Affiliate marketing is a strategy utilized by publishers and online platforms in every industry. It has a structure that sounds easy enough to manage: discover a great product, promote it and earn a piece of the pie for every sale obtained.
Ninety percent of advertisers point to affiliate programs as an integral part of their overall success. By employing affiliate marketing into their strategies, companies can earn a cut of sales by promoting the products of other brands. Reports suggest that most advertisers trace 20% of their annual revenue back to affiliate marketing.
Yet, it’s a strategy that involves partnerships that require vetting and testing to get just right. Aligning yourself with the right companies to partner up with for affiliate marketing can mean the difference between a 2017 business dud and a brand that establishes itself as a leader of its industry.
Here’s what your brand should know about the popular methods of affiliate marketing as it continues to grow in 2017:
Making yourself aware of the various roles within affiliate marketing will be your first step to maximizing profits. Knowing your part in the marketing game plan, will allow you to keep track of the varied tasks that will have to be managed throughout a process that will need many hands and can often be drawn out and convoluted. As you tally up your team roster, first know that affiliate marketing uses four core players:
● The Merchant- also known as the retailer or major brand. The merchant creates and owns the rights to the product or service.
● The Network- consists of offers chosen by affiliates. It is also where payments are made.
● The Affiliate- also known as the publisher, is the one who does the marketing for the Merchant. They receive a commission from the sale.
● The Customer- makes the purchase of the product or service. The merchant and the affiliate share the profit from their sale.
Focus on which job in the relationship is yours and ensure that you are catering to your strengths and abilities. If you’re an affiliate, do what you can to maintain relationships and let the merchant lead the charge when it comes to creating products and services. Categorizing your roles will give a sense of much needed structure for a team that will undoubtedly have persistent and assertive players.
Tools To Get Started
If you’re the brand, here’s where the ability to juggle comes in handy. Running an affiliate network is a task that will primarily be carried out in front of a computer. As such, it will require quite a bit of focus, effort and upkeep. Here are a few key things to know in order to get you started:
Know Your Audience
If you’re a brand, don’t make the tragic mistake of promoting a product instead of promoting to an audience. Know your audience better than a dog or pet you’ve had for your whole life. We’re talking likes, dislikes, desires and interests. Do they have a favorite toy or drink? What leash do they like to be used on their walks? (Well… forget the latter.) Figure out who your target audience is, how big they are and what it is they want from a product. Failing to pick these details up will render both your product and marketing obsolete.
Create A System That Tracks Buyers
It would be great if you could determine your audience and it was all smooth sailing from there. But that’s just not the case for affiliate marketing. Expect your customers to change with the times. Just like you, they’ll chase after new trends in order to stay relevant. Make sure that you also have your eyes on the type of affiliate marketers that are working best for you.
Make Strong Landing Pages
Your landing page is where all of the traffic from your affiliate marketing campaign will end up. Here’s where it’s important to make sure that you aren’t relying on the effectiveness of your affiliate marketers. If a customer heads to your site and clicks through only to discover difficult navigation and slipshod pages, know that you’ve sealed the deal on them not giving you or your services another thought. In the rare case that they do, chances are they’re just doing their work to spread the news against your legitimacy.
Don’t just do your work to make it look pretty either. Cover your bases and make sure your shopping cart and payment system are secure, or customers will exit out of your browser faster than you can even say the word “megaflop”.
Why Affiliate Marketing Will Conquer in 2017 – And Beyond
Affiliate marketing constitutes for 7.5% of total digital spend among retailers – over 50% for retail. Considering its effectiveness, highly measurability, and ability to be easily scaled, it’s no wonder.
As more and more brands face the struggles of moving away from traditional advertising, affiliate marketing is becoming a more attractive option. Consumers are no longer up for having advertisements fed to them or interrupt their routine. What’s more the reliability of content marketing requires the maintenance of continual investment and rarely shoots a brand to instant success.
2017’s forecast indicates that affiliate marketing is the way to go for networks looking to raise a brand. Include affiliate marketing in your 2017 strategy and rest assured you’ll be the leading brand in your industry.