What does the term "affiliate marketing" conjure up in your mind?
For those of you who have read The Age of Influence, you should remember that I believe that affiliate marketing is one of the earliest forms of influencer marketing.
Not only does affiliate marketing provide many of the benefits that you can receive from influencer marketing, but it can also directly impact your sales, SEO, word-of-mouth, and other digital marketing metrics.
To clarify what exactly affiliate marketing is and what are the best practices for utilizing it in your business, I am honored to have Kyle Kostechka as my special guest. Kyle is Business Development Director for the oldest and leading affiliate marketing company, Clickbank, and spends his days consulting with both brands and affiliates.
I hope this episode is an eye-opening one that helps you take advantage of what affiliate marketing can do for your company.
[02:47] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Kyle Kostechka
[06:31] Who Is Clickbank?
[15:50] ClickBank's Features
[16:57] How Much Does ClickBank Costs?
[21:22] How Does ClickBank Get Traction and Get Affiliate Sign Up?
[22:52] The Mistakes People Do in Affiliate Marketing
[27:30] Tip from Kyle
[30:33] ClickBank Success Stories
[33:57] The Best Practice to Follow to Be Successful
[37:10] One Mistake That Companies Make With Affiliate Marketing
[41:54] Connect With Kyle
Connect with Kyle Kostechka
More Info on Neal Schaffer and This Podcast:
We talk about a lot of different ways of digitally marketing your brand. Here on this podcast. We talk about social media marketing, digital marketing, content marketing influencer marketing. Is there something missing? Have you forgotten about affiliate marketing? Maybe you have this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast is going deep into how any business even if you have no experience doing so, can begin to leverage the positive impacts of affiliate marketing today, listening for the details. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick tocking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, whew. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, your digital marketing coach. Welcome to the podcast of the same name. So as I said in my introduction, there's lots of different types of marketing out there. And one of the oldest is affiliate marketing. Now for those of you who read the age of influence, you know that I listed affiliate marketing as a type of campaign in my chapter on the I believe it was 16 different types of influencer marketing campaigns that you can use. And the reason that affiliate marketing I consider to be influencer marketing is Look, you're tapping into people that have digital networks, in hopes that they'll be able to get people to click and buy and then you give them a commission. So it's less of a I'll pay you X dollars to post something or I'll pay I'll pay you X dollars to create content. It's more of a virtual Salesforce, a digital Salesforce, and you're tapping into their influence. And in fact, even in other types of influencer marketing, you might include aspects of affiliate marketing. So hey, we want to pay you to talk about us, but we'll also give you a special affiliate link, or we'll give you a link with a special commission that we don't normally give out. Affiliate marketing is very, very powerful, can be very, very effective. And that's why I can think of no better person to have on then Kyle Costa Rica. No, Kyle is the business development manager over at Clickbank and ClickBank is the oldest, most reputable and perhaps the largest affiliate marketing company out there. So Kyle works with not only brands, but also affiliates and does a lot of matchmaking so he really knows the insides of affiliate marketing. He is also the host of a Clickbank official affiliate marketing podcast called affiliate ID. And for those of you curious, I was actually featured on there very recently, how to unlock influencer marketing in your business to drive profits. So make sure that you subscribe to Kyle's podcast over there, Clickbank once again, it's called affiliated, but I think you're gonna find a lot of great information once again, really coming from the expert who works at the expert company, who every day is helping affiliates and brands. Both sides make money. So without further ado, let's jump into my interview with Kyle Kotecha. You're listening to your digital marketing coach, this is Neal Schaffer. everybody, my name is Neal Schaffer. I am your digital marketing coach. There is so much we can do in digital to help our businesses. But one aspect of digital marketing that we often don't talk about that we might want to consider is actually something called affiliate marketing. Now when I say affiliate marketing, you all probably have these preconceived views of like bloggers and you know spamming people with affiliate links, and you probably already have a conception as to what it is. Well, I was fortunate at Podcast Movement to literally brush shoulders with the person I'm going to interview today that I'm going to introduce you to Kyle Kotecha. Kyle is visit digital manager over at Clickbank who are really the pioneers in this whole affiliate marketing industry as we know it. Kyle also runs their podcast there so I'm going to give a shout out and you should listen to their interview of me When it's published, but, you know, after talking to Kyle, I realized there's this whole side of affiliate marketing that a lot of marketers don't really get. I also want to remind you for those that read the age of influence that affiliate marketing is one of several types of influencer marketing. So if brands start considering influencers, as potential affiliates or affiliates as potential influencers, I think you'd begin to uncover the potential that affiliate marketing for your business. I'm not the Pro on this Kyle is so without further ado, Kyle, welcome to the your digital marketing coach podcast.Kyle Kostechka:
Hey, Neil, thanks so much for having me. And I will say first I felt the to be the lucky one bumping shoulders if you because you're amazing guest to have great person talk to you in a wealth of knowledge. I just hope that hopefully I can provide some value to your audience today and definitely excited to talk because as you mentioned, our conversation that we had last week was fantastic. And I'm hoping just could live up to it because you're you're great guests and great guy.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, it was Kyle's luck right after our podcast interview is when I went downstairs and lo and behold, Pat Flynn was right in front of me in the hall and I had a chance to, to introduce myself to him for the first time. So anyway, fanboy aside. You know, I started my entrepreneurial journey and digital began way back in 2008. And like, Clickbank was like everywhere and I knew there were a lot of I was not into the affiliate marketing scene then, like most bloggers had an account with ClickBank so I also only knew about Clickbank from the blogger aside, but I want to better understand from the brand side. So if you could sort of summarize Clickbank in 2021 Going into 2022, who is Clickbank today, and you know, how are you serving who?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, well, and the great thing is Clickbank today isn't that different than what Clickbank was 2040 years ago outside the way that the internet looks, but in terms of what they're providing and allowing for, we just really work with online entrepreneurs to really facilitate scaling your business through affiliates, and using affiliates in a variety of different affiliates. So we we capture from your content bloggers, we have podcasters to people that are driving 1000s of front end sales and new sales for clients a day a day in that affiliate realm, there's so many different things and aspects there. And as our company, we just make it really easy. What that means for us today on this conversation is that I have access and education and learning and with really the top affiliate programs and affiliates and advising people on how they could replicate that success time and time again, just to illustrate kind of the power of what affiliates could do on our platform and why it's it's so great when good offers meet the right affiliates. Magic, it happened. For example, I had a client that they knew a little bit of Facebook traffic, they had a great product, they had a great sales page, but they just didn't have enough traffic and know how to scale it. So the numbers were solid from their testing, but we rolled that out to affiliates. And they went from zero sales, just maybe getting like one to two in a week to they were getting you know, seven figures monthly within a matter of 60 days. So it can really, really go fast with affiliates depending on the way your business is set up and what you need to serve. And our platform basically just makes that easy. But affiliates are immensely powerful for so many different reasons, from the fact that they could just, you know, it's something where you could scale really fast because you're going to experts and each traffic source and they're performance oriented. Or oftentimes a lot of Ei could be traffic sources you don't want to get into you don't know how to get into and penetrate. But there's people that for a commission versus an agency model, which we could talk about if you want what those differences are. And then finally to lots of times I get products that they haven't dialed in their marketing, yet they know their products really good. But to just can't quite get the messaging in the audience and affiliates could be a great way depending on the type of affiliate where you could start to refine it understand what actually drives conversions, and what the voice of your marketing needs to be. So how all sorts of different aspects that could be helpful for depending on what your business is, and where it needs to go. But affiliates could be a path to you getting there in some capacity. And hopefully we could talk about and share some of those tidbits today.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, you know, it's really funny, because I as an affiliate myself, it's really interesting. I have so many companies that reach out to me as an influencer and their pitches, they want me to sign up as an affiliate. Now, I'd like most other responsible affiliates, really only we'll talk about products that we use that we love, and I'm one of those I mean, not everyone's like that, but I'm definitely one of those types. So it's like hey, you know, why don't why don't you let me try your product. But what's interesting is I noticed that the minute obviously I add an affiliate link on my blog, that's immediate SEO value that I'm giving that company and even if it's going through a Clickbank cloaked URL, I'm assuming at the end of the day, it does from Google's eyes. It is a link from my website to that website. I also so SEO the other one is even if there's no conversion, massive traffic and brand awareness, because at the end of the day, even the greatest affiliates are not going to get 70 80% conversion but if you get a lot of traffic and you get three percent conversion, that that could be a huge number. But there's a lot of traffic being generated. So I love that example of just the brand awareness. Yes, they got seven figures sales in a month, but for the SEO and for the brand awareness and traffic generation, that alone and it gives you an excuse to reach out to these these influencers, right. So I think there's a lot of value packed in here that companies that are doing it GAAP, but those on the outside really don't understand. And I'm glad you hit upon some of those points, I wanted to add my own sort of commentary there. So let's look at it from the we're a brand, we want to engage with influencers, and we want them to push our product. And we may give them a special discount code. And they may get a 5% commission and their audience gets a 10% discount. But that is affiliate marketing, right? It's looking at it from companies now trying to leverage influencers not for likes and comments and engagement. But but for conversion. So at the heart of it, it is so I'm curious because there are influencer databases out there. And then there are platforms like Clickbank that you have a ton of affiliates that already signed up accessing already pushing deals in your platform, do you have like a number that you can share as a how many affiliates actually have accounts with ClickBank?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, I'm trying to remember how much we what I can actually say on that. But by visaa, we get 1000s of new signups every single day, people coming onto our platform. So and we are probably, if not the largest, definitely one of the largest in terms of size, in the the 1000s and hundreds of 1000s range of affiliates that we have on that platform. Now activity could range from time to time. So I don't know the most up to date numbers. But But needless to say it's a very large amount in terms of networks. Now one thing I want to talk to you a little about too, or just expand on, because you mentioned I think is really important distinction. And one of the things we're like the ClickBank, I'm gonna call it performance affiliates, versus like content affiliates. So when you mentioned influencers, and oftentimes, hey, I want to talk about my product, one of the big things that you're currently doing in that capacity is a CPM model, I'm going to go out and buy sponsored posts, which is still very effective, but it's your risk Online Plus from a motivation for them, they're only going to wait until you get the payment for the post, you're always driving the conversation. Maybe not always, but most situations you're driving when the post is going to go or that it has to happen. If you have hundreds of different influencers or hundreds of different affiliates you're trying to work with, that can become really cumbersome, it's really logistically a bit of a challenge verse, when you go to performance affiliates, they only get paid when they make it so and they could do so passively at their own, I guess, you know, focus when they want to when they want to push it, where they want to push it to and how often as long as it continues to make sales for them, versus other offers or products that they could also make sales with. So that just means when you have kind of a performance affiliate, and you're giving the commission versus just like let me pay you for a sponsored post, they have so much more commitment to do a good job. And in terms of leverage for you, there's not as much risk right. And in general, they could go out and promote as often as they want. So they're giving an idea another example of a company that you know, really shirt, the model of the CP, the kind of the CPM sponsored post model for influencers company by the name of air doctor, they make these amazing kind of two products, they have lots of products, but they have an air filter, and also a water purifier. And they exclusively work on an affiliate commission basis, a rev share basis, meaning they get a percentage of the sale, and then the affiliate gets a percentage of the sale and they share in the returns. So they built their business up to an eight figure range and took time, but exclusively on the performance model for affiliates. And it's huge for them, because what they found is when the influencers actually bought into an affiliate model, they're like, Wow, I'm making a lot more money. And they would promote way more often and didn't have to ask them and then they tell their friends about it, say this organic referral, you know, thing build up over two years to where they're getting, you know, seven or eight figures monthly, from their their influencer traffic without even going into the other affiliates that could be offered. And now they're not spending hours and hours a day searching and finding and trying, you know, go to some micro influencer and pay him 200 300 bucks to get a sponsored post and then cross your fingers on ROI. So it's not to say there's not so work and affiliate management and relationships you need to build and supply but it really could change the model for your business substantially. And it's really something to be tapped into because of the nature of what I would tell you is that performance nature, the risk in motivation is on that side of influencer. And I want to say that sensitive everyone that buys a post doesn't care about the performance they obviously care because to get your ex sponsored posts, you have to do a good job. But but it is different when you can make as much money as you're willing to put your focus into with an affiliate deal when it wins Performance Base.Neal Schaffer:
What Yeah, and it's it's a totally different paradigm. And I want to go forward on that sort of analogy with influencer marketing, because that's I was asking you like how many people are signed up because you have these influencer marketplaces. But generally speaking, if they're opt in there, they just are not at the scale that a Clickbank is. And furthermore, they work in all sorts of ways. Whereas with ClickBank, everybody who sign up is an affiliate they get how it works. It's performance based. They're going to find products that are relevant to them. They understand the commission system, they understand how to get visuals, and it's it's really efficient. Because with every influencer and you know, there's still value in influencer marketing outside of affiliate marketing, but if you know conversions and sales is your primary objective, you know, what Clickbank offers is a one stop shop just that is just streamlined to do just that. So for those companies that are listening, saying, It sounds like a lot of work, it sounds complex, or it sounds really expensive. If there are even like small business owners, entrepreneurs listening that want to, you know, sort of trial, ClickBank, what would that can you sort of describe what the system would look like? And how it's pretty easy once you get signed up to start recruiting affiliates?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, in terms of getting started, you know, it could be pretty easy, right, depending on what your product is, and not even just like our platform, just in general, its affiliates. Basically, if you get listed on our marketplace, you could go out and seek affiliates, through networking groups, events, ask people to promote your product, the real core requirements you need is you need to be able to transact online. So you need some form of processing, you need a way to track the performance. So you need some sort of attribution, that anytime an affiliate sends traffic your way that they are then and then it converts, they're going to know that they did that right, and then they're going to get paid for it. And then you need to be able to pay out whatever those those processes are. So depending on your terms, and oftentimes people pay out once a month, the writing checks out the affiliates, and then you know, they have to deal with all the accounting that goes along with and getting the proper payments. And then also making sure that off times, you might have net terms. So if there's any refunds or returns that have occurred in that period, you're not paying out on revenue that you don't really have anymore. So there's those are kind of the components in there in terms of cost. This is where it can be expensive if you're paying for tracking software, the accountant to make all the payments and you have to have a way to get all that to it. And now you're paying for getting all the affiliates and going and attracting them and finding them right now I'll send you like, Man, this has gotten really expensive and I haven't generated revenue. Clickbank, obviously Clickbank and other networks like us will shortcut a lot of that. And we actually handle all the processing. So all the payments, and the tax remittance and all the headaches that are just annoying, I think most entrepreneurs hear that and it's like a My Account, like, like, you're get glad they're good, but you hate to talk to them. And so you know, a lot of that stuff we take care of we manage all of that. So we have the tracking, we have the back end headaches, making sure everyone gets paid tax refunds, all that stuff is covered threw us not to mention a robust marketplace where you know, you're gonna go out and seek and find affiliates, you want to find the right ones, and then nourish them. But with our marketplace, it's algorithmically built to where when your offer does, well, people aren't actually going to see that and they're gonna go, oh, this is a good one, they're gonna start promoting it. So you get a lot of organic lift and analysis, and you're getting revenue that your past performance and current performance of being good is paying off to where you get even additional revenue from stuff that you don't have to lift the finger. For that being said, in terms of cost, we're there's ways to make this easy, it's still a new traffic channel, I don't believe there's any traffic channel that isn't going to cost you some amount of money in time, you know, from a resource standpoint, when you enter into it. And this is exactly that. I'm not to say that it has to be incredibly expensive. You definitely can invest what you need to but but there is going to be in to be investment normally, and whether that's getting signed up with a network like ours, where we don't charge anything until you're making money. So it's pretty cheap, but But it's hard to say not knowing what you're you might need to hire a copywriter that specializes in affiliate offers, because sometimes the language might be a little bit different than your marketing, you might have to hire a JV broker and affiliate manager just to make sure they're maintaining and increasing really getting the most money out of that platform. Now, there's lots of ways to do that and do it on like a varying level of cost. What I'd actually recommend is, and we have a ton of YouTube cuts, I just don't want to I could go into all the different ways that it could cost money and what those estimated cost would be but it's really hard because it just depends on your business. But you can always go check out some of our our YouTube channel and ClickBank we have a bunch of content that talks about that stuff talks about how to get started, and it gives you a range of okay, do you want to do this kind of on the cheap and keep their costs down low. So you could take advantage? Great, here's some ways that you could do that. And then if you're looking to spend money to go faster, here's the way you could do that. That's what I would tell you the most money is going to increase your speed to success. So how much you invest into it will mean you're more likely to be successful a lot faster than if you keep it kind of you want to keep your costs down low. I mean, you could do a lot of this stuff for very bare bones costs, but it's probably going to take you more time to get to success. Not necessarily. I mean, there's always cases where people put very little money in and offer just explodes and goes really really fast to a bunch of affiliates, but I like to not plan for becoming viral or being the exception to a rule. So in most cases, you know, the more you put into it, you could be successful faster. And then if you don't put resources into it probably just take you more time.Neal Schaffer:
So I guess my question and that's all great information. My question. So really, if you have the creatives and you have the mechanism to to track the conversion, and you have the copywriting for you already have it on hand, your platform doesn't require like any monthly fee, then it really is just based off of the commission. So anybody could really if they have that they can get started today. Take a listen this podcast, press pause now go over to Clickbank get signed up and get up in the platform. That's easy,Kyle Kostechka:
correct? Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's that easy in terms of that part. So I was going like more high level there. But yeah, I don't know. But that'sNeal Schaffer:
then the challenge is, then you get into this database. And people might search and find you. They may not, you're probably going to show with like a little new tag and maybe people look for new offers. How do you get traction? Because you cannot as a brand, you can't reach out to those individual affiliates on your platform only after they've opted in your program. Correct. So how do you get going? Now I know that there are a lot of companies, if you do a search on their website, like at the bottom, they'll have a little thing for affiliates. And they probably link back to Clickbank there. And that's one great way of exposing your audience the fact you have an affiliate program, but how do you once you get signed up? How do you sort of get traction and get affiliate signed up? How do you recruit them?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, that can be a real challenge, right? For a lot of people. So I'll cover just some different ways, I think one of the easiest ways to do it is be an affiliate first. So and what I mean by that is like if you have a business right now, and we kind of talk that means you have some level of influence, you have an audience of buyers that are that are interested in your product, but they're also interested in a lot of other things. So if you find a product that fits and you're like, Well, I know this audience is similar my audience that here's a product that would fit isn't my product, I'm going to promote that. I'm just going to promote it, whether it's an email, whether it's your social, whatever means that you have promote another product, the great thing is if it goes well, they're going to want to talk to you, your affiliate manager, their you know, contact is going to say hey, what's going on, you did a great job. And now you have leveraged come and say yes, here's what I'm doing, here's my offer, here's my product, would you be willing to promote it as well. So it's a really, really, really nice entry point. And a great way to start off with a mutual like showing people Hey, our audience likes your product, they're gonna like our product, too. We know that we're on the Venn diagram, that's a really effective way to do it. The other route is just in this is kind of silly, you could go and NASA in the marketplace, but you look around it audiences, whether it's a blog, whether it's a YouTube, or whatever, something that fits right for affiliates that you're looking for, and you just reach out, you reach out cold and say, Here's my offer. And then the big thing while you're doing that is make sure you speak the language of what they care about. So oftentimes, we see a lot of people make mistakes in affiliate marketing, is they only talk about the product like they're trying to sell it to a customer, you really don't want to do that, because then affiliate, and especially our affiliates, or you're getting into the world where people understand like what you said like they're here to make revenue, they want to make revenue that fits in to make fit into a mission. There's some people that don't care bla bla, at the end of the day, they need to make cash. And the biggest thing that they're facing is opportunity costs, right. So if I put out somebody else's offer over yours, and theirs could have done better, I'm spending, I'm losing money and opportunity cost if yours doesn't perform well. So in whatever way I might be promoting it. And so that you have to be really cognizant about in speak a language that's going to be attractive them and make sense of them. So when you talk about it, here's where my offer converts. Here's what I'm offering from a commission level. Here's on average my ARV. Here's what the sales page looks like, here's the demographic information. Here's why I think you would be a good affiliate for it. But but those are the things that you want to talk to and talk to specifically, that are really going to be attractive if you're going to have to reach out cold. Last way to is honestly I would strongly recommend if you're going to affiliate marketing, find a group. And there's a there's a group called Traffic tribe that does things like this, there's a Facebook group called D RMP. Group on Facebook, nothing held back is another one. These are just some some big groups in our space where you could go and you could connect with other affiliate marketers, or affiliates directly. And you could ask, Hey, I didn't want to come in there and say promote my offer. Get a feel for any group, see where you could contribute value, see how people are communicating? I strongly recommend that within the first time you get into a group the first couple days, do not just start jumping in and pitching out your product because people just say no, that's right. But be in there understand the group and then you'll ask when you find the right people or put a post in it. That's a great way. The other thing is in person. I know events are kind of still kind of tenuous, and we in fact, we actually just cancelled one of our big we'll postpone one of our big events because of because of COVID. So I mean, sometimes that might make things a little bit more odd right now. But when you get to those events and going to things like traffic conversion, which we were at just last week, and there's Things where we have a, there's the affiliate manager Happy Hour, which is great group Mosa. As another good mastermind, getting into these groups and going to the Affiliate Summit West is coming up here soon, you're gonna meet tons of affiliates you're gonna shake hands with. And that's how a lot of these deals start is you just have to go out, be bold, and say hi to somebody. So there's a bit of an investment getting started. The last thing though, I will say that probably the fastest way, in terms of getting started is is be able to connect with someone like myself. So my job is ultimately connecting with your offer owners making sure the offer fits, right. So what do you want to do? What's your goal? Does this seem like the medium or channel for you, if it works on our platform, and something that would make sense for us, whether that's b2b b2c, we actually really support both depending on you know, the way their funnels constructed, you know, all make the introductions for them. So we'll get testing done have obviously a large network of people. So we're going to go out and help make those introductions and get the traffic that you need, because we know that eventually, again, if you're doing well, and you move up our marketplace, you'll get your longtail other affiliates start getting the offer, we just have to kind of pour gasoline on the fire. And that's something that we do really well. Other ways, of course to do that, again, are to hire like that that's going with ClickBank directly if you qualify for, for working with develop Manager, you can also hire experienced contract affiliate managers, which will have those connections, put your offer out there JV brokers are another great one, but they already have the connection. So finding some intermediary like that is incredibly effective and going out and meeting them. And that's how you get things kick started. And then a platform really kicks in and makes a ton of added benefit. But you do need to put a little bit of work in making those introductions in whatever ways you know, it's gonna make the most sense for you.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, and this is exactly the case with influencer marketing, it comes down to relationships, it doesn't happen overnight, you have the platform to facilitate the technology and you get registered in a database, which might bring you some inbound, but at the end of the day, you're gonna have to do searches on the social networks, on blogs, podcasts, the good thing is that good affiliates are probably mentioning the companies that they represent, in their blog, in the YouTube videos on there, but so it's searchable, right? Looking for competitors names looking for product names of not competitors. But in the same industry, you might be able to, you know, more easily find affiliates, or even people that mentioned you in their blog, they might be they might have mentioned you without knowing your affiliate program. And if they need to have one, they might want to sign up for it because they're already talking about you. So I think that's where it gets the basic influencer marketing, you know, audience research.Kyle Kostechka:
And one thing, one thing to just know that a good tip. So if you're looking, if you go onto the platform, you sign up, it's totally free to sign up at Clickbank. So once you're signed up, you can get access to our marketplace, which is going to show offers are performing really well. And it's sorted based on interest, verticals, things like that. So you could say hey, what is competition? What's something comparable? In, you know, with what I'm offering, you can look at that and then take the name of that product? And like you said, search for it look on look on social look on YouTube, look on Google, see who's promoting it, and how, and then you're gonna see what affiliates are doing well, right, you're gonna probably start to see Facebook ads and things like that. And so now you know, great, here's tree connection, we actually have each one is identified by what we call a nickname. So if it's with a Clickbank offer to, you're gonna be able to see like, Okay, I could look and see that this person, this affiliate IDs, doing this promotion, right. And so they're doing all these promotions, and I go, okay, that's an affiliate I want to get in contact with. So you could see what medium they're doing, you now reach out and say, Hey, I see you're promoting X product, I've very similar products on Clickbank as well, we'd be interested in testing. So knowing that you've done the research, you've already made a correlation. And that is going to make it so much easier. And it's definitely an efficient way to go out I want to say grind, but we give you the tools to make it much easier than otherwise would be but you know, this is still a market it to new channel, right you have to put work you have the resources into to getting started. But once it's there, it's definitely a channel that that could grow so fast. And so expansively just giving idea to them. One of the big things we see this being hugely beneficial, is going to international markets oftentimes so we're a global network, we have affiliates from all over the world. And lots of times if you're trying to say reach out into New Zealand or Europe and just understand the language of those those products, those markets, it can be really challenging to do that on your own. Well, it Clickbank like we have affiliates that are you're speaking that language that are already in those areas, they already have access to that traffic, and they're just looking for offers that they're going to convert for it. So you can really really go grow. You're really what your market looks like using affiliates pretty quickly. So it's just such a powerful tool. But yeah, justNeal Schaffer:
there's been such great eye opening information. There's still a few other questions that I want to ask you. This is really getting in depth and it's really awesome. Is there a number that people need for the marketing industry say the affiliate marketing industry is worth x billion dollars. There are a number that you throw around I just wanted to compare it with influencer marketingKyle Kostechka:
Gosh, you know, I? There might be one out there but I don't know it. Oh yeah,Neal Schaffer:
no worries. I just think you know, Instagram influencer marketing, they say back in 2019 was about $2 billion. Maybe it's up to like six or $10 billion this year. But I'm just thinking that the affiliate marketing industry is just, you know, eclipses that number and it's just this huge economy that either either you're tapped into or you're not if you're not you miss on the opportunity. So with that in mind, first of all, a lot of people probably associate affiliate marketing like Amazon Associates, like really b2c, can you give me examples of like b2b clients that Clickbank works with maybe like an example of a successful one?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, we actually have a lot of software clients we work with, they're doing SAS products that help other marketers or other business owners. So for example, we have a great product that is on our platform that specifically sells its software that allows you to basically create videos, text, text based videos, just by typing something in so it does all the editing for you. And you could get like a sales video or really any type of video, even informational video without a video editor without spending all that money and doing it really, really quick, so great for anyone's doing YouTube ads and stuff like that. But they're not targeting consumers, right? Not somebody that's just like, oh, I want to lose weight. That's not the thing. It's other business owners that are in in marketing and online marketing. why that's so powerful, though, is and I find in b2b, the biggest thing is being in the right room, right, you got to be in the room, you got to have that trust. So we have a large network of individuals that have built up followings talking to a group of professionals, whether it's sales professionals, and so we've had products on our platform, they're teaching you how to be a better, you know, close more deals with, you know, selling cars, real estate, all sorts of things, investments, all that stuff, right. And so there's teaching them well, source where someone's already an expert, and they're just going to offer more of that, right. We also have legacy software. So it's normally going to other people that are teaching people how to be online marketers. And so now we get to offer a software to that audience, learning, talking, discussing and trusting from them. One of the biggest things to remember with affiliates, especially when you're in a b2b, it's definitely the traffic source. But the trust is what you're paying for with those commissions. I'm getting trust and access to an audience that I want. So that always works out really, really well for us. When you're doing that, and especially even high ticket two, it does really, really well with high ticket things. Oftentimes, it is leading to like a masterclass or webinar, but But yeah, it's it's a really viable place. Especially I would say this, especially if you're providing something could be very transactional b2b. So consulting service, something that's a longer sales cycle, sometimes it's going to be a little bit more challenging. So for example, if your software is 100 grand a year for a business, and you're normally working with companies that are, you know, in the billions of revenue, affiliate marking is probably not going to work for you, they're just not going to pick something up and close that kind of a deal, you know, through affiliate marketing. So be aware that it's not every b2b. But if you're in a much more transactional based b2b situation like, like software that I just described, it's immensely effective, because you just get to where you need to go and avoid a lot of the noise that comes along with some of the other marketing aspects of b2b sales.Neal Schaffer:
It's similar to a conversation I had with you know, this guy marketing Jay Baer, but on his podcast we had, we talked about b2b influencer marketing, and in b2b marketing, you know, with b2c, there's a lot of people out there that will talk about, you know, beauty and fashion. But b2b, there aren't many blogs out there that talk about video software. So if you find some and they are affiliates, that is an immensely valuable way of getting into that very, very niche conversation that otherwise would be very difficult to do. So I want to encourage companies, by the way, I am NOT an affiliate of ClickBank people. I'm just trying as your digital marketing coach, I'm just trying to provide you insightful information here and advice, but I would definitely if you're a b2b Also consider it. So to finish up just two really quick questions. One, we'll start with number one, one point of advice that is like this is this is the best practice for all you're listening to really want to get involved in that this is the most important thing, the most important best practice that you need to follow to be successful. Is there one that you can pinpoint that you could you could tell us,Kyle Kostechka:
I think the biggest thing for success with affiliates is I mentioned it's a traffic channel is really at its best. It's an acquisition traffic channel. So for that, the biggest thing for people to be successful affiliate mark is understanding the more you pay, the more you can play. So knowing what your LTV is, knowing how much you could pay to acquire a customer that fits in your business, you're still going to be profitable, understanding that number and then driving it up as high as you feel like you possibly can is going to make you successful as affiliates. Because one thing that's different at the end of the day I was like that, you know, explain to people is you know, if I'm buying my own sand buying my own Facebook ads I am going to spend up into even if I'm losing money if I know my LLC Do I know that I'm okay spending that to acquire a customer, I'll keep doing that I will scale at breakeven. But if I'm paying an affiliate to do that, they're not going to break even for me, they're not going to lose money for me, because they have to make money in the margins of whatever they're paying for traffic and what you're paying them to sell it. Um, so I know that Facebook says it, but it's going to be same with email and other things like, the more you could pay, the more they're going to want to promote. And the more often they will do that. But you can't really go into that if you don't know what the LTV or lifetime value of the customer is. So you really understand what your cash flow is going to be like when you're going to make how long you have to flip that cash, if you're going to acquire somebody who certainly the businesses that know that and understand it really well do very well in affiliate marketing, where I see people struggle is they don't understand that concept. And so they're not willing either cash enough, because they don't really know how they're going to make money, or they they end up paying way too much. And they just erode their cash flow and their business. Because, you know, affiliates promoted, but they promoted on a loss, and they weren't actually making any money. And now they have to close up shop. Those are two of the 10 most damaging things and kind of stoppers that I see with people entering in affiliate marketing.Neal Schaffer:
But I think it's good to point out, I'm sure your system handles it as well as that you can't have a tiered approach. So, you know, beginners started this commission. And then once they get to a certain point, or they have a certain amount of influence, you can knock them up or not them down based on performance. And that's all customizable really, really easily in your platform. Right?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, yeah. Correct is which we have features allow you to pay, because you don't want to always pay the max to everybody, right? That's a great way to put yourself in a tough spot. But yeah, you can you create tears and build that out. So you're always protected, you're not going to be paying more than you want to for somebody. But you also have to know how much you can pay to make that work, right? If I don't know how much I could really pay, or I don't really know what my flow is going to be. If I pay say, we like to call bounty period, actually negative day one, if you don't know those numbers, it's gonna be really hard for you to really scale with affiliates in a way that it's safe for your business, and good for your business. So we created all the tiers, the easy, and I think in general, that that's a good practice to have is should always hear things out. If you don't know the numbers, you're gonna really struggle to even do that.Neal Schaffer:
So you may have just answered the second question I was gonna ask you. And if you did, if there's another answer you could give, but you know, what is one mistake you see companies making the most with affiliate marketing?Kyle Kostechka:
It's a great question. I think oftentimes, where know your numbers is probably the number one mistake. But the other one that I really see people do is, you know, patience. And remember that relationships are key. What I mean by that is a lot of affiliate marketing, the deal just doesn't always happen perfectly the first time, it takes some time to massage and get to where it needs to go. And I've seen where someone has an affiliate that they reach out to, and they're like, Oh, they're supposed to be such a big deal. They promise all this traffic. And then for a variety of different factors, it doesn't happen, just the initial interaction goes good, but not as well as it can. And normally, what you should do is reach out connect, build, that really shouldn't ship and collaborate to make it successful. And I see a lot of people just get frustrated, attack shut things off, because it didn't go perfect the first time. So you know, because where there's a lot of affiliates, we talked about size, but especially at the top, the world gets really small, and people talk. So if you've become difficult to work with, if you feel like yeah, I tried to work it out. And they just said no to that gets around really, really fast. And it just makes it to where, you know, people don't want to promote your offers anymore. They don't want to try and sell your products. And now you have a reputation. And that reputation is sometimes insurmountable. And I've seen people have to exit, just not because their product wasn't good, not because affiliates were making money. But because they were so hard to work with that they just didn't have any affiliates that want to work with them. So I think having patience, and then really focusing on those relationships are huge. And one other plug I'll do why relationships are so important, is oftentimes it might take you time to get it just dialed in, right? If you build those great relationships, though, even if say things weren't going awesome, the affiliates weren't pushing a lot of volume. Once you get it ready, all of a sudden, you could just scale incredibly fast. In fact, there's a individual I know, on our platform that, you know, was it has been in the business for a really long time, had great relationships, but never really had an offer, or you know, a product that just really took off just a product that was just going crazy. And then this past that's probably 18 months and now finally figured that that he had the product that just fit and that really fit for all the affiliate relationships he had. He's gonna roll that out and get so much volume so fast rocketed up to the top of our leaderboard in the vertical direction and that was because he had those great relationships. So even if it takes time, and that patience, if you build the relationships along the way, you know, it almost becomes a switch that you could flip on for traffic and revenue. So that's that's the thing i'd really tell people is don't don't lose sight of the importance of those relationships in this community because it will pay dividends not only in the short term, but definitely in the long term.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah. And you know, some of the the companies that I work with as an affiliate, you know, marketing technology providers, they have affiliate managers who reach out, Hey, how can we help you? Right? It's similar thing with influencer marketing, how can we collaborate? How can we support you? And what's really interesting is a trend that I see at least in my space in the b2b marketing technology space of companies that have affiliates and saying, Hey, affiliates, we're going to offer you a bonus if you review our product online, right? Whether it's like a YouTube video or even an Instagram story, but it you're incentivizing them further just because you know that they're busy, but further incentivize or to get them to actually you know, produce content which is also gonna help them make more affiliate revenue and obviously help your brand in many ways as well. So there's a lot of influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, I'm hoping to get caught but it's it can be a very creative process because at the other end of the Internet is a person right that the affiliates and there's so many ways that you can work with them and collaborate incentivize them that the sky's the limit?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I mean, you say it perfectly it's it's, it's all about living that creativity but you need to have those good collaborative open relationships feel free to do that. So but yeah, I mean, relationships are definitely key and then the other thing to just put out because there's so many resources always look research, find people that are saying things that you want to hear and that makes sense for you. Obviously, you're doing that already with Neil but you know, continue that when you go in that traffic channel and treat it as that it's a new traffic channel. You want to have some education it has wild amazing potential. But make sure you understand how that potential could be reached first just jumping into it and hoping that it works outNeal Schaffer:
awesome advice calm this has been like the definitive episode on affiliate marketing point everyone's you listened to now. How can people well, obviously people can go to clickbank.com But how can people or your podcast and and people that want to connect with you? Where should we send people?Kyle Kostechka:
Yeah, well, our podcast affiliated it by ClickBank, so Clickbank and anywhere you get podcasts or affiliated, you'll get access to that and definitely look out for that for Neil's episode, when it drops. The other side too, is if you firstname.lastname@example.org, we do have a scale score. It's a survey that gives you an idea of state is my company ready for affiliates? Through that people, then all you'll be able to basically get in contact with me. Um, you could also find me on Facebook or LinkedIn and just reach out across all those different channels. And if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.Neal Schaffer:
And your your name, I assume is your handle on those channels? Oh, yeah,Kyle Kostechka:
it is. I'm a horrible social media person. And so yeah, you just have you just type in Kyle caustic. And there's only one of us. So you'll definitely find me wherever I happen to be across any channel. AndNeal Schaffer:
that's Caylus TECHK. A. Yeah, I'm sure there's a story about your last name. We'llKyle Kostechka:
get to that next time we chat. Yep. Yep.Neal Schaffer:
Thank you so much for being generous with your time and just offering us a plethora of invaluable resource. Thank you.Kyle Kostechka:
My pleasure, Neal. Thanks so much.Neal Schaffer:
I hope you enjoyed that interview. And I have a really, really unique story to tell of how I was able to appear on Clickbank podcast and how I invited Kyle to appear on my podcast, you see, I was recently asked, all these blog posts are talking about what are the things you should be doing in marketing next year. And one of the things I recommended this was a blog post about influencer marketing was you need to get out in person events. And at in person events, you often meet people that have influence, or you are able to meet with technology vendors to get a real quick technology audit to make sure that you have the right technology in place for your marketing. But this is an example of when I was at Podcast Movement in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year, only one of two physical conferences I went to this year, the other one being Traffic and Conversion Summit, we were waiting to get into a room and I just struck up a conversation with Kyle. And it turns out lo and behold, he is the host of the most influential podcast on affiliate marketing. So we began talking, it's like, hey, let's keep in touch. And as it turned out, he got ahold of me later saying, Hey, we're going to be in San Diego. They're actually located in Boise, Idaho along with Click Funnels and some other really cool companies. But like, Hey, we're going to be a Traffic Conversion summit in San Diego. You know, we'd love to invite you on our podcast there. In fact, we'll have our recording studio there, and we can record you right there. I said Kyle, can you help a friend out I don't I don't have a ticket. Is there any way you can count me and he was able to through the fact that they were an exhibitor where he was able to do a provide me a partner Pass, which I'm forever thankful for. And that is how we've been able to develop this relationship where we're appearing on each other's podcasts, all from physically meeting in person. I say this a lot as I work on my next book all about this digital first approach to marketing the analog the relationship Building is more important than ever. I challenge you. I know that I myself, even when I go into local Starbucks around here in Southern California, I still wear a mask. And people look at me really weird. But you know, coming back from Japan where everybody was wearing masks all the time, to me, it just seems natural. We're not out of this yet. So I was wearing a mask at Podcast Movement as well, as well as a Traffic Conversion Summit. Not everybody was. But the key thing here is, once you start to feel safe, I really challenge you to go out there, there are more and more in person events planned. And it's really, you know, I realized that there are some potential drawbacks, there won't be as many people there, it's going to be a little bit weird because of all the protocols and everything. But it can be extremely magical. All it takes is one Kyle Kotecha for you to meet, that can enrich you that can bring new relationships that have unintended benefits, and all the rest. So that's just a closing note, as we end the year, I hope that you're planning on going to conferences in 2022. And if you are, let me know, I'd love to meet you there, even no matter where they are in the United States, or even in Europe. So just some closing thoughts among many as we are ready to close out the year. Once again, hope you enjoyed the episode. If you enjoyed this podcast, I only have a few asks, well, you know, every marketer should only have one call to action, right? So I'll just say subscribe. If you're not subscribed, subscribe. If you are subscribed already, and you have been enjoying the show, I'd really be honored if you just leave a really quick review on whatever podcast app that you're listening on. And you know what? Above and beyond that, I've had people they go to my podcast dot Neal schaffer.com website for this podcast. Send me a message, enjoy your podcast, share it on social media, tag me any support you can get. I know it sounds weird. A podcasting can be a really lonely experience. They may not sound that way. So any feedback really gets me pumped up. And I'm already pumped up but hey, you know, I can always use more energy for those times in the day when I'm in between coffees and I lack the energy. So anyway, I'll stop there. That was a lot. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the episode. Keep tuned in we got a lot of great episodes coming up as always, and this is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer signing out. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick tocking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, who there's a lot to cover, whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach, and this is Neal Schaffer.