Online retail has become a boom area in the last year or two, and the increased demand for products and services bought via the internet is only set to grow further. The simple fact is that many people who have not previously considered an online transaction have had their eyes opened as to the convenience and variety available, as well as the potential cost savings.
This is of course great news for small and medium-sized business owners and managers such as yourself, so how do you capitalize on the boom in demand and ensure that your business is the one that stands out among the competition?
In the following brief article we will be talking about affiliate marketing – and more specifically, affiliate management – and how it may be the answer you are looking for in terms of grabbing those new leads. Let’s start by explaining affiliate marketing and how it works.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Those of us who went shopping in pre-internet days will remember the enjoyment of finding a new store that interested us. We’d check it out, buy something, then tell our friends about this great new place with good deals on the latest stuff. Word of mouth has been around since the first transactions took place. If you want a simple explanation of affiliate marketing, it’s word of mouth for the digital age.
Some will tell you otherwise but there are three players in the affiliate marketing routine: the retailer or service provider – that’s you – the affiliate, and the consumer. We’ll talk a little more about affiliate program management in a moment, but briefly here’s how the process works.
You have a product or service to sell and an online store or website. You want to drive traffic to that website. You engage affiliates: these can be people who have products complementary to yours – you may be selling, for example, baby clothes so a suitable affiliate may be a supplier of other baby products.
They may also be bloggers in the field or associated fields that apply to your product. You offer them a deal whereby they carry promotion of your brand on their site, blog or social media, and for every sale you make through them they get a commission.
That’s it in a nutshell. Sound easy, yes? There’s the first problem, as for affiliate marketing to be successful and cost-effective you’re going to need more than one affiliate – as many, in fact, as you can get! That’s where affiliate managers come in useful, so let us explain why.
Is Affiliate Management Easy?
Now that you have the basic idea of how affiliates work you’re interested in getting started, yes? We advise you to hang back a little and read on, as it’s not as easy as it seems. Managing a team of affiliates is akin to adding an extra marketing team to your existing staff.
They may not work for you directly, but you do want them to work for you to the best of their ability. They need monitoring, their results analysing, their targets revising and streamlining. To get affiliate marketing to be worthwhile needs affiliate management.
Can you afford to set aside several hours a week, maybe even a couple a day, just to dedicate to keeping up to speed with affiliates and their performance? Or bringing new affiliates on board, which takes time too? Have you got the time to work out the payments needed at the end of every agreed period?
You can see how all of this is going to add up and impact on your own job, or that of whoever you have detailed to undertake your affiliate management. You have a choice – employ a full or part-time affiliate manager or outsource to a company with expertise who will be able to dedicate a manager to your case.
Benefits Of Outsourcing Affiliate Management
The above explanation should give you a good introduction into the benefits of outsourcing your affiliate marketing, and we also suggest you read this great article including more facts about affiliate marketing and why you need to be in the game to grow your business. It’s about getting the word around, and it’s also about social trust.
This is, in fact, the more direct relation to word of mouth in which consumer A enthuses to consumer B about your service, and so on. The professional affiliate management team will work with you to devise a strategy that works, and they will also have access to affiliates with a broad audience who they can bring on board.
What better start could you have than engaging experts to help with your growth at a price you can afford, and with a proven track record in helping businesses like yours get there online marketing right?
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.