What is an Affiliate Marketing Program?
An affiliate marketing program is a marketing strategy in which one business compensates a third party for bringing clients to the business by using the third party's own marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing programs typically involves the use of internet rewards websites and contests, although there are non-website affiliate marketing programs available. Some of the benefits of affiliate marketing programs are that they can easily be monitored, payment can be conducted on a “cost-per-click” method, and the business is provided online marketing they could not accomplish on their own.
How to use an Affiliate Marketing Program for your business
1. Identify your business strengths and your client base
Before you attempt to use an affiliate marketing program for your business, you must ensure that your business is ready to handle internet traffic or exposure to clients on the internet. You will need a prominent business website in place, which affiliates can direct traffic for. You must also have a client base that is dependent on the internet and will be attracted to online marketing strategies. If all of these requirements apply to your business or you plan on having them apply, then you can seek an affiliate marketing program that works for you.
2. Consider your budget
Affiliate marketing programs can be an expensive type of marketing, however it can also provide you with great exposure to clients and dramatically increase traffic to your business website. It is important that you have the marketing budget to afford the costs of affiliate marketing programs, especially considering that the costs may not be established until after your program has been in effect. Many affiliate marketers charge businesses based on each unique page visit. While these can be estimated, they can vary widely depending on the success of the program initiated.
3. Choosing the affiliate marketing program that is right for you
After determining what clients you can reach, whether you have the proper internet presence, and can estimate your budget for the program, you need to contract with an affiliate marketer that is qualified and experienced. You can choose between an unattached affiliate marketer, related affiliate marketer, or an involved affiliate marketer.
Unattached Affiliate Marketer – This type of affiliate has no connection to the business that is paying for their services. The marketer has no authority or presence in the industry it is marketing, but instead uses programs such as Google Ad words and Facebook ads to attract clicks.
Related Affiliate Marketer – These marketers have some sort of related content to the industry that you are trying to sell. These types of websites will attract viewers for a purpose that is related to your business. These can be much more useful than other forms, as the viewer is already geared towards your business.
Involved Affiliate Marketer – Is a personal recommendation made by a content writer that has personal experience with your product. These websites typically review and report on new products and services and give their opinion. This can be a great way to market your product, as you will have a legitimate unbiased party recommending your product. Of course, you always run the risk that your product or services will not be reviewed favorably, which can lead to negative marketing.
4. Monitoring your Affiliate Marketing Program
Finally, once the program is up and running, you must actively monitor its effects. Check to see if your website is experiencing increased traffic due to the program. Modify your website or the affiliate program if you believe that you will benefit. You will also need to monitor how much traffic your affiliate marketer is generating, as it will likely affect your total costs of the program.
Affiliate marketing programs that are run with the intention of informing and helping consumers understand products and services are acceptable, however many businesses may run into an issue if these forms of advertisements are spam or have hidden charges, you will face legal issues. Always double check any affiliate marketer before using their services, as many use illegal methods and promise results that just aren't possible. Consult a legal professional who specializes in internet marketing to protect your marketing plan while obtaining valuable information.