Part of an affiliate marketer’s job is to make product recommendations. You are recommending the products that you are promoting for your programs. So, how can you do so without sounding biased or like all you are interested in is selling a product?
Affiliate Marketing Today
Affiliate marketing has evolved. The FTC guides say that any endorsement needs to be truthful. In order to be truthful, the reviewer
has to have personal experience with the product. Otherwise, you are simply regurgitating what the sponsoring affiliate program has already said on their site. This isn’t good enough for customers or the government.
Why? There have been too many affiliates wearing “black hats” that have used not so honest methods for gaining clicks and making the sale. Loopholes in search engine algorithms were exploited so that recycled content or poor quality content made the front page of the results. Biased reviews were written in order to get people to buy the product.
The new regulations are designed to stop fraud and promote fair competition in the marketplace. Everyone deserves a quality product that is trustworthy.
Creating Quality Content that Promotes a Product
One concern is how to incorporate product recommendations without sounding like you are strictly selling the product. Here are some ideas for you.
- Provide the research – What percentages of people are using this product? What were the criteria they considered for
purchase? This is useful information. Let your readers know what others think about this particular product and the class of product it represents. Present it in simplest terms so that readers can decide for themselves. If you poll the visitors to your site, include the results in your content so readers can see what real customers have to say.
- Add personal experience – Do you use the product or have you used several generations of the product? What were your thoughts and experiences? If you had a mishap, work it into the content as a humorous anecdote. This lets your readers know
that you are human and deal with the same issues that they do.
- Show your expertise in the field – Craft content that shows you understand the product inside and out. Offer tips and tricks for managing issues with the product. For instance, if you have a blender that seems to burn up the motor when you make smoothies, ask readers to cut up their ingredients or used crushed ice to put less stress on the motor and preserve the product.
- Add images – Who says that content has to be only words? Include photos of you using the product with keyword-targeted captions. Search engines like that. Readers can see that you actually have used the product and know what you are talking
- Provide questions – Give your readers a place to begin when evaluating their need for your product. If you are selling jeans, offer guidelines for choosing which to buy like:
- Do you like baggy or fitting jeans?
- What color works best for you?
- Where will you wear your jeans?
- How tall are you?
Besides asking the questions, offer helpful hints for how to answer them. For instance, if you are below 5 feet, baggy jeans make you look shorter. This might not be true but it is just for the purposes of an example. You get the idea.
- Embed an interactive tool – This can work with just about any product you are selling. The tool’s job is to offer recommendations for the user from the product line you are promoting. It not only offers useful information for the reader but also helps to point them towards the type of product they want to buy.
- Become transparent with your audience – Emotionally connecting with your audience is imperative. When a person can identify with a product on a different level besides simply a want for it, they are more likely to buy. Create content that explores why you have bought the product. Why do you believe in it? What emotional need does it fill for you? If we use the jean example
from #5, perhaps you haven’t been able to find a pair of jeans that make you feel good about yourself until you found this company. You have now linked the product with the desire to elevate your self-esteem.
- Link to testimonials and feedback – Let them read the words for themselves. If you have a page for testimonials or for
feedback from previous customers, send your readers there with one click. Because you are sending them away from your content, be sure to include your affiliate link on that page too along with a call to action so they don’t miss out on purchasing when they make the decision.
Readers can see through blatant advertising. They want to be talked to not talked at. Use these methods for providing effective product recommendations within your website content.