If you are running a small business, one particular business model which could prove to be beneficial is introducing an affiliate marketing aspect. This is a relatively low-risk venture with considerable potential. In order to decide whether or not running affiliate programs would be something worth investigating, it would be worth taking a step back and taking an overview of how this would work for your own e-commerce enterprise.
Introduction to affiliate marketing
In the affiliate marketing business model, there are three main players. Firstly, there is any retail organization which has products which it normally promotes itself, but which it can offer to third parties to sell on its behalf, in exchange for a commission. Secondly, there are the retailers who sign up to what are known as affiliate programs, allowing them access to these products or services which they can then promote off their own back. Lastly, are the customers who are purchasing said products, not directly from the retailer any more, not via these programs.
It can be seen this is clearly a win-win situation where all players are concerned. The retailer no longer has to dedicate a sizable chunk of any marketing budget towards promotion, as the onus to advertise now rests with the retailer. The advantage for the latter is they can turnover considerable income if they run an astute promotional campaign.
Finding the right products to promote
At the heart of any affiliate marketing campaign are the products or services. Your business will benefit tremendously from signing up to an affiliate program if you choose particular products which sit well with whatever you are currently selling. If you are just starting out as a marketer, it would certainly be recommended you concentrate on promoting affiliate items alongside your core products, at least until you have gained a firm footing in the market.
You can get a grasp of the current bestselling products by conducting a degree of preliminary research. But the most successful affiliate marketing campaigns are conducted when the marketer is able to promote products they are already familiar with. In fact, any promoter who can establish themselves as the ‘go to’ outlet for whatever product has the best chance of success.
Integrating affiliate programs with your existing content
The affiliate program you sign up to will consist of hyperlinks which can be embedded in your web platform. It is important these are seen as flowing organically with the rest your page content, as opposed to simply a bunch of links which have been superimposed on your website. Customers do not like to receive the impression of being duped in any way, subliminally or otherwise, so you will have a much higher chance of incorporating a successful affiliate marketing angle into your small business if you concentrate on telling customers all about items within the context of your content. By maintaining an excellent level of engaging articles you will entice customers to alight on the affiliate links if they are suitably inspired.
Adopting a holistic approach to promotion
If you intend making the most of your small business opportunities, there is every likelihood you are already operating a series of social media outlets. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and various other sites are all obvious ways of engaging with your potential customer base. Once you do begin to operate an affiliate program, you can communicate with your regular site visitors by posting notifications about, say, enhancements to your products. Invite product reviews, so news of successful purchases can be relayed from customer to customer through their own social media outlets. This represents a way of promoting items which is powerful, and free.