There are lots of myths out there surrounding affiliate marketing, and these can frequently cause brands/businesses to pass on these kinds of programs. It’s important you understand some of these myths so you can make the correct decisions for the future growth of your business.
Whether you’re the brand manager at a Fortune 100 brand or the marketing director/everything else at a startup, setting up a solid affiliate program can open a revenue avenue without much of the hassle usually associated with setting up new marketing initiatives.
1. Affiliate systems are quick and easy to manage
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there’s a lot of competition so you’re not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
The affiliate marketing business relies on fostering relationships. You foster these relationships by:
*Bringing the right partners into your program
*Seeking out better and more efficient partnerships
*Updating your content regularly to keep things new and fresh.
An affiliate program is only going to help bring traffic to your website or business; you are in charge of turning that traffic into conversions.
2. You need to work in a very popular and lucrative niche to make affiliate marketing work for your business.
A lot of companies do not even bother trying an affiliate marketing program because they think their market is too little. Some companies will try and break into bigger niches even if they don’t have any interest in the market niche.
It is true that popular niches do better with affiliate marketing, but that doesn’t mean you do not have a chance at success. Stay in line with the goals and mission statement of your company and find affiliates who understand the relevance of working in a market where you are comfortable.
3. Affiliate marketing is a strategy of yesterday
Due to Google’s new algorithms for SEO, link building is becoming outdated which can discourage affiliate activity. Even if this is the case, there are many new ways to use SEO and build your brand.
You might come across a couple of link problems with Google if you are not managing your program, but for the most part the entire notion of affiliate marketing still makes sense to Google –it offers another relevant and related resource to consumers.
4. Success in affiliate marketing comes from getting your product on as many sites as possible
The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
The real deliverables will be dependent on locating the right affiliates, big or small, which drive results. According to the same study done by Three Ladders Marketing, the most traffic for affiliates were driven by SEO, 79% and social media, 60%.
Although studies show that affiliate marketing isn’t easy, as you remember to foster relationships, focus on your niche, focus on a few key affiliates, and create a system that generates performance for both the advertiser and the affiliate you can drive profit and conversions for your small business.
There are caution flags, however when it comes to affiliate marketing. In a piece late last year, Affiliate Theft Could Be Costing You Millions, Forbes contributor Jabez LeBret wrote of unscrupulous affiliate marketers’ tactics which cost brands and businesses millions of dollars every year.
LeBret adds that affiliate theft”…could be preventing you (brands/businesses) from beating profit expectations while making it difficult for you to properly allocate your marketing budget to programs that are working.