Affiliate marketing has been around for some time now, so even if you’ve never dabbled yourself, chances are you’ve heard about this business model. One of the reasons for its enduring success is its simplicity. This method of e-commerce harnesses two creative initiatives – the retailing of products via the Internet, and the ability of web content to capture the imagination of potential customers.
In other words, a retail organization (or publisher) produces lists of products for sale (an affiliate program), offering these to marketers to promote on their own web platforms in return for a share of every sale generated. Commission rates vary, but they can be lucrative. Here’s an overview of what affiliate marketing could do for your business.
Who’s Doing The Marketing?
The first aspect to be clarified is whether you are approaching this from the point of view of a larger business prepared to offer programs, or a small business keen to sign up to them. Because affiliate marketing is often referred to as a win-win scenario, whichever angle you are pursuing, there are excellent opportunities to make the most of the process.
Let’s start with a retail organization considering stepping away from the traditional channels to defer promotional activities. Affiliate marketing represents a unique way of selling items at minimal cost. Once a third party has signed up to promote products to customers on your behalf, they incur all the costs and responsibilities for drumming up business.
Marketing budgets, previously such a sizeable part of any company’s outlays, are reduced to a fraction of what they once were. Also, you only ever pay out commission after a marketer has referred a customer who actually buys something. The rest of the time, you can sit back and relax while all the promotional work is enacted on your behalf.
At the other end of the scale, if you’re running a small business, signing up to an affiliate program could be one of the most astute moves you could make. You now have considerable potential to generate income on products you don’t even have the responsibility to produce or modify. Not do you require to take on-board any of the responsibility for the invoicing side of the operation, or for managing stock. Your only real input is to entice customers towards the retailer’s purchase pages. In order to stand the best chance of achieving this, you need to understand how affiliate marketing works as a promotional tool.
Weaponizing Web Content
The way online marketing used to work was much more scattershot in approach. A retail organization with products to sell would run expensive advertising campaigns to get its name out there. Websites could host banners, generating a modicum of income whenever site visitors clicked on these and were steered towards the host website.
Affiliate marketing is much more precise, with bloggers or small traders incentivized to promote items much more directly. What has taken over from those costly and often offputting banner ads is the content itself. A marketer can take the hyperlinks received from the retailer after signing up to a program, then insert them within articles relating to the subject. Doing so organically is the key to success.
In top affiliate marketing, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to develop a level of expertise in their chosen field. If they can back this up with intelligent articles enticing customers to take an interest – as opposed to simply posting links and hoping for the best – they have every chance of becoming the ‘go to’ site for whichever product.
Success will be reflected in the amount of commission they generate.