If you’re a young entrepreneur just starting your own business, it’s likely that you’re looking for methods to grow your business. When you’re starting out, just knowing where to begin is half the battle. There are particulars that need to be parsed out before your business can effectively proceed, but there are tools you can begin exploring once you’ve begun to establish yourself. One of those tools is an affiliate marketing strategy, particularly with the help of affiliate marketing software.
Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
Affiliate marketing, at its most basic, is about relationships. Affiliate marketing works by connecting various people in the commodity chain with one another, all thanks to the role of the affiliate. There are three roles that hold significance in the affiliate marketing relationship: merchant, affiliate, and customers.
You, as a young entrepreneur, play the role of the merchant — the business that is looking to increase brand engagement. Affiliates are the influencers and digital folks who promote your brand for you. By contracting affiliates, merchants are able to employ people who can promote their brand out to online audiences.
For influencers, the affiliate marketing strategy works wonders, as it is incredibly advantageous to make use of their following. They can easily promote your brand to their audience in hopes that they can convert some of them into customers of yours, which will earn them a commission.
Furthermore, customers receive promotions from an influencer they trust. This means they’ll be shown a brand they’ll consider checking out more than if they had just seen an advertisement of it online — it’s all about the source of the information. Through this, your business can receive more eyes that are likely to be intrigued by your business and products.
How Affiliate Marketing Software Works
Affiliate marketing software is designed to make the process of employing affiliates, tracking statistics, and paying affiliates far easier. The Refersion affiliate marketing software has been curated to help you create the perfect affiliate marketing strategy. Rather than teaching yourself how to create your first marketing campaign, Refersion is here to make it simple, providing you with the necessary information to readily begin attracting affiliates and getting new customers engaging with your website.
Beyond providing you with the necessary knowledge to create successful marketing campaigns, our software also provides you with the tools to track the progress of your affiliate marketing strategy, watching it closely to determine areas that require fine-tuning and further consideration.
We can help you find affiliates and create a specified space for them to coexist, interact, and track their data. Through this, you can keep an eye on their progress, analyzing their progress and the usefulness of your program — from the number of potential customers engaging with your website to the number of them that are converted into paying customers. Getting started is easy, and you can begin getting the most out of the Refersion marketplace in no time.
Why You Need an Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Like other modern marketing strategies, affiliate marketing is a quickly growing method enticing influencers to promote brands and their products. As an entrepreneur, what you need more than anything is to have eyes on your brand. Attention is your first step in attracting potential customers, so it’s in your best interest to utilize promoters whenever possible.
The best part about affiliate marketing is that it’s both low-risk and cost-effective. Rather than shelling out half of your marketing budget onto a billboard beside the highway that might not produce any engagement, you can utilize social media influencers to promote your brand directly to their audiences. They can even utilize the fact that you’re a small business owner, like themselves, to entice their audience to support your products and give your business a chance.
Furthermore, when it comes to cost, you’ll only pay when you have site visitors converted into customers. Affiliates receive commission payment whenever one of their followers successfully completes a purchase through your website, so you won’t be wasting money on errant time spent failed projects. Instead, you’ll be getting the most out of every buck you spend.
Best Practices for Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy
When first starting out with affiliate marketing, there are a number of best practices you can follow to make the most out of your program. Here’s what you should be doing to really strengthen your program.
- Give Affiliates a Reason to Join
Your affiliates should feel as if they’re making a smart and informed decision by becoming a promoter for your brand. Not only should they feel like they’re getting something out of the affiliation, but they should feel confident about your brand, too.
This means presenting your business in the best light at all times, not only for your sake but so that your affiliates feel confident in staking their promotions on your reputation. Furthermore, they should be incentivized to stick with your business. This means offering them competitive commissions, along with the services and materials that will help them effectively promote your brand.
- Always Pay Your Affiliates on Time
Late payments are a great way to upset your affiliates. It’s also a great way to lose trusted affiliates, who then might inform other prospective affiliates to not join your program. The Refersion affiliate marketing software is designed to help you pay your affiliates on time, all to ensure that everyone involved is kept pleased by the relationship. Don’t give them a reason to distrust you; pay them for their services and show your appreciation for their promotions they’re providing.
- Utilize Your Data
The analytics provided by affiliate marketing software can go a long way when put to good use. When properly utilized, it can help you understand just how well your affiliate marketing program is working, along with what things need to be adjusted. The data is available to you, there for your use, so you should make the most of it. If you feel overwhelmed by the data, consider having someone on your staff devote themselves to tracking the program. They can help create weekly and monthly reports to determine the effectiveness of the program and your currently contracted affiliates.
- Be There for Your Affiliates
Your affiliates are on the front lines promoting your business. You should be there for them if they have any questions. Whether they need a certain brand graphic or have some questions concerning content, you should be available to discuss the matter with them. If not, you should have a well-detailed FAQ page designated for your affiliates, providing them with something that can answer common questions when they arise.
Moreover, consider having brand guidelines that are available to all affiliates, which can be provided when they join your network. This will provide them with clear insight into the voice and presentation of your company. Such a guide will help provide them with the necessary guidelines to craft content that effectively promotes your brand and products to their followers, increasing their chances of converting viewers into customers and earning a commission for themselves.
- Let Affiliates Know They’re Appreciated
Your affiliates are doing essential work for your business, helping it get off the ground and receive some needed notice. You should take the time to let them know they are appreciated. People have different ways of letting their employees know they are appreciated, but there are some sound ways you can provide for them. One such way is to offer random bonuses throughout the year. Whether it’s after their first customer conversion or quarterly, you can provide them with some extra money that will tell them that their services are greatly valued.
Other options involve providing them with a gift — a bottle of wine, a gift certificate — once a year, maybe around the time of their birthday. Conversely, you can even show your appreciation by setting aside time for them, whether it is a webinar or open “office hours,” where they and other affiliates can talk to you about products, their approach, and ideas for future content.
How To Find the Best Affiliates
It’s more than likely that you’ll be able to find affiliates from around the internet, but you should be choosing the best candidates rather than settling on whoever contacts you. Here are some notable ways to come across the best candidates.
- Make Your Affiliate Sign-Up Page Awesome
Serious affiliates should be impressed by what you have to offer them, and a clean, well-structured affiliate sign-up page can show just that. This is your first test from affiliates, as a well-made website will show them that you’re committed to providing info to your program, and to them. They can thus expect to get a professional relationship out of partnering with you.
- Let Customers Know About the Program After a Sale is Made
It’s smart to attract people who are already customers of your business — these are people that will understand your business, branding, and products, making it easier for them to promote your business with authority. After a point of sale is made, you should provide them with a prompt letting them know of your affiliate program. If interested, they can go about inspecting the program further; if not, it’s no harm to them, as you’re just offering them the option of joining.
- Show Off Success Stories
If you want to show off how successful the program is, you should consider showing other users just how well it works for past and current affiliates. You can offer direct testimonials from your own affiliates, hosted on your affiliate webpage, to let prospects know just how great the program is. It’s far better to have first-hand accounts of how your strategy works versus your own description — it humanizes the program for prospective affiliates.
- Leverage What Your Social Media Accounts
Your social media accounts are made to communicate with people all around the world, from existing customers to customers you’re attempting to reach. Why not use them to find affiliates? You can rely on your social media accounts to share affiliate newsletters, brochures, and information about your brand’s affiliate marketing program. It’s free to use, and you can find the perfect affiliate just by putting the program out in the open. Consider putting your social media to good use when crafting your plan.
Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Out
When first creating your affiliate marketing strategy, there are a few ways you can sink the ship before it even sails. The biggest mistake you can make is having no affiliate marketing strategy at all. Although affiliate marketing software makes approaching affiliates much easier, there are many moving parts that can become loose and even break down when not given enough attention.
Otherwise, your greatest mishaps will come when you begin making your program more complicated than it needs to be. This most often comes about when people attempt to create their own affiliate marketing network, relying on in-house methods to capture and pay affiliates. Under such circumstances, statistics can be difficult to track, and payments can easily get lost in translation. That’s why we recommend leaving the backend work to the professionals, relying on trusted affiliate marketing software instead. Mistakes to your affiliate marketing strategy can easily crop up if you stray from your planning but, with a clear plan, you can begin implementing your affiliate program, all while increasing brand engagement.
Creating the perfect affiliate marketing strategy takes time, but Refersion is here to help make the process as simple as possible. Our affiliate marketing software is designed to be intuitive, making it easier for you to begin implementing your strategy and seeing business growth.
As an entrepreneur, it’s in your best interest to get off on the right foot when you can. With an affiliate marketing strategy, you can get ahead of the curve and begin introducing converted customers into your network, ingratiating them and turning them into life-long supporters.