Is Affiliate Marketing Overrated For Virtual Summits?
Affiliate traffic is a very common marketing concept, particularly in sophisticated markets like business, internet marketing and increasingly health and fitness. Having affiliates can greatly help drive traffic to your business. However, we need to get rid of the idea that you absolutely need affiliate traffic to have a successful virtual summit. This is especially evident in markets where your subject-matter experts are not marketers and willing to promote your virtual summit.
Take for instance best-selling authors who have great content and name recognition, but who don’t know how to market with digital content or in digital platforms. They may have several bestselling books but no email list or social media audience to promote to. To be in control of your own business destiny, you MUST know how to drive your own traffic and be in control of bringing visitors to your summit funnel.
Implementing strategies, that allow you to drive your own traffic, is the most effective way to set your business up for long-term success. By driving your own traffic to an appealing virtual summit offer, you have the opportunity to“buy customers” at break even or better, and the able to scale those strategies to much higher levels. Think about this for a second and ask yourself, how would you scale affiliate traffic? Yeah, you could entice your affiliates to send more emails or more promos but how many times can you do that? By driving your own traffic you have no limits, especially if you are able to convert the leads into customer at a rate that works based on your ad spend. Not only will this approach benefit your summit success, but it will benefit any other offer or promotion you decide to create in the future.
To be more specific, right now, Facebook is the simplest and most accessible way to drive traffic for most virtual summits. With Facebook ads you can get targeted traffic cheaply, especially if you are not in a sophisticated market, where the competition is less.
Think about your end goal, is it to break even and build your audience — having more summits, more products and becoming the force in that market? If you have a virtual summit that breaks even or profits using Facebook ads to acquire leads, that is a great summit and you have won. You are not losing money and instead getting paid to build your list and audience. At that point your leads are funding themselves and you can just scale what is already working. Plus you will learn key information about your audience that you can leverage for future ad campaigns.
I decided early on to use only a handful of affiliates and to invest the time, money, and resources to learn different market strategies that would allow me to bring traffic in myself. Using your own paid traffic is the only way to grow at scale. After running my own summits, running successful summits for clients and seeing the struggles people have with affiliates vs. just working with paid traffic.
Affiliate traffic is great; it typically brings a higher conversion rate than cold traffic and it doesn’t cost you anything upfront. You only pay on the sales generated from the traffic. It’s a fantastic way to get warm leads, sales and it also provides a good opportunity to provide value for other businesses in your space.
With all these benefits, it is very tempting to put all your “traffic eggs” in the affiliate traffic basket. However, I consider affiliate traffic an additional source of traffic only, not the primary one. You do NOT want to put yourself in a position where your traffic and really your business rely entirely on affiliates for traffic, leads and sales. What happens when your affiliates decide they want to promote someone else instead? or that the conversion rate of your sales page is not as good as they were looking for?or that they have no space in their promotion schedule to promote as many times as you need them to?
Yes, together these strategies very powerful, but if we have to pick, I would choose my own traffic. I highly recommend you take a look at driving your own traffic, making it work on your own based on your content, offers, marketing skills and other things proven to work. And right now, the most effective way to drive your own traffic is advertising with Facebook