Are you a business owner and are you looking to increase sales? Online affiliate marketing might be the tool for you. Compared to other marketing efforts, the big advantage of affiliate marketing is that you only pay when something is sold. So no big investments up front to run expensive campaigns that may or may not pay off. If it doesn't work, it won't cost you a cent.
The advantages of affiliate marketing for your business
Aside from the costs (or lack thereof), affiliate marketing offers a number of advantages.
- Only pay for performance. No results, no costs.
- Reach an audience of internet users that you would miss with traditional media.
- Affiliates tend to be experts at SEO. Have them do the keyword targeting for you.
- Affiliates tend to be excellent salespeople. Have them do the selling for you.
- Affiliate marketing is the perfect way to sell products with low marginal cost, such as e-books and software.
- You can precisely calculate the return on investment of your affiliate marketing program.
When you probably shouldn't use affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way of increasing revenue for many businesses. But it's not for everyone. If one of the following applies to you, you're probably better off using other marketing strategies.
- You're mainly looking for brand exposure, rather than direct sales. You would benefit from a less sales-oriented marketing approach, such as traditional media advertising or social media marketing.
- Your margins are very low. With affiliate marketing, you pay your affiliates a commission for each sale they make. If your margins are very low, there won't be any profit left for you.
- You are already a household name in your industry. In this case, customers will know how to find you anyway, and affiliates might only compete with you for the same keywords. This is why Google stopped offering affiliate programs.
- Your product is impossible to sell online. In order to use affiliate marketing effectively, your affiliates must be able to link to a website where a visitor can be converted into a sale, or at least a lead. But don't judge too hastily... you'd be surprised at how many businesses are able to directly or indirectly sell through the world wide web.
How to set up an affiliate marketing campaign
Do you think your company would benefit from affiliate marketing? There's a good chance that it would. While affiliate marketing offers great opportunities, developing an affiliate program isn't easy. You have to understand how the online market works, how consumers operate online, how to compensate your affiliates and how to set up the website and the software.
To avoid wasting time and money, you might benefit from hiring an affiliate marketing consultant. While I work primarily as an independent affiliate marketer, I occasionally do B2B consulting jobs upon request. If you want to make sure to set up an effective affiliate marketing program right the first time, you can hire me as a consultant.
I don't offer ready-made 'solutions' for your problem. Every business is different and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to every business need. What the best approach is for your business, depends on your product, your customers, your business size, your resources and the market in which you operate. If I'd say anything more specific here before knowing those details, I'd be selling bull****.
So if you think you might benefit from affiliate marketing and could use some outside advice, use the contact page to send me an e-mail with your request. Based on your request we can schedule a free intake interview or video conference, in which we look at your situation together. We'll analyze your needs see if I can help you in developing your affiliate marketing program.
I'm looking forward to helping you grow your business!