There are many ways in which a smaller business can enhance growth, many of them quite easy and proven. The problem may be in finding the right person to handle specific aspects of the marketing program. As a small business owner or manager you may have read a bit about affiliate marketing and put it on the backburner.
This is far from unusual as for many people it is a very new concept. Affiliate market has, in fact, been around a lot longer than you might think and has evolved into something that does offer small businesses – and larger outfits also – a chance to grow their brand.
What is affiliate marketing, and how can it help you and your small business? First, bear in mind the title of this article refers to affiliate management.
The reason for this is that affiliate marketing has grown in potential over the last few years to the extent it is often given its own manager within a company, or even a team. The problem for smaller businesses is that this means allocating funds that might be needed urgently elsewhere.
The answer is not to hire a full or part time individual, but to engage the services of a dedicated affiliate managers, much in the way you would an accountant or legal adviser. Outsourcing your affiliate management makes a lot of sense when you look at what they will do for you. Now that we have that on board, it’s time to talk about how affiliate marketing can help grow your business.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Back in the days before the internet and online commerce, how did a new shop or restaurant, or service provider, promote itself? They would do so by adverts in the newspapers, perhaps flyers through the door, and by what we know as ‘word of mouth’.
Put simply, an individual would see the new shop or outlet, try it and – having been impressed with the service and prices – tell their friends. The proprietor may even ask kindly if the new customer could pass the word around.
In the digital world this still happens, and often it does so via social media. Indeed, the massive boom in digital commerce that is happening right now is largely down to effective affiliate marketing and social media promotion. One aspect of this is known as ‘social proof’.
If your brand is being talked about favorably on social media sites, then customers will trust it. A good affiliate manager will know how to engender social proof by encouraging reviews from customers, and replying to them, and that is just one way of building the social proof your brand needs.
Generally, affiliates whom you bring on board will be paid a commission on every click-through from the advert or promotion they carry. They will have it on their own website, or a blog or social media page, and as you have it professionally managed it will go to the right affiliates who will draw in the leads for you.
There’s a lot to be said for the growth of this method of marketing, and if you want there is this detailed report on affiliate marketing in the present era; it’s long, but it does tell you all you need to know about the market.
Further Benefits of Affiliate Management
Once your affiliate manager is on board and up to speed, they will start spreading your brand by way of many methods. They will devise a dedicated email campaign for your affiliate marketing and will know the right places to put the right ads.
Also, they will be able to get the best affiliates for your business – those that are interested and who will be able to get the information out to other interested parties – and you will soon see the benefits as word gets around.
The key to good affiliate marketing management lies in a thorough understanding of the current trends as well as the best ways to use social media for promotion, and that’s why a dedicated professional will always be a cost-effective option. Have a
look at engaging the services of an affiliate marketing manager for your small business, and you’ll soon see the growth you deserve.