Written by Hanson Cheng, Freedom to Ascent
It’s no secret that affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. What may be less known, however, is that it’s not always easy to be successful as an affiliate marketer!
With more and more people trying to get involved in affiliate marketing, the competition will only get stiffer.
If you’re planning on making a go of it as an affiliate marketer, you need to be aware of the challenges you’ll face or risk getting left behind – or possibly even failing!
In this article, I’ll look at four of the biggest affiliate marketing problems faced by affiliate marketers globally in 2022, as well as the best tips on overcoming them.
Let’s get right into it.
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Affiliate Marketing Problems To Consider
As with any other industry, the affiliate marketing landscape is constantly changing.
To stay ahead of the curve and be successful, you need to be up-to-date on the latest trends, tactics, and changes in the industry.
Here are the key challenges to consider.
1) Changes in the Effectiveness of Organic Social
While social networks have always been an essential part of affiliate marketing, their role has changed in recent years.
The idea of free traffic from organic posts on social media is no longer as effective as it once was. The algorithm changes on social networks have made it much harder for affiliate marketers to reach their audience organically.
To make matters worse, social networks are now filled with ads and sponsored content, which further crowds out organic content from affiliates.
This means that affiliates need to be more strategic in using social media if they want to be successful.
One way to combat this is by using paid social media advertising. This will help you reach a larger audience and get your message in front of potential customers who might not otherwise see it.
When comparing organic traffic against paid traffic, you’ll find that both methods have pros and cons.
Paid traffic is more expensive, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make a return on your investment.
On the other hand, organic traffic is free – but it’s also becoming increasingly challenging to generate.
The best approach for affiliate marketers is likely a mix of paid and organic social media outreach. This will differ from affiliate to affiliate, but it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you.
For example, some affiliates might find that they get the best results by posting on social media a few times per week and then supplementing this with paid ads. Others might find that they get better results by doing the opposite – running paid ads most of the time with only occasional organic posts.
Others use paid ads to target cold traffic (i.e., people who have never heard of them before) and then use organic posts to engage with their existing audience.
There’s no right or wrong answer here – it all comes down to testing what works best for you and your business.
Also, a quick note here:
Consider that when it comes to paid channels, this doesn’t only have to be social media.
Other paid channels can be effective for affiliate marketing, such as display advertising or native advertising.
There are also more traditional channels making a comeback, such as using SMS to reach potential customers.
An SMS marketing platform can be a great way to reach the right people with your affiliate offers. As with other channels, it’s essential to remember that the effectiveness of SMS marketing will vary depending on your target audience.
2) The Increasing Sophistication of Consumers and Blindness to Offers
One of the key affiliate marketing challenges faced today is that consumers are becoming more sophisticated and less likely to be impressed by traditional marketing techniques.
Previously, affiliates could get away with using high-pressure tactics or making over-the-top promises in their marketing materials. Nowadays, consumers are much savvier, and they can see through these kinds of techniques.
As a result, believable claims are harder to make, and affiliates must be more creative in their approach. If that wasn’t enough, ad fatigue and banner blindness also contribute to this challenge.
Consumers are bombarded with advertising everywhere they go, so they’re more likely to tune it out or ignore it altogether.
Because of all this, a refined customer journey must be considered even when you are simply an affiliate that resells other people’s products.
If you think of affiliate marketing not only as a way to connect a prospect to a product that can solve their problem but can also sprinkle customer retention strategies that build loyalty and increase the customer lifetime value, you will have a much higher chance of business success.
This means that as affiliates, we need to get in front of the right people with the right message and keep them engaged long enough to take action – ideally more than once.
In this respect, consider that companies that combine two industries together to provide a unique solution have a much higher chance of success.
For example, an eCommerce store that sells eco-friendly home goods and provides tips on living a more sustainable lifestyle would be more likely to succeed than a store that sells eco-friendly home goods.
This is because they’re providing value beyond the product itself.
As another example, a company that combines real estate and online marketing is much more appealing than another real estate company.
The reason for this is that they offer a unique service that helps their clients succeed in two industries that are traditionally very difficult – real estate and online marketing.
By providing value in both industries, they’re much more likely to succeed than companies that focus on just one.
As an affiliate, if you can adopt this mindset and find a way to combine two industries that complement each other and introduce potential customers to a new solution that will help them on two fronts, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
3) An Exodus of Users from Facebook to TikTok
The third challenge that affiliate marketers face is the shift in social media usage.
In the past, Facebook was the dominant social media platform where most people spent their time. However, in recent years there’s been a shift to TikTok.
This is a problem for affiliate marketers because they need to find new ways to reach their target audience. It also means that traditional marketing techniques have become less effective.
It’s not all lost, though!
Tiktok affiliate marketing is still a great market to get into as relatively speaking, there are still a small number of people involved in it.
This means there’s less competition, and it’s easier to stand out.
It’s also great news for those who want to do affiliate marketing with no money, as it’s a cost-effective way to reach your target audience.
The key is being creative and thinking outside the box – the creative angle one can take on TikTok is one of the key advantages of this platform.
Take TruthFinder.com, a public records search engine, as an example.
Imagine someone wants to be an affiliate for such a company. Traditionally, this wasn’t really possible as it’s not really a “sexy” product to market.
But, if affiliates were to do a funny skit involving public records searches and the results that can be found, they could have a lot of success on TikTok.
In a nutshell, these opportunities are available all over TikTok for those willing to be creative and think outside the box.
4) Rising Costs for Paid Ads
I’ve already mentioned that getting organic traffic is becoming less and less viable as a long-term strategy.
However, paid ads are also becoming increasingly expensive, making it difficult to turn a profit with this method.
To combat this, affiliate marketers need to be smart about their ad spending and only focus on the platforms that are giving them the best results.
However, even more important is digging in and knowing the marketing numbers involved with each campaign.
This way, when costs start to rise, you’ll be able to make adjustments quickly and efficiently to ensure that you’re still profitable. On the flip side, without this understanding, it’s too easy to lose money on paid ads very quickly.
For example, knowing the earnings per click (EPC) is vital for any paid traffic campaign.
This number tells you how much money you make, on average, for each click that you generate.
If your EPC starts to go down, it’s a sign that something is wrong and you need to make a change.
Another critical metric is the conversion rate, which tells you how many people that click on your ad end up buying something. If this number starts to decline, it could be a sign that your offer isn’t as appealing as it used to be or that the right people aren’t seeing your ad.
Either way, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed.
On the plus side, once you know your numbers, the number of paid traffic sources you can start using expands dramatically.
You can start testing out new platforms and strategies without exposing yourself to as much risk, because you know exactly what you need to make a profit.
This is a massive advantage that those who understand their numbers have over those who don’t. If you know your numbers and what each click means to you, you can get as many leads as you want without breaking the bank.
Consider that selling digital products as an affiliate is one of the best self-employed jobs one can have – by having a firm understanding of your numbers, you will be in a great position to capitalize on this!
The Future of Influencing Affiliate Marketing
As mentioned earlier, one of the affiliate marketing challenges to overcome is that affiliates can no longer just promote anything and everything they find.
It’s now about being strategic, creative, and above all else, relevant.
The companies that are doing well with affiliate marketing are the ones that can connect with their target audience in a way that is authentic and relatable.
If you can do this, you will be successful as an affiliate marketer.
What Role Does Influencer Marketing Play in This?
While the word influencer conjures up thoughts of social media celebrities with millions of followers, the truth is that anyone can be an influencer – without all the perceived downsides.
This means that there are opportunities for affiliate marketers at all levels to succeed.
However, it’s important to remember that not all influencers are created equal, and the path to becoming an influencer in your niche isn’t always straightforward.
It takes time, energy, and dedication to build a following and make an impact. That being said, it is possible, and people do it daily. If you’re willing to do the work, influencer marketing could be a great way to take your affiliate marketing career to the next level.
Here are some key ideas to get started with if you want to pursue influencer marketing.
Find The Right Platform
There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and not all are well suited for every type of affiliate promotion. Some, like Snapchat, have a very young user base, while others, like LinkedIn, are used primarily for business networking.
To be successful with influencer marketing, you need to identify the platform where your target audience is most active. This is the platform on which you should focus your efforts.
Develop A Strategy
Once you know which platform you’re going to focus on, it’s time to develop a plan.
Consider these questions:
- What kind of content are you going to create?
- Who are you going to target?
- What kind of call to action are you going to use?
These are all critical questions that need to be answered before creating content.
Create High-Quality Content
This should go without saying, but it’s essential to emphasize this point. The content you create as an influencer promoting affiliate products needs to be high quality if you want people to take you seriously.
If you’re writing content, it needs to be well researched, well written, and informative. It also needs to be entertaining and engaging. If your content is boring, no one will want to read it, let alone follow you.
The same applies to any other type of content you create.
One of the most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer seeking to influence people is to be consistent. This means posting regularly and keeping your audience engaged.
If you only post once in a while, people will forget about you, and you’re not going to build up a following that listens to what you have to say.
Engage With Your Audience
Once people start consuming your content, engaging with them is essential. Answer their questions, respond to their comments, and start a dialogue. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more likely they will become loyal followers.
Analyze Your Results
Finally, it’s crucial to analyze them regularly. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Affiliate Marketing Problems Wrap-Up
With new times come new challenges, and the affiliate marketing industry is no exception.
The good news is that these challenges also present opportunities for those willing to take them on.
The bad news is that those still relying on the same old strategies and tactics will be left behind.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, always be on the lookout for new trends and challenges to adjust your affiliate strategy accordingly!
Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent. You can connect with him here.