Affiliate marketing provides you a chance to grow your business and get back rewards for every buck you invested in advertising. Whether you own a small or medium-sized company, affiliate marketing can be valuable for you due to its unique strategy of performance-based payment model.
As you have complete freedom and flexibility in spending, it attracts the small business owners and provides them an incredible opportunity to grow their business.
Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing fields with an estimated growth of 10%+ by next year, making it a giant billion-dollar market.
After knowing this, you must be wondering if you can dive into the huge billion-dollar field and earn through affiliate marketing. The answer to your question is ’YES’. It doesn’t matter either you are a small entrepreneur or owner of a huge business tycoon, affiliate marketing is beneficial in every case. Once you will get an idea of how it works, you will be able to implement an effective strategy for your business.
How it Works
Affiliate marketing is a subdomain of digital marketing that enables you to get influencers who sell your products through online links and take only a certain percentage of commission over each sale. People utilize blogs, videos, or social media links to sell or influence the audience to perform specific actions. If their audience performs specific actions as required by the main business, the partner gets a commission.
In any affiliate marketing program, there are three main parties. Each of them works in their specific domain to make the affiliate campaign run successfully.
Affiliate – Often called the publisher, the affiliate is the middle party that utilizes its online popularity via blog, social media, or videos and recommends its fans and users to buy the services or products from the merchant. The affiliate in return for it’s influencing the audience gets commission from the merchant for every sale.
Advertiser – The advertiser or merchant owns a business and is looking to sell products. The merchant reaches out to affiliate parties who recommend its products or influence the viewers to buy from the specific merchant through an affiliate link. It is the party that initiates the affiliate program and is the main beneficiary of the system.
User – The user is the consumer who is a fan, follower, or viewer of the affiliate party. He is the person who has bought something from the merchant after being influenced by the publisher. He may download an application, sign up for a subscription, order services, perform a required action after clicking the affiliate link that the publisher had provided.
The affiliate program is arranged in such a way that each party gets benefits through the whole process. The advertiser gets his product sale boosted to a large number of people. The affiliate gets his commission when the desired action is performed through a referral link. The user gets the product or service he was looking for online.
Why Affiliate Marketing is a Suitable Strategy
Affiliate marketing works on the trust-building principle and easily fulfills clients’ expectations. People don’t usually buy from random companies because they don’t believe in the authenticity of the product. Through affiliate marketing, influencers share their personal experience of the product of the merchant. As a result, people who love and follow the influencers easily trust them and as a result make purchases. In this way, the business gets its sales to boost and generate revenue with minimum marketing expense and build trusted brand awareness with time.
Affiliate marketing always gets an upper hand when compared with other marketing strategies. Due to low cost, minimum effort, and maximum profit gain, it is the lowest risk marketing in which you only pay when you get paid.
The latest studies of the 2018 IAB Internet Advertising Report revealed that 61.8 percent of the revenue generated by online businesses was through affiliate marketing. These statistics are enough to justify its importance as a well well-tested marketing strategy.
Is Affiliate Marketing Right for Your Business?
Affiliate marketing is beneficial for a wide range of businesses including small-scale and large tycoons. We have shortlisted some specific businesses that will work best by implementing an affiliate marketing strategy.
You may think that affiliate marketing is a less ideal strategy to utilize for businesses delivering services locally in a specific area. What if we tell you that you are wrong? In fact, it is the best choice for local businesses to increase their brand awareness. Since the influencers are handpicked by you, they can easily be set to target audiences in a specific region. No matter the type of services you are providing, may it be a legal adviser, marriage organizing, event planning, plumb, accounting, or even dental services, affiliate marketing with its word of mouth advertising technique lets you have well-reputed brand awareness in the local area.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Companies
A common misconception is prevailing that affiliate marketing does not work well for B2B companies. However, we see that more and more B2B companies are turning their eyes towards affiliate marketing and seeing it as a more cost-effective business strategy than traditional methodologies. Reaching the internet for business promotion and sales generation is the need of the time because other marketing channels like trade shows and direct sales are becoming obsolete.
Affiliate links work best for eCommerce businesses. Huge online eCommerce giants like Amazon offer affiliate links that can be utilized by bloggers and YouTubers. Just go to any search engine and search “best low budget washing machines” and you will end up reaching a blog where there will be a list of 5-10 best washing machines with their affiliate links. The blog gives full detail on the pros and cons of the products and guides consumers on which one is best in their budget according to their requirements. In this way, user-generated content gives you a great opportunity to list your services and products on different blogs.
No other marketing strategy works better than affiliate marketing if you own a subscription-based business and want to increase subscribers based on monthly or yearly programs. The affiliate will get a fixed commission on each subscription but you will get revenue for multiple payments from clients for several months.
Leveraging a small, family size business is not an easy task in the world where competition is growing day by day and companies are investing huge budgets in advertising. You need to be cost-efficient and highly trustable for this purpose. Affiliate marketing offers you a winning strategy for your business with low, huge, or no cost at all.
If you have a business that doesn’t include in the list mentioned above, it does not mean that you cannot start an affiliate marketing service campaign for your company. However, you have to ask yourself some questions that can guide you better.
Do You Have a Startup?
One of the coolest features of affiliate marketing is that it allows you to solve specific problems of the customers. You may have a startup and want to tell the audience about your product. All your product information is included in the blog with user-generated content instead of typical ads like pay per click which are system generated.
Do You Provide Something Special to Your Customers?
Last but not the least, affiliate marketing gives you a package of full-fledged content in a blog or video. Touching every aspect of your product and a full detailed review gives you an upper edge in sales. Unlike PPC campaigns where you just pay the search engine to show your ad, you are here working with real humans who are explaining their experience with your product in a blog post.
Do You Sell Fine Products and Services?
In affiliate marketing, real humans are promoting your services so this is important that your product is what you are showing to people. People trust influencers and will be ready to buy your services by seeing real people promoting them but keep in mind that the influencer should naturally recommend your services. If you are willing to increase your business by converting consumers into fans then you should have a firm trust in your products and services.
Wanna Scale on your Budget?
As discussed already, affiliate marketing is a cost-effective and budget-efficient technique of digital marketing, it appeals to companies with tight budgets and limited financial resources. You can easily boost your sales and generate revenue by utilizing affiliate marketing but keep in mind that you have to be target-specific and go at a slow pace. It is a great way to scale up your business without breaking the bank.
Willing to Grow With Demand?
Affiliate marketing does not require you to put in extra effort and money. All you have to do is to be able to keep up with the increasing demand and take appropriate steps to expand your business empire. With time, your business will grow and you will also have to use more affiliate links; therefore, make a precise and clear strategy about your target and get the work started. As many companies start from minimum affiliate links and then grow a huge network of affiliate links, you can have a similar strategy to boost your business and increase brand awareness with time.
Are Your Competitors Using It?
The first and foremost step is to check your competitors’ strategies. Are they employing affiliate marketing services? If so then why can’t you? There will be many companies out there of the same size and budget as yours who are using this billion-dollar affiliate assistance. You can also have an insight into the success of the bigger companies and analyze their marketing strategies.
As affiliate programs work on a performance-based payment model and you have a minimum risk of loss, many companies adopt affiliate marketing strategies for some months to see if it works for them or not.