Affiliate marketing can be described as a performance-based marketing strategy where a business rewards or compensates a referral fee every time an affiliate drives a customer to the merchant site. The Guide for Affiliate Marketing identifies four key players who will benefit greatly by the podcasts played on www.entrepreneur.com. They are the merchants, the network that provides offers for the affiliate, publisher and the customer.
To understand the concept of an affiliate program, take a look at the following example. There is a niche website dealing with kids tablets that target parents as the primary audience. When they are looking for a particular information, this website makes the right recommendations or provides answers to questions. What sets this site apart is the fact that the content is well articulated and guides the reader in the right direction.
This website earns revenue with the affiliate links that direct the readers to the company website to make a purchase. This form of marketing is referred to as the selling of services or products offered by a merchant, on an intermediate network, and earning income from each of the sales.
When much is talked about this marketing strategy, it pays to know more about the benefits of the program.
Gain customers- How cool would it be to get paid just for referring a visitor to a website? Think of this program as a new means to earn income, provided you put in work and effort. You do not have to pay your affiliates if they fail to refer a visitor who in turn becomes your next customer. There is no such thing as wasted budget or loss of money as it can be seen like a give and take policy.
Fixed costs- The referral fee paid to the affiliate is the cost of sale. The company sets the total money paid when the sales are made. Merchants are required to pay a small initial amount as setup fees, and after that there are no overhead charges incurred.
Increases visibility of the brand- You have to find a blog page or a website that can generate clicks-per-visit to the merchant page. For instance if you deal with cosmetics, you can partner with a network or group that includes topics on beauty and makeup. Affiliates use advertising methods like SEO (search engine optimization), display advertising and PPC or Pay Per Click.
Ranked higher- When a consumer searches a topic on Google and there are multiple listings that link to the merchant site, it is natural to visit the link that is frequently mentioned in the search page. Your product or service is in a better position of being found by visitors compared to others who have one or zero links.
Global exposure- If you are an emerging startup, or a small company struggling to find foothold in the market, an affiliate program can do wonders for your business. Since your presence is built online, it is easier for you to connect with potential customers. Unlike a brick-and-mortar shop that has a fixed set of working hours, an online store is accessible to anyone from any part of the world.
Venture into new markets- You will come across an affiliate in every sector or product type. Whether you are keen to expand your retail business or you are looking for audiences for baby care products, you can partner with suitable networks. These websites have a good customer base, and this is an innovative way to tread into new markets.