Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses – Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Model for Your Small Business
Online affiliate marketing for small businesses has exploded over the last five years. Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to generate an income online. In affiliate marketing programs, companies recruit qualified content creators such as bloggers, ebooks authors or vloggers to promote their services or products through affiliate links on their websites. Once a visitor or customer arrives at the website and clicks through the affiliate link, that visitor becomes a sponsor. Sponsors pay commissions for each visitor who signs up through their affiliate links, and are rewarded with a commission for every sale or lead that is generated through their links.
Because it is so easy to get started, affiliate marketing for small businesses is a good option for new entrepreneurs or new companies looking to enter the online marketplace. Many affiliates start their careers as independent contractors, earning small commissions from high traffic websites and blogs, and then monetizing their activities through monthly residual commissions. For many people this offers the perfect opportunity to work from home while making the most of what they already know. For others, however, there are many problems that must be overcome before affiliate marketing for small business will prove worthwhile.
The major problem with affiliate marketing for small businesses is that it is difficult to set up and maintain. Affiliates have to create content, build pages and keep track of sales and traffic, and then rely on the site owners to market the products or services offered. Most small businesses are unable to invest the time, money or effort into creating and maintaining an elaborate affiliate marketing program.
Another problem afflicting affiliate marketing for small businesses is that it tends to attract only a small percentage of the target market. The rest of the population is simply not interested in the products or services promoted by affiliate marketers. This means that affiliate marketers have to spend a lot of time and effort advertising to people who may not be interested in their offerings. Social media has helped solve this problem, but due to the inherent spam nature of social media, it can take a while to draw people to a particular page or participate in a particular conversation.
Another problem with affiliate marketing programs for small businesses is that the majority of affiliates don’t earn a very high commission. Because the competition is fierce, affiliates must do a great deal of work to attract potential customers, and then convince them to make a purchase. Many affiliate marketers have reported that even after putting in significant hours promoting affiliate programs, they still aren’t able to break even. These people often give up and move on to other ventures.
A final problem afflicting affiliate marketing programs for small businesses is that they can end up costing an affiliate a lot of money in the long run. It is important for an affiliate to understand that when they sign up for an affiliate network, they are agreeing to display advertisements for other companies for a fee. The fee that is charged for each advertisement will vary, but is usually a percentage of the overall sale. The longer the affiliate is engaged in promoting the company’s products, the more money that is going to be generated. However, even if they start out with a modest investment, the amount of time and effort required to keep up the promotions will cost them in the long run. Therefore, it is important for an affiliate to take a long term view of their endeavors, and realize that the initial outlay is going to cost them money in the long run.
One way that affiliate programs for small businesses can be made more affordable is through email marketing. Email marketing allows small businesses to market themselves in a way that would be impossible without a website. By setting up a simple website with few graphics, and creating a newsletter, an affiliate can communicate with their prospects over a few emails. By using the same website and newsletter, prospects can easily tell the difference between the real you, and the sales pitches of other affiliate marketers. This form of advertising is completely free, and the result is often very effective.
In order to promote a product for small business owners, the business owner must decide whether they want to have a pay per click campaign, a commission based program, or a combination of both. If they choose the pay per click campaign, they must then decide how much commission they want to receive, and what type of minimum commitments they are willing to make. If they choose a commission based program, they will need to sign up for an affiliate network in order to access the affiliate marketing networks. Finally, small businesses can also opt for a combination of different affiliate marketing models, and decide how much they are willing to invest in the programs. Regardless of which program they choose, the business owner is going to need to commit some time to learn all of the requirements needed to be successful.