High-risk internet marketing is a fading trade thanks to the reliable, profitable models provided by affiliate marketing techniques. Understanding these practices and employing them toward furthering your online presence can help diversify your assets and ensure the success of your online branding. Affiliate marketing doesn’t require much from you, the marketer, until the program starts bearing financial fruit.
In an Affiliate setup, your brand partners with a third party that markets your agency, product, or services through devices like banner ads, links, or other advertisements they display on their websites. Based upon some predetermined signifier, usually traffic numbers, sales, or traffic increases, or else successful visitor to customer conversions, the affiliate then receives a commission. This streamlined “pay for performance” model of partnership ensures the enthusiastic participation of your affiliates, and that means that a lot of the work of marketing is done for you.
Inherently simple it might seem, but knowing the basics of successful applications of Affiliate Marketing Models is still a must-have skill for any serious online businessperson.
Understand Your Affiliate Marketing Venues
An affiliate advertising partner can be virtually anything. Website, Web index, periodic e-newsletters, and online portals are just a few of the ways in which your brand can engage in affiliate partnerships. Making sure that your ads are geared ideally to each individual venue can help to streamline the efficacy of your ads and improve the quality of your network overall. Studies show reliable results pointing to the conclusion that ads that relate to their host website’s content are considered much less intrusive by consumers, and thus are more likely to draw revenue. Context is everything!
What size should an affiliate network be? That’s a situational question. Anywhere from dozens of affiliates to thousands can be a profitable network. It all really depends on what’s being sold, how it relates to the advertisers’ websites, and the quality of those websites. A handful of websites written with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind can bring in more revenue than one hundred times as many weaker-written sites. Research your venues before you attach your name to them.
Consider Your Commissions
A typical commission for an affiliate is about fifteen to twenty percent, but commissions can range widely from as little as five percent to as much as eighty or ninety percent. The relationship between vendor and affiliate depends on many particulars. A product that moves in high volume, as an example, will often run at a lower commission rate while specialty items often provide a higher rate.
Be aware when choosing affiliates and setting rates that in many cases you’ll get what you pay for. Offering a better commission rate will often bring in bigger fish as prospective affiliates, and the positive impact that can have on your sales really can’t be overstated. Research your options, aim for quality, and work to maximize efficiency.
Retaining Recruited Affiliates
Getting a quality affiliate on your side in the internet marketing war can be a bit of a tough proposition, especially if you’re just starting out. There are many high-quality sites that engage as affiliate partners, but finding one that’s right for hosting your ads, bringing them in for talks, and negotiating a commission and the details attendant to a deal can take time, sometimes a lot of time. Affiliate Marketing networks can help to put you in touch with suitable and available potential affiliates, and software exists to help discover which affiliates are being used by a given site through site analysis.
Keeping your affiliates happy is an essential part of retaining strong performers and desirable market sectors. Remember that a personal touch, i.e., gifts and phone calls, can really help to cement the relationship between vendor and affiliate. Keep in touch with your top performers to make sure they know their work is appreciated.
Two-tier affiliate marketing involves, to put it simply, your affiliates acquiring their own affiliates. Many sales models rely on this type of marketing, as like affiliate marketing it can prove lucrative and can grow organically. Making sure to target reliable primary affiliates, however, becomes a more pressing concern, as do issues like payment and dependability.
The complication that can ensue from two-tier affiliation might make accurate assessments of your business campaign problematic, but it does ensure a higher level of internet visibility and can provide additional revenues for every participant.
Affiliate Marketing Solutions
There are some questions you’ll need to address continually as an affiliate marketer. What’s traffic like on your affiliate sites, and how much converts to direct exposure of your product, at what rate are purchases being made, etc, etc. Finding answers to these questions relies largely upon the services of third-party technology or customer support, which can really help to streamline data gathering and analysis. While in-house solutions can be effected, they’re often complex and time-consuming. In most cases the cost of hiring a third party is justified by the amount of time they’ll free up in processing your data for you.
Spam and Other Types of Fraud
Scams have plagued Affiliate Marketing since its inception. Making sure to avoid them, and to avoid implication in them, is absolutely critical to maintaining your reputation and running a successful affiliate marketing program. Never do business with affiliates known to use spam e-mailing as part of their tactical approach, as recent legislation (CAN-SPAM, 2003) can hold you culpable for their actions. Another prominent scam is “sliding,” which is the practice of some affiliates to purchase your product to earn their own commission before returning said product, in effect stabbing you in the wallet.
Writing Affiliate Articles for Marketing: Common Mistakes
With Affiliate Marketing functioning as such a central concern for online business professionals, you’d assume that knowledge of the industry and its particulars would be widespread. Sadly, this isn’t so. Affiliate article marketing is one of the areas most often compromised by rookie mistakes that can cost companies dearly. While mistakes are a part of getting anything off the ground, avoidable ones shouldn’t be considered inevitable. Let’s examine a few of the most common mistakes made by affiliate article marketers.
1. A surprisingly common mistake is to fail to achieve relevance for your target audience. Marketers forget that they’re selling to real people, not search engines. Keyword search tools like the suite provided by Google can help you to discover what your target market is actually looking for by revealing the precise wording they employ when searching the net.
2. Overuse of keyword density is another brainless mistake made by many affiliate marketers who employ low-cost, low-quality article writers who just spit out content riddled with popular keywords. Nobody’s going to read sloppy, badly-formatted articles, so more often than not they’re just a waste of your money. Shell out a little more and go for quality.
3. Writing just one iteration of a targeted article and hosting it on just one site. What you should be doing is leveraging your advantage in exposure by repurposing articles for display in multiple venues. Don’t think small, either. Affiliate networking is about broad exposure, and displaying articles over hundreds or thousands of venues (so long as they don’t overlap significantly) will absolutely expand your online visibility. Increased backlink density can also be a huge help.
4. Waiting too long to syndicate is a huge mistake made way too often by affiliate marketers looking to retain control over their advertising. Forums, directories, newsletters and related media are the way to maximize exposure and also provide convenient tools like RSS feeds to help your customers and fans stay engaged. Avoiding syndication is a bad decision that damages visibility and cuts profits.
Affiliate marketing is a big and relatively new playground, and while there’s a lot to learn, there’s also a lot of money to be made. Understanding the way the process works can really help you get ahead, and articles like this one are a great way to build your comprehension of all the field’s nuances and techniques. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your foray into affiliate marketing.