Advertising has most often gone alongside content, whether that content be television or radio shows, or most recently websites, blogs and videos. But the value of advertising has declined over time because it is being seen more as intrusive and many times irrelevant these days. Shows are interrupted with commercials, websites have ads all over time, or even worse popup windows, people are tweeting offers, email inboxes are full of spammy offers – the list goes on and on.
So smart advertisers have taken a more subtle approach – by embedding their products right into the content. This could be putting cars into action flicks, having actors wear or consume the product, getting sports figures to wear their brand’s clothes, overlaying commercials within the sports events and so on. The value to the advertiser is that people will be influenced by people they admire and trust. But what do you do if you’re not a super-famous movie production studio, actor, sports figure or artist – but you have your own small group of loyal fans?
Go get the products yourself! Did you know that there are a ton of products related to your music or art that you can sell and get a commission for? This is called affiliate marketing. For example if you’re a musician you can offer all sorts of links to products you actually use – guitars, drums, bass guitars, microphones, recording equipment and software, guitar, bass drum lesson DVDs, sheet music. The list is endless. You can sign up as an Amazon associate for example.
Once you’ve signed up and have chosen the products, you can put the affiliate links in your content – in your website, blog posts, myspace pages, videos and their descriptions and so on. The link would be something like http://www.amazon.com/ShureM57Microphone/youraffiliatelink. When someone clicks on your link and eventually buys, you get a commission!
I recently read a series of blog posts from an Amazon associate who has made over $100,000 from Amazon commissions. He said the most effective method by far was using links within the content itself. This beat out banner ads, sidebar ads, widgets, images and other flashy methods. Of course the products should be relevant and high quality.
Musicians need to think outside the box – you don’t have to just sell your own products! I get tired of seeing the same old thing, selling tickets to your concerts, selling cds, selling t-shirts. There are so many more options these days. So give it a try and let me know how it goes!