To grow your business beyond the startup stage, you need to implement the right marketing strategies and utilize the most of what you have. Most companies have recently discovered the advantages of affiliate marketing and have thrived ever since.
The essential thing to remember is not just to follow the general guidelines about affiliate marketing but to choose the best specific practices for you and your business.
High return on investment, better brand awareness, and faster business growth are some advantages that affiliate marketing provides for a fraction of the cost invested in ads.
There are several reasons why affiliate marketing can be a game-changer for your startup. Let's discuss them in this blog!
Why affiliate marketing?
Through affiliate marketing, your business gets sales referrals from third-party businesses or websites with the same audience. In the US alone, the cost invested in affiliate marketing is expected to go up to $8.2 billion in 2022. Why would companies spend so much on affiliate marketing alone? Let's find out!
- Cost-effective alternative
Startups in their initial stages have to spend a lot on ads to be seen by their ideal audience, but in the case of affiliate marketing, there is little to no investment. Unlike ad campaigns, brands that invest in affiliate marketing spend significantly less.
The only investment a company has to make is to brief the affiliate marketer and develop a strategy to access the affiliate's contribution. Little investment and heavy ROI make it an effective marketing model for startups.
The initial stages of building a healthy relationship with an affiliate can be pretty time-consuming, but once everything is on track, you can expect your sales to get a good boost.
- Low maintenance cost
This marketing model is much more efficient than others as the affiliates do most of the work associated with generating content. In addition, unlike other models, you only have to pay the commission for a product or service when the deal is closed or when the product is purchased.
In other marketing models, for example, PPC, you have to pay for every click to your website or landing page, irrespective of the sale being closed. This makes affiliate marketing more efficient for your startup as you do not have to invest in a lead that does not convert.
- Taking advantage of social proof
Social proof describes how people look at others before investing in something. This means that people are highly influenced by the decisions made by their peers and tend to copy their buying behavior.
Social proof can be described as another form of marketing influencing the buyer's purchasing decision, such as word-of-mouth. About 81% of consumers look for a product's review online before making a decision.
Social proof has a heavy influence on the minds of people, primarily due to the relevance of an affiliate in their everyday life. This increases the chances of an affiliate closing a sale while recommending or reviewing your products.
Utilizing the powers of social proof is an excellent way for startups to gain popularity in their niche amongst an audience you might not find through traditional media.
All affiliates or content creators have an organic audience that listens to and supports them. Ideally, their audience must align with yours and be of the same niche. Through the affiliate, you must be able to introduce a new set of audience to your products.
- Focus on location
With the help of affiliate marketing, you can choose which location you wish to target and choose an affiliate with the appropriate audience. This way, your marketing will be more location-focused, which is impossible in traditional forms of marketing.
Many businesses prefer starting by targeting a small region of people who cannot understand traditional marketing languages.
Choosing an affiliate who creates content in the same language can be a great way to reach this audience and influence them to make a purchase.
Most startups underestimate the importance of location-focused campaigns. Location-focused campaigns tend to deliver better results due to less competition. This marketing method is prevalent when targeting a specific audience, such as students, GenZ, etc.
To know about marketing events or local gatherings where you could connect with the local people or find affiliates, sign up on News Break Original.
- Better flexibility
One of the best ways of getting a customer is through a trusted referral, which can be possible only through good connections. Making good connections in the industry and with competitors is necessary to stay in business.
With the help of affiliate marketing, you get better flexibility in scaling your business up or down. In addition, unlike other marketing methods, affiliate marketing does not need any significant investment, hence building the right relationship with your affiliate is the only investment you have to make.
Virtual assistants are another great way to attain flexibility as no longer have to invest in recruiting full-time employees. This helps in giving you the freedom to scale up and down at your own pace.
- High Return On Investment
You can channel your products and services through an affiliate who directly influences an audience and is more relatable to them. This helps amplify their pitch and makes the audience familiar with your brand.
Keeping aside the size of your startup or business, affiliate marketing can help build the right brand image you aim to achieve. This is essential for your startup as awareness and brand image are one of the primary things that any business needs to grow and expand.
Where to start?
Now that you're familiar with the benefits of affiliate marketing, let's walk through the process of setting up or starting an affiliate program. Here are some tips to help you in setting up your affiliate marketing campaign.
- Reach out to bloggers
Find the right bloggers who can add value to your business through their writing and have many local readers. To implement this successfully, you might have to attend local events, meet influential people, and build a relationship with bloggers.
- Choose the right product
People are highly interested in products or services that make their lives easier and are worth their money. Therefore, your marketing pitch for your affiliate must be convincing enough, and for that, you need to put an ideal product in front of them which defines your brand.
- Make a systematic payout structure
It would be best if you devised an attractive offer to make affiliates work for you. Start with a systematic payout structure and ensure that the commission is variable depending on the cost of the product or services.
Build a more favorable structure for affiliates to work around and earn with you. You need to use specialized services to manage affiliates and access their performance and payout structure. This ensures that your affiliates are paid on time and receive gifts on special occasions to build the right relationship.
- Be a little picky
You need to be picky when choosing the right affiliate for your business. Every affiliate has a different niche for creating content, and people in the same domain don't need to follow them. So do your part of the background check before agreeing to take them on your team.
A background check on your affiliate is essential, along with accessing their content. Ensure that the affiliates abide by the platform guidelines they choose, ethically promote your product, and don't encourage any illegal activities.
Affiliate marketing aims to place your products and services in a close circle where people are more engaging and easily influenced, which is the ultimate goal behind affiliate marketing.
When using affiliate marketing to grow your business, remember that starting from a small audience and moving up gradually will help you generate better results than aiming at a bigger audience.
You will likely venture into other affiliate marketing models after reaching a certain level of growth. Still, with more affiliates working, you should also consider the system to manage their contribution with more affiliates.
Most startups prefer hiring virtual assistants to help them manage, organize, track, monitor marketing growth, and keep you updated with trends.