You’ve probably heard about affiliate marketing from your friends or colleagues. And you’re thinking about integrating it in your marketing strategy, which is a great option seeing as how it’s a popular method of maximizing your web content. The profit it generates helps you get a proper return on investment over time.
One beauty of affiliate marketing is that it has advantages for every party involved. So regardless of what end of the funnel you’re on, you have a lot to gain if implemented. Having an affiliate marketing funnel comes with endless benefits. In this post, I’ll be showing you why it’s an excellent approach for your business.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a method where an affiliate advertises a business in return for a commission once a sale happens. An affiliate in this context will be someone who has an incredible network or a vast digital marketing skill that can drive quintessential traffic and conversions to a business site.
Think of your web content as a guesthouse in an estate which is either your website or blog. Why keep it to yourself when it can be advertised for the entire web to see? With affiliate marketing, you’d reduce the number of sight-seers you get and replace them with actual visitors who’d want to patronise your guest house. And that’s just it. Rather than being in a bubble of your current marketing strategy, you can reach a large number of customers you ordinarily wouldn’t get.
The partnership between an affiliate marketer and an advertiser is crucial because it focuses primarily on sales and not just traffic. It’s getting both parties to focus on improving the quality of the brand to get actual customers in the long run. An affiliate marketer focuses on getting customers so he/she can get their commission.
Plus it doesn’t just end online. Affiliate marketing can drive conversions offline if the business is interested in that sector. It means getting physical customers that come to visit the store. And that’s where an affiliate marketing funnel comes in.
Key Players You Need in Your Affiliate Marketing Funnel
We have four significant players in affiliate marketing, and they are the advertisers, publishers, affiliate programs and consumers.
An advertiser is a business interested in advertising their products/service through affiliate marketing.
Publishers refer to the affiliate marketers, also known as affiliates who use their platforms and network to promote advertiser’s products and services in return for a commission on sales.
The affiliate programs are companies that link the advertisers with the publishers. They are like an outsourcing firm who either get paid for this connection or get their percentage from the publisher’s commission. What is vital here is that they are responsible for disbursing commissions to the publishers.
Finally, the consumers are the stakeholders who will click on the campaigns and links advertised on the web. These are everyday people who simply use the internet for their daily activities.
An example of a business that has grown through affiliate marketing is Amazon. Till today, amazon is the biggest affiliate program the world has ever seen.
Affiliate Marketing Funnel
Your affiliate marketing funnel is a type of sales funnels crafted to show the step-by-step process of affiliate marketing. Like every other sales funnel, this type highlights all the goals and what measures are in place to reach the listed target. It’s a guide for both affiliate marketers, advertisers, and business owners to follow through. That way, no one deviates from the plan.
How does an affiliate marketing funnel work for beginners?
To create an effective affiliate marketing funnel, you need to understand how affiliate marketing works in general. So here is a quick summary on affiliate marketing in five easy steps;
1. There’s a meeting between the affiliate marketer and the advertiser. It either happens directly or through an affiliate program. Here, you set goals, and the funnel goes into motion.
2. A partnership begins as the publisher advertises the product to its consumer network through a link or ad.
3. Consumer leads engage with the ads and get to the advertiser’s landing page, where the conversion process begins.
4. Here, they choose to buy and complete the sales funnel process or completely abandon it.
5. Once a consumer makes a purchase, the advertiser records a sales, and the publisher gets his commission.
So, when crafting an affiliate marketing funnel, it might vary in steps. A lot more is either added or not. However, the above listed will always be the guide, and the goal never changes. It’s always getting as many sales as possible.
Benefits of an Affiliate Marketing Funnel to Your Business
There are several benefits of integrating an affiliate marketing funnel to your overall marketing strategy. As a business owner, you’ll be the advertiser. It might seem a little discouraging when you learn you have to pay affiliates to market your product when you can do that yourself. However, there’s a significant difference in not just the quantity of sales you’ll get but also the quality. Here are a few advantages you’ll get with an affiliate marketing funnel.
1. High customer acquisition and conversion
When you use affiliate marketing funnel as opposed to the conventional sales funnel, there’s a big difference in the quality of sales you get. It is because affiliate marketers are only interested in getting sales since that’s the only way they get paid. Rather than pouring so much effort into ads and filtering so many leads, affiliate marketing will get you the actual customers.
The setback with acquiring new customers is that they need to trust your brans well enough to convert. By using an affiliate in your strategy, that’ll significantly reduce. It is because affiliates have spent so much time gathering a network that already trusts their judgement. So when a lead comes through an affiliate, the conversion won’t take a lot of time.
Once you use the right ads, one affiliate campaign can bring so many prospective leads way higher than what your conventional marketing funnel will. Plus even if the affiliate directs cold leads your way, you can develop those leads overtime into actual paying customers. Since it’s a continuous passive marketing strategy, your business gets advertised for every hour of the day. Which is highly beneficial if you’re looking at expansion.
So if you’re focused on acquiring new customers, affiliate marketing is the perfect strategy for your business.
2. Minimal costs and guaranteed ROI
The amount of money spent on crafting an effective sales funnel isn’t little, especially if you’re using paid ads. Instead of asking or splurging a high advertising budget to acquire new customers, try something else. With minimal costs, you can get the same number of leads through your affiliate marketing funnel.
When accumulated the cost per clicks might not end up giving you a profitable ROI, your investment on affiliate marketing is a fixed price. And you’re of course, sure of a guaranteed ROI. Once a funnel is in motion, you can calculate the total amount that’ll go on this project.
Marketing affiliates are being paid based on their performance. It means they usually market your products 24/7, which is cheaper to maintain than your conventional sales team. If you’re a new business, it’s only natural to save costs to increase sustainability.
Most times, the investment on affiliate marketing is the commission you give out to marketers or the affiliate programs. Since you already know how much it’s going to amount to every time, it’s easy to just add it to the price of the product/service. Saving cost without realizing it. What you’d be more focused on is optimising your landing page and creating the ads. You don’t directly pay for leads that won’t convert, which is a win-win if you ask me.
3. Improved quality of products and service
Before you qualify to use affiliate marketing, your product has to fit into a type of description. It’s because affiliates have grown to create a network that trusts their recommendations. So ordinarily before they accept your partnership, the commission has to either be worth it or your product fits into the perfect description of what they are looking for.
It translates to a proper depiction of your brand to drive affiliates to your business. You’ll focus on using the right links, advertising the best features and offering sustainability for your target audience. If you don’t already have this in place, you’d want to do a little rebranding to make this possible. And rebranding always has a positive long term effect on your business. After all, you can’t advertise a product that won’t attract customers in the first place.
Also, you stand to become a worthy competitor to other brands. Since not every company uses affiliate marketing or at least in a way that optimises their business, you’d gain a lot when you do. From learning a solid base to gaining connections, you’re one step ahead. Plus there’s always competition for getting the best publisher, which won’t be a problem if you built a good relationship with yours.
4. Improved brand visibility and SEO
Having an affiliate marketing sales funnel helps you focus on improving your brand visibility. With so many well-ranking affiliates, you get your products advertised to all the corners of the web. So where you wouldn’t reach through your traditional advertising methods, affiliate marketing will take you there. Since search engines crawl over the internet to get relevant content for ranking, your chances increase with this visibility.
Affiliates use methods like content, email and social media marketing to attract customers to your site. These are techniques usually used in conventional marketing. However this time, you’re letting your affiliates do this with their mailing list and blogs. Also, the more leads and conversions you get, the higher your SEO rating which is excellent since building SEO takes time.
5. Influencer connections and networks
Affiliate marketing doesn’t just get the target audience directly. Sometimes it goes through social media influencers. These influencers usually market a particular type of product that fits your brand description. For instance, contacting a social media fitness influencer about your running shoes brand. Their followers are your target audience in this case, and while it might be difficult to amass that type of following as a brand, it is easier to convince them to check out your site. This is just one example. Think about how man influencers your brand will network with over time.
Sometimes, you stand a chance of reaching an entirely new set of audience you might have had a hard time reaching. Through an influencer affiliate, you can easily reach and market your brand. It opens up your chances of getting other influencers to work with you. There are also recommendations if your affiliate doesn’t cover what you currently need.
Asides from the services they have to offer, you stand to learn a lot from your affiliates. You’d see what their data is like, how they communicate with their leads as well as how to effectively target the right audience. Their style of marketing has to do with keeping up with what is always trending. You can discover new marketing trends through careful observation. With the knowledge you gain from them, you can improve your other sales channels. Remember, you’re building long-term relationships with your affiliates. The more optimised your entire brand is, the more you tend to get the best out of every campaign.
6. Easy maintenance
Like many other strategies, affiliate marketing needs proper management to thrive.
However, unlike the rest managing your funnel is relatively easy. Using an affiliate program is even more comfortable. Once the partnership and networking begins, you’d gain access to as many as possible.
A perk is that your funnel gives room to accommodate as many marketers as you’d prefer. You also have a dashboard that helps you track the metrics each affiliate brings to your site. Observing the leads in the funnel along with how they convert can help you create standard your subsequent affiliates would have to uphold. Finally, it is easy to detect fraud and cut them off completely. Because bots can only do so much, they won’t buy your product/service.
Your funnel is the guide that lets you define your goals and how you’re reaching them. The benefits of incorporating affiliate marketing funnel are unending. And although having an affiliate marketing funnel shouldn’t be your primary source of prospective conversions, it still makes an essential strategy that’ll do the heavy lifting of your customer acquisition.