For e-commerce businesses, generating sales is essential.
So, to find more customers and increase sales, we use content marketing, paid advertising and other ways to convince people to buy from us.
But there is another important way to create more sales that eCommerce business owners shouldn’t overlook: Affiliate Marketing.
For marketing methods like content marketing, paid advertising, and more, you create and manage the process yourself.
But with affiliate marketing, the main job of promoting your products and services is done by a third party.
When done right, this type of promotion can generate significant sales with minimal effort. Let’s explore affiliate marketing more and how small ecommerce businesses can benefit from it.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where a business rewards its affiliates for the leads and sales they generate.
Think of Amazon as an example. You can sign up for its Amazon Associates program and generate links that link a product sale to your account.
Every time someone buys something using your link, you get a percentage of the sale.
As a small business owner, you can build your own affiliate program just like Amazon and other businesses. People who want to make money can sign up for your affiliate program and earn money every time they make a sale.
This method offers eCommerce business owners a powerful way to grow their online store with less investment.
Why Do Ecommerce Businesses Need Affiliate Marketing?
There are bloggers and influencers who have a strong following with audiences that match your target market.
Building a large, authentic audience is not possible for many brands, as social media users prefer interactions with a real person rather than a business.
Starting an affiliate marketing program helps you tap into the audiences built by bloggers, marketers, and influencers. This happens in an indirect way: When these marketers promote your products or link to your content, you will see increased sales.
And the affiliates who promote you also receive a commission which is their reward for their efforts.
Thanks to affiliate marketing, you reach new audiences. Your affiliates act as your sales team. But they are rewarded solely on the basis of their performance. And it’s more profitable than influencer marketing because you’re paying for real results, not just content creation.
Types of affiliate marketing
To promote your business, you can use different types of affiliate marketing. Here are some of the most common and interesting affiliate types. Each is unique and offers different types of benefits.
Video and podcasters
Video and podcast content is widely consumed and popular. There are prolific content creators who get support for their work by taking sponsors.
Consider working with these types of creators to build awareness of your brand to audiences and improve conversions.
Bloggers, news posts, and niche markets often create large mailing lists with audiences belonging to niche groups.
You can work with such email affiliates to send your content straight to their audience’s inboxes.
Cash Back Affiliates
These types of affiliates don’t always add value right away. If you want to promote your business and not make a profit right away, then this is a good option.
In this type of marketing, affiliate marketers promote your product and promise buyers a small amount of money that goes back to the buyer. It makes more people buy because it feels like they are saving money.
There is no better place than a review website to wow consumers today. These days, people don’t eat out until they read restaurant reviews. The same goes for buying products, online courses and everything in between.
Consider working with review sites to partner with you. It’s a great way to build trust and market your business to more people.
Social media influencers
Influencers do most of their social media subscriptions promoting products and services for paid commissions.
Beware that you are establishing metrics that the influencer can reach. Many companies make the mistake of sending free articles to influencers, not realizing that while their content gets a lot of exposure, it doesn’t really lead to conversions.
But if you find good influencers and develop a performance-based program, you will be making good sales in a very short time.
Steps to set up your affiliate program
Here are the main things you need to put in place to start your own affiliate program.
Recruitment: This is one of the hardest steps you need to take. You shouldn’t accept just anyone as an affiliate. You need to promote your program on your website and social media and also create demands that people need to meet.
Integration: After you find affiliate marketers, you need to integrate them into your program. This includes providing them with information, helping them set up accounts, educating them about your products, etc.
Affiliate Tools: To make your affiliate marketing transparent, the best thing to do is to use a WordPress affiliate plugin. Such a tool will help you generate links for your affiliates, track sales, generate reports and perform other critical tasks.
Frequent communication: Affiliate marketing does not work in a vacuum. Long after the onboarding stage, you need to communicate with your affiliates. Notify them of upcoming sales, help them with product information and otherwise support them in their work.
Reports / follow-up: One of the problems that crop up with affiliate marketing is that your affiliates may apply marketing practices that are not aligned with your brand values.
You need to continuously monitor the performance of your affiliates, where they are marketing, and validate their sales reports.
Although these steps seem to take time, they are easy to implement with the right tools. And of course, you need to think through your goals ahead of time to help you build a solid affiliate program.
If you want to work smart, find ways to get someone else to do certain tasks. And when it comes to e-commerce businesses, a great way to boost your marketing through the efforts of other people is through affiliate marketing.
When you get the most out of affiliate programs, you can focus on improving your products and services and your business as a whole.
So, try small scale affiliate marketing. You can always scale it to grow your business faster.