8+ Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies in 2021
According to Statista, U.S businesses’ affiliate marketing spending will reach $8.2 billion by 2022, up from 5.4 billion reported in 2017.
What creates the incredible growth of affiliate marketing over the past few years?
In a world where businesses are being bombarded from all directions with numerous competitors and different marketing strategies. It’s difficult for any marketing method to stand the test of time under the pressure of competition and technology development.
However, Affiliate marketing does! This post will be a handy guide for those who’re interested in Affiliate marketing with a list of the best Affiliate strategies to try this year.
Table of content
- The concept of Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing Strategies for business: The win-win relationship
- Principal components in Affiliate Network
- What is an affiliate marketing strategy?
- Best affiliate marketing strategies for business growth
- Partner with high reputation affiliates
- Leverage your content marketing
- Align that payment model with affiliate marketing strategy’s goals
- Go on niche influencers
- Invest in Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Leverage affiliate promotions via multiple sources
- Get conversions via exclusive discounts and deals
- Join in an affiliate network
- Savvy affiliate marketing tactics for publishers
- Affiliate Marketing strategy: Change or Chance?
The concept of Affiliate Marketing
By definition, Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy that an affiliate will gain a commission for marketing one or more products of another person or business.
Some shocking affiliate marketing statistics:
- Up to 81% of brands leveraged affiliate marketing (Source: Awin)
- Around 23% of merchants’ revenues come from affiliate marketing (Source: Authority Hacker)
- The affiliate marketing spending in the U.S is bound to increase up to 8.2 billion dollars in 2022 (Source: Statista)
- Affiliate programs boost up to 15% - 30% of all sales for advertisers (Source: Authority Hacker)
By implementing propers affiliate marketing strategies, modern businesses can gain tremendous traffic, leads, and conversions (with less effort) compared to other strategies. The importance of affiliate marketing in business growth is indispensable.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies for business: The win-win relationship
In essence, the relationship between a business and affiliates/ publishers is a win-win.
Applying Affiliate Program means that the retailers are focusing on build a representative sales force professionally. The team sale will assist you to expand the awareness of your brand as well as achieve the target of your sales. Besides, the outstanding benefit is Affiliates may be on behalf of you to care new orders directly and carefully as one-one rule in Customer Care service.
In Affiliate Marketing, Affiliates have a great influence on the result of the marketing campaign, so the rewards for Affiliates is worthy of concerning. Affiliates will receive the commission if they have the order from their friends who they have referred before.
For Referred Visitor
Those who buy any products through Affiliate link, the best price is offered for them with a huge discount amount. Especially, they also have opportunities to become Affiliates and have a great chance to get more rights as normal.
Both businesses and merchants will join in an affiliate network where merchants upload their products, and affiliates can select ones to promote amongst hundreds of offers. Still, publishers can always work directly with the advertiser or merchants.
If your store is running Magento platform, you can try Build affiliate program with Magento 2 Affiliate extension.
Principal components in Affiliate Network
Affiliate Marketing builds the network relying on the rights and responsibilities of Affiliates. The following diagram describes all:
In the picture, five elements are participating in process working of Affiliate Marketing, they are Merchants, Products, Affiliate Networks, Affiliates, and Commissions.
The first, the Merchants will create and sell their products to the target market and build an Affiliate Networks for own. People who create an account and joins in the networks are Affiliates working as a the merchants’ collaborators.
Next, Affiliates will use available tools like links, banners, email from Affiliate Networks to promote the products. Affiliates are in charge of sending to friends and encouraging them to buy. In case there is a successful purchase from Affiliate’s customer, the order enclosing the name of referrer is transferred to the merchant. From the dealer, the Affiliate Network receive the notification of sales to proceed and then give commission for the Affiliates. That is the significant benefits for Affiliates.
Moreover, Affiliate Network will take over Merchants’ management Affiliate Program such as following and evaluating the results or solving the conflict.
What is an affiliate marketing strategy?
Affiliate marketing strategy is the process that merchants find and partner with different affiliates to promote their business, products, or services. A comprehensive affiliate marketing strategy typically includes:
Choose products or services for promoting via affiliates
Set the type of affiliate payment model (Pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, pay-per-sale)
Decide different commission tiers for different level of affiliates
Expand your affiliate network
The key of a powerful affiliate marketing strategy lies in how you can take advantage of affiliates to maximize your profit with minimal effort by, for instance:
Modifying the commission structure to entice more affiliates to join your affiliate programs
Optimize your landing pages or product pages to better convert leads collected from affiliates into customers
Create more compelling deals and offers that your affiliates promote to the targeted groups and so forth
Best affiliate marketing strategies for business growth
The appearance of affiliate marketing is not new in any type of industry. A brand considers affiliate marketing as one potentially lucrative revenue stream by partnering with various affiliates.
However, it takes a lot more than just investing in some random affiliates or publishers in order to succeed in the billion-dollar affiliate marketing industry. To drive the best results, having a well-developed affiliate marketing strategy is a must.
Partner with high reputation affiliates
Affiliate reputation has a significant role in the sales conversation, especially when you’re a small and infamous brand.
The best way is to choose to cooperate with publishers with an already established reputation and an engaged audience who trust them. Apparently, there’s no harm for you to do business with affiliates having solid recognition by their followers.
The question is: How can you define potential affiliates that help you gain maximum conversion? To evaluate the potential of a publisher, check whether that affiliate:
- Have a good rapport with their audience
- Positively or negatively mentioned on the Internet
- Other factors: site ranking, views, number of followers on social media profiles, views, engagement, and authority
Take Neil Patel as an example in terms of Marketing. Neil Patel is recognized as one best marketers that’s on:
- Top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama
- Top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations
His content system is so broad that you can find his articles on the top 10 positions when you search any marketing-related terms. This makes him an extremely potential candidate for your affiliate programs in the marketing aspects.
Leverage your content marketing
For any business that taps into the affiliate marketing industry and expects revenue, content marketing is indispensable for a high-effective affiliate marketing strategy.
Though affiliate marketers are responsible for promoting your products, you can’t rely entirely on your affiliates and wait for sales to come in.
Even when affiliates successfully bring interesting perspectives to your landing pages or product pages, your job is to convert them into customers. To ensure the success of each generated leads from affiliate marketers, make sure:
- Your site loading speed is fast (1-2 seconds)
- Your website content is informative and relevant to your target audience’s needs
- Display high-quality and attractive product photos
- Feature customer reviews to build trust
Optimizing website content and product pages will, for sure, give a boost to your affiliate marketing strategies and get more conversions in the long-run.
Align that payment model with affiliate marketing strategy’s goals
The truth is that consumers don’t always buy products from affiliates. Based on the payment model you choose, how your affiliates work and how you achieve specific customers’ actions are different.
In affiliate marketing, publishers get paid in 3 primary ways:
Pay per sale (standard affiliate marketing structure): The merchant pays their affiliates a (%) of the product’s sale price after a successful purchase is recorded from that affiliate
Pay per click: This type is more simple than the “Pay per lead model.” Affiliates only need to redirect customers from their platforms or social accounts to the merchant’s website and get paid based on the increase in web traffic
Pay per lead: Affiliates get paid based on the number of leads they earn. To earn a commission, they must successfully lead consumers to the merchant’s website and persuade them to complete the desired action (submitting a form, signing up for a trial, downloading a file, etc.)
Each model comes with different levels of complication, difficulties, and requirements for the affiliates. Obviously, convincing a customer to sign up for a product trial or purchase is far more challenging than just redirecting them to a website.
The key is to make your affiliate program lucrative enough for incentivizing people to join without it draining your budget.
Go on niche influencers
Getting people to click on a banner ad or make a purchase via recommendation can be a daunting task for regular affiliate marketers. It’s much smoother when it comes to niche influencers.
Influencers also have a more authentic and perceived relationship with their fans. Therefore, they can effectively get their followers to trust your brand and convince them to take specific “brand’s desired actions.”
That explains why most huge brands choose to collaborate with a large number of social media influencers and bloggers in their niches.
For instance, Yeehaw Cowboy - a retailer that manufactures and sells cowboy boots and apparel. In 2019, they partnered with Jeremiah Craig, whose videos are mostly about country music and cowboy boots. This cooperation gave Yeehaw Cowboy over $58.000 of revenue.
Effective use of influencers on your affiliate marketing strategy involves:
A deep understanding of your audience - Define the target audience for products you want to promote and who are influencers in this niche?
The influencer profile - Whether their reputation and image are relevant to your products and brand messages, etc.
The leads or traffic generated by niche influencers is highly targeted and potentially converted into sales.
Sometimes, celebrities are actually not a good choice for affiliates, but micro-influencers. Those who have fewer followers but more likely to help you gain genuine engagement with your target audience.
Invest in Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO matters for any business, even affiliate marketing. Focusing on SEO can leverage your whole affiliate marketing strategy though it definitely takes time and effort to see final results.
We all know PPC campaigns are effective in promoting any product or service to its right audience. All you need is a detailed understanding of who your target is and their mutual characteristics to set ads.
However, it’s challenging to maintain your income-expense rate via only PPC campaigns. Furthermore, you might end up spending more than what you earn for several reasons:
High bird cost for keyword targeting ads
Inexperienced in optimizing ad cost
Intense competition with sellers who have a similar target audience as yours
SEO is a perfect approach for your affiliate marketing strategy when you’re just a seller with no reputation compared to those who have a long presence in the marketplace.
Via affiliate’s recommendation, a prospective buyer might get interested in your product and search for your brand on Google. Then, a high-ranking page apparently is more convincing.
Leverage affiliate promotions via multiple sources
When developing their affiliate marketing strategy, most merchants’ common mistake is to focus their resources on only one source or coupon sites.
Still, it’s a wastage of marketing resources since you can reach out to more audiences through affiliates from multiple sources. Some potential sources to leverage affiliate promotions:
Product review blogs: You can actively approach a review-focused affiliate blog to promote your product more effectively. This affiliate group is potential for driving customers who’re really interested in using your products or services
Webinars: Experts whose webinars’ topic relevant to your niche can be great candidates for your affiliate program due to its highly targeted lead generation
Social media: Most micro-influencers use social media as their first starting point and engage with the followers. Get your products featured by social media influencers can give you exponential results
Email marketing: Partner with affiliates who already have a massive list of email subscribers in your niche is excellent in helping you drive more conversions
Incorporating multiple platforms into your affiliate programs helps you approach a much broader audience and drive your affiliate marketing strategies’ best results. You can also help analyze which platform your audience is most engaged for further modification.
Get conversions via exclusive discounts and deals
One of the best ways to support your affiliate’s sales efforts is to leverage exclusive coupons and deals. Customers love great deals!
Promoting deals and coupons is not a new sales tactic but is still effective in acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. You can implement your affiliate marketing strategy with coupons, deals, and promotions via 2 approaches:
Send affiliates trackable discounts so that they can increase the power of their own sales strategies
Connect with high-quality “coupon and deal” websites with authenticity to publish your discount codes, for instance, Groupon or Offers.com
Coupons work best in highly competitive markets like food, beauty, gadgets, or travel. Still, it’s essential to manage these discount codes since they can possibly eat into your margins.
Join in an affiliate network
If you just joined a marketplace (a complete unknown), it can be tough to recruit your first few affiliates by yourself. You can start by being a member of a popular affiliate marketing network, where you offer affiliate program opportunities to a vast community of affiliate marketers.
For those who want to build their own affiliate network, it might be challenging to recruit the first few affiliates. So you should:
Inform your potential affiliates of all essential information related to your affiliate programs, including commissions, detailed tasks, benefits, etc.
Encourage your affiliates to recruit more sub-affiliates to earn a small commission for each purchase their sub-affiliates generate
Reward your most loyal affiliates with a much higher commission rate compared to others or offer them special incentives like free delivery every month or shopping discounts
Offer a high commission rate to attract more affiliates marketers to your affiliate program
Take advantage of Affiliate system to manage all your affiliate programs
For instance, Amazon Associates, which has over 900,000 affiliates, promotes various products listed on the eCommerce site. One of the largest and the most successful online affiliate programs around the world. Also, you can build your affiliate program for Magento store with extension from Mageplaza.
These affiliate marketing strategies can help you build a strong network and encourage affiliates to give their best shots.
Savvy affiliate marketing tactics for publishers
Have a deep understanding of the affiliate products
Focus on building one established traffic source
Enhance your knowledge of the target audience
Optimize your product page for conversions
Tailor your products to the right audience
Tap in micro-niche that’s less competitive and build your rapport
Build a sense of authenticity
Use the viral trends on a short-time basis.
Make use of auto-optimization options offered by affiliate software to stay on top of your business and protect yourself from losing money when you sleep
Affiliate Marketing strategy: Change or Chance?
If you’re interested in tapping into this lucrative revenue stream of affiliate marketing, this post is definitely a handy guide you should not miss.
Though the influence of affiliate marketing is prominent, it’s up to you to choose the right affiliates, channels, and affiliate marketing strategies to boost conversions.
The world of marketing has never stopped changing. Can you take the fullest potential out of affiliate marketing? The question is up to you.
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