When you’re building a business online, generating large amounts of traffic is key to making sales, but this can be a very slow, or very expensive process. For example:
- Content marketing – If you choose to focus on organic search marketing and SEO, it can take a long time to build up a good repository of content and for the search engines to start ranking your page
- Pay Per Click – If you focus on paid search it can be very expensive, with no guarantee of sales
Thankfully there is another option. Affiliate marketing can be an effective way to grow your business by leveraging other people’s existing audiences, and you only pay when you make a sale.
In this model, affiliates promote your products or services, driving traffic back to your site in exchange for a percentage of each sale.
Key Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing offers a number of advantages over other marketing tools including:
- Warm leads – All the referrals are warm leads; they have seen some information relating to your product or service and have decided to click through to read more. Depending on the affiliate and how bought into your program they are, they may actively promote your product, highlighting why it is better than other similar products.
- Low start-up cost – Unlike other types of marketing, you typically do not pay out any money until you make a sale. This is a cost-effective way to grow your business and start getting sales, particularly when you have constraints on your cash flow.
- Backlinks – As each of the affiliates will link back to your site, you can build up a strong backlink profile in a relatively short space of time. Backlinks are one of the primary ranking factors that Google looks for, so lots of people linking to your site will have a significant impact on how well you rank in the search engines.
For affiliate marketing to be effective you need to find a balance between paying a low enough commission percentage to make the sale worthwhile for you, whilst also paying a high enough amount to be attractive to top selling affiliate.
For some high margin products, particularly information products like ebooks or online courses, many companies will pay over 50% in commission. This is typical of what you might find on an affiliate marketplace like ClickBank.
In contrast, the Amazon Associates scheme, which is one of the most successful affiliate programs on the web, pays a much lower commission, typically around 3 to 5%.
Creating Additional Revenue Streams
Another option that you may want to consider if you already have a high traffic site, is whether you could become an affiliate for other retailers. This might be a simple way to add an additional revenue stream to your business and monetise traffic that might not have made a purchase.
Some people have built entire businesses around this model, seeking out ways to build a large audience and then promoting other people’s products or services.
Creative and Analytical Thinking Will Ultimately Prevail
At AsOne we pride ourselves on working across the full spectrum of marketing tools and looking for innovative ways to help our clients promote their businesses.
Affiliate marketing can be an excellent cost-effective option to help accelerate the growth of your business, but you need to think strategically about how it aligns with your other marketing channels and take an analytical view of how well it is working.
If you’d like a conversation about whether affiliate marketing might be suitable for your business, contact us today and we can talk through some of the options with you.