Affiliate marketing relies on a website promoting a brands products and services in return for commission based on sales. It is a mutual relationship; the brand sells its products and the affiliate in charge of the operations earns revenue based on sales. The stronger the understanding and communication between both parties, the more lucrative and indispensable the brand-affiliate relationship becomes. If you do an online research you will find a number of free affiliate marketing programs but before you go up and sign any of them you need
Parties involved: -
There are mainly these three parties involved in an affiliate program:
Advertiser or Merchant: -
Merchant is usually a company selling a product like cars, electronic gadgets or a merchant could also be an insurance company selling policies. An advertiser is ready to pay other people sell and promote his/her business.
Affiliate or Publisher: -
An affiliate is an individual or company that promotes a merchant’s product or service in return for earning a commission. Advertisers provide the publisher with eye-catching links, banner or text ads that the publisher puts into their website.
Customer or Consumer: -
The final piece of affiliate puzzle is the customer who buys the merchant’s product or service by following the links provided by affiliate. A customer is the one who actually sees the ads and then clicks on them with the intention to buy. Ultimately, if the consumer has bought the product the affiliate will get the commission.
Busting Myths about Affiliate Marketing
Before we take a deep look it would a nice idea to remove some of the misconceptions regarding affiliate marketing since it has been plagued with negative reviews owing to misinformation and unsuccessful parties blaming the approach itself to be flawed. Following are a few popular myths about affiliate marketing and the truth regarding them.
Getting a Start is Complicated
Almost anyone can get started with affiliate marketing with the right knowledge, experience and direction.
Profit Decides Business Niche
Prioritizing profit leaves you in an undesirable situation where relevancy to business goals fails and profit generation becomes a near impossible task. Always choose a relevant business niche first rather than becoming greedy for monetary gains.
Strong Management Is Not a Necessity
Affiliate marketing in reality requires a high degree of control and management since it involves marketing, which is a volatile field where factors change on a daily basis. Maintaining relationship between brand and affiliate also requires continuous communication and management.
It Is Not Customer Friendly
On the contrary; since customers are more in touch with affiliates rather than big brands with which they are hesitant to make contact, they are perfect for promoting products and services because consumers have higher degree of trust in them.
It is Being Outdated
It is true that affiliate marketing is one of internets oldest marketing technique, but it does not support the fact that it will be outdated. In fact, it gives more reason that it is here to stay since it is simple yet effective and a synergetic business relation which benefits both sides.
10 Crucial Things to Look out for
Affiliate marketing provides you the edge you need to keep ahead of the competitive curve. For it to work best there are a few factors which require consideration, such as below.
1. Pair Relationship
The nature of relationship between brand and affiliate is the deciding factor. Without trust, understanding of common business objectives and communication to keep moving forward, both parties cannot progress.
Instead of choosing an affiliate randomly or because of success, choose one whose site content and niche is similar to yours. Having similar objectives means it is easier to coordinate and both sides can keep functioning effectively.
3. Available Resources
Before hiring, brands should consider the budget they have and plan their move accordingly, whether it is short or long term. Similarly, affiliates should take note of the commission and Return on Investment (ROI) so they can decide if the project suits them or not.
4. Business Goals
With dissimilar business objectives, both sides may be performing well theoretically but will fail to generate practical results because their performance is opposite to one another. For example, if the brand aims for short term promotion with high capital investment but the affiliate goes for a long-term approach with steady investment, steady advertisement and few sales promotions, then they will fail to achieve their predefined goals.
5. Relevant Business Niche
A website is only as successful as the content for the business niche it is created for, so decide it before site development or choose a relevant one if you already have a functional site. To decide the niche, consider the following factors:
Whether you have the skills to function as an affiliate in the field.
Profitability of the venture
The nature of plan you wish to implement and will be more familiar with.
If the market supports another affiliate to enter in the field.
6. Finding Available Affiliate Contracts
Once you have established your initial goals, research available affiliate programs and which ones coincide with your business objectives and goals. Over-viewing following points can make the decision process easier:
Nature of merchants involved in the field.
Deciding on the commission.
If marketing the products and services provides benefit other than commission.
7. Setting up the Right Website
Developing a website or choosing an already developed one requires that your goals coincide with it. If you are looking to set up your site, follow these steps to get started.
Secure site address (domain).
Arrange hosting for your site.
Choose a Content Management System (CMS), there are many available i.e. Magento, Woocommerce or WordPress
Choose the appropriate addons i.e. magento affiliate extension, affiliate plugins for Woocommerce or WordPress whichever suits you best.
Select theme for development.
8. Creating Content that Wins
In advertising, not to be different is virtual suicide.
- Thornton Wilder 3 Time Pulitzer Prize Winner Novelist
In the world of adverting content is the backbone of marketing and is both time consuming and difficult to produce. Your content should be attractive and offer some unique perspective that no one is offering. Instead of blindly creating content, research these factors to properly create content that wins.
Fresh content boasts higher ratings among Google SERPs as well as site ratings by users. Always choose fresh and innovative content over repetitive, overused one or lazy content.
Research product reviews to provide customers the best possible solution to their query by tailoring content to suit what they search for.
Provide product details, since customers are more interested once they have been delivered information regarding products without the usual hassle of providing authentication and email.
9. Selecting Target Audience
Do not waste resources by blindly targeting anyone on the internet. Select target audience who will be the major focus of your marketing approach and dedicate resources towards them.
Email marketing may be an old tactic but it is time tested and by providing target audience who are already interested in your niche with solutions they are searching for at their doorstep, you can be sure to capture their interest.
Social media marketing is an effective method to deliver your message to a large audience and direct their interest towards your business.
Organic SEO is perfect for boosting content so that it features well on SERPs and the quality convinces audience that the website is trustworthy, so are more inclined to conduct business.
10. Your Affiliation, Your Responsibility
Once you have captivated customer interest, it is time to promote the products and services you offer.
Once again, email marketing is essential for promoting your affiliate products and services. Provide links to them so the customer can directly jump to the relevant content.
Special offers are perfectly suited for both attracting customers and converting them into leads. Customers always flock to websites that offer limited time offers and deals.
Providing product reviews allows your customer to understand what you offer and by checking the review of a fellow customer, they are more inclined to make a business decision.
Overall Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.
-Bo Bennett Founder, CEO of eBookIt.com
According to Variety.com Amazon revenue surpassed $100 Billion in 2015 which means its affiliates made around $10 Billion from it. Now affiliate marketing being an interweaved business relation where both parties rely on combined efforts to improve quality of their relation for better results, it would seem at first glance that affiliate marketing would be a complex technique to implement. However, it is a highly rewarding approach with many benefits that are seldom availed from other methodologies.
By outsourcing their marketing to other websites, the brand benefits from a wider territory in which to market their products and services, which increases coverage and potential customers and boosts overall sales.
Brands can introduce themselves into new areas through affiliates who are familiar with the market and its trends.
Affiliates are more in touch with customers and have strong communication with them, which makes them excellent candidates to promote products and services since trust is a major factor when it comes to online purchasing.
Instead of dedicating efforts towards gaining new customers, integrating affiliate marketing approach allows them to multitask. The brands gain new customers as well as other benefits such as brand marketing, promotion into new areas and recognition.
It provides websites a reliable source of income in which they dedicate their webpage and resources towards the brand in in turn get commission from sales.
Anyone can get started as it does not require a large investment. With the right knowledge and proper contacts, affiliate marketing approach can be adopted by any site.
Affiliate marketing allows the person to work at their own accord without constraints such as a physical office, timings and location.
Customers benefit from affiliates since they do not have to directly purchase from brand and affiliates take care of delivery and other related matters. They also feature sales and special offers which are very convenient for customers.
Affiliate Marketing – A question of preparation
As Napoleon Hill famously said
Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
Same goes for the affiliate marketing that it requires patience, persistence and preparation for it to succeed and preparation is the most important of them all. If you have done your homework and planned your steps thoroughly there is no reason for you to fail. While affiliate marketing may be one of the older marketing methods, it has stood the test of time and the benefits it provides can seldom be found in other techniques and no other offers them together in one package. With the right information, marketing technique and approach, almost anyone can step into affiliate marketing and reap its benefits.