From Facebook pages to Facebook groups, to YouTube channels, to Instagram accounts, more and more online personalities are discovering that advertisers would pay them top dollar for ad placements. Not surprisingly, a lot of these personalities are looking to charge quite a bit of money for brand mentions or even dropping links as well as offering promo codes.
What if I told you that most people who try to buy such ads end up wasting time and money? I know that sounds sad, but it’s also true.
You have to understand that just because somebody’s big on YouTube, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should advertise with that person. Just because somebody seems to have a huge following on Twitter or Instagram, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump in with both feet and pay them a huge amount of money to run your ads. Often times, doing things that way only end up with you losing quite a bit of cash.
Here’s how you do it:
Focus on Real Influencers
The first thing that you need to do is to focus on figuring out whether the influencers you’re considering are the real deal. This is the first item of business. Everything else is useless if you don’t get this right.
You have to closely watch YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, and other social media accounts. Pay attention to their engagement levels. Do they have a huge following, but does it seem like nobody’s sharing their stuff? Do they get a lot of likes on their page, but very few people are commenting?
Does it seem like the comments are generic comments? Is there a certain pattern to the comments, like they came from the same place or they’re just basically reworded versions of a template response? Do you notice that their content on Facebook doesn’t get shared a lot, but gets a lot of comments and likes?
You have to understand that as more and more scammers become sophisticated online, you have to keep up. A lot of these scammers create “popular accounts” to suck up advertising revenue. They really don’t have any followers. Instead, their followers are either bought and paid for or are bots. Neither of these is good.
Last time I checked, software robots do not have credit cards. They cannot buy the affiliate product that you are promoting. Not in a million years. This is why it’s crucial to look at their overall engagement levels and pay attention to the number of followers they have.
Another metric you should pay attention to is their following to follower ratio. For example, on Twitter or Instagram, if the account is following a lot of people and has a lot of followers, that account might not be worth investing in. Seriously.
Why? It’s common knowledge that on Twitter and Instagram, when people follow an account, oftentimes, people would follow back out of courtesy. Now, when they follow back, it’s not like they care about the content being published by the person they’re following. Instead, they’re just returning the favour.
This means that an account that has a high follower figure may not have a loyal fan base. Instead, look for people who follow very few other accounts, but have a huge following. These are more likely to be legit accounts.
Engage with Them to Determine Their Content Quality
The next level of this analysis is to engage with these social media personalities. Comment on their YouTube channels, pay attention to their videos, check out their Tweets and pay attention to what happens.
Does it seem like when they do something, there’s a tremendous amount of waves generated in their niche? If that’s the case, then you are dealing with somebody who is truly influential.
But if it turns out that they post content piece after piece and nothing seems to happen, regardless of how many people supposedly follow them, you might want to sit up and pay attention. You might want to stay away from such personalities.
Even if they have real followers, the fact that nobody really takes them seriously should raise a red flag with you. If their own content doesn’t get enough traction, what makes you think their sharing of your advertising materials will produce better results? Here’s the spoiler: it won’t.
Ask for the Very Best Price
Social media personalities are not equal when it comes to business savvy. Some know that they are sitting on a gold mine, that’s why they will ask for top dollar. I can’t blame you, but you should not give in to these. Put them at the bottom of your list.
Instead, place product placements with personalities who charge much less. Do several tests with these and try to convert their traffic, and then stick with them. If you can’t manage to get any good results from these low cost players, then and only then should you go to the higher cost social media personalities.
If you play this game right, you can maximize the amount of product sales or affiliate commissions you generate from the traffic sent by these social media personalities without paying an arm and a leg.
When I first started in the affiliate marketing game, I was a sad sack of failure. Seriously, I would buy one hot affiliate product after another, I get all excited at the sales page, and I get taken in by all the amazing testimonials of people who claim that they make thousands of dollars in their sleep.
I really bought into the hype, and guess what happened? Just like clockwork, I got burned regularly. All-day, every day it seems that the more hyped up a product was, the more crushing the disappointment.
Things finally changed for me when I started getting down to basics. I understood that the money is on the list. I wrapped my mind around that and never turned back. That’s when I started to make real money in the affiliate marketing game.
Here’s how I did it:
Invest in the Right Squeeze Page
I know a lot of people get turned off by the word “investment.” They automatically think of multilevel marketing. They automatically think of monthly recurring subscription fees. They start having images of them spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on one bunk investment after another.
No, I’m not talking about investment in the traditional way. You don’t have to invest money on a squeeze page that works. Instead, you’re going to invest your most precious asset yet. That’s right. You’re going to be investing your time.
Here’s how I create squeeze pages that don’t suck. Well, not quite. They do suck, but they suck cash from my visitors.
Step #1: Reverse engineer your competition
The first thing that you need to do, regardless of what niche you’re in, is to pay attention to your competitors. Do a search on Google, find as many of them as you can locate.
Study what they’re doing. What kind of websites do they have set up? Do they collect emails?
Pay attention to their squeeze page. How are they set up? What kind of freebies are they giving away? What are the layouts that they use? What kind of language do they use? Do you see a pattern among these different squeeze pages?
Step #2: Do not be a hero, focus on the industry standard
This is the trickiest part. Now that you have a clear understanding of what your competitors are doing, there is a natural tendency for you to want to be a hero.
You want to break out of the crowd; you want to come up with something completely new, you want to upset the apple cart. Don’t do that. There’s no need to do that.
There’s a reason why your competitors’ squeeze pages pretty much talk about the same stuff or promote the same stuff. There’s a reason why they look somewhat similar. What’s the reason? It works.
There is some sort of industry standard. When your target audience members see those squeeze pages, they know what to do. They know what to expect. They’re not thrown for a loop, and they’re not surprised by something that they haven’t seen before.
This gives you a tremendous advantage because you are speaking the graphical and textual language of your audience members. You’re not throwing them a curveball. You’re not surprising them. You’re definitely not confusing them.
Let me tell you when consumers are confused, you can rely on them to do one thing: nothing.
Step #3: Come up with a compelling freebie
Instead of coming up with a completely revolutionary squeeze page layout or text, focus instead on a freebie that people would actually want.
Again, your reverse engineering research can pay off tremendously. When you’ve checked out what other people are giving in exchange for emails, you should have a clear idea as to what kind of value your target audience members are looking for.
Here’s the secret. Pay attention to what everybody else is offering, and offer something better. For example, if you notice that your competitors are offering a book that says “10 Reasons Why You Need to Do X,” try to offer a book that says “100 Reasons Why You Need to Do X.”
Your job at this point is to blow the competition out of the water. When your target audience members see your offer, they have to get a clear impression that what you offer is vastly superior.
Step #4: Evolve your squeeze page
I wish I could tell you that if you just follow the steps above, you would come up with the very best squeeze page on your first try. Unfortunately, if I said that, I would be lying to you.
Your first squeeze should be just your preliminary version. Test it. Run traffic to it. Take note of its conversion rate.
Next, come up with different variations of that squeeze page, But you have to create variations based on only one element.
For example, you can change the heading of the squeeze page. See if any of the variations converts better, and then come up with variations of that variation. Keep repeating this until you have maximized the rate at which that squeeze page converts with that one modification.
After you have arrived at the “perfect heading,” then change another element, like the graphics of the squeeze page. Come up with variations, test them, pick the winner, and then come up with more variations.
Keep repeating this process until you have optimized all elements of the squeeze page and the squeeze page, overall, converts at a high predictable level. At this point, you’re ready for the next step.
Step #5: Scale up your traffic
At this point, you know that your squeeze page works. Accordingly, you can then increase your budget for paid traffic or you can spend a tremendous amount of time drawing free traffic to your squeeze page. Whatever the case may be, pump up the traffic because you know your squeeze page converts your target audience members.
Follow the steps above so you can stop creating squeeze pages that suck. Stop doing things the exact same way everybody else is doing them.
You have to let your competitors do your homework for you through reverse engineering, but don’t stop there. Keep optimizing your squeeze page so you can maximize your conversions. At the end of the day, it’s all about conversions, conversions, conversions.