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After returning from giving a speech on brand loyalty at the EGR Subscriber’s Forum last week, I began to think of ways in which we could apply some of those points to affiliates. Whilst all of this may not be foolproof, there’s a lot we can learn from what works in other aspects of marketing other than just in the online sphere.

We all know that this isn’t the easiest of tasks because most affiliates don’t offer any sort of product right? Well that’s exactly the wrong mindset and something that a lot of you will need to get out of. One of the key issues with branding and as such, brand loyalty, is that you will have to provide something half decent to begin with. It doesn’t have to be anything amazing or revolutionary, just make sure that you get the basics right first, have well written reviews, up to date offers, etc. This is in itself a service and thus a product.

So now that we’re thinking of our content as a product we can look to apply traditional land based marketing techniques to the promotion of our particular service over another.

Building a Community Around the Product – Or In This Case, Website

There are several ways to do this and don’t worry– I’m not going to make you all cry by saying build a forum where you spend the rest of your life filtering spam and desperately trying to build it up to a reasonable size so that it is self-sustaining. What I am going to suggest are things like Facebook Groups, properly promoted you can use these to gain a strong returning following, of course these will need looking after as well, but are much easier to manage than forums.

You should also aim for people to interact with your site, ok we all hate comment spam, but if policed properly then this can be a god send and it’s free content, if you’ve had it disabled, get back on top of it, get your filters properly set up and try again. Possibly incentivise customers with freebies to post their own reviews in the comments section. Make this clear and visible.

Your social accounts are your best friend – Twitter, Facebook, Maybe one day G+

I can’t hammer this home enough, social is vital, work on your accounts properly and keep them updated.

Online Communities Build Affiliate Value

If you can’t afford to go big – GO NICHE (micro-niche)

Start by targeting a very small audience with your content. These people are then in turn more likely to talk about it amongst themselves and it gives you a strong returning audience to build on.

Let’s say the male bingo player, certainly who isn’t catered to very much, and yet they make up 20% of the online market space. Find the people who would be interested and target them directly using social networks. Don’t be too invasive, mind.

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