This article is based on the free eBook based on “Affiliate Marketing” written by The Internet Marketing Academy.
There are many benefits to getting into an affiliate partnership, whether you take on the role of merchant or affiliate. Keep in mind when thinking about these benefits the fact that the Internet has become a highly collaborative space, especially with social media taking such a dominant presence on the web today.
Here are some of the key benefits to affiliate marketing.
1. Partnerships and Collaboration
The relationship between affiliate and merchant is a symbiotic one. Both affiliate and merchant benefit from having an affiliate partnership with each other.
With affiliates, there is the fact that web hosting fees may be paid through the income earned from being an affiliate and some affiliates can actually earn a substantial income from the merchants they work with. This does not mean, however, that it is as simple as signing up for an affiliate program. The affiliate has an incentive to get traffic delivered to the merchant’s site. When done well, the affiliate also benefits by being credited with the sale or lead.
This is actually one of the original problems that occurred and made affiliates question their role in affiliate partnerships. They might say to themselves “I am sending traffic to their site, but that means I am losing traffic.” This is called Click and Bye, which means an affiliate might lose a viewer to its bigger merchant via a textual link or banner.
Merchants, though, recognized this problem and came up with the solution to credit affiliates when a successful sale was made or a new customer signed up with their website or newsletter. As you can see, affiliates and merchants must constantly adapt to make affiliate marketing work for them. The benefit for merchants through this relationship is that they get new traffic and potential customers they might not otherwise have access to by advertising on affiliate websites. Best of all, their advertising dollars are only spent when they successfully make a sale through an affiliate.
2. Affiliates’ site content is relevant
Let’s say that you, as a merchant, sell dog food through your company website. Your affiliate should be somehow in line with your product or service for an affiliate marketing strategy to work. That is to say, if you sell dog food, you should sell advertise dog food on sites that attract dog owners.
If you think about it, this makes reasonable sense. Your dog food company might know a few websites that cater to dog owners and perhaps have forums and discussions about dogs, ranging in subjects from teaching them tricks to how to keep them healthy. This is a smart potential affiliate option because it means you can advertise to your demographic. Smart affiliate marketing strategies involve continuing to think creatively about where your demographic is most likely to be so that you can have your advertisement present there as well.
In contrast, a bad marketing decision would be to form an affiliate partnership with a website that caters to cat owners. What interest would they have in dog food when they have cats to feed?
3. More effective use of advertising budget
As we stated earlier when we described the difference between plain banner advertisements and affiliate advertising, we mentioned the fees and rates that you are required to pay. Every website is different in what amount they expect to be paid, but one thing is clear: performance based marketing allows you to waste less money in advertisement allocation.
Marketing is all about increasing ROI for prospective customers, and affiliate marketing is no exception. When you spend money on any kind of advertisement, you want to make sure that the amount you spend to get a new customer is worth the investment. Performance based marketing lessens the amount of money you spend and reduces the risk of having a bad ROI.
Let’s say that you have an affiliate for your dog food company. Each time you make a sale, you might pay a 5% commission. Since you are only paying when you made a sale, you are certain that you only make an investment when there has already been a return.
4. Easy tracking
Like other types of Internet marketing strategies, such as email marketing and website creation, one of the greatest benefits to doing affiliate marketing is the fact that it can be tracked. Affiliate programs often allow you to see certain things like click-through rates or views of your site as a result of a customer having viewed an affiliate web page.
This is an important part of building an effective affiliate marketing strategy because it allows you to see which affiliates work and which do not. Additionally, it may also tell you how you are performing on the different affiliate websites with different marketing tools, such as through a banner ad or a link placement. This will help you spend your money more effectively by continuing to invest in the types of ads that seem to get the best results.
Without a doubt, exposure is key to any component of a marketing strategy. By having affiliates, you can have your product or service held out for the online world to see. And by staying present on appropriate sites, your exposure will increase exponentially by staying in tune with the correct, targeted demographics.
Exposure also allows you to build an image and brand name. Building those allows you to leave a lasting impression on prospective customers so that they are more likely to come back and make a purchase. And because it leaves a lasting impression, that means it is likely to be spread to others through the Internet and even word of mouth.
Is affiliate marketing right for your business? If so, then you can contact our marketing experts for more information on how to develop an effective affiliate marketing program.
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