What is Affiliate Marketing and How Can it Grow Your Business?
Affiliate marketing is like a formal branch of influencer marketing - taking the power of recommendation and attaching a commission to it so that the affiliate earns a share of every sale their recommendation makes.
In the modern world of ecommerce sales and digital marketing, affiliate marketing is not only responsible for widening the marketing reach of various campaigns and products but can also drive sales and create income for the affiliate as well as the company.
In this article I explore a little about how affiliate marketing works and what benefits it can bring to your business.
How does Affiliate Marketing work?
Working with an affiliate is essentially a performance-based strategy of digital marketing, whereby you select affiliates who will then mention or recommend your product or brand through a blog, social media platform, testimonial, or podcast.
In return for their support, any sale which is made through the link they provide lets you - the business - know that it came as a direct result of their marketing, and they receive a commission of that sale.
An affiliate can be anyone from an influencer to someone who owns or contributes towards multiple websites or email lists, ideally with some link to your specific industry.
To show you the direct benefits of affiliate marketing, it is estimated that the industry will be worth around $8.2 billion by 2022 - having grown from $5.4 billion in 2017, and that affiliate marketing accounts for around 15% of all ecommerce sales.
The Benefits for your Business
Now let’s talk direct benefits for you as a business.
- It’s cost effective
First thing’s first, affiliate marketing is cost effective because you only pay when you start to see the direct results of the marketing campaign.
By paying affiliates a percentage of every sale that they bring in, businesses can avoid an outright fee for marketing support and instead pay according to the success of the post or share.
- It’s an effective marketing solution
Marketing and reaching a wider audience is a hurdle often faced by businesses, but affiliate marketing can tick all of those boxes with minimal effort to the company - leaving you free to focus on driving customer engagement and conversion from other channels.
- Helps create and reach a new audience
There is no better form of marketing than word of mouth - whether it comes from a friend, a trusted source, or an online review.
Affiliate marketing takes the concept of word of mouth marketing and extends its reach to whichever audience your chosen affiliate represents and speaks to - instantly putting your brand name front and centre of their minds.
How to Grow your Business Using Affiliate Marketing
Time to put the concept of affiliate marketing to work in your business.
Before you reach out to the right affiliates, it helps to understand the know your niche audience - including where they hang out online, and what kind of affiliate channels they might be following. This will help you to narrow down your chosen affiliates.
The more affiliate networks you can partner with and get your brand into, the wider your reach will become - and with this comes a whole new opportunity: the chance to start shifting and marketing less popular items and low selling products.
By pushing this as a new opportunity, potentially with higher return percentages for affiliates, you will find that your entire offering becomes more profitable with a higher conversion rate - boosting not just your reach but your online success as well.
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