Affiliate Marketing Explained
Is your brand sticking to traditional marketing methods? You can maintain a steady stream of traffic and income and build your brand awareness with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a powerful form of performance marketing that has become a popular technique providing brands with the opportunity to find new customers and earn commissions, all while potentially building a rewarding relationship with a reputable brand. It can be sometimes difficult to find ways to find the right potential customers who you know would be interested in the product or brand you’re supporting, but with the right strategy in place, affiliate marketing is a relatively easy way to provide valuable content and make some extra money.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the marketing method by which an affiliate (this could be you or you could be the brand being affiliated) chooses to market another brand’s products or services on their own website or social media and in exchange receives a commission or reward for anyone who clicks or purchases from that brand.
An affiliate can search for relevant services and products they believe their audience would like and then market them on their website through an affiliate link received directly from that brand. These marketing methods are often used by host websites that already have a big following and have the ability to affiliate with many brands and businesses who relate to their own service, such as a recipe blog, etc.
The marketing doesn’t come off as advertising in the traditional sense, so viewers don’t feel like they’re being “sold” to - instead, they’re being provided offers that will help them interact further with the hosting affiliate while leading traffic to the partner brands.
Why choose affiliate marketing?
Unlike traditional paid advertising, such as PPC (pay-per-click) you don’t pay money when a lead is generated on your website. Instead, affiliate marketing only pays out once a purchase has been made. This means that there is a relatively low cost associated and a much higher opportunity for a large return on investment. So, even if your affiliate marketers don’t provide you with any sales, you aren’t required to pay them. This increases the incentive that affiliates will work efficiently and effectively to provide valuable content that will drive traffic to your website.
Affiliate marketing also creates relationships with other, often smaller, brands which can lead to positive brand awareness on multiple platforms. So, even if leads aren’t buying, they’re still being introduced to the idea of your product or service, which may lead them back to you later down the road.
You’re also going to see an increase in SEO with the right affiliate marketing campaigns. Each time an affiliate mentions your brand or backlinks to your website (using their affiliate link) you’re increasing its ability to push your brand to the top of search engine results. This opportunity grows even more when your affiliates are already thought leaders with excellent SEO themselves - the more reputable blogs, social posts, etc. that share your backlinks, the better.
How to succeed at affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing isn’t an easy process for either side. It requires a strong foundation for building relationships, a dedication to detail, and a requirement to focus on your niche and ensure you’re fostering a rewarding partnership for both yourself and the brands/affiliates you are partnering with. It can also be time-consuming to create a campaign that has been optimized and organized efficiently to attract views from the most likely to convert. But it’s worth it and there are ways you can ensure that your campaign will be successful.
Sign up for the right affiliate networks
About 80% of brands have affiliate programs set in place. This means that it can seemingly be easy for the right affiliates to find you. Signing up for every affiliate marketing program and allowing everyone who asks to have an affiliate link may seem like the best choice, but it can become overwhelming and can result in absolutely no successful partnerships or leads generated.
Instead, you should self-pick every affiliate you work with - ensuring their audience is your target audience too. Study their content. Does it provide value, do their readers engage with them, have they built loyalty and trust among their followers? All of these are important because they increase the likelihood that their audience will find their way to your site.
Find affiliates in different demographic markets
If you’re hoping to grow your business internationally, finding affiliates within other countries and markets can provide you with a gateway to reaching new audiences in new places. These affiliates know how to market to their local customers and can reach them in ways you might not be able to. You can really develop your global audience by strategically choosing affiliates with access to your target audiences within their local market.
Focus on targetted traffic
Once you’ve started relationship building with your affiliates, work with them to ensure the content they’re creating is targeting the type of traffic you want. Without this form of communication, they might just decide to start marketing your product to the wrong people. If you’re selling websites and they’re linking you to an article about pest control, you’re likely not to have the right traffic heading your way. Unless, of course, their a bug spray business in need of a website.
Offer the right incentives
How much you choose to offer your affiliates as commission or incentives upfront is important. If you’re not offering enough, they could choose to focus on their linking to brands that are likely to give higher returns. However, by keeping commissions lower, you can come up with other incentives that will keep your affiliates interested for the long term and build those lasting relationships. For example, offer an incentive that could double the commission on all sales made after the first ten in a month. This will push affiliates to continue pushing their own audience and discover new and creative ways to earn their trust and lead them to you.
Use the right analytics
With the right analytical tools put into place that tracks each link and the number of leads and sales generated during a period of time, you can better understand what audience you should be targetting, when affiliates should share your links, as well as what affiliates are providing successful revenue and awareness to your brand. Gather all of your data in one place and study any trends and anomalies. If you have someone on your team who is an expert in data science, maximize their skills so that your next affiliate campaign is even better.
Partner with the experts who can manage your affiliate marketing campaigns for you
Planning and running a marketing campaign, especially with affiliate marketing, can be tough. Especially if you have no idea who and where to start, partnering with a marketing firm who is specialized in performance marketing can save you money and time. Your results, which are built on strategically created campaigns and years of experience, have an increased likelihood of paying off, meaning you get paid more and increase your overall ROI.
Choosing the right marketing team can be tough, so it’s important to find leaders in the industry with a proven track record of success. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but our well-known clients speak for themselves when they keep coming back to maximize their earning potential with Better Business.
On one final note…
Before you venture out to find affiliates, it’s important to build a plan that sets goals and milestones for these goals. What do you want to achieve with your affiliate marketing? Not having a goal to reach means you’re never going to know when your strategy has been successful. Set something measurable, such as finding ten strong affiliates or making 50 sales on affiliate links and then keep working at building your affiliate relationships until you reach those goals.
And, if the right affiliates aren’t coming to you, go out and find them. Social media is full of influencers who already have an audience that trusts their voice and opinions. If you can find someone who already has your target audience engaging positively with other affiliate links, you may just find yourself a gold mine. If you’re looking to learn more about influencer marketing, we’re always open for a conversation.
Interested in learning more about affiliate marketing and how you effectively use it to scale and grow your brand? Reach out for a conversation with a member of the betterbusiness team today.