If you want to drive traffic and increase conversions then you should be looking to add affiliate marketing into your online marketing strategy. To do this effectively you need to line yourself up with a great affiliate marketing company. A strategic partnership like this will boost your return on investment rates as well as producing relevant customers for your business.
As an entrepreneur, the risk involved in taking the plunge with affiliate marketing is extremely low and the reward is extremely high.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing can be thought of as outsourced marketing. You’re essentially hiring an affiliate who is paid to bring you customers.
If an affiliate drives visitors to your website but that visitor doesn’t convert into a sale then you don’t have to pay the affiliate. You only need pay them once a visitor buys your product or service through your affiliates custom referral link.
When you work with an affiliate marketing company, their man goal is not to drive traffic, their goal is to generate sales. After all you can have millions of visitors per month to your website, but if they’re not making a purchase then it’s almost pointless.
Sounds great so far, but you need to have a good understanding of how the affiliate marketing works if you’re planning on using it to grow your business.
Here’s a simple breakdown of how affiliate marketing is put into practice:
- Your affiliate marketing company approaches a social media influencer or other online personality with a sizeable following. They’re interested in your proposal and become an official Affiliate.
- Your new Affiliate is assigned a custom tracking URL – This is so that you can track exactly which affiliates are driving your traffic.
- Your Affiliate can now promote your company through several different ways: paid traffic (like AdWords), a YouTube video of the product, email blast, product reviews, a blog post or simply using their custom tracking URL.
- Customers or leads click through your Affiliate’s link and purchase a product or sign up for your service.
- Finally after the customer goes through check-out, the Affiliate receives a commission from you because they have successfully sent you a customer.
What are the benefits of working with an Affiliate Marketing Company?
Affiliate marketing is an important marketing channel which last year generated around £2.16bn in sales for UK-based merchants.
The model is so strong that it not only fits into a pre-existing marketing plan perfectly, but it can also be so successful that it can replace other types of online and offline marketing altogether.
There are many benefits to be had from making a small investment in affiliate marketing, let’s take a look at a few.
- Cost-effective Customer Acquisition
There is no payment to affiliates unless they refer a visitor who subsequently makes a purchase or signs up to your service. Therefore when you work with an affiliate marketing company to use this model there is no wasted budget. A smart way to utilise affiliate marketing is to recruit affiliates in new markets. This is an easy way to branch out into that untested market you’ve been thinking about without the overhead costs of creating an entire marketing campaign. This ability to dip your toes into a new market mitigates risk as you’re able to test the market without the need to sink a lot of money into an unproven market for testing.
- Targeted Prospects
Affiliate Marketing still has the human touch in today’s world of ever-changing algorithms. It’s in the affiliate’s best interest to pick ads that their audience is likely to respond to as that is what will help them to earn their commission. Due to this incentive Affiliates spend time handpicking the ads they wish to place on their websites. Afterall they know their audience best and they’re best placed to be able to choose the campaigns most suited to their demographic.
- Brand Visibility
A great added advantage of working with Affiliates, who have big networks and marketing plans of their own, is that using an affiliate marketing company will give your business free brand exposure. You can benefit from affiliate’s high search engine listings when displaying your ads on their website.
- Fixed Costs
The commision paid to affiliates is set by you and that’s all you’ll pay when a sale is made. There are hardly any variables beyond that (unless you choose a model with different levels of commission).
- Outsourced SEO marketing
Online affiliate marketing started out in the tech and business sectors. Due to the nature of the sector you’ll find that when working with Affiliates you’re not just working with just any Tom, Dick or Harry. To have grown their own business to the stage they’re able to partner with you, many affiliates have become experts in search engine optimization (SEO) and other online marketing tactics during this process. This provides you with a way of potentially getting to the top of Google without needing to spend a fortune on your own SEO or PPC.
When you sign up to an affiliate marketing company, you’re not just going to choose one partner to work with. The more Affiliates you work with the bigger your network grows. This enables you to have a much higher chance of being found than your competitors who aren’t using affiliate marketing. Think about it, if a consumer visits Google and multiple search results ultimately link to you, then you’re more likely to win the sale and build trust in your brand.
A key feature for businesses working with an affiliate marketing company is the ability to track the origin of sales. Another key advantage is being able to easily see the return on investment through accessible analytics. This is beneficial because you can see exactly where and when sales are made and you are able to reflect on what is working and what isn’t working as you please.
Working with an affiliate marketing company can be a great way to help you reach a wider audience and generate sales for your business. Don’t be put off too quickly because it can take a long time to find the right people to promote your brand. However once you find the right balance between your commissions, partnerships and your revenue, affiliate marketing becomes an extremely cost effective way to grow your business.