How Affiliate Marketing Can Help Your Business

The greatest challenge that the vast majority of businesses face is generating enough leads and getting a sufficient level of traffic to their website. This has forced companies to reevaluate their budgets and focus more spending on lead generation in an attempt to further expose their products / services and brand to a new, larger audience base. One way in which some companies are doing this is through a technique known as affiliate marketing. 

What Is It?

Affiliate marketing works by having a publisher (or affiliate) comeon board with a retailer to advertise and promote their products / services, whilst receiving a certain level of commission for each and every sale that is attributed to them. Thanks to the use of a unique link that the affiliate promotes, all traffic that is sent to the website from them is easy to keep track of. For a company, it is a cost effective way of growing their team of marketers, as they are only paid as and when they make a successful sale. 

Increased Popularity

It is easy to dismiss affiliate marketing as another of a long list of advertising techniques that have been banded around as the next big thing within the world of business. However, you should park your scepticism until you have read through some of the below benefits that the technique can have on your company.

  • Increases awareness of your brand – it is generally the case that customers prefer to shop with brands that they know of and are familiar with. In extreme cases, customers may even pay more for an item from a retailer they have shopped with before than pay less for the same item with a retailer they have never heard of or used before. Using affiliate marketing allows you to grow the awareness of your company brand – exposing it to potential new customers in the process.
  • Saves time – as anyone who runs a business knows, marketing plays a vitally important role but can be something that consumes a lot of your time. As a result, it often takes you away from other areas of running your business such as development and the financials. By using an affiliate program and allowing affiliates to do your marketing work for you, it frees up your time to allow you to focus on all of the other parts. 
  • Is a good return on investment – in the United States of America alone there is around $5 billion spent on affiliate marketing of some sort or an other. When considering the market globally, some 80 percent of businesses use affiliate marketing to help with sales of their products / services. This will continue to grow as the industry expands as more people turn to online shopping for most of their purchases. An affiliate marketing program has the opportunity to provide you with a good amount of return for your investment into it – which is not very much.
  • Attracts targeted traffic – whilst any traffic that comes through to your website is good, some is better than others. For example, if you sell clothing, you do not want to attract customers looking for DIY products. You can prevent this by working with affiliate marketers who understand your products / services and the industry that you are in and so will be able to attract the right customers to your website. If you currently are or are hoping to become one of these such individuals, then take a look at this affiliate marketer training.
  • Requires little investment – although starting up a brand new affiliate program does require some time and money, it pales in comparison to the costs associated with paying for advertising through various channels and / or employing a team of marketers to manage all of this activity for you. In order to take the stress and hassle out of setting up your very own affiliate program, there are in gact companies out there who can do it on your behalf – thus freeing up your time to focus on other parts of running your business. 
  • Choose who to work with – with an affiliate program businesses can pick themselves who they work with and how they represent their brand. As affiliates apply to join your program, you are able to vet them and assess their skills in order to establish if they are the right person to promote your products / services.
  • Pay only for sales – most traditional advertising techniques charge you even though they do not necessarily guarantee sales. When broken down, you only pay for the affiliate marketing work that is done when a sale is successfully made. If the affiliate is good at their job, then both yourself and them benefit. However, a poorly conducted pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign that sends poor quality traffic to your website still requires payment, even if no sales come of it. 
  • Very little risk – making payments for marketing activity that is based solely on the performance of the affiliate represents a technique that is very little risk. There is no need to spend money on generating leads that they require nurturing in order to get them to close the deal. Instead with affiliate marketing, customers are created directly on which relationships can be built upon and upsells possibly made.
  • Improves SEO – search engine optimization (SEO) is important for the performance of any website. By introducing an affiliate program and the large number of backlinks to your website that will be used as a result, the SEO of your website will be improved. This is most effective when working with high profile affiliates that have a large audience of their own to promote your products / services to.
  • Detailed sale data – using a specialist company to run and manage your affiliate program will provide you with lots of detailed sales figures and other data. Based on this, you can tweak the messaging that you are putting out accordingly.

Whilst there are actually a number of other benefits to adopting an affiliate program, the ones mentioned above are probably the main ones that will benefit a company.

Buddy Karimi

Buddy is a business journalist with a focus on technology and innovation. With over 10 years of experience reporting on the latest business trends, Buddy has a reputation for being a well-informed, in-depth and analytical journalist. He has a keen understanding of the intersection between technology and business, and is able to explain the impact of emerging technologies on various industries. Buddy has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the tech industry and has covered major tech events such as CES and SXSW. He is also a regular contributor to business publications and has won several awards for his work.