Read on to know how efficiently you can use affiliate marketing, the ingenious business tool of today to increase your customer base by manifolds and grow in your business.
Logging on to your favorite ticket-booking website, you may at times be prompted to click on an advertisement for a popular e-retailer of apparels, displaying the choicest picks from their fall-winter collection of the current year. Tempted, you may even end up ordering a few that appeal to you. Some other day, scrolling through the posts on social media, you might come across sponsored advertisements promoting a wide range of products, goods or services – all presented to you through the website you have logged on to from your laptop, smartphone or tablet. With the dawn of newer business development strategies in the age of digital marketing, affiliate marketing slowly and steadily makes its presence felt in the sphere of strategizing ways of maximizing the profits in business.
Affiliate marketing has its roots in the collaborative approach and global outlook towards the promotion and expansion of business, taking it to newer heights using the modern technologies and digital marketing tools at your disposal. The rise of affiliate marketing has been remarkable, especially in the last three to five years, gradually carving a niche for itself in the business development strategies for the current era of advertising and marketing ruled by the Internet.
Affiliate Marketing – How it works
The simplest definition of affiliate marketing goes something like this: the process of profiting by promoting other’s products or brands using the digital marketing resources that you have. It is essentially a performance-based marketing where two or more businesses form a collaborative deal whereby the affiliate promotes the products of others and earns the commission according to each sale that takes place due to the marketing efforts of the affiliate. The four main factors in the web of affiliate marketing stand as the four firm pillars that drive the business and profit around. The following are the four primary foundations of affiliate marketing in business.
1) The Retailer
The retailer is the merchant or brand selling products, goods or services and one that wishes to expand its customer base using affiliate marketing.
Acting as a bridge between the retailer and the affiliate, the network enables affiliates to search for and participate in promising affiliate collaborations with the big retailers.
3) The Affiliate
Also known as “the publisher”, the affiliate is the most crucial piece that helps run the system of affiliate marketing like clockwork. They promote the products of the retailers online using effective digital marketing techniques that help the retailers expand their businesses, cashing in on the traffic at the affiliate’s website or promotional posts on the Internet.
4) The Consumer
The consumer is also called “the buyer”, “the purchaser”, or “the customer”. The recipient of goods, products and services from the retailers in exchange for money, the consumer is the target around which the sphere of affiliate marketing revolves.
The affiliate program usually starts with the marketers receiving a unique URL containing their affiliate ID. They circulate the link to the subscribers, social media platforms, and website visitors. The effective use of text links or strategically placed advertisements is vital in affiliate marketing. Sometimes the affiliates start a new review section for reviews and blogs on a particular product, goods or services as per the requirements of the retailers and earn commissions through the sales for those products due to their marketing hacks. The affiliate software keeps track of the clicks on the link or the views on the post and a commission is given to the affiliate once the sales from the clicks or views reach a target determined during the affiliate partnership contract.
Current trends in affiliate marketing
The three-step process to become a successful affiliate marketer needs to be followed to enhance the visibility and prospects of the business in this digital era.
1) Firstly, you have to sign up for an affiliate program that suits you. Searching for resourceful affiliate programs can be conducted through the affiliate network.
2) As an affiliate, you need to direct consumer traffic to the retailer’s website or make them view and buy their products by visiting your website and coming across advertisements or promotional posts.
3) Lastly, you earn a share of the profits, as determined in the affiliate program contract, once you achieve the sales target made possible through your affiliate marketing efforts on the Internet.
Relatively new in the digital marketing sphere, affiliate marketing too is driven by the current trends that intelligent business developers and marketers need to be aware of in order to prosper in their businesses in a world ruled by the Internet and interconnected digital platforms worldwide. The following are the four most recent trends in affiliate marketing that the businesses of the modern times are cashing in on and you should too if you wish to ride the digital wave of marketing that is making the world a smaller place with visibility techniques spread all over.
1) Introducing advanced attribution rules
Determining the new attribution rules to be incorporated into the affiliate program is imperative if you wish to have a successful sales promotion through the chain of affiliates on multiple digital media platforms. In this age of smarter advertising and visibility techniques that increase the sales of your goods, products and services, it is essential that as a retailer, you determine valid attribution rules in each of the affiliate programs so that faulty software infamous for “click-stealing” hacks can be cut off entirely from the refurbished affiliate program.
2) Planning beyond conventions
Look beyond the borders and opt for a global outlook when establishing new affiliate ties. In order to venture into international markets, finding unconventional affiliates and quirky business development techniques is the need of the day. Partnering with independent agencies that stand out from run-of-the-mill crowd of affiliates is thus a viable option for the first few steps into the global platform for your business to develop.
3) Making space for mobile technology
The leaders in sales and marketing worldwide have woken up to the fact that smartphones are the ruling gadgets in the realm of modern technology these days. The smart business developers have thus enabled the creation of affiliate programs suited to the needs of mobile technology and tap into the consumer pool using the smartphone technologies for marketing through the affiliate programs.
4) Usage of clever affiliate marketing tools
The global appeal of affiliate marketing depends largely upon the usage of the clever tools available all over the Internet in this era of digitization. Tools for landing pages (like Instapage, Convertify and PageWiz), split testing (such as Maxymizer and Visual Website Optimizer), strategy spying (like KeywordSpy and WhatRunsWhere) and link tracking (such as Improvely and Easy Link Manager) are readily available online for the affiliate marketers for enhancing the sales and marketing experience for the retailers and consumers alike.
Staying abreast of the latest happening in the world of affiliate marketing will help you incorporate brilliant marketing hacks using the digital platforms for giving your business an international edge and global appeal over your competitors, enabling you to grow and prosper in your business.