4 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing strategy whereby companies offer a financial incentive to third-party partners to promote their products by generating traffic. For example, a social media influencer recommending products from a specific brand is an affiliate marketer.
The affiliate marketing industry is set to grow steadily as the demand for affiliates keeps increasing yearly, especially from small businesses. Data shows that it generates most of the online sales, projected to increase by about 10% annually, amounting to USD$8.2 billion as of 2022.
This indicates that many business owners now rely on this advertising model to connect with more customers. Also, many complement it with specialized technology, such as general contractor software, to improve efficiency. It enables you to schedule jobs, track time, manage cash flow, and ensure other back office tasks run smoothly so you can focus on your core business.
That said, read on for four ways small businesses can use affiliate marketing:
- Leveraging user-generated content to boost customer engagement
Every business’s objective is for its products or services to be known by many prospective clients. That’s why small businesses have invested in affiliates to increase website traffic, expand their reach and ensure the existing and new customers interact with their products every time. Affiliates generate natural content that promotes a company’s goods or services. And chances are, there’ll be a high number of clicks and conversion to sales because many customers trust such influencers for product or service referrals.
Below are some of the ways small businesses can increase customer engagement with the help of affiliates:
- Sharing high-quality blog posts that can rank high on search engine pages and draw in the audience.
- Creating interesting social media videos on various channels or platforms.
- Email marketing to keep your audience updated with new content.
Moreover, small businesses can drive more action in affiliate marketing using automated tools to boost service delivery and transform the customer experience. For instance, with software like the one developed by Jobber, you can instantly send your clients industry-specific and customized quotes instead of paperwork.
- Enhancing social proof
Many consumers today rely on social proof of a business’s reputation to influence their purchase decision. A survey conducted by Statista on US online buyers found that online reviews broadly impact a customer’s opinion of a company. The survey shows that 94% of the respondents revealed that they’re more likely to associate with a brand’s products or services because of its positive reviews. In contrast, 92% said they’re less likely to use a business with negative reviews. Also, 79% said they trusted online reviews just as much as referrals from peers or relatives.
Luckily, small companies can use their affiliate product reviews as credible social proof to potential customers. Also, as loyal brand ambassadors, they can encourage affiliates to use word-of-mouth marketing to help cultivate trust in clients because they receive a percentage of the revenue and most influencers vest interest in your business accomplishments. So, they’ll go the extra mile to showcase why buyers ought to choose your goods or services.
- Promoting posts and products
Affiliate marketing is gaining popularity as many businesses now turn to it to grow their brand awareness through enhanced promotions. According to Statista, the retail sector generated the highest affiliate marketing revenue as of 2021, representing 44% of the total value. Telecom and media produced a 25% share, whereas travel and leisure accounted for 16%.
Here are ways these small businesses use affiliate marketing to level up their digital marketing strategy:
- Targeted marketing: You can choose the affiliates that understand your industry and can reach your target audience. For instance, if you deal with fitness products, you can handpick a fitness influencer with many followers.
- Product launches: If you’re looking to launch a new product soon, you can choose committed affiliates to create some buzz around the products within the period.
- Boost unpopular products: You can offer your affiliates higher earning percentages, bonuses, or other incentives to motivate them to sell the slow-moving goods.
- Diversify sales channels: You can use different affiliates with various skill sets to ensure increased lead generation and drive repeat sales.
- Tracking progress using marketing statistics
Businesses can access vital data such as sales reports in their affiliate network dashboard. With the real-time tracking of conversion metrics, they can measure progress and determine how efficient this marketing style is. Also, most tracking systems can integrate seamlessly with other apps, so small business owners can link data and generate optimal reports.
Affiliate marketing is a low-cost and efficient way to benefit from the creative marketing tactics of brand influencers. Small businesses can use it to improve customer engagement levels, enhance social proof, boost their marketing strategy, and track progress. Therefore, as a business owner, you’d want to collaborate with partners outside the work environment who can advocate for your brand. Note that the returns on investment are high as you only pay based on the traffic converted to sales.