Affiliate marketing is often associated with fly-by-night companies selling cure-all elixirs in need of some spunky representatives. Or élite groups with significant buy-ins that MAY pay off if you are industrious enough. As a result, many are unaware of affiliate marketing’s potential for almost any organization. Below are five ways affiliate marketing works for any brand:
Assuming that you have defined your potential customers, you have discovered the audience that is most receptive to your brand. You know what they want, what they expect and can even predict future behaviors (go you!). Despite this, you have hit a wall with your marketing. You are not seeing the same returns and struggle to attract new customers. Affiliate marketing offers a unique way to connect with a new people who may benefit from your services or products. For example, a flower shop could partner with an arts organization to teach flower arrangement classes. This partnership places the business in front of an audience it does not typically reach. It also positions the shop as an expert in its field, which brings us to the next tip:
Create Industry Expert Status
Expertise is a valuable commodity for any organization. The more you know, the better you and your brand perform. It also boosts visibility and earns respect from industry peers. This creates a positive reputation that people value and trust. However, this can be time-consuming, and the learning curve for certain topics is steep. With affiliate marketing, you can partner with a similar brand and combine your knowledge for mutual expert status. One way to accomplish this is through webinars. Webinars are low-cost and relatively easy to create with the proper planning. They also can be recorded and reused for future content. And big bonus, partnering with another organization means less work for you. Webinars can even be used to upsell prospects on certain products and services. A perfect lead up to the next tip (see what I’m doing, here?):
Even if you have figured out what sells best for your audience, additional revenue streams maximizes your profit. Affiliate marketing provides this in a few different ways. In the case of a co-hosted webinar, you can sell something of your already have or offer something created specifically for the webinar. If we refer back to the flower shop example, events and workshops are another way to earn some extra money. You could also bundle complimentary services. For example, if you are an event planner, you could partner with a photographer to provide inclusive packages. And of course, there is always the more traditional form of affiliate marketing, where people sign up to sell your products and services. Discover what works best for you and your organization. Also, do not limit yourself to one option. Try all of it or invent your own special program. The only limit is your imagination (okay, cheesy, but you get the point). And now, let’s move on to our next point:
Minimizes Acquisition Efforts
While it costs less to keep existing customers than get new ones, you have to get them somehow. Otherwise, your brand will stagnate and die. Affiliate marketing is a great way to get new leads at minimal cost. Let’s say you are a real estate agent and do a webinar series with an interior designer about house staging. Through this series, you connect with people who may have been unaware of your services. You also get a shiny new e-mail list that you can then use to qualify leads. Additionally, your partnership with the interior decorator means their new clients could become yours as well. And as mentioned previously, offering inclusive or discount services together lightens the load for both parties. It’s a win-win when executed correctly. Before you know it, you will have a little elite group of savvy, like-minded individuals dedicated to success. Which takes us to the last and final reason to use affiliate marketing:
Develops A Network Of Partners
We all get by with a little help from our friends, right? What if those friends could be fellow professionals with amazing skill-sets and ideas to match? What are the possibilities when you combine your powers of ingenuity? Developing a network of partners can transform your entire brand. You create a resource you can rely on for other aspects of your organization. This could range from employee retention to operational procedures. You know that accountant you hired that you can never get on the phone?One of your new partners has a great accountant and is more than willing to share the wealth, so to speak. This network can become whatever you want it to be and can change over time. Just make sure that it is ethical and mutually beneficial.
Affiliate marketing can grow your organization in unexpected ways. Figure out what works best for you. Do not be afraid to be bold with your program. Make it as unique as your brand.
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