds in your favour by taking the time to build a ground-up advertising campaign. That means identifying a problem offering a solution and following up with helpful meaningful advice. Test and track every element of your campaign and tweak as necessary. You may need to buy small amounts of advertising in this test phase. Look at this as an investment in data.
When you’ve got something that works, then start to judiciously buy advertising that should deliver results. Don’t roll the dice by buying lots of traffic without knowing what to expect.
I use Leads Leapto track, my advertising and have found their autoresponder service to e more than adequate as a follow-up and broadcast provider. I also find their traffic platform to be an excellent traffic source.
Mark Hodgetts is a freelance writer, veteran online marketer and failed musician. Many years ago woke up and found that he'd become a Bank Manager. It wasn't the life he'd planned.
With fingers and toes crossed, he jumped ship and started a new life working from home. Despite a few stumbles, he has never regretted the decision.