Affiliate and influencer marketing guide for dropshippers.

Affiliate and Influencer marketing campaigns can be an effective way of driving sales to your dropshipping store. I’d be detailing how to implement this marketing strategy on Ecwid, Shopify and Woocommerce powered stores.

Affiliate marketing works by providing affiliate links to publishers who promote your product and get a commission for every successful referral that results in a sale. 

Typically a publisher can write a review about your product with a link to your ecommerce store. If their audience reads the review, clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase on your store within a stipulated number of days predetermined by you (this is also known as the cookie life). You’d be able to track the sales and reward the publisher with an agreed commission.

Affiliate marketing using affiliate networks.

You could set up affiliate marketing campaigns by using affiliate networks. An affiliate network manages affiliate marketing on behalf of your business. These are networks that serve as a platform where publishers and advertisers (i.e dropshipper looking to promote their products) meet. 

The affiliate networks already have a pool of publishers and they manage affiliate marketing campaigns. You as an advertiser can sit back, relax and only pay out commission when you get sales.

There are a number of Affiliate networks that dropshippers can sign up with! Some of these networks includes;

  1. CJ Affiliate 
  2. Awin
  3. Clickbank
  4. Shareasale
  5. Flex offers etc

Affiliate marketing using Apps and plugins

Instead of outsourcing your Affiliate marketing campaigns to Affiliate networks, you can host your Affiliate marketing campaigns in house! 

This is often done by installing an Affiliate marketing software on your ecommerce store that gives you the functionality of managing affiliate campaigns. What this means is that you set everything up on your store, publishers and influencers can sign up, get their affiliate links and you can track their referrals on your ecommerce dashboard.

The advantage of using affiliate networks compared to hosting your own affiliate program in-house is that these networks already have a ready pool of publishers but if you are hosting in-house, then you’d need to drive awareness so that publishers can find your offer and work with you.

Both Affiliate networks and Affiliate softwares have associated costs both I do generally find the cost of hosting an Affiliate program in-house via a plugin/App to be cheaper compared to the cost of advertising on an existing Affiliate network.

Depending on which ecommerce platform you use for your dropshipping store, here is a list of affiliate program software you can integrate with your store.

  • Apps for Affiliate marketing on Ecwid; there are several apps you can integrate to your Ecwid store to get Affiliate program capabilities for your store. My favorite apps includes: LeadDyno or Affliatly
  • Apps for Affiliate marketing on Shopify; there are several apps you can integrate to your Shopify store to get Affiliate program capabilities for your store. My favorite apps includes: Refersion or Affliatly.
  • Plugins for Affiliate marketing on Woocommerce; there are several plugins you can integrate to your Woocommerce store to get an Affiliate program capability for your store. This apps includes: Referralcandy

Influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing campaigns involve an advertiser approaching publishers and influencers to promote their products for a negotiated fee.

The difference between Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing is that in Affiliate marketing you solely decide the commission you want to offer, this offer is published either on your website, an Affiliate network site or both! Any Publisher or Influencer can see this offer and decide if they want to work with you. However in influencer marketing you make a direct offer to your preferred influencer. The offer is usually negotiable.

Affiliate marketing can be a passive marketing effort, where you set up the program in-house or with an Affiliate network, then wait for Affiliate to find your offer, sign up and promote your products and you only get to payout once there is a referred sale.

Whereas, Influencer marketing is an active marketing effort where you directly approach the influencers and offer a negotiable payment for the promotion of your products. In most cases, you still pay the influencer regardless of wether the promotion drove sales to your store or not!

Influencer marketing can be an active way to push your brand awareness in your target market. Ideally you want to work with an influencer whose audience has interest in your product and is within your target demographics.

Influencer marketing techniques for dropshippers

  • Influencer marketing using micro influencers; when you are just starting out as a dropshipper, using A-list influencers like hollywood celebrities is not ideal. The cost is expensive and you’d want to work strategically within a reasonable budget especially when you are just testing out products. 

This is where using services of micro influencers becomes ideal. Micro influencers are usually social media influencers with 5k to 100k followers and an active audience engagement which can be indicated with the number of likes and comments on their posts.

You’d also want to make sure that the influencer’s audience falls within your target demographics.

You can approach these influencers and negotiate a fee for them to help promote your products. Aside from driving sales to your store, there are a number of benefits to using micro influencers, this includes brand awareness and even getting ads creatives such as videos and lifestyle photos of your products being used or reviewed by the influencer.

  • Emotional marketing techniques; Some people are moved by emotions. In my experience giving a little portion of your earnings to charitable projects can compel people to make purchases. 

For example you can say in your landing page that a little portion of your store earnings is donated to “

‘build a tree’ charity project or some other conscionable projects. 

Conclusion 

Affiliate and influencer marketing is a good way to create awareness about your products, get ads creative from influencers, have social proof and even drive sales to your store! Dropshipping is an ecommerce business so, there is no hard and fast rule to it. If you treat it like an ecommerce business, stay focused, believe in yourself and be consistent. You would definitely win at it or anything else whatsoever!

Happy dropshipping mate..

This tutorial is part of our free dropshipping course. You can check our dropshipping course outline here.

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