Companies employ a variety of strategies with one main objective: to market their products and services to their target audience. Some of the different marketing strategies deployed by these companies include social media marketing, media buying, PPC (Pay-Per-Click), content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine optimization. email marketing.
But the most profitable of these marketing strategies is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is so critical to business success that organizations send delegates to attend the world famous conference affiliate conferencea gathering of lead generation specialists, content marketers, SEO gurus and conversion optimization specialists.
But what is affiliate marketing and why is it so important that businesses around the world use it as one of the central aspects of their marketing? This article answers these questions and more.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing refers to an advertising model in which a business or organization compensates individuals – through an affiliate marketing program – to drive leads or high-quality traffic to the organization’s products and services.
These people – known as third-party publishers – or affiliates, receive commissions whenever their traffic generates sales for the organization. In other words, affiliates promote a company’s products and services in exchange for commissions after sales are made.
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest forms of online marketing. It’s so simple that experts recommend it to beginners as a great way to enter the online marketing space. It is also one of the most profitable methods of making money online, probably second only to email marketing.
Affiliate marketers – another term used to describe affiliates or third-party publishers – do not require special training or prior experience. Instead, the requirements for success with affiliate marketing are a passion for the niche and strong persuasive writing skills.
Of course, let’s say you have a persuasive skill like copywriting. If so, you can bring that skill to your affiliate marketing business. But anyone can engage in affiliate marketing as long as they are passionate about marketing.
Why Affiliate Marketing is Important for Business
Affiliate marketing is vital for businesses and brands for many reasons. For example, research shows that affiliate programs were primarily responsible for generating 23% of all sales on average for brands. Additionally, companies that run subscription-based services, SaaS business models, and the product review industry have seen remarkable success with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing also accounts for up to 15% of digital media industry revenue. Additionally, approximately 58% of all affiliate purchases were made through mobile devices in 2018. Statistica reports that affiliate marketing spending in the United States is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.
This shows how powerful affiliate marketing is. The following also shows why brands are using affiliate marketing as one of their top marketing strategies today:
The main goal of any business, offline and online, is to gain instant recognition by as many potential buyers as possible. When affiliates drive more and more traffic to your site daily, the result is a significant increase in brand awareness, meaning more people know about your business and what it involves.
Since affiliates also take a share of brand revenue, they become loyal advocates. Their vested interest in the success of the brand will lead them to do everything legally to earn the trust of their potential customers.
Reach a much larger and highly targeted audience
Small businesses or startups benefit the most from the benefits of affiliate marketing. They can tap into their affiliate audience to expand brand reach. However, reaching new target audiences can be difficult or expensive in ads or campaigns.
But companies can work with third-party publishers that resonate with your brand. These affiliates will drive targeted traffic through their links to your website, so they can purchase your products and services.
Tracking your overall business performance allows you to deploy operational improvements along the way. Affiliate marketing tracking provides high-quality data that gives your brand vital information about your target market, where they are from, why they buy, the best time to buy, and more.
Brands study and analyze this rich collection of data to dramatically increase conversions. This is possible when you make the necessary changes to your website. This can include making your site mobile-friendly, creating more engaging visual or creative content, and more.
Most consumers no longer rely heavily on marketing messages from companies on their sales pages. Instead, they have higher expectations and mostly look for social proof or testimonials to validate any brand’s claims.
Extensive research shows that nearly 95% of consumers rely heavily on online reviews before making a purchase decision. Therefore, when a brand succeeds in building relationships with a highly engaged target audience, the marketplace will leave plenty of social proof that will make it easier for its affiliates to generate massive sales.
Benefit from a higher return on investment (return on investment)
Determining the return on investment (ROI) of advertising and marketing campaigns can be difficult and unpredictable. As mentioned earlier, Affiliate Marketing is uniquely a performance based business model solely for profitability. Businesses don’t pay potential buyers through clicks or impressions; they only pay for completed sales.
This is one of the main reasons why small businesses use affiliate marketing to promote or market and sell their products/services. Channeling your branding efforts through an affiliate program allows you to gain influence and direct access to a highly targeted and receptive audience with a high chance of doing business with your organization.
Affiliate marketing is the most profitable strategy an organization can deploy, especially when compared to advertising costs. Additionally, affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means that affiliates will only receive their commissions after a successful sale.
Businesses can set up their affiliate program, which includes a commission structure. This prevents these companies from wasting money on advertising which is mostly ineffective.
Organizations around the world are using affiliate marketing as part of their sales generation strategies. However, other techniques do not offer the same level of growth, promotion and sales as this unique marketing system.
That’s why businesses of all sizes will continue to embrace affiliate marketing as markets expand daily.