The following article is a guest post by Steve McCardell who has been writing and marketing online since 2001 both as a freelancer and as an affiliate marketer.
So you want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing. Capturing that first sale can be tough, but the good news is that once you find a good technique, you can often use it as a template for repeated sales over time. We’ll discuss one such technique today. What I like about this one is that it's truly helpful to potential buyers, adding honest value to the Internet.
For physical products, you might call this an "unboxing" review, though you can do something similar for digital products and services as well. Here's the deal:
Why Create an Unboxing Review?
Before spending their money on something, people want to know—to really know—what they're going to get. They already have access to hundreds of people's opinions on sites like Amazon, so you'll need to outdo those text-only reviews to get their attention.
By turning on the camera (or doing a video screen capture, which you can do for free through sites like Screenr), you can take it a step further than most reviewers. You can walk someone through the process of receiving a new product and exploring it for the first time.
Unboxing a Physical Product
As with every kind of marketing, the key to success is responding to the consumer's concerns. They don't just want to see what it looks like as it's pulled out of the box. They want to know: Is it made of plastic or metal? Does it look or feel like it will break easily? Are the buttons easy to push? Do they respond easily? What's the user interface like? What kind of accessories come with it, and are they any good? Your viewer will want to get any insights that help them to make an educated purchasing decision.
If you want an example of this kind of unboxing review, go to YouTube and search "unboxing" to get the idea.
Unboxing a Digital Product
You can do the same kind of thing with digital products with a video screen capture. Only this time, you're showing someone what it looks like when you log in or open the software. What's the user interface like? How do you perform basic functions? And do you have any tips or tricks that might be useful to the viewer?
My only caution in a digital product review is that you don't want to show private user information, so if you don't know how to edit your video and blur out sensitive information later, make sure to think about what's being shown and whether you can safely display it online.
Optimizing Your Video
Once you've made the video, you'll want to upload it to YouTube because of its search engine power. (You can always upload in other places, but we'll keep to simple techniques here.) I can't explain all the details of optimizing your video for YouTube in this article, but here are a few tips for making that first sale:
- In your video description, include your affiliate link first thing. Optionally, you can use a link shortener to protect your affiliate link (Bitly is a popular option). And if you have an account with a service like that, you can also track the number of clicks you're getting, which is important later when assessing where your sales are coming from.
- After the link, make sure to use words like the name of the product, "video review," and—if you're showcasing a physical product—the word "unboxing." You can use these terms in your description and in your video tags.
- To prevent others from selling the product with your video, you can consider showing your shortened link within the video itself. YouTube lets you add that in the editing process.
Of course your chance to make an affiliate sale this way depends on how many people are searching for reviews on the product in question, so it's always a good idea to assess demand ahead of time. (Google's Keyword Planner, or free SEO software like Traffic Travis, can help.)
Building Credibility while Making a Sale
Your video will have to show that the product is good, but you'll also want to build credibility by showing at least one or two of the product’s limitations if you know of any. The trust you form through honesty will help to open people's wallets and should do you more long-term good than hiding the truth and connecting the wrong people with a product.
Of course you've only reviewed the product because you believe it's good enough for many people to buy. So if it is indeed a good product and people are looking for a video review, YouTube has the search engine muscle to get your video seen. With the right product and video, this method gives you the chance to not just score a first affiliate sale, but many sales for years to come.
Be sure to let us know what you thought of this article in the comments below. We'd also be happy to hear your opinions on unboxing as an affiliate marketing technique and any tips you may have for our other readers.
Note: The views and opinions of the author of this guest post may not represent the views and opinions of Affilorama.