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Is Affiliate Marketing Right for My Enterprise Business?

February 14, 2020

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For enterprise brands, it can be beneficial to regularly update your brand marketing strategies. Although your brand doesn’t need to go through a yearly brand redesign, it can be helpful to reinvigorate the way in which you approach potential customers. Businesses entrenched in traditional marketing methods can especially benefit from a reevaluation of marketing tactics as — with them being traditional methods — approaches might be outdated. Although you want to keep long-term customers interested in your brand, it’s equally important to continue enticing potential customers.

With the advent of social media, it is easier than ever to interact and communicate with people from all over the world. As a business, this might seem like a great thing, but you might be wondering whether you want to continue reaching out to regular people with traditional advertising. Wouldn’t it be better if you could interact with them in a way that felt far more natural? Imagine if you could utilize authentic content creators who have many followers whose interests might align with the ethos of your brand. Both can be achieved, thanks to the help of having an affiliate marketing strategy.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

At its most basic, affiliate marketing is all about creating and maintaining relationships. There are two characters in the affiliate marketing relationship: the merchant and the affiliate. You, an enterprise business, are the merchant — someone who has something they want to sell, whether it is a brand, an experience, or a product; the affiliate is a contracted marketer who makes money by promoting products for the merchant.

In the modern age of social media, affiliates tend to be influencers — people with large masses of followers that they regularly communicate with. The influencer position in social media works well as an affiliate partnership for the ease of communication. With a large following, it’s much easier to craft unique, original content that can be shared with many different people.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing works by leading followers from an influencer’s page to your website. When these people make a purchase on your site, often paired with a code provided by the influencer, you have completed the affiliate cycling. Once a purchase is made on your website by this enticed customer, your affiliate receives a commission. Think of it as employing a contractor who openly markets your company through their own brand. The exciting part is that their brand is themselves. Here are some of the ways that affiliate marketing works best, and how it entices an influencer’s followers to check out your site and become potential customers.

By Creating an Emotional Connection to a Product

Affiliates are beneficial to your business for the emotional character they can provide to your brand and its products.  Social media influencers  are already likely to have a good number of followers who have placed their trust in them. Their followers followed this person because they appreciated their content, perspective, lifestyle, and beliefs. If your product has connected with this influencer, it’s likely because they have found some usefulness that means a lot to them.

Having an influencer with a platform speak highly, and emotionally, about your product is an incredible way to provide attention and reputation to your brand. Whether it’s makeup, a type of outdoor clothing, or a piece of kitchenware, if your product can elicit a genuine reaction out of an influencer, it’s likely to also resonate with their audience. This makes them wonderful to have as an affiliate.

By Providing Additional Value to Followers

This genuine, emotional aspect means even more to the followers of your affiliate partner because it means that, when marketed to, they are provided with items of use. Due to the genuine relationship formed between influencers and their followers, recommendations mean a lot — if an influencer is recommending a product, it’s likely because they have faith in the product and want their followers to equally benefit from the use of said product.

By sharing your brand and its products, your affiliate partner is sharing the usefulness of your brand. Whether for your messaging, ethos, or products, they’re telling their followers that you are a company that can be trusted — one whose products work.

By Fostering a Reputation with an Audience

As stated above, once your product has been recommended to your affiliate’s audience, it’s likely to then earn you a reputation with followers. Whoever visits your site is then more likely to move on to an onsite purchase. By having followers sent to your page, your business is more likely to gain customers, and some of them might become long-term invested patrons. And, through this, word of mouth continues and more people are led to your site.

Connecting with Affiliate Program Software

While an affiliate marketing program might sound interesting, it might also sound daunting to any marketing team that is unaware of how to create their own program internally. Thankfully, there is enterprise business affiliate program software available. With best-in-class tools and programming contained within the Refersion affiliate program software, we’re dedicated to providing results to enterprise businesses. Rather than crafting an internal affiliate software that could take a year to build and test, your enterprise business can effectively rely on the statistics and tracking provided by our program. Now that you know we’re here to support your business and its affiliate marketing strategy, you might be wondering whether affiliate marketing is even right for your enterprise. Let’s consider just a few basics.

Is Affiliate Marketing Right for Me?

Little Cost to Startup

Beyond finding your suitable affiliate program software, starting an affiliate program is generally inexpensive. Unless your conducting market research in search of potential affiliates, your only costs will come once you have affiliates as part of your network, providing them with compensation every time they convert one of their followers into one of your customers. With little cost comes little risk, so there’s not much to be worried about by trying it out.

You’ll Be Generally Hands-Off

Instead of running every one of your marketing campaigns internally, you can outsource some of this work to your affiliates. By contracting them, they will lead users to your site who can interact with your content, all without having to find them yourself. While you can be generally hands-off, it is still important to provide necessary materials to your affiliates. You can provide them with marketing materials, from content ideas to images, that can be used for their promotional posts, all of which can be effectively stored on the dashboard of your affiliate program software.

Similar to Having a Contracted Outbound Marketing Team

Having an affiliate marketing strategy is great, as it allows you to employ people outside of your business, all having different approaches toward your company and its goals. While your affiliate marketing strategy will outline what type of promotions you want to see, along with which products are presented to audiences, you’ll be putting your trust into the opinions of other content creators. They can effectively promote your products to their audience, all in a tone and manner that fits best for them. In some cases, it might be a tone your company could not present on a public scale, either because it’s tonally different from your own brand voice or for it being presented in a style that doesn’t fit your brand design.

The best part is that you’ll be able to reach potential customers who might not have found your brand otherwise. Even if you exist within the same niche, it can be difficult to find customers from across the spectrum. By employing affiliates, you can effectively contract with people who can speak directly to their own attuned audience, influencing their opinion and helping them make it to your website.

Leave Part of Your Customer Service to Your Affiliates

Just as with have marketing contractors, your affiliates can effectively work as a set of customer service representatives. Although they shouldn’t be answering the finer questions, such as shipping information and payment details for orders, they can work on the frontline of communicating with your audience at large. If they’re promoting a product, it’s likely that some followers will have questions. Your affiliates can aptly describe the products to their followers, along with providing uses and other pertinent information, as it applies. Think of them as your brand spokesperson, the person who is openly shouting about how wonderful your company and its products are, all for others to hear about.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Enterprise Business Affiliate Program Software

As discussed above, your enterprise business is going to most benefit from having an established, trusted affiliate program software versus attempting to create one in house. At Refersion, we’re committed to providing you with all of the necessary tools to create an efficient affiliate network, all while motivating you to continue striving for more. By employing an affiliate program that can cover the basics, you can focus on the more high-detail parts of your affiliate plan, helping you fine-tune it for future success.

An Updated, Modernized Website

If you’re looking to entice potential affiliates, you’ll need an optimized website. Nobody wants to market a webpage that is poorly designed, clunky, and slow to load. Instead, an optimized, modernized webpage can go a long way, helping to entice potential affiliates. Furthermore, an updated website is imperative to truly convert site visitors into customers. Just because an affiliate was able to send someone to your website does not mean that that person will be converted into a customer. If you’re wondering why affiliates-led consumers weren’t converted into customers, it might be due to your website. Try to keep your site clean and clear, providing crisp images whenever possible, all the while providing useful information and copy to entice people into trusting your brand. If they can easily navigate your website, it makes it more likely for them to end up completing a purchase.

Potential Affiliates Who Can Become Partnered Affiliates

While you can optimize your website and decide on an affiliate program software, your affiliate program won’t go anywhere unless you have the necessary affiliates to make everything work. There are numerous ways you can work to attract new affiliates into joining your network, but your best place to start is with loyal customers. If you have the metrics to determine some of your most loyal customers, those who have been supporting your business for many years, consider reaching out to them to see if they’d be interested in joining your network or if they know anyone who might be just as useful.

The benefit of having established customers join your affiliate network is that these are people who are already well acquainted with your language, ethos, and products. If they have a considerable following of their own, they will have a wealth of people to whom they can promote your products and brand. Furthermore, if they’ve been a long-time supporter of your brand, it’s likely that they’ll be interested in joining the backend of your team, working along with you as a noted representative of your enterprise.

The Bottom Line

There is no perfect way to craft your affiliate marketing strategy, but, as an enterprise business, you can greatly benefit from employing a well-targeted plan. With the right affiliates and Refersion’s reliable affiliate program software, you can actualize your strategy, making it easier to find new customers and continue spreading the message of your brand.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey