As a marketer, whether affiliate or merchant, one of your challenges to is to choose the right products to promote. A few obvious things to look at when considering a product include:

  • Is the product any good? Is it worth the price?
  • Is it targeted at your audience?
  • How much commission does each sale pay?

The other day, Ben Settle wrote about something a little less obvious that he recommends marketers consider:

One of the things I insist people do when choosing an affiliate product is to make sure the product has a unique and interesting STORY behind it.

Why does that matter? For one thing, good story will help you engage potential customers. With no engagement, you have no opportunity to introduce the product.

Speaking of the importance of engagement, Robert Bruce at Copyblogger quoted playwright David Mamet, saying:

The audience will not tune in to watch information. You wouldn't, I wouldn't. No one would or will. The audience will only tune in and stay tuned in to watch drama.

He further quotes Mamet, saying:

Drama ... is the quest of the hero to overcome those things which prevent him from achieving a specific, acute goal.

Building on the same theme, Sonia Simone at Copyblogger wrote:

Whether you want to make a sale, gain an email subscription, or motivate a change in behavior, your dramatic story will fail if it doesn't have one thing:

A relatable protagonist.

Put it all together and you get this formula (use it as a checklist):

  • A unique...
  • interesting story...
  • where someone that the customer can relate to...
  • overcomes challenges (that the customer can relate to)...
  • to achieve a specific...
  • important...
  • goal (that the customer can relate to).

If you're promoting products that don't have a story, can you find the story behind them? It could be the story of the product creator or one of their customers. If you've used the product, it could be your story.

Reader Comment:
Lee said:
Goggle constantly reminds us that it wants content on its pages. To comply, I wrote eight pages on incontinence pads and the site, after about three month is now sitting nicely around 4 or 5 on Google. The only problem is that no one is buying and t...
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If you're using a story, does it have all the elements listed above? Does it emphasize them enough? If not, what else can you inject to make it more engaging and persuasive?

Is the hero of your story "relatable", or do you need to switch to the story of someone who's more like your customers?

If you're the hero of the story, how are you making it easy for potential customers to relate to you? Do you engage them in your blog comments or on social media? Are you sticking strictly to the story of the product, or including tidbits of personal information that would resonate with your readers?

If your product really has no story, it may be time to consider promoting something else.

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