Why Affiliate Marketing Could Be the Growth Tactic You’ve Been Missing

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Dominick Keenan is the VP of Sales at ClickBank, where he focuses on supporting ClickBank’s current vendors and affiliates as well as growing ClickBank’s business.

Dominick has had several roles within the ClickBank sales organization including affiliate manager and business development before taking the role of VP of Sales.

Prior to joining ClickBank, Dominick worked in business aviation and commercial lending. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Rocky Mountain College and an MBA from the University of Montana.

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What you will learn

  • How an ambassador and influencer are different
  • Why you shouldn’t base your digital brand on just one platform
  • Why you should care as a marketer about Apple’s IOS 14.5 update
  • Why should you be doing affiliate marketing
  • Why margin is important if you want to sell your product with affiliate marketing
  • A book worth reading – Alchemy by Rory Sutherland
  • The importance of relationships for entrepreneurs
  • Which channels you should be using for selling affiliate products

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:04 – 00:00:52

Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today with me, Dominick Keenan. Now, Dominick is the Vice President of Sales at ClickBank, where he focuses on supporting ClickBank’s current vendors and affiliates as well as growing ClickBank’s business. If you don’t know what an affiliate is, we’re going to cover that today for those of you who don’t know what it means. Dominick has had several roles within ClickBank’s sales organization including affiliate manager and business development before taking the role of Vice President of Sales.

In this position, Dominick focuses on supporting ClickBank’s current vendors and affiliates as well as growing ClickBank’s business. Prior to joining ClickBank, Dominick worked in business, aviation and commercial lending. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Rocky Mountain College and an MBA from the University of Montana.

Welcome to the show, Dominick. It’s great to have you here.

Dominick Keenan

00:00:52 – 00:00:54

Thank you very much, Jeff, I appreciate it.

Jeff Bullas

00:00:55 – 00:01:24

So Dominick, because Dominick is talking from Boise, which is in Idaho, if you don’t know whether it is, it’s in the United States of America and I actually have been to Idaho myself. So, beautiful state.

So Dominick, you’re working for ClickBank but just got back a little bit, so you did a BA in what was it? Aviation Management? Is there, was there a love for planes there or something?

Dominick Keenan

00:01:25 – 00:02:04

Yeah. Yeah, oddly enough, I’m a 4th generation pilot. My family was all involved in aviation. I found out through, there is a friend of mine who flew for the airlines and I looked up to him, he’s a couple years ahead of me while I was in college and he told me the divorce rate of airline pilots is something like 88%. And that sounded like a really expensive proposition but it was too late to change my major. So we stuck with it. Still look up at every airplane in the sky. But yeah, no, no more flying for me.

Jeff Bullas

00:02:04 – 00:02:07

So have you, so have you got your pilot’s license?

Dominick Keenan

00:02:07 – 00:02:31

Yeah. Yeah I did and I really encourage anybody who’s curious about it, go do it. It’s one of the most satisfying accomplishments that you’ll make. I mean you’re flying a big chunk of metal with the engine on the front of it through the air, safely. So definitely check it out but I don’t, I don’t know if that’s the way I make my living.

Jeff Bullas

00:02:33 – 00:02:48

Yeah. So you did BA in aviation then, so what made you move into like working at ClickBank and there were some, other steps along the way it wasn’t there before you do that.

Dominick Keenan

00:02:48 – 00:04:50

Certainly yeah, I had a prior career in commercial lending and I thought you know I was gonna live the commercial banking lifestyle, the ascension path there. You put in your 25 years and someday you’ll be somebody important in the bank. It was a good experience. I learned a lot about finance at the time and decided to go get my MBA, but a friend of mine at, in business school, he had actually been a friend of mine since high school had taken a job, left the same bank I was working and taking a job at ClickBank and I, I was kind of surprised. He’s always been very cautious and he recruited me over, he goes and it’s, it’s about affiliate marketing. I can’t, I can’t really sum it up very well but just come over and have an interview and I did and I didn’t get it when I first interviewed, but I thought, hey why not, you know, I can always go back to banking. And really quickly as I took on the role here as I started to understand more and more about ClickBank’s business, I realized we were just constantly working with everybody we work with as an entrepreneur and we’re not talking about huge businesses, like we don’t, we don’t do business with Nike, but you know, anywhere from half a million dollars to $50 million dollars a year. And their owner founded, you’re talking typically directly to the owner, they’re very passionate about what they do, whether they’re selling a product or they’re promoting other people’s products and I just, I loved working with those entrepreneurs and brands because I had such admiration for them. I, you know, I’ve tried my hand at being an entrepreneur, it’s scary. It’s intimidating. It’s difficult, it’s a, it’s a grind. And I got to be close to these people that I admire without kind of exposing the weaknesses of my entrepreneurial ability. So it’s been a phenomenal seven years.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:51 – 00:05:03

So, maybe you could, you’ve been there and you understand what affiliate marketing is. Can you explain in simple terms what an affiliate is?

Dominick Keenan

00:05:05 – 00:06:13

Yeah an affiliate is somebody that the seller, business owner is willing to pay to go to acquire a customer for them. So in ClickBank, there’s all kinds of affiliates out there, but specific to ClickBank we deal primarily with two types, media buyers and oftentimes that focuses on Facebook or native ads and then who have very well curated and segmented lists that are targeted to specific products. Those people tend to, especially the email is to have good relationships with the, with the audiences that they have and they’re well segmented. So it’s not just, you know, you think of like a health and fitness minded email list that’s probably even too broad. It would be like, you know, females that are interested in keto or females, younger females that are interested in yoga. So they, they have those audiences dialed in pretty well. Our job is to ensure that the sellers and the affiliates are able to meet each other and do business together.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:14 – 00:06:52

So essentially an affiliate, it’s a partnership really because you need both the buyer and the seller. So the seller is someone who wants to meet an audience of keto, fitness fanatics, female. And there’s a person that basically has an email list already that send out regularly and someone who wants to be introduced to, let’s say it’s her audience on the email list. They basically can reach that, her audience through her email list and she promotes a recommended high quality product or service through that. Is that correct?

Dominick Keenan

00:06:52 – 00:07:35

Yep, that’s correct. And, and think of it from the seller standpoint, think of it as being able to get much more broad distribution than you would be able to on your own. I mean a lot of businesses have email lists or they have some internal capability when it comes to media buying and it might be great at Facebook or creating YouTube videos or whatever it may be, but there’s tens of thousands of active affiliates on ClickBank. You can’t be tens of thousands of places at once. And so you’re likely to attract affiliates that end up promoting you in places, you the seller promoting the seller in places that you may not have thought of or you don’t have the time to go pursue. So it adds significant distribution.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:36 – 00:07:50

Yeah. And someone who’s got an email list that’s very well segmented and high quality in other words, higher engagement that can make quite a deal of money from affiliate relationships selling other people’s products that are targeting their, their their audience.

Dominick Keenan

00:07:50 – 00:07:51

Yeah, absolutely.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:52 – 00:08:04

So, what does ClickBank do, describe what ClickBank does and why people should care in terms of your, your services?

Dominick Keenan

00:08:05 – 00:09:38

Sure. So ClickBank has been around since 1998 and most people recognize ClickBank as an affiliate network, which it is. ClickBank also provides conversion, conversion, excuse me, enhancing features. So post purchase upsells, we manage recurring billing, scale merchant processing. But at the core of the affiliate network, we do not simply tell the seller, hey, Jeff sent an email and he made one sale. So pay Jeff this much money. ClickBank collects all the money and then ensures that everybody gets paid what they agreed to before the sale happens. So in that case you don’t have to worry about whether the seller’s gonna pay you or not, which happens fairly frequently in affiliate marketing, right? You gotta send them an invoice and they’re gonna PayPal you some money someday.

No, we’ve, we’ve collected all the money and we’re going to distribute it the way that everybody agreed to beforehand. So if you’re promoting an offer to a vendor, that’s somewhere on the other side of the globe, what are you gonna do? Take them to court in Cyprus? No, that’s, that’s too much hassle and it happens right at the moment of transaction. So everything is split instantly. I often refer to it as the clearinghouse function of ClickBank, ClickBank will take care of all the back office, the sales tax or the back taxes paid, the affiliates paid and what’s left is yours, the seller. You don’t have to, you don’t have to worry about invoicing and paying.

Jeff Bullas

00:09:39 – 00:10:10

So basically ClickBank is a trusted portal to connect buyers and sell its sellers and to make sure that they get paid on time and regularly. So, what are some of the, if someone’s, I got an email list already, could you take us through maybe some of the best practices for them for someone working with them to get to sell their product to their audience? What are some of the best practices?

Dominick Keenan

00:10:11 – 00:12:31

Yeah. So if you, if you already have an email list or an audience, first, you know, we would assume that, you know what the interests of that audience are and the types of products that they would be interested in and ultimately the goal is right to sell and earn commission. But at the same time you have to worry about your reputation in front of that audience. And so I would encourage anybody with that list to go take a look at the offers that are available to promote and then get in touch with the owners of those offers. What did they work on? Are they, is the owner easy to work with? Is this the type of product that you want to be introducing to that to that list, commission is great, but if you destroy that email list now, you’re destroying an asset down the road. Likewise, on the, on the seller side, there’s a couple pitfalls that we see that sellers make. One of those is they’re not engaging their affiliates enough, not building relationships with them because there’s risk on the seller’s side as well, that somebody decides to become your affiliate and then doesn’t do, they don’t treat your brand name with care like you would and a lot of that can be mitigated by going in and having a relationship with the affiliates that you allowed to promote your offer, at, at scale when, you know, if you have hundreds or thousands of affiliates promoting you, you certainly need an affiliate manager. But oftentimes, an affiliate manager is viewed as somebody who’s tracking those invoices, right? They’re responsible for making sure that the money is paid and all of that. Really what we say is you should have a relationship manager where that person knows where these affiliates are promoting and on top of that, if you’re saying a common restriction that affiliate or that sellers will place on affiliates is don’t brand bid on search because that’s, that’s the property of the brand and, that affiliate manager would then be going in, not every day, maybe once a month, checking and making sure that your brand isn’t being infringed on upon your by your affiliates. And if it is go take care of it, they know exactly who to call, exactly who that affiliate is so that both sides are aware of the ground rules and following them.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:32 – 00:12:58

Yeah, I think certainly in my experience, in that some people said, like, become my affiliate, here’s the link, go, go do something. In other words, a bit very, very hands off. That certainly doesn’t work very well. Generally, I found, we’ve found that being very content centric in terms of adding value to an audience as part of making an offer to the audience is very important. What’s your thoughts on that?

Dominick Keenan

00:12:58 – 00:14:19

Jeff, I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, it’s one thing if you’re selling, you know, a widget for small commission like that, we all see the widgets that are in, in native ads, but, when it comes to particularly higher, higher priced products or branded products. Yeah, you, you certainly want to have some level of content and collaboration between the seller and the affiliate. We certainly encourage beyond those relationships with the affiliate managers. We certainly encourage, like, you have an affiliate tools page that has all the information that they need because in the end, sellers, and I’d be curious on your take on this, but sellers of course are competing for buyers, right? Every businesses competing for buyers but in this space, sellers are just as much if not more competing for affiliates because that’s distribution for their product. And if it’s easier to work with one seller versus the other seller and all other things are equal, they’re gonna go with number one every time. I mean make it easy to work with, easy to provide the collateral. Do you run into that a fair bit? Where, here’s the link? Good luck.

Jeff Bullas

00:14:18 – 00:16:10

Yeah, Yeah, and we actually changed their program where if you want to sell your product to our audience, it’s got to be a relationship that is essentially content centric, you provide high quality content. We may be a little different in some sense in that. What’s some of the channels that often aren’t thought about by affiliates is sellers is that yeah, sure, it’s good to do a promotion to your list to promote someone else’s product that wants to reach your audience. On the other hand, because we rank, have got really strong Google authority for search engines, in that we can rank on page one quite quickly for its search term like yeah, whatever that is.

But what we do, that’s why the content is important to us and we will publish a blog post for example that will get thousands of visits and within that blog post will be an affiliate link where we’re adding content of value. And so we are very much about not just doing wholesale, hit your list with a promotion, but yeah, sure. We might do that once or twice but on the other hand, it’s important that it’s relevant through content centric approach for the affiliate. So I don’t know if any of your partners focus on that, but we, what we’ve done is also we say that if you want to sell it and reach our audience, William need to make a small commitment. And that’s like a sponsored post up front and then also to help us collaborate and create, cocreate content together. So that’s essentially how we do it. And then it’s a better collaboration and partnership rather than here’s a link, go sell, you know.

Dominick Keenan

00:16:11 – 00:16:38

Yeah, yeah. I think those are critical for gaining quality traction. You know, they’re the whole, here’s a link, good luck type thing. That’ll work on some, some affiliates are more than happy to burn an email list to the ground or run some garbage native ads. But that’s, that’s really a short term way of looking at things because the moment somebody out converts you just a fraction of a penny more, that traffic is going elsewhere.

Jeff Bullas

00:16:40 – 00:17:19

So the other thing I wanted to touch on is you mentioned ambassador programs. So can you explain what an ambassador is? Because okay in this world of digital marketing, which is what we’re talking about essentially, sometimes it’s like a black boxes, we use terms that ambassadors things like is someone who actually you know, is a very important person that sent to another country. Can you explain what an ambassador is in, how you set them up and what you recommend if you want to hire an ambassador to actually help you sell your product?

Dominick Keenan

00:17:20 – 00:18:38

Yeah, we, so just to be clear here. ClickBank, we don’t facilitate ambassador programs but we often refer people out to them and there’s a bunch of platforms that will make it pretty easy to build an ambassador program. But it would be for, you know some highly branded oftentimes companies that don’t have the margin built into their business to pay affiliates enough to reach scale and then turn around and rely on their biggest fans to promote their offer at, its at a smaller scale but those are your raving fans on their personal social media and things like that.

So the most common we see is, you know, here’s a coupon code to try out this great supplement that has made me ripped in tone just in time for summer. So it is a way to kind of, I would say it’s you know the cousin of affiliate marketing in that you’re not gonna get as much distribution but if people are passionate about your product, they’re willing to do that and you see that in products all the time where, hey you refer five people, you get a free t shirt, it’s crazy what people will do for for a free t shirt.

Jeff Bullas

00:18:39 – 00:18:46

So an ambassador program will always be seen today as an influence of relationship, isn’t it?

Dominick Keenan

00:18:47 – 00:19:08

Yeah, exactly, influencer at smaller scale, hopefully not prepaid, you know, bigger influencers, you’re gonna have to pre pay. And the influencer side is also kind of the other side of the spectrum where it’s not necessarily prefer performance driven, you’re paying a flat fee in advance for post or some type of behavior online.

Jeff Bullas

00:19:08 – 00:20:34

Yeah. And typically what we’ve found in the past too is because you’re dealing with international organizations that aren’t necessarily big is that pre payment becomes very important in terms of ensuring you get paid. The other interesting part to the other one I want to mention too is margins will get back to that in a minute. And I’ve been interested in your thoughts on this.

So we’ll actually go straight to margins. So the interesting thing with margins is, and this is what we’ve discovered too is that selling physical products typically have a lot lower margins, in other words, physical products versus virtual products or digital products. So and we’ve seen the rise of digital products such as software as a service type platforms that, and typically software as a service type platforms that provide a platform to control your social media. And everything like whether it’s a collaboration tool or whatever. Typically those companies, software as a service companies have huge margins compared to physical products because the challenge quite often is with affiliate marketing is if you sell this for more for me, I’m gonna give you 5% and you’re going. I don’t get out of bed for, you know, 30%, right? So observation of margins? Because I’d be interested in that.

Dominick Keenan

00:20:35 – 00:23:52

Yeah, it’s, so the absence of margin to acquire a customer, is it makes it very difficult to compete for affiliates. And I’ll give you an example. This one just came across my desk earlier this week is one of the, one of the guys that works here who had a question about whether a product would be good for ClickBank and it was a couple of $1,000 air compressor for welders specifically. And I, you know, maybe I probably not, I just don’t see a broad enough market for it. And so we asked, you know, I said, well, it’s probably not gonna work on ClickBank, we don’t have affiliates for welding air compressors, but we can refer them somewhere. And so I asked him what it costs them to acquire a customer, there’s like a $4,000 machine, right? And it comes back and he says, Oh not very much, $20, $30 because the brand is well known in the welding industry and people come to them to buy it. Well, no, nobody’s promoting your air compressor for $20 or $30. So it’s such a niche down, very narrow. There’s no margin left for it where we see massive scale where you’re talking about thousands of affiliates promoting something. And six figure days for products is currently like the supplement spaces taking off like crazy because supplements are actually fairly low, low COGS, low cost of goods. But people are willing to pay for them, especially after the advent of the pandemic, people became very health minded. They were, they were willing to pay more attention to that. And so we’ll see scaled offers take off with an average commission over $120 per sale and a conversion rate of at least 1%. At that point, they’ve entered orbit, below that point, you can find niche affiliates that are going to promote that type of product. Again, I don’t know that there’s very many welding compressor affiliates but going back to what you’re saying, having the margin or at least the budget built in to acquire customers is, is critical. And so when I get on the phone with somebody who’s inquiring about getting into the affiliate space. I always ask them, what does it cost you to acquire a customer and that or more should be what you’re willing to pay an affiliate to acquire a customer for you. Most companies will know their cost of acquisition but it’s just kind of flipping that switch and saying, okay if you’re willing to pay your internal media buyer $50 to acquire a customer, why wouldn’t you be willing to pay $50 to somebody else? Then that gets them beyond the low ball of I will pay him 5%, 5% is what Home Depot pays for YouTubers to sell the wall drills. You know, it’s just not that they can pay that because they have this massive brand unless you have a brand like Home Depot, it’s not gonna work.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:53 – 00:24:53

Yeah, it’s, we’ve been involved in affiliate marketing for quite a few years but a little bit different rather than mass marketing. It’s more niche, niche marketing and experiment different ways and yeah, but we’ve sort of I suppose doubled down a lot more into maybe two markets we deal with which is, we may be helping someone sell a $2,000 online course or a $1,000 online course. Well you’re not going to sell that with one little ad or one email. It’s essentially almost a launch program that we will partner with them on versus a software as a service type product that’s maybe only less than $100 a month to subscribe to or even $10 a month, you can do that without a big commitment of huge marketing or a whole series of marketing. So, but typically we specialize in high margin partnerships because there’s enough profit to share with everyone. I think that’s where it’s a win win.

Dominick Keenan

00:24:54 – 00:25:46

Yeah. And those, those are oftentimes more, the ones that are done right, are more robust I think would be the term then people tend to think we’re just wrapping up a 10-day launch with a great client of ours named Aidan Booth. And Aiden has done very well, what he and his partner Steve Clayton, known all of the, all of the top selling days on ClickBank. But there, they view their launch, the transactions occur within 10 days, but they’re, the work for their launch begins six months in advance and there’s no and so everybody thinks, well they just sent an email and all of these sales occurred 10 days. No, no, we’re talking about planning immediately for the following year, immediately after the current launch begins or current launch ends.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:47 – 00:26:37

And they typically, I’m sure would be, they just have a window of a week where they’re actually selling their product and if you don’t buy it now, so they’re creating scarcity. Is that correct?

You can only buy it in this 10-day period, otherwise it’s over and you can’t buy it for another year, That sounds crazy, but it does, the way that works is because it creates scarcity and if you just say, oh here’s a product buy, people be like I’ll get there next week, maybe the week. I’ve only got what I really want. I really want to learn about this. I need to get this product, I need to train myself, so that’s a little bit of the walker launch formula.

So what’s interesting you get involved in that as well? That’s interesting.

Dominick Keenan

00:26:38 – 00:27:28

Yeah, they’re great guys to work with and very good friends, but I, the first time I saw the way how disciplined they were, because I mean we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars in sales, this is not joking around money and the processes that they had set up over years to ensure that this works properly. I just I still work with them to this day and have a lot of admiration, you know, there’s a lot of solopreneurs that don’t have that business background that these guys do and so they spend a lot of time both, you know, running the day to day of their business that way, but also training the people that they work with on that their employees in their company on how all of this works and they would go on and become great entrepreneurs themselves.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:28 – 00:28:24

Yeah. You’re right. From a distance, it looks easy, they just send out an email, but no, it’s a whole launch running typically over 2-3 weeks that takes people through the sales funnel from interest to engagement to, you know, involves creating webinars and creates, involving e-books and the list goes on. And when you look at, when you look under the hood at those sort of launches, there is, it’s a machine, a complicated machine and you’ve got to write the copy, you’ve got to then make sure, test it. You can make sure your payments systems will work. I admire that. I worked with quite a lot of them that do that and I’m just quite blown away with the incredible machine that they have built over years and fine tuned it and evolved.

Dominick Keenan

00:28:24 – 00:28:27

Yep. It takes, it takes a lot of discipline. It’s impressive.

Jeff Bullas

00:28:27 – 00:28:42

Yeah, it does. So what is some of the evergreen foundations that are important if you’re going to be involved in affiliate marketing, whether it’s the bar or the seller, what are some of the evergreen foundations that you think are really, really important?

Dominick Keenan

00:28:43 – 00:32:48

So yeah, that’s a great question. I would say the relationships are critical. I know, I know we’ve talked about this a little bit and how you work with affiliates and all of that, but I, do we have time for me to tell a really brief story, Jeff?

So a couple of years ago, 5-6 years ago we were trafficking conversion. And we had a VIP room, so it was like our platinum client group got in to be able to sit and I cannot remember who was speaking but it was somebody that everybody wanted to see and there was people trying to get in and some YouTuber came with this whole camera crew and lights and everything that was distracting. So we’re kicking these people out trying to let everybody enjoy the talk. And my boss told me to go watch the door and in walks this woman who stands about my age, stands at the back of the room and she didn’t have the right lanyard. And so I felt terrible but I was like, you know, I’m sorry you’re gonna have to wait outside until this is done. And she said, I promise I’m just here to learn. I’m in the back, I won’t, I won’t bother anybody. And so I said, yeah that’s fine, you know, who wants to kick this lady out? But after the talk was over she worked the room incredibly and it wasn’t salesy, she was genuinely curious about everybody’s business and how she could help them, how they could help us or how they could help her. And she built an incredible network across, I mean she and her business blew up within 18 months, one of the largest businesses on ClickBank. It’s a program, yoga program that helps with back pain. And I would attribute, I think she would say the same would attribute a lot of her success to her ability to network. And she does a great job and she’s a very genuine person. She’s very genuine when when you’re talking to her life and that relationship building, whatever that you know, your skills are in relationship building, leverage the hell out of them because those are gonna be there, not your business partners in that you have a company together, but your business will rely on those people going forward in the affiliate space. Second on evergreen, I have a lot of optimism for the industry in that, in my time here, I’ve seen this industry adapt very well to changes that are forced on it. So over the past 2-3 years, we’ve seen some pretty significant changes in the market for our European friends, it would be the GDPR regulations, for us here in the States, the CCPA regulations. Those of you in the Facebook world, the IOS 14 update cause some significant disruptions. What we and those, I mean we could build a list of those things going back for years and years. But what we see consistently is the ability of marketers in this space to adapt and to figure out how to continue to reach the audience with targeted, well targeted either ads or products, whatever it may be. So I, I know, you know, I’ve spent many a late night here on frustrating phone calls most recently about IOS 14 but the, the industry continues on and so I, as far as being evergreen, I would say, you know, it’s, don’t rest on your laurels. There’s constant change. And the people that are most successful are able to adapt to that change. We’ve, we have seen offers, sellers where you know, they reached the top of the market and then they don’t do anything with the offer to optimize it for, you know, a year. Well you’re not gonna stay up very long. This conversion rates tail off, somebody else is going to do better and an affiliate traffic flows that way.

Jeff Bullas

00:32:49 – 00:33:45

Yeah, I’ve heard it mentioned quite a few times. It’s IOS 14.5 which is the, where Apple basically removed the ability for Facebook to actually scrape privacy and data. I’m seeing and noises now about brands starting to use influences more because they can, they want to reach because typically a very highly engaged audience that matches your, where you’re, where you want to sell your product to but the challenge with influences is scalability. Again in that you can have influences, but it’s got to be a lot of time manually done, but these platforms out there that’s trying to, I suppose automate that. The trouble is that still messy. How do you see that at the moment?

Dominick Keenan

00:33:46 – 00:34:32

You know, I, so I don’t pretend to be an expert on influencer marketing, but we’re close to that space. The only, the only thing that I see is a little bit of a disconnect or in an advantage on the affiliate side is that, an affiliate marketer is very much mutually aligned with the seller. They benefit together. If the affiliate makes a sale or drives the lead, then the vendor, they both benefit on the influencer side. I don’t see that type of mutual alignment quite as much, if I pay you $10,000 for a social media post, once the wire gets to you, you don’t really care what happens on me. The seller’s side, right. I mean you probably do because you’d like to work again and me to bail you another $10,000. But there isn’t that direct alignment of motivation yet. I’m sure someone will stall for it.

Jeff Bullas

00:34:40 – 00:36:33

Yeah, I think the other side to that is, and this is what’s interested me with influences as, because of, I suppose I’m an influencer in the B2B space more than anything else with entrepreneur and marketing, but you got a lot of these influences and you have a look and all they’ve got, they don’t even have a website quite often? Well that’s quite often just, even just they’re just on one platform, whether it’s a YouTube or whether it’s Instagram. For me, I would be really nervous as an influencer, especially B2C influencer. One, what if you got banned? That’s happening in China, just removed about 10,000 influencers due to their government regulations. So they don’t have, no other, have no other way to reach their audience except through that one particular channel as we both know that the algorithms for every platform on the planet now, from email to YouTube to Facebook to Twitter is being tweaked and, and Google search, the algorithms just being constantly tweaked and you can have traffic one day and half the traffic the next day because of an algorithm change. So yeah, you’re right, the influencer is just doing one post on Instagram or one on YouTube and that’s it. They just don’t have that, I suppose diversity of channels that someone who is playing the long game because the thing that I really try to press upon everyone in business, especially if you’ve got to be playing the long game and if, if you’re just in on one channel, that’s your base and you’re, and it’s not a channel you own. That would make me extremely nervous.

Dominick Keenan

00:36:34 – 00:37:24

Oh yeah, I mean, would you trust Mark Zuckerberg with the future of your business exclusively? Probably not. And I, you know, to be honest with you, Jeff, some of the best entrepreneurial stories of people that have built really awesome businesses came from, I hear the story all the time. Well, I was killing it on Google display and we were just making money, hand over fist and and it was no big deal, and then I woke up one Wednesday morning, it was gone, algorithm change or got banned or whatever it may be. And then they, you know, eventually diversify out of that, so that that type of thing never happens and I mean, insulate your business to that for sure. It’s kind of, it’s heartbreaking to see businesses built and then broken so quickly because of a single point of failure.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:25 – 00:38:33

I think that’s certainly I’ve been banging that drum for a long time is that own your platform. It doesn’t mean don’t use other platforms and social media, email and so on search. But, you know, I’ve been through the whole rise of social media organically until in 2013, so I was in the digital world very intensely, I’ve been in it since actually, mid 80s, but technology, digital world, but the social media world that I grew up in and introduced in 2008. By 2013-14, the organic reach of social started to be severely restricted as basically Facebook said we won’t let you reach the audience you build over five years. What we’re gonna do is you’re gonna have to charge, we’ll charge you to reach it. It became in 2014 that was the start of the revolution of pay to play. And of course we know that when you trust Mark Zuckerberg to look after your business, know he cares about one thing: him and Facebook and the cost of ads just happens to keep going up. Strange about that.

Dominick Keenan

00:38:34 – 00:39:02

Yeah. That continues to march on. There’s a company called Ezoic, I think it’s how you say it, that has the CPM. I think it’s called the CPM index for display ads in the US is the chart that we pay attention to. There’s definitely a dip right around the beginning of Covid and then a dip right after Christmas and the elections. But the trend line is always up into the right.

Jeff Bullas

00:39:03 – 00:39:08

And then that’s the cost of acquisition starts to become the biggie, the elephant in the room?

Dominick Keenan

00:39:09 – 00:39:12

Yeah. And that’s where margin becomes critical, having margin to acquire those customers.

Jeff Bullas

00:39:12 – 00:39:23

Exactly. Is there anything just any recommendations about the people that are thinking of doing affiliate marketing or whether you’re a buyer or seller?

Dominick Keenan

00:39:24 – 00:39:59

Yeah, a couple of things. So whether you’re a buyer or seller, go to ClickBank.com/podcast. We have a quick funnel or a quick quiz funnel there, that’ll make sure that you get to the information that you need, happy to take care of that. We’re also really active on social media, all the major stuff or find me directly on LinkedIn. But Jeff real quick, I would want to plug a marketing book that I just finished that I thought was phenomenal and it’s Alchemy by Rory Sutherland. Yeah, and it’s, it took a lot of, so he worked for one of the big marketing firms in the UK. He’s had a very long career and as you read about all the different things that they worked on, just like, it’s very entertaining book. I recommend the audiobook because he has one of those really nice British accents. But he, you start to see the psychology of everything that he was doing in the ‘60s and ‘70s is the same psychology that we’re applying online today. So things that got more, you know, subway writers back then for London are the same types of things that we’re doing today. So, if nothing else, definitely check out that book, it is certainly worth your time.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:40 – 00:41:31

Yeah, that’s, I’ve written it down. I’m an avid reader. One book I’ve just read recently, which is $100 Million Offer, which is basically about creating an offer that’s so strong that the customer says, I have to buy this. And again, it goes back to the basics and we’re talking about things like what it means to be human and what drives people to buy. So scarcity is one of the big ones, so it’s, that’s, it’s, you know, it’s not brand new news, but the ways package it up and talked about it, it’s very, very good books as well. So, um,

I think I’m just, Alchemy. I might even read it. So I read about 50 to 70 books a year. So sometimes they lost in the mists of time.

Dominick Keenan

00:41:32 – 00:41:35

Yeah, I hear you, same here.

Jeff Bullas

00:41:35 – 00:41:42

So, anything else Dominick you’d like to share before we finish up here?

Dominick Keenan

00:41:42 – 00:42:22

That’s it. We have, you know, we’re more than happy to help people. I would just say, if you look, you know, say you come to ClickBank or you go to any affiliate network. And you’re just like, yeah, that’s not really right for me. There are a lot of niche affiliate markets out there that are worthwhile. I just, I just referred to outdoor brand to a company out of park city called AvantLink. This company, all they do is outdoor stuff. They are affiliates for ski bindings for hiking boots, for backpacks, all of it. That’s all they do. So just because the first place you look isn’t ideal, check it out. There’s, there’s all kinds of niche networks out there that’ll, that’ll reach your audience that you’re specifically targeting

Jeff Bullas

00:42:22 – 00:42:30

And you’ve got some great resources and training, I’m sure in terms of helping people optimize or become and optimize what they’re doing with affiliate marketing.

Dominick Keenan

00:42:30 – 00:42:32

Oh, yeah, absolutely, Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:42:33 – 00:43:00

Thanks. Dominick. It’s been an absolute pleasure, Zooming in from Boise, Idaho, It’s bsolute pleasure. And as we shared before people, we had a little bit of a back channel chat and, and Dominick said to me, not many people have been to Idaho and I said, well I actually have been to Idaho. I didn’t get there, but I didn’t get to Boise, I did get to Spokane. And so that’s, I think that’s the correct pronunciation?

Dominick Keenan

00:43:01 – 00:43:01

That is correct.

Jeff Bullas

00:43:01 – 00:43:07

Yeah. So anyway, thanks Dominick for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure, mate.

Dominick Keenan

00:43:08 – 00:43:09

Yeah. Thank you, Jeff, appreciate it.

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