Is Affiliate Marketing Worth it?
Heard that saying, “There’s strength in numbers”? It’s the basic premise for Affiliate Marketing. As the number of people talking about a product increases, so does interest in it and ultimately, sales.
Affiliate Marketing is not a new concept—it’s been around for decades. This raises the question—is it still a good idea or is the market saturated? If you’re considering establishing an Affiliate Marketing Program, you’ll be glad to know that revenue generated by Affiliate Marketing Programs has been growing by a steady 10% since 2015.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing involves partnering with other businesses and people to promote products in exchange for a commission. These programs are a win-win solution for everyone. The brand offering the program can enter new markets and expand reach, and partners receive rewards and benefits from the vendor.
What is Required for Affiliate Marketing?
The low cost of starting up is often cited as one of the biggest advantages of Affiliate Marketing. While the statement is true, successful affiliate marketers have found that you do need to invest a certain amount of time and resources. It isn’t as simple as publishing a blog post and watching your commissions grow.
From an Affiliate Partner’s point of view, you need to build a community and engage with your audience. You might also feel the need to shift from a free WordPress website to a self-hosted site.
Brands, too, need to be ready to invest time and effort. When you look at it from this point of view, you need to recruit the right partners, track leads and commissions, and make sure your Affiliate Partners have all the information they need such as training material, sales documents, and company updates.
Affiliate Marketing Can Definitely be Worth it
Affiliate Marketing is as good an idea today as it was a decade ago. Here are a few quick statistics:
- More than 80% of all brands run Affiliate Programs.
- It’s one of the top customer acquisition channels and the turnover in 2019 alone was $6.4 billion! It’s been increasing ever since.
- Affiliate Programs are responsible for 15% to 30% of all sales for advertisers.
- Affiliate Marketing accounts for 16% of global eCommerce sales.
What Can You Achieve With Affiliate Marketing?
An Affiliate Marketing Program can be beneficial for all businesses, ranging from those that sell physical products to service-based businesses. There are three key ways you will benefit from this program:
Grow Your Brand Reach
Good Affiliate Marketing partners have an existing loyal audience with similar interests and demographics as your audience. However, these are people you may not be able to interact with otherwise. When an Affiliate Partner talks about your products, they’re making their audience aware of your brand. Since they earn a commission from your sales, they will be sure to project your brand in a favorable light, that is if they are properly onboarded and have access to the right materials.
Generate More Qualified Leads
As compared to an advertisement campaign that targets everyone, when your Affiliate Partner talks about your product, they’re speaking specifically to their audience. This is an audience that already has an interest in the kind of products and services you offer. For example, if you sell B2B software, your Affiliate Partners are likely to be people who blog about the latest technology to a business audience. Hence, the leads they generate will be easier to convert.
Gain More Credibility in the Market
No matter what you say about your brand, customers will always give more weight to what other consumers have to say. Customers rely quite heavily on online reviews and other forms of social proof before making a purchase. 93% of a survey’s respondents said that their purchasing behavior was influenced by online reviews. By talking positively about your product and brand, your Affiliate Partners will make your brand look more credible and trustworthy.
When is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?
As mentioned above, running an Affiliate Marketing Program requires dedicated effort and resources. Here are three indicators that you’re ready to start an Affiliate Marketing Program.
There is someone in your company who can devote time to managing affiliates.
Affiliate Marketing can take time. You need a partner manager who can identify strategic keywords, contact well-ranked affiliates, enter the negotiation period with them, keep affiliates engaged, track and measure incoming leads, and ensure commissions are paid correctly. If your company doesn’t have the human resources for all these responsibilities, it may be better to wait until your company is a little more mature.
You are ready for a long-term investment.
Affiliate Marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Sometimes, you may get your first customer in a few weeks. At other times, it could take a few months.
Online Affiliate Marketing is all based on links. Affiliate Partners publish content with links to your products and services. Their site visitors then need to click on the link to make a purchase. Not everyone who reads the content will click on the link. At the same time, a single well-placed link can generate leads for years.
With this being said, before you start looking for Affiliate Partners, you should have strong sales that keep the company profitable. This is a secondary channel, and hence, you need to be ready to wait a while before you see it make a significant difference to your profit margins.
You’re ready to have more presence in your industry.
Your Affiliate Partners will instantly start to talk about your brand and products, and you need to be ready for the attention. You should ensure that your marketing and sales processes are ready to convert and manage the new leads being generated.
How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing
1. Set a Budget
As with other types of marketing, you need to have access to a certain amount of resources before you start an Affiliate Marketing Program. The first step is to set your budget. Not all your partners will be willing to work on a commission basis. Established affiliate marketers may ask for an upfront payment. When it comes to commissions, you could pay partners a percentage of the sales or a fixed fee. Once you figure out these details, you’ll have a better idea of how big your budget needs to be and how it will be used.
2. Identify Keywords in Your Industry and Find Associated Articles
Online marketing is based on keywords. These are common words used by prospective customers to search for your products and services online. Identify long-tail and short-tail keywords that are relevant to your brand and look up content that contains these keywords. It’ll help you find the right partners for your Affiliate Program.
3. Select the Best Affiliate Partners for You
When selecting Affiliate Partners to work with, check the following areas to make sure they will be worth the time:
- Audience size to ensure your company is being seen
- Shared target audience to ensure you are reaching the right people
- Shared values to ensure you keep a positive brand image, as they are reflecting your company
4. Get a Partner Platform to Track Leads & Commissions
The biggest challenge for the person managing an Affiliate Marketing Program is keeping track of leads and commissions. A unique referral link is an ideal way to do this. A unique referral link is a URL that has the capacity to identify where the click came from. This allows you and your affiliates to know who arrived at your website from theirs. A Partner Platform like Kiflo can generate these links for you to track affiliate leads and commissions. With Kiflo, you can give your Affiliate Partners referral links, as well as access to lead submission forms that they can share with their audience, and use them to track incoming leads.
Get a Free Affiliate Partner Platform Trial
An Affiliate Partner Platform will give you all the tools you need to track leads, manage commission, share onboarding and marketing resources, and manage your Affiliate Partners.