Online advertising and affiliate marketing begin with some fundamental planning. However, this road can lead to a complicated and expensive set of rabbit holes. The essential planning is similar to what the business does to open in the first place. With some effort and thought, companies can maximize their advertising budgets to boost sales.
Establish Your Goals
If the business goal is to grow by reaching a big audience that will buy a product, larger platforms are the right way to go. However, if the goal is to reach a specific niche advertising within a particular area, then a mass marketing platform may not be the right place. For example, suppose the business wants to target kombucha drinkers who frequent San Francisco Bay Area farmer’s market shoppers. In that case, a targeted social media ad campaign may be the way to go.
Find Your Customer
Once you determine who your customer is, and where they are, go to them with your advertising. Do not waste your time in a place where your customers are not. Careful market research can tell one who and where the customers are.
Know Your Budget
If the business does not have much money to buy ads, a mostly free approach may be the way. The business website will be an essential tool, bloggers can help, and online word of mouth will contribute to the campaign. Businesses must make the advertising dollars stretch, and there are countless ways to find value.
Find Advertising Channels
There are countless places to advertise, such as search engines, social media, and email, to name a few. Most come with some cost. The cost of each channel depends on the structure. For example, with pay-per-click, businesses pay each time a user clicks the ad. Paid advertising could be a problem if leads do not convert into sales. Companies can also pay to have an advertisement on another site. That is money spent just to be seen. On the free side of the spectrum, content marketing and blogging is a great way to attract followers to advertise to at the cost of your time alone.
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s product (or service). You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”(Flynn, 2020)
Affiliate marketing is a middle ground between paying and trying to scrape together free sources. Affiliate marketing allows a business to leverage a network of marketers, rewarding them when helping the company make a sale. Businesses who use affiliate marketing have a range of options to form affiliate partnerships. What follows are best practices of affiliate marketing.
Follow Basic Advertising Considerations
As described above, a business must clearly understand its business to interact with affiliates successfully. In addition to the items listed above, one must know the product margins, perceived value, channel costs, and channel partner compensation. If one does not know the numbers, you are bound to miss your affiliates’ commission targets. Pay too much, and you lose money on the deal. Pay too little, and you lose money by not closing deals.
Businesses interested in affiliate marketing must find affiliates. A well-designed web page is the first step in finding affiliates. A good web page is optimized for SEO and easy to find by anyone, including search engines. Once there, the web page should be attractive, engaging, and easy to use. Find affiliates in your customers, turning them into marketers for your product (Woo, 2020). Once you have them, you must work to keep them.
Pay On Time
Whatever commission one pays, keeping the money flowing is vital. Nothing will drive a partner away faster than not getting paid. Experts recommend paying on a Net30 payment schedule, calculating payment based on the average over the last 30 days (Patel, 2017).
Tools like Google Analytics can help a business see where traffic is coming from and if it is converting into sales. Suppose a company sees traffic is not converting, and there is a high bounce rate coming from a specific affiliate. There could be a problem with how the page is loading, causing customers to leave without interacting with the page.
With careful planning, online advertising can help a company stretch its money and reach customers. Options are everywhere, ranging from free to paid with a vast spectrum in between. Please comment below with your thoughts and experience.
Flynn, P. (2020, August 17). Affiliate Marketing – How to Increase Your Income by Recommending Products and Services. Retrieved October 28, 2020, from https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/guide/affiliate-marketing-strategies/
Patel, N. (2017, July 6). What is Affiliate Marketing And How Can You Leverage It. Retrieved October 28, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZrSmfo16sk&feature=emb_logo
Woo, R. (2020, May 22). 15 Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing. Retrieved October 28, 2020, from https://blog.refersion.com/15-best-practices-for-affiliate-marketing-b24d87c0fb7f