Affiliate marketing is a form of business marketing strategy whereby companies get to their target audience and affiliates generate some revenue. This form of marketing has many benefits for both the advertisers (companies that have products for sale) and promoters (affiliates who promote the products). There’s a third category, the affiliate network, which acts as an intermediary or middleman to link the advertisers and the affiliates. They have their benefits for doing what they do.
Before we go on to look at some of these benefits, I will love to draw your attention to the point that affiliate marketing is not a form passive income that you can just set, sit and only come to get paid. No! It required hard work, commitment, and effort to get it done the right way. And only if done correctly will you be able to ripe the juicy fruits that come with it. Note that while a handful of affiliate marketers are making big, the majority (mostly those who just gamble with ads) is grabbing little or nothing. Therefore, to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you must take up time to search, study, plan, and get the best strategy in place before venturing, not forgetting the need to have huge traffic to your website or blog.
Below is a comprehensive list of some of the most important or top benefits of affiliate marketing to businesses.
The Top Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Benefits for the publisher
The following are some top benefits of affiliate marketing publishers will have when they apply affiliate marketing onto their website:
There is no talk of an investment
An affiliate, publisher or promoter needs close to nothing to start. All they need is a website or a blog, drive huge traffic, and maybe a one-time set up cost as low as $15 and everything is done for you to start making profit.
Fast customer acquisition
One of the most important reasons why affiliate marketing works, why affiliates or publishers still venture into it and why it is so beneficial is thanks to the ease of getting customers. If you have taken the time to pick ads that are related or relevant to your niche, it should not be hard for you to get customers to sell to, or audiences or followers to click on and take action.
Little to no operating costs
Businesses often times have upkeep monthly or yearly cost that needs to be taken into consideration. As an affiliate, your monthly or yearly cost is basically your website’s or blog’s subscription fee for hosting. Aside from these costs, there is no other overhead cost. This upkeep cost is easily recovered with a good affiliate marketing strategy and all other income will be profit.
Making money 24/7
Based on the fact that an affiliate’s website is not a physical business or store, it has no restrictions or limiting factors as to when you start making money. There are no employee costs and your business is open 24/7. People may visit an affiliate’s website during nightly hours while he’s sleeping. Thus, your sleeping time doesn't affect the business in any way. When the visitor results in a sale or lead the promoter still earns commission. Keep in mind however that your website still managing and updating to continue generating traffic for visitor's to see and click on the ads.
Sometimes affiliates are required to create ads to place on websites for affiliate marketing to be effective or work better. This further increases their chances of success since they know their visitors and audiences so well, they are able to create more targeted ads which are more love by their audience as compared to more generic ads. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are two of the most popular ads with Facebook ads being more affordable and easier to set.
A global marketplace at one's feet
Being an online affiliate marketer leads to an endless opportunity to meet and attract potential leads. You are never bound to the 9.00 AM to 18.00 PM work hours since your website which is not a physical store or business in online. The internet is the marketplace for the promoters or publisher and therefore there are no limitations and boundaries. A promoter is actively present and visible at any time; this increases his ability to sell.
Less risk involved
Owing to the fact that there’s little or no publisher’s investment involves to start, there is also little to lose with affiliate marketing. Also, when a promoter decides to run a program and feels they’re not generating enough income (with respect to their goals and expectations); they can easily quit the program and apply for another one with nothing to lose.
No need to create a product
The essential or top benefits of affiliate marketing to publishers rely on the fact that they do not need to create any product to be able to sale and make profits. Most successful affiliates who have made good money did so by simply helping other companies market their products and services on their websites and/or blogs.
No need for a warehouse
Physical stores or businesses may need to spend extra cash for rent of a warehouse to store goods. This is not true with an online store or businesses that are exposed to limitless products and the number of products a publisher can sell. In relation to this there is also no worrying about packaging and shipping. This gives flexibility and diversity to publishers.
It’s very easy to track your Affiliate marketing performance. It’s important that you focus on efforts or affiliate marketing strategy that can be tracked if you most ripe profit, and for you to find out what is best suited for your campaign. Thus, having a planned affiliate marketing strategy with set goals will enable you to be able to find out which of your campaigns are performing best and those that are bringing in the greatest income with the least investment in time and energy on your part.
If you are working with a larger affiliate program, you should ensure that you focus on the affiliate marketing campaigns that are bringing you the greatest amount of revenue.
Benefits for the advertiser
From an advertisers’ perspective affiliate marketing is a favored online marketing strategy, due to its potential significant impact on increasing the amount of traffic to his website, leads and customers. It’s a cost effective means of advertising, and the advertiser (products’ company) may benefit from gaining links from established websites and online marketers to huge number of product purchase within a short possible time interval. According to recent statistics, an affiliate marketing program is by far one of the best advertising strategy or tools available to business owners, because it provides incentives for both the publisher and the advertiser. This marketing strategy has grown greatly over the last couple of years, thanks to increase in awareness and because more and more webmasters are beginning to embraced its reality as the most efficient way to handle online advertising. Affiliate marketing is extremely flexible and provides numerous benefits that an advertiser won't get with any other ad program. These benefits consist of:
Performance based marketing
This is one of the most important or top benefits of affiliate marketing program to a business. It’s a performance based marketing strategy, owing to the fact that the advertiser never pays for ads that don't bring successful sales. Publishers only make money when they deliver quality traffic, thus a company gain traffic, leads and sales (very important performance metrics to all online businesses).
Fast customer acquisition
One of the most important reasons why affiliate marketing works, why companies or advertisers still venture into it and why it is so beneficial is thanks to the ease of getting customers. If you have good quality products and have taken the time to pick your affiliate network, it should not be hard for you to get publishers and hence customers to sell to.
Low Entry Price
Building an affiliate program generally require just a little on the go investment that normally fit into all business budgets no matter the size. Most online ads and marketing tools have an attached starting cost, often one that is inaccessible to startups that have tied budgets and are looking to invest as much money as possible into providing a good website and a good product. All an advertiser need to start and affiliate marketing program is a website and an affiliate solution. These two are easy to get at low cost and no other costs may be incurred before his ads start paying off.
Traffic generated via affiliate programs is huge. As publishers place ads on their sites, this drive traffic to the advertiser’s website. Although only a portion of that traffic will result in sales, the advertisers profit in the traffic and awareness it generates. Thus, the advertiser gets additional page views for free, which is a bonus on top of the sales publishers are sending.
Increase of SEO ranking
Most search engine algorithms use inbound links to rank websites. Thus, developing a network of publishers who is linking to the advertisers’ site helps to increase his search rank. Also, these publishers are most likely to be in the same field, which further help to portal their site very relevant thus further boost in website rankings.
Lower operational costs
An affiliate program incorporates the added benefit owing to its one-time set-up. Once it is set up, nothing else is needed to be done except to approve new affiliates and wait for the sales hence revenue to start coming in. Affiliate network, usually provides publishers with text links, banners and other ad material, and automatically record successful sales. It can even compile the commissions into invoices.
The affiliate marketing programs are entirely determined by the advertiser. This allows him the ability to set commission rates, determine what to promote and gets the publishers paid. This is important for getting the most out of every marketing campaign or ad program.
Increase brand visibility
Another great benefit about affiliate marketing is its potential to increase your bran visibility or awareness. This form of marketing has helped thousands of companies take a hedge on the competition and get out in front of their audience so they can be more easily seen by their target market. It also helps affiliates to grow their brands through the content marketing they engage in, which is essential for the success of any affiliate marketing campaign.
Whether you are an affiliate or a company promoting your products through affiliates, you are certain to incur a fixed cost. This simply means that you should have a solid understanding about exactly what your marketing expenses are and will be before venturing into an affiliate program. The reason that they are fixed is a benefit to advertisers as it allows them to only pay once a sale has been made. From a strict business point of view, this makes perfect sense and it’s accepted and loved by experience Affiliate Marketers too.
Instead of engaging in a separate PPC, CPA, CPM and SEO campaign, why not consider affiliate marketing. It will help you cut down on advertising costs and on the money; you would have had to spend for separate CPP, and/or search engine optimization campaigns.
Affiliate marketing ensures your business is able to get tons of things done. This goes down to the reasons much online marketing strategy involved in the concept of doing affiliate marketing campaign work well. Thus, engaging in it will not only help you sell other products or services, it will also act to attract and retain traffic on your website or blog.
Benefits for the affiliate network “middleman”
Setting up an affiliate network gives you the ability to gain from both the advertisers and promoters. First you act as a link that brings these two together and secondly, you determine who comes in and what products you allow on your network. Affiliate networks act as a one-stop shopping center where advertisers and publishers to meet. They facilitate the affiliate marketing process by reducing the extra load on the advertisers and make it possible for publishers to get all they need in one center. This reduces the stress that advertisers need to deal with many publishers and also the stress that publishers have searching affiliate programs.
You generally gain commission from the advertisers which at times are based on sales. This may be small for a product but as many companies are selling thousands of products every day, sum is a heavy payment package.
Also, you gain commission from promoters which also are in relation to sales. Thus, an affiliate network runs a two-way profit generation system which often resulted in a huge revenue generation.
The Challenges of Affiliate Marketing
Although there are many benefits that come with affiliate marketing, there are a handful of challenges that usually set in. some of these challenges are:
Fraudulent affiliate activity
The main challenge most affiliate marketers face is fraud. Well, we all work online and we know that there will always be fraudsters and shady activities.
Such fraudulent activities can easily eliminated simply by putting the right affiliate application review and reporting in place. Having an affiliate management platform that is able to detect fraud will go a long way to resolve this concern. Also, fraud prevention teams who monitor all online activity for affiliates and vendors and have reporting available which helps monitor cases like “cookie stuffing”. If fraudulent activities are flagged, you have the possibility to deactivate those affiliate accounts and halt commissions.
The costs of affiliate marketing
This is another point of concern to most vendors associated with affiliate marketing. Getting started an affiliate program can be expensive these days with the high cost of affiliate marketing tools. Advertisers can resolve this challenge by partnering with other affiliate platforms or affiliate networks that have a low setup fee. They may also take a look at payment structures. For instance, is the network charging on a percentage of affiliate payout or a percentage of gross revenue? These are the most common payment methods associated with affiliate platforms.
The benefits of affiliate marketing cannot be over emphasized. Being one of the most incomes generating form of online advertising strategy and being able to employ thousands of people, affiliate marketing strategy remains the gold mines of every online business.