Affiliate marketing – we’re sure you’ve heard of this term before. It’s essentially an advertising model in which companies reward third-party individuals for generating traffic and leads for them. It is considered to be one of the simplest, yet one of the most profitable ways to make money online. It doesn’t require high startup costs or product development time because it mostly relies on the power of content marketing such as blogs and social media.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t need any extra skills or previous experience. All that’s typically needed, as an affiliate, is a passion for your niche, and strong persuasive writing skills.
In this article, we want to tell you more about the power of affiliate marketing, and more specifically the benefits for businesses and content creators, such as bloggers. We will also give you some useful tips on how to pick the best affiliate software solution for you, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions. We will also briefly talk about the potential threats stemming from the use of affiliate marketing.
If you’re ready to start your journey with a completely different and unique advertising strategy, but still need that last bit of motivation to do so, here it is.
General benefits of affiliate marketing
Nowadays there are many digital marketing strategies that you could use to grow your business with. There are solutions such as content marketing, referral programs, email marketing, social media marketing, event sponsoring, influencer marketing, and many more.
But the thing is, none of them offer as many benefits as affiliate marketing. And that’s simply because a good affiliate marketing program allows businesses to promote themselves on various levels, blending smoothly with other marketing strategies in a consistent way, and ensuring maximum results at the same time.
Before we explore the benefits of affiliate marketing specifically for businesses and content creators, let’s have a look at some of the general benefits that anyone wishing to go down this marketing path can expect to receive:
- low ongoing costs
- low, or nonexistent risk
- a new way of making profit and potential passive income
- easy setup and implementation
- increased competitive advantage
- networking possibilities with influencers
- high conversion rate
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing for your business?
What benefits can your business expect when you decide to give an affiliate program a try? Let’s find out.
It is a great way to drive traffic to your own website by using people who have already established an audience, especially if you run a fully online business. Moreover, it is also advantageous because affiliates are able to reach their target audience through affiliate networks, which generally have a wider reach than the company’s own site.
In fact, even with a niche audience you have the opportunity to get great results, as your affiliates may be able to reach specific people that could have been out of reach working alone.
Affiliate marketing is a business strategy quickly gaining popularity because it can help you increase your online presence, online revenue, and customer base. Considering that the affiliate marketing industry is forecasted to reach $8 billion dollars by 2022, which is almost twice as much as it was back in 2015, it’s no surprise so many businesses want to join the club and adopt this form of marketing.
At a basic level, it’s a way to increase your sales by putting your products in front of the people that are already buying them. Rather than trying to find new customers, you are promoting what you already have.
Let’s take a closer look at the other benefits.
1. Low start-up costs
When you run a business you definitely pay close attention to your bottom line and try to minimize your operating costs as much as possible. If you don’t do this, you’ll probably never succeed. To keep your company financially healthy, you need to think carefully about every purchase and do some research beforehand to ensure your actions are cost effective and your fixed costs are as small as possible. It’s essential to avoid getting your company tied into something incredibly pricey, and completely unprofitable.
This form of performance-based marketing allows organizations to generate revenue from their marketing efforts by partnering with online retailers and marketing their products on the organization’s website at a much lower cost when compared to other advertising techniques.
Interestingly enough, affiliate marketing is responsible for 16% of all U.S. eCommerce sales, which only shows how beneficial it can be for businesses to adopt!
2. High ROI
Using affiliate marketing in your online advertising methods, you will not only be able to minimize your start-up costs, but also make an impact on your overall revenue. All thanks to the great ROI (Return on Investment) it offers!
If you decide to adopt affiliate marketing and start working with affiliates promoting your brand, we can almost guarantee that you won’t find anything to complain about regarding your return on investment. For example, research shows that in the UK, for every pound spent, businesses earn up to 15 pounds thanks to their affiliate programs. That’s a pretty good ratio, isn’t it? Because of this, many ecommerce brands (like Amazon) across the planet have fully bought into affiliate marketing and are giving it a go.
In the sector of affiliate marketing, ROI shows you whether or not your marketing efforts on this level are profitable. ROI can be calculated if you know how much revenue was generated by the affiliate marketing campaign and how much money was spent. Multiply the revenue by the profit margin (revenues minus costs) and divide the result by the campaign’s cost.
3. Increased traffic
While there are many potential sources of traffic that could lead to your website, affiliate marketing is a true leader in this field. Together with a high, risk-free ROI and low start-up costs, your ecommerce platform will also experience a surge in the number of visits to your website. Because almost 65% of traffic is generated by affiliates through blogging, your website will significantly benefit from this type of advertising. All you need is a group of affiliates who will be willing to promote your business in exchange for commission for purchases completed as a result of their content.
More website visits mean an increased chance for more successful sales, so it’s a huge benefit to look forward to within your ecommerce space. Additional cold traffic coming from your affiliates is a good opportunity for you to gain many new customers, so keep this in mind.
4. Reputation boost
Moving on, once you’ve built a reliable affiliate network that promotes your brand for you, you will quickly realize how big of a reputation boost this marketing strategy can be for you.
Provided that you only cooperate with trustworthy and valuable affiliates, your brand will quickly start to be recognized as a reputable company that people want to do business with. Companies with strong positive reputations attract more active consumers. In addition to their perceived superiority, they are also often able to charge a premium price for their services. Not to mention, they have a more loyal customer base and offer a broader range of products and services, which in general contributes to the growth of a business.
5. Building brand recognition
As a business owner dealing with affiliate marketing, you will quickly realize that it’s a highly effective way to build strong brand recognition and improve your customer acquisition strategy quickly for your company. Since affiliates are essentially people spreading the word about your business, often in a colorful and positive way, you have a group of your own brand ambassadors who advertise your company, at the same time strengthening its position and recognition in the market.
Through the use of affiliate marketing, companies build relationships with influential bloggers and social media influencers in order to help drive organic traffic towards their site. This type of marketing also helps companies build brand recognition through word-of-mouth advertising and obtain customer feedback on new products quickly.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing for content creators?
Now that we’ve covered the main advantages of affiliate marketing for businesses, let’s focus on how content creators, such as bloggers, influencers and social personas can start calling themselves an affiliate expert in no time.
As we explained in the ‘For Businesses’ section above, Affiliate marketing is a marketing technique in which you can earn real money and improve your advertising resources by promoting other company’s products and services. It is an excellent way for content creators to monetize their content in a quick and efficient way. They can work on the things they enjoy and then also get paid for it. There is often a massive audience already out there that can be reached, so there’s little to lose by attempting it.
What else does affiliate marketing have in store?
6. Statistics and data
As a content creator, we’re sure you care a lot about the statistics and performance of your articles. Your goal will be to create content that will get many views, at the same time maximizing your chance to make profits from it. When you’re promoting various products and services, from different industries, it’s highly likely that you’ll have access to various statistics and dashboards. There, you’ll be able to see which type of products and services perform the best, what your advertising costs are, what your affiliate sales look like, how many effective affiliate links you’ve shared and complete audience data.
Because of this, in the future you will know what type of products or services are of highest interest to your audience, so that you can only focus on the ones that are of biggest benefit to you. You will also be able to save your time and avoid investing your time into areas and products that won’t bring you any profits.
Another great benefit is that affiliate marketing offers a lot of flexibility. As a content creator, you can choose to work full-time, part-time or as a freelancer. Pick the schedule that you feel is the best fit for you and you’re pretty much ready to start your journey. It is also one of the easiest ways for you to earn money from home, as typically all you need is a computer and access to the Internet.
Depending on what type of business you want to promote, it will vary how much time and effort you need to put into it. This can range from as little as a few hours a week, all the way up to a full-time job. But again, it’s totally up to you and how much time you wish to dedicate.
You also have the choice to not promote any specific type of product and instead promote different products from different companies. By following this path, you are an independent affiliate and make money by recommending products or services from other companies to your potential customers, or visitors, on your blog, website or email lists. The best thing is that you don’t even have to purchase or hold any physical products in advance, and you can set up your own commission tiers and network fees regarding your work.
8. Valuable partnerships
When working as an affiliate, you can actually make valuable partnerships that could potentially benefit you in the future. Affiliate marketing is all about networking and finding connections, and therefore it’s a great way for you to meet new people, connect, chat or just generally open the door to new possibilities.
A good example could be getting a job as a content marketer at a company that you’ve partnered with in the past. During your work as an affiliate with them, there could be an opportunity to get in touch with a large enterprise customer that could guarantee you a great career in your sector.
9. Additional income stream
Finally, you will quickly realize that working as an affiliate marketer and promoting other businesses’ products and services can be highly beneficial for you income-wise. Glassdoor reports that affiliate marketers earn an average of $66,029 per year, with earnings ranging from $35,000 up to $124,000.
Whether affiliate marketing is just a side gig for you, or a full-time job, you have the possibility to make some good money from it. And that’s all while promoting products and/or services that you know and like.
After reading through all of the above benefits for bloggers, as well as how easy finding affiliate opportunities is, it’s pretty obvious that becoming one of the affiliate marketing gurus is a desirable goal for many. But is it always that beneficial?
What are the disadvantages of affiliate marketing?
Now that we’ve gone through the rainbows and butterflies, we also feel that we should make you aware of the possible cons of starting an affiliate campaign for your business as well. While there’s less cons than pros, as a business owner or a content creator you should take them into account and plan your affiliate marketing strategy smartly so that you minimize the risk of these cons occurring.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to letting someone advertise your products and services on your behalf is a potentially damaged reputation should things go wrong. While it is important to find and take advantage of every affiliate offer that may be available to you, you should be responsible and careful when choosing your affiliates.
There are many different opportunities for affiliate offers, but make sure you are considering what is best for your potential consumers, and not necessarily the best opportunity to make money. Think about what characteristics your ideal affiliate marketer should have and make sure you’re looking out for your target audience at all times!
You should mention what kind of offers you are looking to take advantage of, and add a link to a page where people can find more information about the offers you’re specifically interested in, all so that your acquisition of affiliates is as smooth as possible.
There will be many different offers that will end up being sent to your email address, but be mindful of your brand reputation and always put the good image of your company and your consumer confidence first. This will allow you to maintain a flawless reputation, whilst at the same time not risking participating in any scandals.
Avoiding having to face this disadvantage isn’t difficult and in fact, it’s all completely up to you whether you will pick reliable affiliates. Just do some solid research before making any deals and you will be good to go!
There is nothing worse than your affiliates faking leads, installs or certain actions. It’s undoubtedly a huge threat to businesses that invest in affiliate marketing. When affiliate marketers are dishonest about their efforts, you lose money, potentially reputation, and end up with no positive results at all.
Some signs indicating that you’re dealing with affiliate frauds include:
- very low or nonexistent in-app activity together with suspiciously great results for your campaign
- a campaign that is performing way too well compared to your other campaigns
- heavy traffic to your website but with no actual sales made
- an increased amount of refund requests from new customers
- registered leads that know nothing about your brand
You should be mindful and monitor your affiliate marketing results carefully to avoid this. Luckily for you, this won’t be difficult as fake conversions are rare, and you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about them. Provided that you find reliable affiliates, fake conversions won’t be a threat for your business at all.
Patience and hard work
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money because you don’t have to worry about any initial investment. Plus, it doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re not good at sales, social media or any other marketing channels because affiliate marketing can give the chance to learn these skills, as you grow your business.
But there’s a catch. We won’t lie to you and say that this is all easy. Affiliate marketing requires you to be patient and hard-working. Just like with any other marketing strategy, you will need to work hard to see the benefits. The results and profits won’t suddenly magically appear out of nowhere.
Again, this shouldn’t be much of a problem for you as a business or as a blogger, because you’re likely aware of the fact that success requires time and hard work, so whilst this is a key point, it’s not a disadvantage unique only to affiliate marketing.
Last but not least, together with hard work and patience, you need to be aware of the fact that there is no guarantee that you’ll be successful. Every decision businesses and content creators make comes with uncertainty, and you can never be 100% sure that something will work out for you.
For this reason, affiliate marketing can be considered a challenging path to choose, but once you get rid of this uncertainty, you’ll see that it can be an amazing way to grow your business and make money. And if it ends up not working out for you, the low, or sometimes non-existent, start-up costs should compensate for the potential loss of time for you.
So don’t overthink it too much and start your journey with affiliate marketing as soon as possible!
How to choose the best affiliate marketing software
Now let’s focus on a more practical aspect of our topic; your affiliate marketing platform and how to choose it.
Choosing the best affiliate marketing software is not a simple task, given the fact, there are many popular affiliate programs out there. It takes time and effort to assess if a given software will meet your needs. In this part of the article, we will provide some insights into what you need to know before choosing an affiliate marketing software solution.
Some of the key features that you should look for in the best affiliate marketing software include custom downloadable tools for creating, managing and tracking links, advanced reporting, comprehensive dashboard with real-time data, comprehensive email reports and more, and some of the most popular tools are
discount coupons, flash banners, audit log, top affiliate reports, direct links tracking, multi tier commissions and more.
A reliable affiliate platform will allow you to access tools whenever you need them, so check out the subscription plans and the list of features carefully.
First things first, before you start your hunt for the perfect affiliate marketing software, you should be able to roughly define your expectations as well as the commitments you’re ready to make in terms of your affiliate marketing strategy. Are you looking for something long or short-term? Would you like your affiliates to work totally independently or would you rather have some control over them? Are statistics important to you or are you just interested in the final results?
It takes a lot of effort and time to build a successful affiliate strategy that will bring profits to your business, so you will need to make many key decisions about your choices and commitments while having done key research.
Whether you’re running your own business or are a content creator with a limited budget, it’s natural for you to pay close attention to your bottom line and be as economical as you possibly can with your spending.
Therefore, pricing is an important aspect that you should carefully consider when you’re looking for your perfect affiliate marketing software. While looking and doing your research, you will most definitely find yourself being confused and distracted by flashy slogans screaming: ‘Pick me, choose me!’. Don’t let those fool you and always, without exception, compare pricing plans with at least a few different providers.
It may turn out that some cheap solutions will offer many more features than other, expensive, and highly overpriced solutions. Be aware of that and put the time in with your research.
Whilst it’s good to set your budget in advance, don’t be too stubborn; be flexible enough to go over budget if it’s required. Having this flexibility may bring great results, giving you the best possible experience.
Moving on, simply finding your ‘one and only’ price-wise solution won’t be enough. If your budget allows for it, you will most likely choose the best solution out there feature-wise. If that’s the case, you will probably end up with a powerful and reliable piece of software that you barely understand and will leave you with a ton of unanswered questions.
How to set this up? What is that used for? How can I implement this? Will I be able to get access to those? These are just some of the questions that may spring to your mind right after purchasing the most feature-rich subscription and seeing the large list of elements you now have access to.
For this reason your ideal affiliate marketing software should offer the best possible support. Technical support will definitely be needed if you’re not necessarily a digital nomad and want to make sure everything is done correctly. Having access to this sort of customer care throughout your whole journey with a platform will allow you to take full advantage of the features you can use, ensuring maximum profitability.
Therefore, pay attention to this aspect and you will be less confused, and happier than ever with your affiliate marketing efforts!
Ability to scale up/down
Every business has better and worse times. The best proof of that is the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, which made some businesses go bankrupt, and on the contrary, some experienced the most profitable time of their existence!
Taking into account the dynamics of your business, and keeping in mind that you have more and less busy periods of time, you should aim to pick affiliate marketing software that will be easy to scale up and down.
The ability of affiliate marketing software to scale up and down without any significant impact on performance remains one of the most important priorities to this day. Affiliate networks are often very large and offer a wide range of different products. The affiliate marketing software needs to be able to handle all this data without slowing down or crashing.
We believe that it is very important for affiliate marketing software to have good scalability, as it will help the owner earn more money through their enterprise. More importantly, a scalable business will have a higher chance of survival as there is less risk involved with the business going offline due to a lack of support from the backend system.
Another significant aspect relates to software limitations. Limitations and dependencies of affiliate marketing software can be a huge problem for businesses and content creators. There is always a risk of the software crashing, or not working properly with the user’s computer, which can give an affiliate marketer a lot of headaches.
It is important for your software to not have any limitations because you want to be able to use your affiliate marketing tool without any issues and without having to worry about what will happen if it crashes, or doesn’t work with your computer. It is essential that your software is dependable and that there are no restrictions on how it can be used. This is the only way you’ll be able to fully benefit from it, so do some research before saying ‘yes’ to any provider.
Last but not least, you should pay attention to the collaboration options offered by your potential software provider. One of the reasons why this is such an important element is because it will make it easier for you to share and access different pieces of information with your team.
The other key reason why it’s important is because it will make it easier for you to get feedback from your team. This will enable them to work more efficiently and effectively together.
Looking for the best affiliate marketing software?
If you’re looking for the best network and affiliate marketing tracking software out there, which will allow you to do things like:
- manage multiple affiliate programs at once
- track affiliate partner performance
- assign commissions
- issue payouts on one platform
you may want to take a look at Post Affiliate Pro. There is no setup fee, you get access to 24/7 customer support, and you can even cancel your subscription any time. (which we’re sure won’t happen, given how great this tool is)
With advanced features in categories such as promotional materials, reporting, tracking methods, types of commissions and user interface, you’ll find yourself falling in love with Post Affiliate Pro very quickly.
This tool is present in over 120 countries worldwide and has a long list of satisfied customers, so you definitely don’t want to miss out.
Affiliate marketing can be difficult to manage at first, but the advantages it brings are definitely worth the effort and hours of hard work! We hope that you found this article interesting and helpful.
To sum up, in this article we:
- introduced you to the benefits of affiliate marketing for both businesses and content creators
- gave you some tips on how to pick the best affiliate marketing software for your business
- briefly went through the most common disadvantages of this marketing channel
If you’d like to further deepen your knowledge and expertise around the topic of affiliate marketing, affiliate commission, affiliate networks and more, don’t hesitate to check out our blog. Other than that, we hope you learned something new today and we wish you all the best with your affiliate marketing efforts!
Frequently asked questions
Why is affiliate marketing the future?
Affiliate marketing is the future because it offers people the chance to grow their own small businesses. It is a much less risky way to start a business than opening up a retail store or even starting a website. It is also an easy way to start earning money online, as well as create passive income streams.
How to find affiliates for small businesses?
The Internet is a great place to find affiliates if you know how to look for them correctly. If you search on sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor you will most likely find local businesses that will be willing to work with you as an affiliate. You can also use Twitter or Facebook search bars and type in your keyword local and the type of service that they offer (e.g. hair salon). Putting it together; local hair salon.
Is affiliate marketing right for my business?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where the affiliate earns money or commission from the sale of either their own products or someone else’s. The advantages of affiliate marketing are that it is relatively inexpensive for both parties; you don’t have to come up with your own products, and it allows you to leverage other people’s work. Whether or not affiliate marketing is right for your business will heavily depend on the type of business you have, as well as your motivation and determination to make it work.
How does affiliate marketing help with targeting audiences?
Affiliate marketing is an advertising practice through which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing helps in targeting audiences because it allows companies to use tactics such as social media posts, banner ads, podcasts and other forms of media. The company can also target specific audiences according to their interests and demographics.
Is affiliate marketing good or bad?
Affiliate marketing has been growing in popularity over the past few years. It’s undoubtedly a great way to make money online when you don’t have your own product or brand. But is it good or bad for the affiliate marketer, and for potential businesses? This is totally objective, and there is no right answer. It’s all very individual and you will have to test it out for yourself.
How can an affiliate grow my business?
An affiliate can be someone who grows your business by promoting your products or services on social media platforms, blogs, or other digital channels in exchange for a commission of the sale or lead generated. The exact way in which your affiliates will grow your business is completely up to you and your needs and demands, as well as the type of industry your business operates in.
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