Affiliate marketing is a big industry that’s projected to grow even bigger in the coming years. In 2022, it was estimated that affiliate marketing spending would reach $13 billion. By 2024, it’s projected to become a $15.7 billion industry.
Aside from benefiting businesses, affiliate marketing, when done well, can also benefit affiliate marketers and their audience. In this article, we’ll explore tips and strategies that brands and marketers can use to grow their affiliate sales in 2023.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In affiliate marketing, an affiliate marketer promotes a brand’s products or services through unique affiliate links. When someone makes a purchase or completes a desired set of actions, such as signing up for a subscription, the affiliate will earn a commission. The commission structure will vary. Some programs or merchants implement a tiered structure, which is usually in percentages, others offer one-time or flat commissions, while some will offer both.
The affiliate, also known as a publisher, will typically look for a product or service they enjoy using. They will then promote the product or service on their preferred channels. The sales generated by the affiliate will be tracked by the merchant or affiliate network using the affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing benefits everyone involved, including merchants, affiliates, and customers.
How Affiliate Marketing Benefits Businesses
For businesses, affiliate marketing is a relatively low-risk venture that has a cost-effective marketing model. Businesses will only pay a commission for every successful transaction, such as conversions or sales.
They can also access more targeted traffic. This is because businesses will be working with affiliates whom they’ve picked, which means the affiliates are usually people who resonate with their brand or who work within their niche and will likely thus have a similar audience.
Furthermore, because brands will likely be working with affiliates who are industry experts, they can get access to targeted and high-quality traffic, which may translate to improved conversion rates. Affiliate marketing can also help with expanding brand awareness, given that affiliates can bring your products or services in front of their audience. Moreover, affiliate marketers can create different types of content, allowing them to promote your brand in several ways, as well as on various promotion channels.
Best of all, affiliate marketing is trackable. For brands, tracking affiliate performance and conversions is essential, as this allows them to gauge whether or not their affiliates and campaigns are performing well. Tracking also lets brands gain valuable insights, as well as identify any areas of opportunity.
How Affiliate Marketing Benefits Affiliate Marketers
Affiliate marketing has a little to no barrier to entry, giving affiliates another viable income stream. Many affiliate networks and affiliate programs allow affiliate marketers to join for free. They also often implement an easy sign-up process.
As an affiliate, you get the opportunity to work with and promote your favorite brands while enjoying a lot of freedom and flexibility. Affiliates aren’t tied to one brand, so if things don’t work out or if you want something that offers better commission rates, you can always find another brand, program, or affiliate network to work with.
It’s also a low-risk venture that gives affiliate marketers the opportunity to earn “passive” income. If you’re an affiliate, there’s no need for you to shell out upfront capital. Note that we say “passive” because affiliate marketing does require you to put in some effort, especially when you’re just starting out. You will still need to create high-quality content, do your research, find a profitable niche, and look for promotion-worthy products or services.
Remember that when choosing a brand to promote, make sure that you opt for one that’s reputable and offers top-notch goods or services. This is because when promoting a brand, you’re essentially putting your name and your reputation on the line.
Furthermore, affiliate marketing gives marketers the opportunity to also broaden their reach and grow their following. For example, content marketers can create valuable and relevant content around what they’re promoting that their audience will find useful, such as how-to guides, tutorials, or product reviews. Moreover, affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means they don’t have to meet weekly or monthly quotas or worry about commission caps.
Best of all, it’s scalable. In affiliate marketing, affiliates won’t necessarily need to hire more people, have a physical inventory, or maintain excellent customer service. It’s flexible, which means there’s practically no limit to what you can do to grow your following and your income.
However, you will still need to go over the terms and conditions or policies of every affiliate program or network you want to sign up for. These will contain important information, such as how to use a brand’s creative assets, what types of content you can and can’t create, the commission structure, and the affiliate’s eligibility to receive commissions.
How Affiliate Marketing Benefits Customers
Affiliate marketing offers a lot of value to consumers. Through affiliates who are responsible for creating high-quality content, customers can access a wealth of content types, such as guides, tips, reviews, explainer videos, and more. All of this can ultimately play a role in influencing their purchasing decisions.
Affiliate marketing also doubles as a discovery tool. That’s because brands, through their affiliates, can give them access to exclusive promos, discounts, and other perks. For example, by offering a discount to your audience through your affiliate marketing campaign, you’re essentially making it easier for them to get a hold of your product or service.
How to Increase Your Affiliate Sales: 10 Tips and Strategies for Brands and Marketers
- Leverage KPIs
To determine whether or not your affiliate program, marketers, or campaigns are effective, you need to track their performance using key performance indicators. By using KPIs, you can identify which campaigns are driving the most sales, which affiliates are generating qualified leads, and which campaigns aren’t giving valuable returns.
Some of the most important KPIs you can use include click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue for each traffic source you’re employing. It’s also equally important to monitor your KPIs regularly and use the data and insights you’ve gathered to continuously improve your affiliate marketing efforts.
- Perform Split Testing
Aside from leveraging KPIs, you also need to conduct tests. One such thing you can do is to implement split testing for your campaigns or content.
To run an A/B test, you will first need to determine which elements you want to assess, such as your content’s copy, your CTAs, and your content’s visual elements. You’ll then have to determine which KPIs to use to measure the success of your test. Next, you’ll have to determine your sample groups and sample size before you can create your split test. Note that your sample group must have an equal number of random participants.
Once done, you can proceed to create two versions (a control and a challenger) of the element that you want to test. Execute your test and evaluate the results using your KPIs. When doing A/B testing, you need to run one test at a time—doing so will allow you to better pinpoint the cause of the results.
- Consider Offering Coupons
Consumers are always on the lookout for a good deal. By offering coupon deals, you’re making your products or services more accessible to a wider audience while allowing them to save money.
For businesses, offering coupons might mean smaller profits, but it can have a positive impact on your affiliate marketing sales. They’re measurable and can encourage your customers to make repeat purchases. Plus, coupons remain immensely popular with consumers. In fact, it’s projected that the global digital coupons market will become a $29.7-billion industry by 2031.
If you’re planning to incorporate coupons into your affiliate marketing program, you need to assess your competitors and do research on your industry. Determine how much you can offer and what rewards your customers will receive, such as cash back incentives, discounts, or in-store credits. Then, you’ll need to think about when you’ll be running your coupon deals. Will you be aiming to offer coupons only on special occasions or do you want to make it a regular thing? Lastly, you’ll need to monitor the performance of your coupon campaigns so you know which ones are bringing in the results you want.
- Add Compelling Calls to Action
Creating long-form content may seem like a daunting task, but long-form content allows you to discuss a product in more detail. It also establishes your authority as a subject-matter expert, gives you a better opportunity to nurture audience trust and loyalty, encourages visitors to spend more time on your website, and lends itself well to SEO because you’re able to target more keywords and get more backlinks. Plus, long-form content can be easily repurposed or updated to ensure that they stay evergreen.
Furthermore, long-form content gives you the opportunity to incorporate compelling calls to action, which encourages your audience to interact with your website. Moreover, by distributing CTAs on different parts of your long-form content, such as in the beginning, middle, or end, you’re essentially giving your audience more opportunities to convert into paying customers.
When adding CTAs, you can use buttons, images, or even text that directs visitors to an optimized landing page. Take a look at the Refersion website. Throughout the page, you can find several CTAs, such as “Contact Sales,” “Start 14-Day Free Trial,” and “Learn More.”
- Find an Unsaturated Space in Your Niche
Finding the right niche can be key to boosting your affiliate sales in 2023. If you’re working in an overly saturated niche or a very broad one, you’ll likely be up against a lot of competition, some of which are established brands or affiliates with a large following. This may make it difficult for you to reach out to your target audience or promote a particular product.
You want to narrow down your niche and find a space within it that has less competition. Doing so can help you stand out from your competitors. For example, if you’re promoting beauty products to beauty and skincare enthusiasts, then you’ll likely have a lot of competition. If you focus on promoting products to alleviate keratosis pilaris symptoms, then you’ll be targeting a smaller group of people, which means less competition and more potential for sales.
- Know the Product You’re Promoting
This goes without saying but for affiliate marketers, it’s crucial that you know what you’re promoting like the back of your hand. Thus, it’s crucial that you find a product that you love or are already using, something that you have in-depth knowledge of.
Before becoming an affiliate for a particular brand, you will need to do a lot of research on their products or services so that you can create content that offers immense value to your audience. For instance, you can purchase the product (or its demo version) you’re intending to promote, so you can give it a test run.
- Work on Boosting Your Traffic
Having a lot of traffic can do wonders to your sales. However, it’s not just about the volume of traffic. High traffic volumes don’t always translate to conversions and sales; thus, you also need to consider the traffic quality to ensure that you get better conversion rates.
You can look into using various traffic-generating methods, such as leveraging social media, creating and publishing guest posts, using paid ads, applying SEO to your content and website, and creating high-quality, relevant, and valuable content.
Ultimately, you want to receive hot traffic, or people who already know who you are and are familiar with what you’re promoting. These could be past customers or visitors who have signed up to your email list. Given that they’ve already established a relationship with you, it’s relatively easier to convert them into paying customers, unlike with cold traffic, which brings in people who aren’t in your industry or don’t know who you are.
- Create a Diverse Affiliate Program
Diversifying your affiliate program can help you minimize the potential risks involved. It also allows you to maximize your program’s potential to reach a new audience and tap into growth opportunities.
For brands that are just starting out with their affiliate program, working with a handful of affiliates can be a great start, given that this scale is easier to manage. However, working with only a few affiliates may not be sustainable or even scalable, especially if you’re looking to grow your affiliate sales.
Working with different affiliates also allows you to access a more diverse audience, which can help broaden your reach. For instance, you can look into expanding your influencer engagement. Aside from giving brands access to organic content, working on your influencer engagement allows you to build stronger relationships with your brand advocates, which is valuable if you’re looking to build trust and nurture loyalty among your publishers.
For different affiliates, you can also create or provide them with different marketing strategies. Pair affiliates with campaigns that would suit them best and don’t forget to discuss the results and insights with your partners, so you can work together on improving your affiliate program.
- Always Disclose Your Affiliate Links
For affiliate marketers, it’s vital that you disclose all your affiliate links and partnerships. Aside from complying with FTC regulations, doing so allows you to build credibility and trust among your audience. If you’re creating video content, for example, you can mention that you’re an affiliate of this brand or disclose affiliate links in the description box. If you have a website, you can build an affiliate disclosure page for better transparency.
- Consider Using an Affiliate Marketing Software
Using affiliate marketing software, such as Refersion, lets you better manage, monitor, and scale your affiliate marketing campaigns.
With Refersion, you can streamline campaign management, affiliate or ambassador recruitment, and commission payments. It also allows brands in industries like health and wellness to discover top-notch affiliates to drive optimal revenue growth.
When choosing affiliate marketing software, make sure that it’s easy to use, mobile compatible, and offers diverse solutions, so you can have more opportunities to optimize your affiliate marketing program.
Affiliate marketing can potentially be a profitable venture for brands and marketers. Aside from giving them the opportunity to grow their business, affiliate marketing lets them offer valuable resources to their target audience. When done well, affiliate marketing can be a great tool to drive conversions and sales. It can also be used as a vehicle to expand a brand’s and their partners’ reach, while also allowing them to build credibility, nurture customer loyalty, and access a more cost-effective means of promotion.Please select FAQs to display