Every business needs an effective marketing strategy. Even so, nearly two-thirds of companies say that generating traffic and leads remains their main challenge. What is affiliate marketing and can it hold the key to success?
What is Affiliate Marketing?
The first thing people ask themselves about affiliate marketing is, “what is affiliate marketing, and how does it work?” Well, the answer is that this form of small business online marketing is one of the many types of digital marketing businesses can consider.
The process involves three parties – the publisher or the affiliate, the business, and the consumer. The affiliate agrees to promote products for a business in return for a percentage of commissioned sales. Affiliates have unique links to send traffic to a company website. When someone purchases a product using that link, the affiliate gets a portion of the sale.
How To Take Advantage of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way of marketing during a pandemic. A lot of shopping is done online right now, making affiliate marketing a fantastic way to reach new people and increase brand awareness without having to spend a fortune. We’ll guide you through how affiliate marketing works and how you can use it for your business.
There are two critical methods for how affiliate marketing works; developing partnerships with existing schemes or starting your own.
Develop Key Partnerships
One of the best ways to get started with affiliate marketing is to develop partnerships with other companies and influencers. Doing so lets you cross-promote your products to a broader audience. You won’t even have to necessarily offer the other party a financial incentive. The partnership alone could be mutually beneficial enough for both groups.
Developing a business partnership isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Here are some tips to help:
Target a Company with a Similar Target Audience
It would be best if you partnered with a business aiming for a similar audience. If you don’t, the campaign won’t get a lot of traction.
Connect to Comparison and Review Sites
Everyone knows the importance of building trust with customers. Partnering with established comparison and review sites is a great way to start building trust.
Ensure Everything is Working Internally
Before jumping head-first into a partnership with someone else, it’s worth taking some time to ensure things are running smoothly at home. You don’t want to run the risk of losing a partnership with someone because your internal systems aren’t running smoothly. Ensure you can follow through on the partnership before going for it.
Start an Affiliate Program
Starting an affiliate program of your own is different. You’ll need to reach out to affiliates and influencers and arrange the commission with them. For example, a prominent social media influencer might promote your products for a 25% commission on sales made with their link.
Here are some tips on how to start an affiliate program.
Have the Best Branding Possible
You’ll need a strong brand identity before you can think of launching an affiliate program. It will be difficult for an affiliate to work with your products otherwise. Plus, you should ensure that every affiliate, whether they are a small influencer or another business, has the same brand imagery and shares the same image of your company. People who click on affiliate links don’t want to be surprised by what’s waiting for them. Make the transition smoother with appropriate branding.
Encourage Affiliates to Include Your Products in Comparisons
Most people think of social media when thinking of affiliate marketing. However, there’s plenty of affiliate traffic to be found on websites. For example, some affiliates keep a blog and write about businesses to spread the word.
Comparison articles, such as articles that compare your products and services to other ones on the market, are an excellent affiliation option. These articles showcase products without overselling them. These articles help people understand the choices they have. They can push them further along the sales funnel.
Define What Success Means to You
You need measurable objectives so that you can determine how successful the affiliate program is. If you spend time and money developing the program, you’ve got to be sure you’re getting a healthy return on that investment.
For example, if you have a promising affiliate marketer on your team, why not encourage them to undertake a training course? If you’re having trouble finding affiliates, then create a resource center and work with a performance marketing manager to get the ball rolling.
Find the Perfect Affiliate For You
The idea that “once you build it, people will come” is a pipe dream with affiliate marketing. You need to go out there and find the right people for you.
Once you’ve got the structure of the program sorted, you can create a list of businesses with audiences you want to see your products. Websites like SEMRush are an excellent way to find websites with plenty of authority. Here are some steps to consider once you know whom to connect with:
- Create three to five emails to send to potential partners. You might not get a response to your first, so it helps to have others ready in case.
- Take a cue from the competition and see what they are offering affiliates to get an idea of what you should offer.
- Offer affiliates free products, higher commissions, and other incentives to close a deal with them.
- When you start having affiliates handle your marketing, help them be a brand ambassador for you. Help them be the best affiliates they can. Offer them training and support when they need it.
- Audit affiliate content to see what does and doesn’t work. Offer affiliates feedback to boost conversion rates.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent idea for a business looking into the different types of digital marketing. With so many people shopping online these days, why not put yourself where the audience is and connect to affiliates?