Promotion for your business can look like a lot of things. Sometimes it’s a person swinging a promotion sign on the corner of an intersection. Other times it’s an ad that appears as your target audience scrolls on social media.
But more and more businesses are discovering a more aggressive way to drive up their website traffic and increase sales. And it’s taken the form of a tried and true type of advertising, using star power—affiliate marketing. So what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing happens when a business works out a deal with a publisher to try and promote a product or services while earning a profit from the sales they inspire. Affiliate marketing can be an ideal way for businesses with limited resources to still drive business profits even with a smaller budget.
There’s a lot that goes into an affiliate program and, if done right, can be an excellent way for your business to find your pot of gold.
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How to Pick a Publisher
Whether you’re more interested in using a social media influencer or a popular blogger, it’s essential to keep in mind whoever you decide to reach out to will ultimately affect your brand reputation and image.
Similar to how the affiliate marketer needs to decide whether or not they want to stack their name on your business, you need to do the same type of research. Affiliate marketers usually cater to a specific audience, and your target audience should line up with theirs.
Types of Publishers
Influencers make up most of the affiliate social media content. They’re targeted by businesses to showcase their product or services because of their large following. Influencers can be found on every social media platform and use that media to do videos about the product, step-by-step guides, or even just post an image of it.
The influencer can benefit from the perk of using a new product or service (usually for free) and the monetary income they earn from commission.
The business can utilize the popularity of the influencer to reach a wide variety of targeted audiences that they may not reach otherwise. Plus the added bonus of an endorsement of a popular figure.
Bloggers can be just as popular as influencers, but in the written world rather than the social world. Bloggers offer their content in a format called blogging and usually accompany their work with images or videos. Bloggers can address an infinite number of topics, and a business can generally pinpoint a blogger who appeals to their target audience.
Because their content is hosted on websites, bloggers can often help your product or service rank organically for search engine optimization (SEO).
Like influencers, bloggers benefit from commission while your business receives promotion from a popular website.
Sites like Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business have led the way on how to host a successful review site, and it’s not just consumers who are benefiting.
Businesses who have reviews about their products or services are almost guaranteeing themselves some sort of revenue. Why? Because studies show that someone will spend at least 13 minutes reading reviews before completing a purchase. While there is no guarantee for what you buy, reviews are the next best thing.
So how can your business benefit from affiliate marketing with review sites? For one thing, there’s a lower chance of buyer’s remorse. If you have an army of happy customers out there, that means more word of mouth, stronger recommendations, and a healthier revenue flow.
For another, you are building credibility for your company. And in the marketing world, that’s huge. Credibility will help you rank higher in search engines, make you more appealing to influencers or publishers, and most importantly, build your reputation with potential consumers.
The world of the wide web is interchangeably connected and a major benefit for your businesses is learning how to hitch a ride. Text link affiliate marketing provides a stage for your product or service to shine, usually taking the form of a banner, image, or hyperlink on a sponsor site.
Utilizing text links in your marketing effort can not only help establish brand awareness, but will also contribute to your standing in search engine optimization. Text links are a format you will perform in your affiliate marketing program and spread out throughout your content and sponsors. Publishers can also use your text links throughout their content as well to help provide promotion.
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How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
There are several reasons to consider affiliate marketing to help grow your business. It helps boost brand awareness, enhance your social proof, drive more traffic to your website, and improve conversion rates.
Consider what incentive you want to provide to the publisher. Make sure it’s appealing enough for them to consider your offer. Again, remember you should research them as much as they research you. Don’t just attach your name to everyone that comes your way.
Keep in mind the guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission. The consumer must be informed that they are being advertised to; otherwise, there is the risk of violation.
Decide what type of affiliation program will work with the marketing goals you’ve set forth. If you’re not sure where to set the bar, consider doing market research to find out what your competition is doing in terms of affiliate marketing (if any!). Decide what kind of commission structure you want to offer (pay per sale, pay per lead, or pay per click) and what kind of affiliate you want to work with.
Affiliate marketing can be a pot of gold for your business in terms of growth, and luckily you don’t need a rainbow to find it. Just focus on the goals you want to achieve, who can help you get there, and with luck, you’ll see the results you’re looking for.