Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses And Its Effectiveness


Affiliate marketing is synonymous to performance marketing where the performance of the affiliates is directly proportional to the profit. It is a sales strategy that the businesses use. The system involves individuals and businesses that link to the product and once a product is sold they get commission for the same


Effectiveness Of Affiliate Marketing

The performance based model for advertising products is found effective by 2010 IAB report on Internet Advertising Revenue. According to the data received this model accounts for 62% of ad revenues through the internet which was 59% in the year 2009. The pioneer in affiliate marketing, Amazon, drew 40% of its sale from affiliate marketing that is $34 billion in money terms. This data was revealed by Wikipedia and thus, it is trust worthy. If the Forrester research projects of U.S. reports are to be believed, the spending on affiliate marketing would be $4.1 billion in 2014 compared to merely $1.6 billion in 2007. This data are significant enough in proving that what efficient affiliate marketing can do for your business. It can boost your online sales and increase your revenue. 



Pros and cons of affiliate programs

Pros: 

The best part of affiliate marketing is, you get a sales team that is paid, only when they sale your products. The commission is dependent on your wish, so there would be no chance of wasting money. 

Affiliates would not only boost your sales but build a brand image through the channels they use to get traffic towards their website. Your competitors may be already doing the same; it is time for you to be proactive. 

Cons: 

The major drawback in case of affiliate marketing is the competition that the affiliates require to survive. The affiliate partner may try and participate in the organic search engine ranking run, and may outdo your company’s effort to be on top of the search ranking.

According to a market study in the year 2011, 60% of the affiliate partners used pay per click to promote their affiliate website. This can ruin your paid marketing effort for direct sales. 

 To sum up the whole scenario, it is essential to mention that even though, you need to compete with your affiliate for the market share, and you will end up selling more products. Competing with the affiliates is better than competing with the rivals.

There are always some risks involved which cannot be controlled. There can be some rough affiliates using spam mails, false advertising, infringing trademark and other such tools for increasing their promotion. This may have a direct impact on your business because people would blame you if the promises are not fulfilled.  Strict promotional guidelines and timely action are the only way out.  


Affiliate program for your business

To determine the pattern of affiliate program, and rates you should offer, it is better to check if your competitors are running one or not. Check for their rates and visibility to assess the outcome of such a program. If you find that the rate offered by the rivals is possible to beat, then the affiliate program can be profitable for you. Your sales record should also be advantageous to attract the best affiliates in the market because they would love a product that gives business. 


The hurdles to acquire the affiliate

Once you have determined to dig into the world of affiliate marketing, you should be ready to face the questions regarding the following. 

  • If you host an in-house affiliate program or you use an affiliate network can be a prime concern for affiliates.
  • The crafting of affiliate guidelines.
  • Your technique to find the affiliates who would promote your products online. 


How to start up with affiliate marketing?

Step 1: Go with a network

For small business, affiliate marketing can be a daunting task. It is better to trust an affiliate network in the beginning, and once you find your ground, you can move alone. The shareasale network can boost your busing by adjusting the budget in accordance to your business. The network has an excellent reputation in the market that affiliates trust. 

Step 2: Consider hiring a program manager

Once your program is on the network, a program manager may come handy keeping track of the program and managing all details. The manager will help you decide commission, form the set of guidelines, recruit new affiliates and many more such things. Keeping a check on affiliate activities is a plus to the service offered by such managers. 



Finding a quality affiliate manager

There are certain skills to look for. 

  • The person should be concerned about promoting your products.
  • He should be open to suggestions from affiliates.

The best way to find the appropriate affiliate manager is referral; it is your turn to pick the best person in the market with better packaging and more incentives.