Affiliate marketing is a strategy that you may have heard of as a small business owner, influencer or creator – but what does it actually mean? And how can it benefit your brand or business, generating sales, reaching wider audiences and more? Join us to take a look at what affiliate marketing is, and all the ways this small business marketing strategy can boost your reach, engagement and sales.
What Is Affiliate Marketing & Why Should Small Businesses Be Using It?
Affiliate marketing is a method of marketing that is performance based, and helps to improve brand awareness, traffic and drive through sales.
Affiliates (or publishers) generate sales and awareness for an advertiser (for example, a brand or business) by promoting their products and services. They then receive a commission for the sales they successfully achieve. Think of the publisher as a middleman between the product/service and the end customer.
Individuals or businesses of any size who want to expand their audience and create new revenue streams can become publishers. They may use websites, logs, social media and other networks to convert traffic and push sales for an advertiser’s service or product. One of the biggest struggles for small businesses is reach. Finding new audiences and users can be challenging, but by using this type of marketing approach, advertisers can discover new audiences. Using a network with an established audience and guaranteed reach, you can generate brand awareness, new sales and pique the interest of potential new customers that you otherwise may not have found.
How Does It Work?
Affiliate marketing works best as part of a larger marketing strategy, and businesses should find vetted publishers to promote their product/brand.
This type of marketing works essentially as word-of-mouth. Publishers recommend the brand, product or service to their network, linking to the product or advertiser’s website. These specific links are called deep links, and they are limited to individual publishers. This way, you can monitor stats such as clicks, sales and more to keep track of the data generated by your affiliate marketing plan. The publisher is then paid commission, either as a percentage of final sale amounts made, or in the form of a fixed payment.
Why Should Small Businesses Use Affiliate Marketing?
Targeted Traffic & Selective Working
Affiliate marketing allows for brands and businesses to get more specific with whom they’re targeting and advertising to. Rather than casting a wide not and hoping audiences bite, publishers have dedicated audiences who are more likely to be interested in your business. This also allows you to be selective about who you work with, which is a massive advantage for small businesses. There are lots of publishers who focus in niche areas, whether they are micro-influencers, knowledgeable in your field or just have an audience interested in exactly what your brand does!
Budget Friendly & Cost Effective
Unlike Google Ads, social media marketing and other pay per view ventures, this type of marketing means that you don’t need to pay for an overall campaign without knowing you’ll get results. You can choose to only pay your publishers when the affiliate link directly leads to a sale, which is great for small businesses with tighter budgets. Using affiliate marketing means that you are in control of the costs associated, and can establish boundaries for what the cost will be vs what return you will receive.
Sales are important, of course, but brand awareness should also be priority as a small business. Let’s say, for example, that your product or service is very specific and only needed at a certain time. Affiliate marketing can make it more likely that although your services might not be needed right now for a potential customer, knowing who you are and what you’re about can bring them back when they do need you.
Spreading brand awareness also makes customers more likely to buy, as in a world where we are all bombarded with advertising and content, being able to differentiate your business from others and having a personal or emotional connection to your brand will help you stand out from the crowd.
Backlinks and consistent content are great for SEO, helping you to rank higher in search engine rankings. Google and so on will recognize that you are being mentioned, linked to and searched more, which will help push you up in the eyes of the search engine algorithms and help with things like social media and YouTube SEO.
Improvement Of Reputation
Partnering up with a trusted publisher with a dedicated following will help you look more legitimate and appealing to potential customers. By being affiliated with the publisher (who will hopefully have been selected because of their ethics, reputation and results) will immediately instil more trust in your business than if they were to stumble across you out of nowhere. You can build a rapport with potential customers much more quickly and easily, and they’ll be more inclined to purchase if they trust you and your brand.
Widening Your Revenue Streams
Another issue for small businesses is often limited resources. Partnering with an affiliate will help open you up to more diverse revenue streams, as they may offer a web of multiple streams. The more affiliates you work with, the more avenues will be open, as each network may take a different approach to promoting your business. Instead of focusing on the streams that you have the time or manpower to put stock into, affiliate marketing can help you try new approaches without taking up more of your time, or needing further expertise that takes a while to build.
Final Thoughts & How Audiosocket Can Help
This article is all about how marketing can help your small business thrive and reach as many potential customers as possible. If you’re planning on creating content for your business such as branded content, website or social media content, YouTube videos, podcasts and so on, it’s time to start planning aspects like music. That’s where we can help!
If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your project, why not check out Audiosocket? Your content deserves the best, so sign up today and access 80,000+ songs, Sound Effects and more to bring your vision to life!
For further helpful small business tips, check out our articles on content marketing for small businesses, video marketing ideas for videos, alternative social media platforms for small businesses and creating a content strategy and plan.