While the advent of the internet has undoubtedly presented many opportunities for business, it has also given rise to many challenges. In many sectors, it has created levels of competition never experienced before and has made marketing a considerably more complex business.
This is large because there are now so many open channels, ranging from email campaigns and, online banner ads to Google pay per click ads and social media opportunities.
One very positive development from the emergence of the online world has been the rise of affiliate marketing. This has been great news for businesses and for entrepreneurs, who have been looking for a potentially lucrative and relatively low effort kind of career change that can come from setting up an affiliate site.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing works when traffic partners work with consumers.
Affiliate marketing enables the affiliate to earn a commission for marketing another company’s product. The affiliate promotes the product and earns profit from each sale they make, the affiliate links track the sales, ensuring the affiliate earns what they deserve.
The real appeal to anyone considering going into affiliate marketing is that it is a relatively low-cost way to set up a business which is then highly scalable if things do start to take off.
Why Use Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is popular across a number of different disciplines, being beneficial for both the affiliate and the service provider.
Affiliate marketing has become such an important channel for businesses of every size for a few reasons. Firstly, it is a relatively low-cost way to get their name out there in front of consumers who are actively looking for their product or service.
Not only is it low cost, the seller generally only has to pay for sales brought to them via affiliates, who then go on to purchase and (hopefully) become regular customers. This saves them investing in marketing and only paying commission for results.
Affiliate marketing also lends to the credibility of the offer, as it’s being recommended by a third party. Many sites also offer reviews of the products or services so visitors can judge the relative merits of the various products or services on offer. This means that sellers with good products and strong recommendations can do very well via this channel.
The fact that all links clicked through to the seller’s site can be traced makes affiliate marketing very accountable. Compare this with more traditional forms of advertising like TV ads and posters and it’s far easier to work out whether it’s providing real value for money.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
For the providers of affiliate marketing sites, there are also many reasons to get involved with affiliate marketing. By offering a genuinely useful service for consumers, who may be looking for useful, unbiased advice, they can build up their own brand and business on the back of this. If they also happen to build up strong associations with large and highly respected brands this can also rub off on them.
One tried and trusted way of becoming a profitable affiliate is through creating an insightful blog. If you continuously add engaging and insightful content to your blog, people are likely to follow the links within your content, earning you commission if they decide to go through with the transaction. If you’re an expert on your chosen subject, traffic is bound to follow. For example, 888 online casino feature experts of gambling on their blog, so posts written by well-known gambling authors like Henry Tamburin Ph.D attract visitors, see this brilliant post on when to split in blackjack to get a good idea of what an insightful post looks like. If you can create something as interesting, you’re sure to attract traffic and earn money through commission.
It is also a reasonably low-cost form of business to establish. And, although some effort is needed to set it up and to develop relationships with sellers, it soon begins to run itself. As it becomes more established and revenue starts to come in, it can begin to grow.
Important Elements to Consider
For sellers, there are certain areas to be conscious about, the first having total control over how they are represented in affiliate marketing. While they may be able to exert an influence over, and develop a relationship with, the affiliate site, there are always going to be elements beyond their control. For example, on comparison sites, there may be other competitors making better offers, or which have received better reviews and customer feedback. However, the fact that there is little effort needed for affiliate marketing may well be a good enough trade-off.
For affiliate sites, the most successful ones tend to be tightly focused on the sectors they are promoting. This is important if potential customers are to be targeted closely – the chances of them stumbling across the products or services they need at random are relatively slim. Another obvious step to take is to advertise products and services from as wide a range of different sellers as possible. This maximises the possibility of customers finding the one that’s right for them.
As it stands, affiliate marketing is essential when forming a marketing plan, even for the largest of organisations. Done right, it can be a highly targeted and effective component of the sales process for achieving definite results. It is just a question of making the right offer at the right time. By carefully choosing which affiliate sites to appear on, this can be achieved far more easily than in many other areas of marketing.