Because creating a winning business plan is as much about mindset as it is about metrics, we turned to our friend Chris Brogan (New York Times bestselling author, affiliate marketer and long-time digital native) for his advice on how you can shift your marketing game and master your mindset to earn more with eBay.
Authenticity builds authority
Of all digital marketing models, Brogan considers affiliate marketing to be the most compelling because it allows you to be genuine in how you promote products to your audience. With eBay Partner Network, for example, you can take advantage of the freedom you have to write in your own style and use our content-monetizing tools to deliver the experience your audience seeks.
Brogan also chooses to promote products he personally uses from companies that “treat people like people,” because it gives him confidence in the end-to-end customer experience. You can do this by promoting advertisers who offer promises like eBay’s Price Match Guarantee to protect your buyers’ purchases.
Make your buyer your hero
Brogan’s advice on how to build great content is to tell a story – and the absolute best way, he says, is to make your buyer the hero. Highlight how the products you’re promoting that make your reader’s life better. Put that person in the center of the story, and be sure to do that for all of the content you create -- from blogs to social posts, video and so on.
Build their trust & your brand
To build a long-term relationship with your readers, Brogan advises focusing on serving as their trusted advisor. Highlight what matters most to them – maybe it’s price or lifestyle – and curate that experience. You can even show each of your visitors the specific items that they are most interested in by retargeting their individual browsing history with Smart Placements.
Deliver value up front
According to Brogan, there's a plus and a minus to the way content marketing is evolving. In the era of dwindling attention spans, you only have a split second of someone’s attention – the time it takes to read a notification or email subject line. Thus Brogan advises front loading the message and the value to be sure that you immediately earn the opportunity to sell and serve. For example, tell your visitors in the beginning of their journey with you that -- unlike Amazon shoppers -- they don’t have to pay an annual fee to be members of anything to get items in 3 days or less, thanks to eBay’s new Guaranteed Delivery.
Get on board with video and voice
One of the online marketing opportunities Brogan feels affiliate marketers are still slow to adapt to is video. As he points out, in a world where we consume 1 billion hours of YouTube alone a day, there’s a significant opportunity to drive buyers with video. In fact, according to Unbounce, the use video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%.
Voice search or conversation design is another important frontier. Brogan urges publishers to continuously probe what improves the velocity of the delivery of your message and what reduces friction to your reader clicking a link to purchase.
Find your next…
When looking at trends, Brogan approaches things differently. Inspired by a book called, Find Your Next: Using the Business Genome Approach to Find Your Company’s Next Competitive Edge by Andrea Kates, Brogan urges digital businesses to look outside of their verticals for inspiration. An innovative way to find what will truly set you apart from others in your niche is to “pick something off” from a totally disparate space to evolve your business positioning and promotions.
Pick your 3 success words for 2018
For over a decade, Brogan has practiced a unique way of setting his intention for the New Year. Rather than make resolutions -- which almost never stick -- he chooses three words as his “guiding pillars” for the new year. For a detailed explanation of how Brogan picks and uses success words as a beacon for his efforts and actions all year long, check out his three words for 2017 and on January 1, 2018, go to ChrisBrogan.com to see what he’s picked this year.
Which of these strategies will you try in 2018? From all of us at eBay Partner Network, here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!