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4 Reasons for Smaller Brands to Look at Affiliate Marketing

Stephen Mills
League of Angels: Heaven's Fury [CPP Esprit] EN+Many GEOs

Not getting the customer volume you need for your small brand? There was a time when smaller businesses and brands had very few options available to them. They had to rely on local audiences, word of mouth, and printed marketing collateral to get themselves out there. TV and other broadcast ads were far too expensive, and the biggest companies would usually occupy the best ad slots. But since the rapid expansion and acceptance of residential internet, most Americans have access to high-quality internet services like Spectrum packages. This in turn allowed people access to search engines, social media, and online applications. This important development over the past decade has created a far more level playing field for smaller brands.

When Should Small Brands Start Using Affiliate Marketing Programs?  

With the modern-day e-Commerce ecosystem, there are many avenues that small businesses and brands can explore to grow their audience and revenues. Thanks to billions of internet users all over the world on a select few popular platforms, brands have access to larger audiences than ever. You can use or acquire specialized skills that can enhance business performance.  

Skills like social media marketing, paid search advertising, search engine optimization, and sophisticated software/app development to boost your digital channel performance. These days, a small brand can compete much better with a larger one. One of the most effective modern techniques to grow your brand and reach new audiences is to use affiliate marketing. This involves working with other brands, businesses, and individuals who promote your products in a revenue-sharing model. Here’s how to tell if your small brand is ready to begin an affiliate marketing program: 

Do You Need More Brand Awareness?

The goal of selling online isn’t just to maximize conversions (although that is certainly important). To actualize more sales, you need to be more visible and recognizable to potentially interested prospects. One benefit of affiliate marketing is the near-instant surge in traffic onto your website. Each new user is generally someone who is now aware of your brand and recognizes it.  

Since affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing model, most affiliate marketers will do their best to pitch your brand and offerings because each sale generates earnings for them as well. They can be very valuable as brand ambassadors among their niche following.  

Could You Use Enhanced Social Proof?

Social proof is a relatively new metric in branding. But there is no denying that it has a huge influence in shaping an online buying decision. With frequent scams, frauds, identity theft, and loss of funds, consumers have grown much more skeptical of brands they don’t know. This can often prove to be a difficult barrier for most businesses. Customers want to know you are a legitimate business with a legitimate product, not an online scammer. But how can they know that unless they buy from you first?  

Social proof is the answer to that question. Consumers will usually do their homework before buying from you. That means they will look you up online. Specifically, they will pay a lot of attention to reviews and comments on your social media pages. A poor social consumer standing, or a lack of social proof at all, will hurt your brand credibility and discourage buying decisions. Affiliate marketers, however, have their own social proof and credibility. They can leverage this to endorse your brand which encourages more people among their audience to trust and buy from you. And if your product works and gets great reviews, your own social proof will improve.  

Do You Want to Boost Traffic and Conversions?

Social media platforms often allow you to target segmented audiences. This can be a very useful tool to run ads that only appear to relevant audiences. However, affiliate marketing can often prove just as effective (if not more) when it comes to reaching niche audiences. If you partner with an influencer, for example, that is relevant to your niche, there are significant benefits.  

They already have a following that consists of your target audience. Working with this type of affiliate usually increases web traffic almost instantly as their audiences visit your website. However, if your product or service is suitable for their needs, you can also expect more conversions. While exceptions exist, the more traffic affiliate marketing drives to your website, the more your conversions increase.   

Is Improving Marketing Spend ROI a Priority?

Determining the return on your marketing and advertising spending can be very accurate these days. But it can also be very complex, and often involves a lot of testing and continuous refinement of how you spend your budgets. The return can also be unpredictable given how quickly market conditions can change.

However, affiliate marketing follows a performance-based model. In most cases, you aren’t paying a lump sum for an online endorsement. Instead, the affiliate only earns when someone who clicks on the affiliate link buys from you. In other words, they can only make money if you get what you need the most: conversions and sales. This also encourages affiliates to go the extra mile to encourage more buyers. Their own revenue share is dependent on yours.

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