Marketing your small business involves creating campaigns, testing, tweaking, optimizing your website, and getting your customers to take action, all while maintaining a strong ROI. Affiliate marketing is a simple way to expand your marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for increasing online sales and revenue. In fact, affiliate marketing spending in the United States is expected to top $8 billion by 2022. That’s up from $5.9 billion in 2018.
Affiliate marketing has a strong return on investment (ROI) for small businesses. Although using affiliate marketing for your website can increase your income, this sales technique has other benefits as well.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of selecting and collaborating with other people or businesses who will market your products and send traffic to your site. You pay these people or companies, called affiliates, a commission on each conversion.
Affiliate marketing is a great tactic for small businesses because you only pay commissions on sales after they happen. The benefit for affiliates is to promote the products and services they value while earning a percentage of the profit from every sale they make.
How does affiliate marketing work?
After signing agreements with affiliates, you will track the number of sales and volume of online traffic they are responsible for through affiliate links that link one website to another. The main purpose of affiliate marketing is to share the responsibility of marketing and product creation between the product seller/creator and the affiliate/advertiser.
10 reasons to use affiliate marketing
Here are 10 reasons why your small business should use affiliate marketing.
1. Progress Tracking
Affiliate marketing programs offer real-time online tracking, which lets you know precisely when a visitor clicks on a link and comes to your site. Affiliate platforms also provide metrics on impressions, clicks, sales, and custom conversions such as form submissions or email signups. Everything is trackable, and with this information, you can see how your affiliate marketing strategy translates into online revenue and benefits your business.
2. Enhanced Promotions
Affiliate marketing allows you to supplement your promotions with affiliate links. For example, if you are launching a product just before Christmas, you can send this product information to your affiliates so they can build buzz around your product and include your promotions on their websites.
Your online promotional campaign can include a product launch countdown where you offer a discount on a different product each day until launch. Maybe you’re giving a behind-the-scenes look at the product or in a Facebook Live video, or hosting a live Q&A.
3. Social proof
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to incorporate social proof into your online business.
Social proof is the idea that customers will comply with the actions of others if they believe it is the right choice. Social proof exists all around us, but it’s especially powerful in the form of customer trust in product reviews, suggestions, and testimonials.
According to a BrightLocal survey, nearly 79% of customers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations. An affiliate relationship shows online customers that another company believes in your product or business so much that they are willing to endorse it themselves.
4. Performance-based payment structures
Affiliate marketing differs from traditional marketing in that you only pay your affiliate when a sale is made. If the affiliate’s work isn’t producing sales, you don’t have to pay for it – and you also have the option of focusing on other affiliates, who may have an audience more interested in your product or business. . Most e-commerce affiliate commission rates are around 5% to 15%, so you can enjoy a return on ad spend (ROAS) of 10 to 1 or more. This is a profitable marketing tactic that guarantees a return because you set your own commission rates.
5. Online Business Scalability
When you incorporate affiliate marketing into your online business, your affiliates act like an indirect sales team, able to promote your products on their own websites and generate more revenue for your small business as they interact with their public. Here are some tips to increase your affiliate reach and generate more revenue:
- Diversify your affiliates. No affiliate should bring more than 25% of your affiliate earnings. Use coupon sites, customer loyalty sites, and other content sites to make sure you don’t become too reliant on an affiliate.
- Know your competition. Do your due diligence to find out which affiliate programs or influencers your competitors are using and what their commission rates are. When you make your brand easy to use and offer a solid commission, bloggers and affiliate businesses are more likely to work with you.
6. Sustainability of the website
One of the biggest reasons websites fail is lack of traffic, which requires greater SEO efforts. Use affiliates to build brand awareness and top it off with strong social media engagement to help increase your traffic.
7. Strong ROI
The return on investment when using affiliate marketing is usually extremely high. This strategy can increase average order value, average order per customer, and average customer revenue.
8. Increase in sales
Building strong affiliate relationships takes time and guidance, but if you commit to the work, your time will pay off. The more exposure your products and services have, the higher your sales will be, and affiliate marketing is a great way to do that.
9. Leverage different skill sets
Given the large number of affiliates available, you will have access to a large collection of varied skills. This increases the chances of additional sales of your products, as each seller uses their particular skills to appeal to different audiences.
10. A Different Marketing Flow
It is important to never use just one form of marketing. Affiliate marketing offers an extra level of protection against using a single form, as affiliates use a variety of advertising techniques to ensure that all possibilities are covered.
Sean Peek contributed writing and research to this article.