Generate Traffic by Leveraging Marketing Partners
Your prospects and customers are a great source of highly targeted leads. Another good source of leads are other marketers in your niche. In particular, people who cater to the same niche as you do but aren’t direct competitors tend to make great marketing partners.
Let’s talk about some of the different ways you can partner up for mutual benefit…
Do Podcasts or Webinars
The idea here is to find a podcast or webinar host with a large audience and get yourself on their show as a guest expert. In most cases you’ll not only have the listening ears of a live audience, but you’ll also get exposure for weeks or months to come when people in your audience watch or listen to the recording.
The key here is that you need to provide a lot of value to the audience. You want them to be impressed enough with your expertise that they go to the link you mention during the broadcast. To that end, be sure to share some of your very best tips and tricks on the broadcast.
Secondly, you’ll want to talk to the podcast host or webinar host about providing extra value to the audience in the form of a “handout.” For example, you can provide a one-page infographic, a cheat sheet, a checklist, a gear list, a report, or some other valuable tool or resource to help the audience solve their problems or achieve a goal.
As mentioned, the handout provides value. The second benefit of offering a handout is that you can add a link and call to action directly on the handout. It’s easier for people to find a link on a handout versus them going back through a podcast to hear you say the link again. Plus, if the handout is really useful, your audience will refer to it again and again – and that means they’ll get repeated exposure to your links.
One final note here: while you can certainly send your traffic directly to your membership sales page, it’s a good idea to use a two-step process instead. Here you send the podcast listeners and webinar viewers to a lead page that offers them an enticing lead magnet. This lead magnet could be a module from within your site or even a free trial membership. You can then follow up and turn these free subscribers into paying members.
Now here’s a related marketing method…
Engage in Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is another way to leverage someone else’s audience. Of course, you’re not just doing it for your own gain, as the blog owner gets something out of it too. Namely, they get free high-quality content to post on their blog. In some cases, you may also promote your guest article, so that the blog owner gets traffic direct traffic from your platforms. This extra perk is a good way to help persuade a blog owner to post your content.
The key here, just as with podcasts and webinars, is to provide a lot of value inside your guest blog post. Ideally, you’ll want to provide exclusive content for the blog owner, especially if they have a big and active platform. It goes without saying – buy hey, I’m saying it anyway! – that your article needs to be high-quality, engaging and offer something unique to the audience.
Here again, it’s a good idea to include a link to a lead page, rather than to a sales page. That way you can build a list of prospects and follow up with them repeatedly until they become members of your site. As such, be sure to put a link and call to action at the end of your blog article. Your lead magnet might be “Part 2” of the article the readers just finished viewing. If they liked the article, then they’ll love getting Part 2 in the form of an expanded article, a report, or even a video.
Now the next strategy…
There are people in every niche who serve as influencers. Some of them are marketers, while others are members of the niche audience. Either way, these influencers do exactly as the label suggests: they influence people in the market. People listen to the influencers because of their expertise, but also because people know, like and trust them.
For example, when an influencer mentions a new product in the niche, people rush out to buy it. If you want to see a huge example of this, look at Oprah Winfrey. Whenever she recommended a book, that book would become a bestseller overnight.
So, maybe you can’t land Oprah to talk up your membership site. However, there are plenty of other influencers in your niche who can send you dozens, hundreds or thousands of highly qualified and warm visitors. Your job is to find and identify these folks in your niche.
Typically, what you’re looking for are the folks with the big, active platforms.
These are the people in your niche who own:
· The biggest newsletters.
· The most popular blogs.
· The biggest Facebook discussion groups.
· Popular YouTube channels.
· Popular pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media.
Not only do they own big platforms, but these platforms are active. They’ve got swarms of regular visitors who clearly respect the influencer’s opinion and eagerly await recommendations.
So, how do you approach influencers and get them to review your membership?
For starters, it helps to build a relationship with an influencer first. It’s not required, but it is helpful. That’s because a lot of people are trying to get the influencer to review their products and services, so the influencer has more reviews to do then they have time in the day. But you can bet they’ll stop in their tracks when they see a name they recognize, and they’ll be more likely to say “yes” to that person. That’s why you want to become that person.
Secondly, give a free membership to the influencers with no strings attached. Let them know you hope they’ll review the site and give it a mention on their platforms – but don’t expect them to, don’t try to force them to, and so on.
Finally, it’s a good idea to understand why the influencer does what they do. As mentioned, some influencers are affiliates – in that case, you’d offer this particular influencer a higher-than-average commission to promote your offer.
Or maybe the influencer is a member of the niche, and he doesn’t accept payment of any kind. Instead, he just really likes the status of being first in a niche to try out any product, and he likes the power of being able to persuade or dissuade others from using a product. In this case, this is the type of person you’d want to approach well before your membership ever launches, and perhaps even invite them on as a beta user.
This gives them what they want – the status and power that makes them do what they do.
Point is, you need to understand why the influencer reviews products in their niche, as then you can give them something they want so that they’ll review your membership too.
And now on a related note…
Start an Affiliate Program
When it comes to bringing a flood of highly targeted visitors to your membership site, one of the best ways to do it is with an affiliate program. Just one good affiliate can send you hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of business. And the reason these visitors convert so well is because they usually arrive on your website fully warmed up, presold, and ready to buy.
A lot of membership marketers make the mistake of setting up an affiliate program, and then just expecting affiliates to join the program and start promoting like crazy. But it rarely works out that way.
In order to have a successful affiliate program, you need to do a few different things…
First, you need to find and recruit affiliates. In particular, the super affiliates in your niche are unlikely to find your program. You need to get in touch with them and recruit them to join your program. Building a relationship first will get you more “yes” responses. Providing good perks – such as commissions over 50% on the frontend as well as good commissions on the upsell -- will also help you land the super affiliates.
Secondly, you need to give your affiliates the tools they need to promote. This means stocking your affiliate center with copy and paste promos such as emails, social media blurbs, blog posts, rebrandable reports, graphics and similar.
Third, you need to motivate your affiliates to promote your offers. For example, you can run an affiliate contest. You can send your affiliates coupon codes to distribute to their audience. You can run both an affiliate contest and a special offer for consumers at the same time, which will really help the affiliates promote your membership.
And finally, here’s one more way to leverage partnerships…
Do Joint Ventures
Still another way to engage in partner marketing is by finding JV partners – again, these are folks who serve the same audience as you do, but they aren’t direct competitors. The idea here is finding mutually beneficial activities you can engage in to grow your respective businesses.
For example, you and your partner can:
· Co-endorse each other across your platforms.
· Trade content for your blog, social media pages or newsletters.
· Interview each other.
· Do a webinar together.
· Run a contest together.
· Trade links inside your membership areas.
· Post each other’s ads on your blogs.
And so on. The sky is the limit when it comes to the different ways you and your JV partners can help you grow each other’s businesses.
So, the bottom line here is that it’s much easier and more cost-effective to find people who’ll send you paying members, rather than you individually recruiting each member yourself. It takes the same amount of time, cost and effort to find a partner as it does to find a customer. And that makes referral marketing, viral marketing, JV marketing and similar really cost-effective and smart ways to grow your membership.