Affiliate marketing can prove a very good way to grow your business, no matter what the size of your market. Is affiliate marketing something you’ve heard of, but you’re not sure whether it’s right for your business? Here’s what all the fuss is about…
What is affiliate marketing?
From a start-up’s point of view, affiliate marketing involves paying website owners (affiliates) to send web traffic to your website. Yet rather than paying in advance, you pay your affiliate for each conversion. This can take the form of a sale, subscription, or whatever you please.
Affiliates can be blogs or news sites. Price-comparison, voucher code and cashback sites are also often affiliates of other brands.
Affiliation works in a similar way to referral marketing in that you offer incentives to drive traffic to your website. Yet referral marketing involves referring your customers’ friends or family to a particular offer. By contrast, affiliate marketing involves third-party brands sending customers your way in exchange for a flat fee.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
First of all, you don’t have to pay a fee unless the person they send to your site results in a conversion. This is great news for start-ups on limited budgets. This is because you can pay your affiliate after – rather than before – you make the sale.
Second, as long as you choose your affiliates wisely, the traffic they send your way should have an interest in the product or service you sell. This in turn makes it more likely that they will buy from you.
Overall, affiliate marketing gives the chance to get noticed, which is, of course, vital to any new business. A big benefit of having affiliates on your side is that they foster trust in your brand. They will usually have a large following on their blog or website.
Need an example?
Picking a new website at random, let’s say you run Play Cosmo, a gaming website without a big-name operator behind it. You have a bunch of fun gamesand some attractive offers, but who’s going to trust you if you don’t have some kind of reputation? This problem goes away when respected names in your industry start to recommend your products to their audience.
How to ensure your affiliate program brings in profit
Assuming you know your target audience, creating a lucrative affiliate marketing program should be easy enough. Knowing your ideal customer’s buying habits helps you tailor the program to meet each of your business goals. Next, research your options to make sure the right amount of quality traffic comes your way.
Quantity is important in that you want a steady flow of customers; yet quality is vital. After all, there’s no point in trying to attract people who aren’t interested in your products. With this in mind, choose affiliates with a strong reputation within your industry or niche. An affiliate site with a high search engine ranking will also make you more visible to your desired audience.