What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an e-commerce process that enlists partners, or “affiliates,” to promote your brand and products in exchange for a commission. It usually consists of creating a network of affiliates with similar interests and encourages them to promote your products online. In return, the affiliates receive a percentage of revenue from each sale they generate.
Affiliate marketing benefits both brands and affiliates as it helps increase traffic to their respective sites and create significant revenue. According to a 2016 study from Business Insider, affiliate marketing is responsible for generating up to 16% of all U.S. e-commerce sales, and it is predicted that total affiliate marketing spend will grow by 10% each year until 2020.
How it works?
An affiliate could be anyone from a customer to an industry blogger, or even other e-shop owners looking to expand their network. As affiliates, their job is to create content specifically curated to promote your products. The ultimate goal of an affiliate is to send visitors to your store through specialized affiliate links. When visitors who have reached your site through their link complete a purchase, the affiliate earns a reward.
While an affiliate program will often pay a flat percentage of the total revenue, rewards could also include discounts, gift cards, and free products. Affiliates are only rewarded if they generate a sale making affiliate marketing one of the few marketing processes where you can get a 100% return on investment every time. For this reason, the popularity of affiliate marketing has increased exponentially among young and first-time ecommerce entrepreneurs in recent years.
Currently, there are various e-commerce platforms used for affiliate marketing, the biggest and most popular being Shopify. With a paid subscription, these online platforms help businesses with affiliate marketing by focusing on trending social commerce, increasing traffic, and giving retailers an affordable and effective way to reach out to affiliates.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Still not sure what affiliate marketing can do for you? These are some ways setting up an affiliate program can help your brand:
- More traffic, more sales: Affiliates in your same niche will drive traffic to your site which will generally translate into more sales.
- Cost-effective: There is no required up front investment, and affiliates are paid only through commissions. That means affiliates do not get rewarded unless they generate sales.
- Brand awareness: With affiliates promoting your brand on different platforms, even non-affiliates will gain interest in your brand. The more they talk about you, the better.
- Incentivizes existing customers: Loyal customers already talking about your products will be incentivized to share your brand even more.
How to Get Started?
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and what it can do for you, what’s next? If you are looking to get started on your affiliate marketing journey, here are five essential steps you must follow:
- Find your niche: The most important step. Do all the research that is necessary to find an audience that is interested in what you have to sell. If you don’t get this step right, your affiliate program will most likely not succeed.
- Identify potential partners: After you have identified your niche market, find websites and partners within that niche that relate to your brand. Aim to find partners with an established audience and websites with above average content.
- Get in touch: You can contact potential marketers by email, phone, or even social media. Make sure to introduce yourself and your product and how a partnership would benefit both parties. When talking about your rewards program, be as transparent as possible.
- Incentivize: Provide your affiliates with creative and promotional content to make their jobs easier. Keep them incentivized by helping them to generate sales.
- Build relationships: Communication is key. Keep your affiliates updated with any news and changes related to your products collection. Answer any questions they have and give them tips on how to promote your brand. Most importantly, always pay on time!
Trust the Pros
Setting up an affiliate marketing program is not the easiest thing to do. But if done properly, it can generate significant traffic and increase sales unlike any other ecommerce process. If you are looking to hire a Shopify developer or ecommerce developer that works with the latest tools like an ecommerce website builder, look no further than a digital media agency like TFC.
Whether you are interested in affiliate marketing for your products or just wish to learn more about the affiliate marketing process, our experts at TFC are here to help. Our ecommerce team has vast experience with successful affiliate marketing programs, and they are committed to providing clients with the best possible results.
For our contact details and more information on what we can do for you, click here.