Affiliate programs are probably something you’ve heard of and perhaps even something you have participated in but most startups don’t consider creating an affiliate program for themselves. This is interesting considering the large demand for affiliate marketing opportunities. Affiliate marketing for dummies offers advice for those choosing which companies to partner with and it can also serve as advice for those who are considering launching their own partnership opportunities.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing was the first iteration of the influencer marketing trend that has recently become so popular. Affiliate marketing is comprised of a partnership between the product or service creator and individuals, also known as affiliates, who then advertise and sell the product or service in exchange for a predefined commission.
The commission is the incentive that encourages affiliates to actively promote the sale of the product or service. Each affiliate marketing campaign offers slightly different terms for earning commission which may be higher or lower depending on a variety of factors, including sales volume and the price of the item.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
The most obvious benefit of setting up an affiliate marketing program is to increase the number of consumers who are aware of your product or service and the subsequent number of sales. But that is only part of the story. A properly designed and executed affiliate marketing campaign will boost traffic to your website and can increase the site’s SEO. This could lead to higher page rankings which ultimately lead to greater visibility and an increased amount of search traffic and sales.
Additionally, it gives your company social credibility. When you have an army of people who are actively promoting your service or product to their social network, it is the same as having a personal endorsement going out. Personal recommendations and product or company reviews are still two of the most powerful incentives for purchase. People want to know someone else has tried and benefited before they make a purchase. A link on a website or a social media post from someone they respect is a powerful statement which implies trust and validity.
For many companies, the only advertising they need to engage with is affiliate marketing. This can dramatically reduce your advertising budget and allows you to optimize the money allocated for promotion exclusively to what is working. If an affiliate doesn’t make a sale, they don’t get paid for the work they did.
What Businesses Can Utilize Affiliate Marketing?
Any business that provides a service or product can reach out to potential customers with affiliate marketing. It is ideal for trendy products that are receiving a lot of media attention like the recently popular fidget spinners. Affiliate marketing can also be leveraged by established companies that want to utilize user endorsements to reach a larger audience.
Anything that can be discussed or shown on a YouTube video, reviewed or promoted on a blog, or shared directly to a social media platform via link can benefit from affiliate marketing techniques. If you have a fantastic idea for a product or are launching a new service, partnering with people who are eager to get the news out is beneficial for both your company and those who choose to support it.
Making the Most of Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign
First, you must decide on a commission that is beneficial for you and provides enough of an incentive for your affiliates to market aggressively on your behalf. If you offer too much your profit may not be sufficient to cover the cost of the affiliate program. However, a higher commission may initially garner more interest and support from your affiliates. On the other hand, if you offer too little the marketing budget will be more affordable but partners may be more difficult to motivate.
The next trick for making your affiliate campaign most effective is to gamify the process. You may have noticed the popularity of gaming apps and the ability to earn badges and recognition in various utility apps. This is because competition and being recognized for one’s efforts are fantastic motivators. This can be done with leaderboards in a community or a ranking list in daily or weekly emails.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just for people who want to make a little side money selling items. It is a powerful marketing tool for companies of all sizes and stages of development. It can be effectively leveraged by your startup immediately and help dramatically increase initial growth.