A year ago, we told you about a powerful monetization tool called “affiliation.” Affiliate linking is a seamless way for labels, independent artists and filmmakers to earn additional revenue beyond the royalties earned through digital sales for something they are already doing — marketing their content.
You can foster this additional revenue stream, in the form of affiliate commissions, by signing up with affiliate programs such as Apple’s iTunes affiliate program and the Amazon Associates program that reward you for referring subsequent sales in their stores via specialized links.
Affiliate links can live almost anywhere. When it comes to placing your links, creativity ultimately wins, and like most marketing, the more creative you are with your placement, the more they’ll work for you to generate those affiliate commissions and collect data.
Probably the biggest no-brainer on the list is websites. If you use affiliate links in one place and one place only, it should be throughout each and all of your websites. Artist, label and filmmakers’ sites are likely the first destination for fans wanting to listen to, watch and purchase content. Websites also have a unique advantage when it comes to physical music purchases, as those fans dedicated enough to make vinyl, CD and DVD purchases are likely to do so directly through the artist’s site or relevant fan clubs.
Email newsletters make a great avenue for affiliate links because of the high open and click-through rate. Fans receive email newsletters because they have elected to receive news and updates, thus indicated they are interested in learning more about a particular artist. This is a highly targeted group of users, who are among the most likely to go on and purchase your record or film. Do not miss out on this opportunity to earn affiliate commissions and also earn valuable insight into your fan base’s purchasing behavior.
Social media channels are the easiest place to start using affiliate linking. Facebook pages are some of the most popular ways for fans to connect with their favorite artists. We recommend that you make sure to populate all Facebook “about” sections and Twitter “bio” fields with your buy links. We also recommend posting affiliate links once your product is live for pre-order and again on street date.
As with social media networks, YouTube is also an excellent medium for affiliate links given its popularity as a reliable destination for content. As the world’s most popular online video destination, YouTube provides an excellent opportunity for you to incorporate affiliate links into your videos’ descriptions and individual video annotations.