If you’re an entrepreneur, paying for your leads can feel like death by a thousand cuts or the best path forward. However, most often, it depletes your power by transferring it to an algorithm that seeks to erode your business value. As Google continues to convert free/organic search into paid and increase the Ad-load on its platforms, relying solely on paid ads is not a great long-term strategy. Due to this, businesses that depend on digital distribution mechanisms will see their margins decrease over the long run.
Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective way to drive new traffic and increase the number of leads or conversions across your sales funnel. Unlike paid traffic channels that run on a pay-to-play model, affiliates only get paid when they generate the agreed upon conversion (a sale, a lead or a call are examples of payable conversions generated by affiliates). With global affiliate marketing revenue projected to hit $8.2 billion in 2022, you need to get in on this right now. See why in the next section.
7 Reasons why you need an affiliate marketing program for your business
Your brand is everything. Period.
Building a kick-ass product is important. However, history is littered with stories of superior products that fell by the wayside, failing to feature-lite, specialized, or even inferior alternatives. If you own a business in 2021, your ONLY advantage is showing the customers why your product or service benefits them better than your competition. In short, whoever tells the best story wins.
To achieve story significance, and enjoy the many benefits of a strong brand, your brand needs visibility. This means that to tell a great story, you need to reach a lot of people first. Affiliate marketing provides the perfect opportunity to achieve this at scale at a defined measurable cost.
Once you determine your strategy and build a powerful network of affiliates, you’ll enjoy exposure on great websites/blogs even before you commit a cent of your budget. Remember, they ONLY get paid when you see results!
No sales, no problem.
It’s a cliche in business that if you don’t make sales, you’re dead. Yet, the high mortality rate for businesses all over the world means that for many, market discovery and the difficult path to product/market fit is often a burden too much to bear.
If you’re smarter than most, it means you’re already selling a digital product, running a funnel, and driving paid traffic. Although this can work for a while, it usually caps out when other marketers outbid you or if the algorithms stop delivering as many impressions/cost (which they do as demand continues to outstrip supply). Either way, no sales, big problem.
Built right into the structure of affiliate marketing, are the principles of fairness and merit. Since you’re the primary risk-taker, you’re protected from any extra marketing costs after product development. Once you develop the right strategy and build the relationships needed with affiliate networks or individual affiliates you’re almost set. The final step is keeping the feedback loop open and incentivize these relationships to focus on our offering. Since each unit of your product pays for itself and with the right focus from affiliates you can focus on other aspects of your enterprise and optimize for the best outcomes.
Slash channel risk.
In 2021, paying search companies for advertising as a business owner is the same as paying to fail. If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on marketing and sales, it’s hard not to spend all your waking hours obsessing over how to make them profitable. By committing resources without any evidence of channel value, you assume the risk for channel failure, even before evidence of potential success.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, you’re only a few steps away from success once you use the right affiliate marketing tool. PartnerLaunch automates your affiliate marketing infrastructure and dramatically reduces the probability of failure. By paying a small monthly subscription, you can access a robust affiliate infrastructure built from scratch and have the ability to manage your program or use their expertise allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
If you’re a business person, you’re up to your neck in things to do. Getting the best value out of your sales channels starts with knowing which activities need manual work or automation. If you’re looking to build your network of affiliates, automation will save you time, money, and the high cost of inexperience.
Leverage the right trust channels
If you’re starting a new business or looking to expand an old one, your potential customers do not trust you unless you have a prior personal relationship with them. This means you’ll spend (5x) more on paid ad channels compared to your established competitor. If you’re running on small margins or testing your idea on investor money, you don’t have a lot of time. Affiliate marketing at its best is a trust relationship between the affiliate and his audience. Over time, the affiliate marketer can monetize this trust by recommending useful products to his audience.
In turn, they will support his enterprise by making purchases and coming back often to make more. If you combine the right product with a tool like PartnerLaunch, you can slash your costs. This is because affiliates are a lot less difficult to convince than customers who are always evolving in their motives. Instead of wasting your limited resources on expensive brand awareness campaigns, subjective user reviews, or focus groups, you can collect real-time data based on how customers respond to different affiliates and do it without the initial expense.
Increase organic search
Organic search results reflect the direction and velocity of demand. For this reason, search engines provide profitable traffic at no cost to website pages that audiences vote up with clicks, shares, impressions, brand mentions, etc.
In the long term, with the right execution, your affiliate strategy will lead to organic dominance. As affiliates review, mention, and link back to your product landing pages, you’ll build authority and relevance. While running paid ads may result in quicker lead generation, there is no direct correlation between your ad spend and your website ranking.
With 99% of searchers clicking on one of the first few links in search results, that’s where all the action is. As an entrepreneur or marketer, using the right affiliate marketing strategy is key to developing a strong, organic foundation. If you’re looking to scale without spending millions of dollars, affiliate marketing is a powerful growth strategy. Affiliate marketing is especially powerful because its structure makes it easy to track key metrics, refine your strategy, and thrive in organic search results.
Data collection and behavior tracking
If paid advertising is an important lead generation strategy for your business, a coherent affiliate marketing strategy is the first step to efficient advertising. While most traditional advertising relies on historical data and subjective opinions, affiliates deliver real-time feedback on your product and service offers. Once you’re all set with your tool of choice and a coherent delivery strategy, you’ll be able to collect data from within your own network of affiliates at almost no upfront cost.
This means that you can measure channel friction and drive your advertising costs down by targeting the low-friction audiences with your paid ads. Keyword ranking reports provide data to help you stay abreast of key SEO metrics, money keywords, and your brand health. Finally, a properly defined affiliate marketing strategy lays the framework for a robust data collection system for your business. It also ensures that your organic strategy grows exponentially as you expand the scope and coverage of your affiliate base.
Multiple Income sources
If you own a business, cultivating as many income sources as possible is key to survival. As you build your on/offline income streams, developing a robust affiliate program provides another pillar to your business formation.
By developing the tools necessary to earn as a vendor or affiliate, you better position yourself for success. Besides, you develop the edge that is necessary for survival when competitive pressures emerge. When it is built properly, your affiliate base can evolve into an impregnable moat that protects your business value from the competition.
For a business, making sales at the right price, volume with minimal costs, and a long-term view will make or break you. While paid advertising channels are useful, automating your affiliate network will put you years ahead in terms of your ability to collect data, save time and create value for your customers at scale.
Affiliate marketing guarantees that your product/service will pay for itself. Not only does this free up capital for re-allocation, but you also get useful segment data about channels that work, high-friction advertising environments, and how you can optimize your offer if you decide to use paid ads to boost sales.
This is not to say that paid advertising does not work. Many successful companies have been built on the back of finding the right combination of CPM, creative, and channel. However, with marketers splurging well over $100 billion on Google’s advertising infrastructure in 2020 alone, you’re better off investing your dollars elsewhere.
Building an affiliate marketing system from the ground up can be challenging, tools such as PartnerLaunch can slash your go-to-market time, leverage their existing affiliate system, and deliver the business results you need to thrive and excel. Although paid channels are useful in combination with others, building your own network of affiliate can serve as the data-driven foundation for low-cost, high-value paid ads that will define the difference between success and failure over the long run.