Before we dig into the particular case of chatbot application, let’s look at the affiliate marketing in general and how you’re supposed to benefit from it. If you haven’t had chances to familiarize yourself with it or to gain experience in this field, you may think that it’s just one more marketing niche. But I encourage you to learn more on this topic because an income from affiliate marketing potentially can dominate over any other possible source.
However, you won’t know whether it can work in your case until you get acquainted enough with this possibility.
Affiliate marketing is about earning money by promoting products or services of other companies or by producing and getting promoted.
How does it work? Suppose you have a platform that has already gained a certain audience. At the same time, there is a bunch of startups and enterprises that doesn’t have enough audience to perform well. One of such startups notices your platform and decides that the audience you have may become interested in their products to.
That’s why they ask you to mention their product and get them some prospects. In the end of the day, you’re paid for the promotion and the startup gets prospects.
It may sound even easier than it’s in fact. However, the most important and challenging part is that to get income from affiliate marketing by promoting products of other companies you need to have a developed platform. As I have mentioned (and feel need to emphasize on), you need to have a growing audience.
From another side, if you want somebody to promote your products, you need to find a platform that matches and, moreover, your product has to be great enough to instantly make a potential affiliate interested in it.
As the number of new websites and blogs is increasing, newcomers get more and more scared even with the thought on how to get an audience for their platforms. This draws a handful of questions like: how can I make it engaging, where is my audience and how can I bring it to my platform, etc.
That’s why from the conventional point of view affiliate marketing is becoming more challenging. But the era of chatbots brings new rules that have potential to completely change the affiliate marketing in its traditional understanding. I will explain how.
Why should it become different with the emergence of conversational agents? How on the Earth can one relate them to affiliate marketing? The mind-changing and new-rules-setting idea are that a chatbot is already a platform.
Moreover, an average chatbot is a platform that people are already interested in trying. In contrary to blogs and websites people are still enthusiastic about trying new chatbots. If your chatbot idea has at least one tiny detail that makes it differ from the scope of chatbots, you will certainly draw attention to it.
How is it supposed to work?
Let’s say, you have a chatbot that is dedicated to coming up with the tips on the improvement of your personal style – kind of bot-stylist. Every day the chatbot sends the details of a new “look” (compound of all the clothes with the accessories to wear at once when going out) to a user based on his/her preferences.
The chatbot can propose few looks. When the user picks one, the chatbot suggests finding similar things in the wardrobe. In case if there’s nothing found by the user close enough to what he/she has picked, the chatbot offers to switch to the online shop and buy appropriate things.
This is where affiliate marketing comes in. When the user decides to go shopping online, the affiliate receives a prospect, whereas chatbots owners get paid for bringing it.
This is a wise, though a relatively simple scheme that you can also leverage in your case. To make it clearer for you and help you to gain some insights, I propose you to look at the successful cases of using conversational agents for affiliate marketing.
Examples and tips
This one of the most popular examples of fashion virtual assistant. It works in a pretty simple way. You let it know what kind of products you’re interested in and it responds with the existing products that you can buy right now.
This conversational agent doesn’t have a complicated underlying system but it successfully handles the main task – efficient search through the available options. It can save time and help to find you do want to buy.
Each of the pieces of clothes you’re offered contains an option to look up similar products, which also serves to assist you in finding what you want.
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing then this model is probably the first you need to consider. However, don’t forget that it’s only a model – it’s not strictly about clothes that your bot has to operate with.
This conversational agent works differently comparing to the retail bots I mostly come up with. The idea behind it lies in networking. The chatbot offers you two options on any topic (fashion, travel, technology, etc.) with the photos made by people across social nets. You’re also given a link to switch to those profiles or you can stay in messenger and carry on checking more picks.
This is one more possible way of how affiliate marketing can work. You don’t necessarily need to connect with online shopping places but you can promote people (particularly their profiles) and websites if the idea matches your one.
To make people want to be promoted by your chatbot you need to show that you have an audience. Otherwise, how can you bring traffic to their website if you don’t have any? That’s why the idea must be appealing and driving curiosity – you can’t just redirect users to profiles and websites.
Affiliate marketing can work only if your platform – chatbot in this case – can be obviously helpful. The more straightforward the usefulness is – the better. Consider that you need to catch user’s attention from the first seconds. If it takes a long time to show how a user can advantage, you can fail.
This example is engaging enough to not let you quit at the very beginning. It has tons of tips in any form – textual or video tutorials. Probably this wouldn’t become a good fit for anyone but mostly to the women – nevertheless it has proven its usefulness.
Along with showing you tips and tricks of different make-ups (depending on the particular kind you are interested in), Sephora offers you options to immediately go shopping if you lack one of the “ingredients”.
This is one of the numerous cases of how affiliate marketing can work – your platform offers advice and information and saves the time of users by protecting them from wasting time on the search. At the same time, there’s a cosmetical retailer that match your overall topic and provides with qualitative products the users may want to buy after getting familiar with your information.
4. The Edit
Do you think that nothing can be good without music? Do you want to guide people through the music world by means of your excellent taste? Then, you may like this example. It’s not only about music but also about vinyl records. After you answer a few questions on the music preferences you have, The Edit helps you to find the records you may enjoy. Each of the suggestions is equipped with the price and you have an option to go shopping right from there.
This is a kind of recommendation systems implemented in chatbot that has become very popular. In fact, they rely upon the existing database of options tagged and structured. Therefore, once you answer the question picking one or another blindly proposed option the system gets an access to a number of similar ones.
Most of the chatbots, especially retail ones, work as recommendation systems. It helps users to get a quick navigation through the piles of information that are only growing. Consider coming up with non-trivial and meaningful recommendations that can catch attention and be useful for your targeted audience.
5. Weather, travel, books or any other kind of chatbot.
In fact, you can convert any idea into the basis for the further making money from affiliate marketing. As I have said, the main premises are usefulness and engagement. If you can show those to the users in short terms, you win.
Don’t be too focused on the clothes, shoes, or make-up – they are never going to lose their relevance but there is a plenty of ideas that people are interested in if they are told about them in an engaging way. Try to step into the shoes of the user and find out what kind of idea can work for him/her.
There’s a number of weather bots. You can always find an online shop with interesting umbrellas and propose to participate in your affiliate program. You may have a travel bot and make touristic agencies interested in the promotion of their services in the tips your bot sends to users. In the case of travel topic, it can also be an online shop of touristic equipment, for instance.
By means of book bot you can talk to people about literature – classic, modern, whatever – and send along links to the website where they can buy those for a lower price.
The options are numerous. Don’t stay locked on just one idea that everyone uses. You can find tons of inspiration right in your head and convert them into monetization. By the way, the income from affiliate marketing can be a result not only of a collaboration with the retailers but also of a work with the different online platforms.
You can provide them with the traffic by redirecting users to their web pages. Indeed, making money from affiliate marketing is easier than you might have thought.
Check more ideas on how to make money with chatbots here.
Even though affiliate marketing can become an essential part of a successful marketing strategy, it won’t provide you with a super-power. Affiliate marketing can’t substitute a good product or a great chatbot idea. It’s just a bridge that we owe to the modern technologies.
Affiliate marketing won’t become a solution if you lack any of the core “ingredients”. But if you have a great product that has a potential to be promoted by a conversational agent or you have a chatbot that can promote products – don’t miss the chance to get income from affiliate marketing.
Please share your ideas on the topic. I would love to hear them!