Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by Zac Phua
“Can you make money with Facebook affiliate marketing?”
Here’s my brutally honest answer to this question: For a complete beginner, I don’t think so.
With almost 3 billion monthly active users as of the 2nd quarter of 2020, Facebook is huge. But that doesn’t mean everybody could make it big on Facebook by doing affiliate marketing.
In this article, I will explain why doing affiliate marketing on Facebook is a challenging approach for most people.
But before we delve into that, let’s get started with the 3 common ways to do affiliate marketing on Facebook.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This article includes my affiliate links, which may provide a small commission to me if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you!). I recommend them to you because they’re companies that I’ve found helpful and trustworthy. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer here.
3 Common Facebook Affiliate Marketing Strategies
(1) Facebook Page
This could be the most common way people promote their affiliate links on Facebook.
They choose a niche, open up a business page around that niche, and then create promotional posts that incorporate their affiliate links. Easy Peasy.
However, unless you are a well-established influencer across the internet, this approach starts to phase out in recent years because of low Facebook’s organic reach (I will cover this in a second).
(2) Facebook Group
Unlike the Facebook page, a Facebook group tends to receive more engagement because it’s where a group of like-minded people congregates together.
If done right, you, as the group’s admin, will establish yourself as an authority figure and get an essential element that even money can’t buy: Trust.
By gaining member trust, you are more likely to generate decent affiliate sales because they already trust you and your opinion.
However, building such a reputation will take time and patience. At the same time, you also need to ensure that every member actively interacts to avoid the entire community from becoming a ghost town.
(3) Facebook Ads + Sales Funnel
As a digital marketing enthusiast, this is my favorite approach, and it’s the most promising way that could generate you a considerable amount of money.
The best part of FB ads is that it’s something you can control. Meaning, you can target super specifically on the audience that you want Facebook to bring to you. It could be based on their interest(s), education level, income, age, gender, and much more.
Having that said, Facebook has a strict advertising policy that you need to follow in order to get your ads approved. One of them is you can’t direct linking your ads straight to the affiliate vendor’s site. Maybe it’s because of poor user experience or trademark issues.
And now you might wonder…
How To Promote Affiliate Links On Facebook Ads?
The Answer: Use A Sales Funnel
In case you are unfamiliar with this terminology, it basically means a sales process or sales journey that your prospects have to go through to become your customer eventually.
(Source: Crazy Egg)
If the explanations above still sound vague to you, maybe the image below might make the whole concept more understandable.
Having a sales funnel is powerful. It allows you to play by Facebook’s rules and increases the conversion rate by nurturing the leads, showing them how your affiliate offers could solve their current pain points.
3 Reasons Why Facebook Affiliate Marketing Is Challenging
(1) People Are Just Sick Of Promotional Post
Have you ever seen some people trying to sell their products across Facebook groups?
If so, how would you react to that? I guess your reaction will be like the meme below, am I right?
You might sick of such promotional posts and ignore them. It’s not enjoyable because nobody likes to be sold.
If a spammer just throws out a bunch of salesy posts on Facebook, they will either be kicked out of the group or get banned by Facebook.
(2) Facebook Ad Costs Keep Increasing
Doing affiliate marketing with Facebook ads and sales funnel could be extremely profitable, only if you know how to do it the right way.
Face the facts, running Facebook ad campaigns isn’t an easy task. It requires a decent amount of knowledge and experiences to run the ad campaigns profitably. Likewise, Facebook ads costs are increasing over the years.
Suppose you aren’t familiar with Facebook ads. I can almost guarantee you will end up losing money.
(3) Dramatic Decline Of Facebook Organic Reach
Facebook makes most of its money from the ad revenue, up to 98.5%, according to StockAnalysis.com.
That’s why Facebook’s organic reach is reduced dramatically to force people to spend money on ads if they want to reach more people.
Here’s a graphic showing you how huge is Facebook’s organic reach being declined over the years.
(Source: Peng Joon)
Mark Zuckerberg is literally killed over 50% of the businesses with all these algorithm changes and expensive ad costs.
That’s why most bloggers don’t even consider creating their own Facebook pages or groups because of all these downsides. It just doesn’t worth their time.
As proof, here’s a YouTube video of a pro blogger – Jim Harmer, from Income School.
At the 5:00 mark, he said he wouldn’t consider building a community around his niche site, and the reason is that:
“…social media is absolutely killing the blogging industry. And if you waste your time on it, I promise you it’s gonna hold your website back for YEARS.”
Fast forward to the 6:39 mark. He also advised novice blogger:
“…don’t start a Facebook page, don’t start a Twitter account. The only ones that I think could be worth your time are YouTube, and Pinterest.”
3 Better Alternatives To Facebook Affiliate Marketing
(1) Do Affiliate Marketing With A Blog
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog.
If you ever search for product review online, I am sure you’d see a list of blogs with titles that surround these formats:
[Number] Best [Product] For [People]
- Example: 7 Best Indoor Climbing Shoes For Kids.
[Product] Review: [Number] [Power Word] [Facts/Things] That You Need To Know Before [Action]
- Example: Wealthy Affiliate Review: Exposing 21 Shocking Facts That You Need To Know Before Joining
The experts usually named this kind of post as the ‘best-of’ post, ‘review post’ or even a ‘money post’ in affiliate marketing.
The reason for that is this kind of post works really well in generating affiliate commissions once getting ranked #1 on Google. However, that often means there’s more competition in the space.
Another one is called a ‘how-to’ post that aims to educate people on a specific topic instead of reviewing products (like this one you’re reading right now).
Pretend that you’re confident with your writing, start affiliate marketing with a blog is the one I would highly recommend to you. It requires a little to no startup capital while bringing you a lucrative ROI.
(2) Do Affiliate Marketing With YouTube
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, with over 2 billion active users daily.
Generally speaking, YouTube works better than a blog because most people prefer consuming video content rather than written words.
If you hate writing, but you’re comfortable talking in front of a camera, do affiliate marketing with YouTube is definitely for you.
(3) Blog + YouTube
As previously stated, Jim from Income School has claimed that YouTube is one of the 2 social media (another one is Pinterest) worth your time because they do send good traffic and sales to your website.
With that in mind, if you’re able to leverage these 2 platforms simultaneously, you’re much likely to achieve success faster.
Why These Alternatives Works Better Than Facebook
Advantage #1: Don’t Underestimate The Power Of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the best practice you can utilize to get highly targeted organic traffic for completely FREE.
This marketing strategy is still grossly underrated because it’s hard to learn, and it requires an ungodly amount of effort and time to obtain decent returns.
Most people just prefer paid ads because it’s quick and enable you to scale your business more efficiently.
Here’s a comparison between the search interest on Facebook ads and SEO.
When you make it to the point where your site starts to get traction, its authoritativeness will increase, and more content will get ranked higher on Google. That’s when the compounding effect starts to take place. More and more traffic will flow into your site like this…
Advantage #2: Least Financial Risk/Burden
You already know that the Facebook page and group are phasing out. They simply can’t withstand the competitive gale-force winds that rage through online marketplaces.
It leaves you with no choice, but only the “Facebook ads + sales funnel” approach. It’s the ideal method that could make you filthy rich once you figure out how to do it right.
As I said earlier, running Facebook ads requires prior experiences, and you got to have the guts to lose money initially (I’m dead serious with this).
In most cases, unless you have a deep pocket to hire a digital marketing coach, you will lose a fair amount of money because it’s impossible to run profitable ad campaigns as a beginner. Plus, the increasing ad costs are making things worst.
By doing affiliate marketing with a blog or YouTube, you’re acquiring the traffic through SEO primarily, which takes little to zero costs – less financial risk/burden for you.
Advantage #3: Content Marketing Enables You To Build Trusts
Either blog posts or YouTube videos, by their very nature, they are forms of content marketing, which is a great way to build trust by continually providing educational and relevant content to the audiences who you’ve been called to serve.
I also mentioned this before. People only buy from someone they know and trust (remember that meme?).
When you develop a rapport with your audiences, not only will they treat your site as a go-to resource (which is good for SEO). It’s also easier for you to ASK them to take action – in this case, clicking on your affiliate links to purchase something beneficial to them.
Advantage #4: You Have Full Control Over Your Business
Property ownership is a big deal to me. Whether it’s your Facebook page, group, or ad account, all of them don’t belong to you. They belong to Facebook.
They have the right to shut it down without any warning if you violated their Terms of Service.
Especially the ad account, Facebook has disabled my ad account countless times, and I didn’t even know which policy I violated in most cases.
It usually takes a long time for Facebook to reactivate my suspended account, and sometimes, they simply rejected my appeal.
You can imagine how much money I have lost because of all these nitpicking issues. It’s also the reason why I shifted my focus from paid ads to SEO.
In contrast, you have 100% ownership of your website. You decide what type of content you would like to publish and monetize however you like. Whether it’s monetized through affiliate marketing, sell your own products, Google Adsense, etc., it’s up to you.
That being said, this advantage is only applied to a blog/website, not YouTube. Everything you created on YouTube belongs to YouTube. They can also suspend your account anytime, though it’s rarely happened.
Conclusion: Can You Make Money With Facebook Affiliate Marketing?
Some people claim that affiliate is the leading platform to grow your affiliate income. Obviously, I can’t entirely agree with that.
As a quick recap, here’re the reasons why Facebook affiliate marketing isn’t my forte:
People Are Just Sick Of Promotional Post
- Most people don’t like promotional posts on Facebook. They simply ignore it.
Facebook Ad Costs Keep Increasing
- For a novice who doesn’t have much startup capital, this could force them out of business very soon.
Dramatic Decline Of Facebook Organic Reach
- In the digital marketing space, people nicknamed Mark Zuckerberg as “Zanos”, which stands for Zuckerberg-Thanos.
- He could literally snap his fingers, and 50% of all entrepreneurs’ businesses would disappear overnight.
- This analogy is well applied to the dramatic decrease in Facebook’s organic reach and skyrocketing in FB ad costs.
Unless you know how to leverage Facebook ads and incorporate it with a high-converting sales funnel, it’s tough to make a penny by promoting affiliate offers on Facebook.
The best way to overcome is to find other business-friendly ways to start affiliate marketing, and these encompass:
- Do affiliate marketing with a blog.
- Do affiliate marketing with YouTube.
- Leveraging the 2 platforms simultaneously.
If you’re interested in learning affiliate marketing with blogging and YouTube, click here to check out my favorite affiliate marketing training that could shorten your learning curve and succeed faster. Thanks for your reading, and I hope my post serves you well 😉