If you have an ecommerce business, then you’re constantly looking for ways that will grow your business – and your revenue – without requiring a huge investment. One proven method is affiliate marketing. Just what is affiliate marketing and, more importantly, how do you choose the right affiliate marketing channels for your business?
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process where you enter into partnerships with other businesses or individuals. Those partners then promote your products or services by using affiliate links and are then rewarded when they achieve results on your behalf.
In most cases, your partner is rewarded for a sale, but you might ask for other results such as clicks to your site, leads, or signups to a free trial.
Affiliate partners can make anything up to $100,000 a year or more, and that can depend on how much time and effort they put in. It can be a side hustle for passive income or a full-time job that can reap rewards.
Affiliate programs connect your business with your partners to promote your brand, and this can be achieved through various affiliate marketing channels such as blog posts, websites, email or SMS marketing, social media, and others.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Affiliate Marketing Channels?
If you are going to move into affiliate marketing, deciding on your partners and affiliate marketing channels is not always a straightforward choice. What should you be thinking about?
The first thing you need to consider is relevance. You want to look at channels where your target demographics are already interacting with content. For example, if your business is selling VoIP call center solutions, then you want a channel where decision-makers in the call center sector can be easily found. In that case, you will want a channel that is already seeing a lot of B2B activity.
You want to have channels that are relevant to your target customers. This can help build both brand awareness and trust, as well as lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.
2. Solid ROI
As with anything, you don’t want to be spending more than you’re earning. Once you have identified the best channels for your business growth, gauge their cost-effectiveness. You also need to consider that any return on investment may not be immediate, so look at projected time-frames too. Cheapest does not mean best. So, while social media channels may be cheap, they may not be effective for connecting with your potential customers.
Paid channels and ads may be expensive but they may offer a higher long-term ROI. You can look at what your competitors are doing to see if they are having success. A company offering remote desktop Android solutions may use both social media and paid traffic channels but may be getting a better ROI with the latter.
Remember, you’re looking at different options, so you may decide to ‘mix-and-match’ to maximize your ROI.
3. Channel scalability
You may be a small business or startup, but you envisage growth as part of your business plan. This means that it’s essential that you choose channels that grow as you do so you don’t need to start over. You need to remember that business growth can cover every area, including marketing strategies and budget, so choose channels that can adapt to expansion in every area.
Your marketplace may be extremely competitive and you may be continuously testing and changing your marketing tactics. This means that the scalability of your chosen affiliate marketing channels is integral to your growth. Ideally, you want an almost symbiotic relationship so that both ‘sides’ grow in tandem.
You want to be able to measure the success of your efforts on each of the affiliate marketing channels you decide on. You’ll find that many channels provide the required tools so you can use analytics to see how different tactics have worked, and to identify areas where you need to change things and improve.
As with other areas of your business, data is gold and can give you valuable insights into how your affiliate programs are performing.
This can apply generally or to specific campaigns. You may use an affiliate marketing program to promote a campaign for your business phone number service. Good analytics can give you data on how the overall campaign has performed as well as how different affiliate marketing channels and your partners have performed.
Have a look at these top benefits of affiliate marketing for small businesses
Some affiliate marketing channels you should consider:
You need to consider what channels work best for you and meet your needs. You could gather info by passing around a business memo asking colleagues for recommendations.
- Email marketing. This channel can provide great ROI with an average of $36 returned for every $1 spent. It can be a good choice, especially if your affiliate partners have built email lists of their own.
- Blogs. Blogs can be a great channel for engaging with potential customers. Content can include reviews and problem-solving and the creator can build links to their website or social media page that further spreads awareness. They can also include banner ads to promote your products and services.
- Influencer marketing. If influencers are working in your sector, then they can have tremendous reach and can be a great affiliate channel choice. They may themselves have several channels such as social media pages and blogs.
- Social media marketing. With so many people using the various social media platforms, it can be a no-brainer depending on your product. As well as reaching a large audience with affiliate links, social media can be an invaluable source of data collected through surveys and quizzes.
- Review sites. People will likely read several product reviews before making a purchasing decision. While most of these review sites are independent, they can provide a good channel for your products or services for your target audience.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to affiliate channels and marketing. Which channels and partners best suit you will depend on the sector you operate in and on where you are most likely to find and engage with potential customers.
If you choose right, then you have the potential to dramatically boost your conversion rates and your revenue.
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