Statista estimates that in 2022, affiliate marketing spending by U.S. businesses is expected to reach $8.2 billion, up from $5.4 billion in 2017.
Considering the increasing popularity of affiliate marketing, marketers need to adopt new affiliate marketing strategies that are effective in boosting sales.
Similar to the trend in the U.S., the global affiliate market is also booming. A report by Influencer Marketing Hub states that global spending in affiliate marketing is expected to reach $13B in 2022.
Image via Influencer Marketing Hub
Affiliate marketing can definitely drive sales and generate significant revenue for businesses.
In addition, it is an extremely cost-effective lead generation method where you pay for performance only. That is why more and more brands are using this performance-based marketing strategy more often.
But what is affiliate marketing?
Let’s find out.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing model where people who own products but don't have a captive audience can increase their market by collaborating with people who have an engaged audience but not a product.
It is a modern and tech-enabled version of commission selling. With this approach, brands (affiliate merchants) pay an affiliate marketer (i.e., influencer) a commission for every sale they make.
When consumers buy affiliate products from an affiliate website or social profile using a unique link, the affiliate earns a commission.
Here, influencers make ideal affiliate marketers because they come with a pre-built online audience.
Mostly, three or four parties are involved in affiliate marketing strategies, depending on the circumstance. The consumer pays for the product, and the other parties receive a portion of the money. The parties involved in these deals are as follows.
- Sellers/Brands: These are the firms that manufacture the goods that are for sale. These parties have multiple titles, i.e., creators, sellers, merchants, retailers, vendors, or brands.
- Affiliate Network: Affiliate networks gather a list of products for affiliates to sell and distribute them. These are the optional parties on this list as there are two types of product creators: those who work directly with affiliates and those who use an intermediary.
- Affiliate Marketer: An affiliate generates sales links on their websites or review sites to promote and generate sales for one or more products. These people encourage their online readers, viewers, or contacts to purchase the product. They’re also known as influencers.
- The consumer: At the end of the day, someone must purchase the items. The Consumer notices the affiliate marketers' suggestions, follows their customized links, and buys the items.
Here, the question many businesses have is how they can adopt affiliate marketing the best way. What are the best affiliate marketing strategies for 2023 and onwards? And most importantly, is it really worth spending on affiliate marketing?
Why You Should Start an Affiliate Program
An investment in affiliate marketing strategies can offer a substantial ROI while lowering the marketing risk, the required effort, and the required time, allowing a company to advertise a product effectively.
Here are the most common benefits of affiliate marketing for business strategies:
Doesn’t Require Upfront Marketing Investment
With effective affiliate marketing strategies, your affiliates will create and post content for you. This means you won't have to buy ad space, create ad visuals, or even hire sales teams.
Keeping the initial step of selecting and screening affiliates aside, little work is involved in marketing your products, which is why affiliate marketing strategies are so popular.
Once a firm is comfortable working with an affiliate and has built up a good relationship, it can let them market its services or products for the most part.
Easy to Maintain and Scale
Since most of your marketing activities and communications are handled by affiliate partners, they will bear the bulk of the cost.
Also, you can partner with as many affiliates as you want because it is a commission-based program, and you will only pay affiliates for sales they generate.
Unlike other marketing strategies, such as pay-per-click advertising campaigns, affiliate marketing makes it simple to keep track of expenses and does not impede your cash flow.
Using affiliates to promote a product or service has been shown to provide a much higher return on investment than most marketing strategies.
Since you personally select the affiliates, you can be sure that the traffic that comes to your site is made up of audiences who find your product or service valuable.
Affiliate marketing is particularly effective because your target audience will learn about your offerings from affiliates who are part of their social networks and interest.
Your marketing efforts are thus channeled through an affiliate who has direct access and influence over your target audience.
This creates the most cost-efficient stream of branding for brands that don't want to spend thousands of dollars on marketing.
Alright, the benefits of affiliate marketing seem promising. But how can you create the best affiliate marketing program? What are the best affiliate marketing strategies that can drive you faster revenue?
8 Best Performing Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Brands
Finding and partnering with different affiliates to promote their business, product, or service is part of an affiliate marketing strategy.
You can use the following affiliate marketing strategies to improve your sales and brand image:
1. Find the Right Affiliates
With affiliate marketing, you may use influencers to persuade people to buy from you.
If you want to influence your targeted consumers' purchasing decisions, you should partner with someone who has an active audience that trusts them.
For starters, using Fiverr Marketplace and Upfluence can help you find the right affiliates. These affiliate marketing tools can help you create processes for finding and employing high-performing affiliates at scale.
If you have trouble finding the right influencer/affiliate via Fiverr, you may use the following three strategies to find the right ones:
Reach Out to Niche Bloggers
Since bloggers/vloggers already have a built-in audience that trusts what they say, they can prove to be excellent affiliates for your marketing strategy.
If the right blogger endorses your product and posts an affiliate link to your website, this trust factor will lead hot clients straight to your door.
To search the niche blogger, you can search the following: [“your industry niche” “blog”]
Image via Google
You can even search for your industry on YouTube and find popular vloggers in your niche.
Image via YouTube
Once you've identified the affiliates you'd like to work with, it's time to contact them directly. Look at their about/contact page or social media accounts to find out how to reach them.
Do note that the first message is the ideal chance to make a connection and inform them about the advantages of working with you as an affiliate.
So, don't be generic; describe how the partnership will benefit them and how their content will (or will not) assist your company.
Joint Venture with Similar but Non-Competing Websites
When you’re looking for bloggers to write for you, you may come across websites that match your niche and have the same audience but aren’t competitors. It is one of the most effective affiliate marketing strategies.
You can ask if they’d be willing to advertise your offerings using an affiliate link. By collaborating with these websites and cross-promoting each other’s businesses (as part of a joint venture), everyone wins.
For instance, if you’re into hospitality, you can partner with a travel company. They can promote your hotels by using an affiliate link in their blogs and video recommendations.
Image via Greater Miami & Miami Beach
Work with an Affiliate Agency
Finding the right affiliate service provider is perfect for brands that want to grow their affiliate networks.
Although end-to-end affiliate marketing services are included with affiliate agency services, you may only ask them to locate the right cohort of affiliates.
While you are in charge of managing the strategic aspects of affiliate marketing, affiliate agencies may still assist with how to design an attractive offer and commission structure to entice prospective customers.
Through their connections, they can also negotiate better terms with affiliates.
2. Leverage Discount Coupons, Deals, and Offers
Coupons continue to be popular in the digital age, even when people only save a few dollars. In fact, 60% of online shoppers worldwide search for coupons before purchasing online.
Coupons are excellent because they not only save money but can also be measured.
Due to their manageability and affordability, coupons allow you to distribute them in more locations. Also, coupons can encourage previous customers to return while acquiring new customers.
In markets that are extremely competitive, such as food, beauty, travel, or gadgets, coupons are the most effective. And Groupon and Offers.com are among the coupon websites you can use for your affiliate marketing strategies.
Image via Groupon
However, you must be cautious when using them, as an extravagant discount offer might eat up your profits. You should choose a small number of quality sites for your coupon affiliate marketing efforts.
Also, try to identify where their visitors come from. For example, do they rely heavily on search traffic or have their own user base?
Lastly, ensure that the site is genuine before using their coupons. Try using their coupons for a few well-known brands to see if they work. If they don’t, it’s a warning sign.
3. Partner with Niche Influencers
In recent years, influencer marketing has grown beyond a marketing buzzword. Brands are constantly learning to employ this resource for their referral strategies.
This is because influencers have more genuine connections with their followers. Hence, they can effectively get their audience to trust your company and encourage them to utilize your products or services.
Even though coupon sites send a lot of visitors, they don't send a targeted audience. You can boost your conversion rates by establishing effective affiliate partnerships with influencers.
Image via Instagram
Some influencers are even willing to offer their services for complimentary products or a portion of each sale they drive, although most expect monetary compensation.
One challenge brands face while partnering with influencers for their affiliate marketing strategies is – how to track the sales.
You can track how many sales an influencer drives for your website using tools like LinkTrust and Google Analytics. With just a click, you can see where their traffic and sales come from.
4. Leverage Multiple Sources for Affiliate Promotions
When creating an affiliate marketing strategy, most merchants make the mistake of concentrating on only one source or coupon website.
The following are some possible sources to utilize for affiliate promotions.
- Product review blogs/vlogs: An active review-focused affiliate blog or vlog can help you drive more customers to your product or service. This affiliate group can capture customers actively seeking products or services to consume.
- Social media platforms: Social media is where most influencers, aka digital celebrities, engage with their followers. Therefore, working with social media influencers can result in a significant increase in sales for your business.
- Webinars: A well-tailored affiliate program can be built around webinars from experts in your field since these lead generation campaigns are highly targeted.
- Email marketing: Your affiliate marketing strategies should include affiliates with an extensive list of niche-specific email subscribers.
Having multiple platforms in your affiliate marketing strategy will allow you to target a wide variety of consumers and achieve the highest affiliate marketing performance.
You can also identify which platform your audience is most engaged with so that you can further customize your strategy.
5. Diversify Your Affiliate Program
An investor's diversified investment portfolio reduces financial risk. Similarly, diversifying your affiliate program is beneficial.
It is a great start to rely on one to two affiliates, but it may not be a sustainable affiliate marketing strategy in the long run.
A diversified affiliate program is the best way to maximize program potential. It can also help you reach new audiences and create future opportunities.
With this affiliate marketing strategy, researching prospective affiliates and establishing a connection with them on their own platforms is essential. You should recruit more affiliates and review the existing affiliate mix every quarter.
Also, designate a marketing strategy for every affiliate. Determine which promotions would be appropriate and effective for each class, and specify a target return on investment.
If an affiliate marketing campaign has performed well over a specific period, consider expanding your advertising effort.
It would be great if you could share some information about your affiliate programs' results. Your peers may benefit from the solution, and it can be a great collaboration opportunity.
6. Build a Large Affiliate Network
Building your own affiliate network is a relatively better strategy than joining various affiliate networks.
Although, when you first start recruiting affiliates, it can be difficult. But making your approach clear and straightforward to attract affiliates can ease the process.
You can provide your potential affiliates with all the information they need, such as how it works, how to do it, and how much commission you will pay. Also, it would be best to encourage your affiliates to recruit additional sub-affiliates.
With this affiliate marketing strategy, spending some time to reward and appreciate your most dedicated affiliates is critical. You should track their performance and gauge the long-term value of clients they bring to your business.
7. Choose the Best Affiliate Marketing Platform
You may have a tough time recruiting your first few affiliates if you just joined a marketplace that isn’t popular.
To begin, you may join well-known affiliate marketing networks where you offer affiliate program options to a large group of affiliate marketers.
Amazon Associates is one of the world's largest and most successful online affiliate programs. The platform has over 900,000 affiliates promoting various items offered on the web store.
Image via Amazon Associates
There are dozens of networks and platforms you can use for your affiliate marketing strategies. Other than Amazon, ShareASale is another popular affiliate network.
There are over 4,500 affiliate programs listed on ShareASale. Where Amazon Associates is dedicated exclusively to Amazon goods, ShareASale has affiliate programs for nearly everything.
Here are some more affiliate marketing platforms you can consider for your strategies:
- Awin (Formerly Affiliate Window)
- CJ Affiliate (Formerly Commission Junction)
- Rakuten Marketing (Formerly LinkShare)
- Avangate Affiliate Network
8. Make Your Customers Your Affiliates
Customers can be some of the best affiliates for your product or service if you ask them nicely. Unfortunately, this method is often neglected, but it is one of the most effective.
Delighted customers are more likely to recommend your product to family and friends, and earning money while doing so is even better.
There are high chances that your customers are using Facebook or Instagram.
And given the fact that an average Facebook user has 245 friends and the average friend on Facebook has 359 friends, you can reach 500+ people with this strategy.
Every order confirmation or delivery email you send to your customer can be used to mention your affiliate network.
If your customer is pleased with your product or service, there is a good chance that they will be happy to promote it.
However, before requesting that your customers recommend your product to their family and friends, ensure they are pleased with the item or service. You should have fantastic and active customer service to address any customer difficulties.
Q1. What is the difference between an affiliate marketing network and a program?
A. Affiliate networks are platforms that connect marketers and companies. You can use an affiliate network for your strategy get in touch with influencers and ask them to promote your products. One example of this is Amazon Associates.
Whereas affiliate programs are run by individual brands to enforce their strategies. You can establish your own affiliate program and invite affiliates to promote your products.
These affiliates profit by selling affiliate products through their links as with a network. For example, you can create your own affiliate program with Easy Affiliate plugin for WordPress.
Q2. What is the best strategy for affiliate marketing?
A. Following affiliate marketing strategies are among the most promising ones:
- Partner with niche bloggers
- Joint venture with similar but non-competing websites
- Leverage discount coupons, deals, and offers
- Partner with niche influencers
- Leverage multiple sources for affiliate promotions
- Diversify your affiliate program
- Build a large affiliate network
- Choose the best affiliate marketing platform
- Make your customers your affiliates
Q3. What are the 3 pillars of affiliate marketing?
A. Following are the three pillars of affiliate marketing:
- Merchants: The brand that wants to market its products.
- Affiliates: People who encourage their audience to purchase the products.
- Consumers: People who buy the products using the affiliate link provided by affiliates.
Q4. What is an affiliate marketing strategy?
A. There are numerous ways to utilize affiliate marketing, and these are known as affiliate marketing strategies. An affiliate marketing strategy can also suggest the type of payment structure the brand should offer to the affiliates.
Pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-sale are all common payment models.
Q5. What are affiliate links, and why should I use them?
A. An affiliate link is a URL that directs customers to a company's website or product sales page. It is composed of a company's domain name followed by tracking parameters.
Here is an example: www.yourdomain.com/tr4ck4n98p421m3939s
Using affiliate links, you can monitor your conversions and affiliate marketing strategy performance. In addition, affiliates are compensated based on the number of clicks, sales, and leads they generate through the affiliate link.
Q6. What are the top tools I can use for my affiliate marketing strategies?
A. Following are the top 5 tools you can use for your affiliate marketing strategies:
- Post Affiliate Pro
Affiliate marketing strategies work like a charm if they're focused on the target customer base. Many affiliate marketers leverage affiliate promotions and strategies to drive greater business revenues.
Moreover, the importance of affiliate marketing is clear, but you must choose the best affiliates, channels, and affiliate marketing strategies to boost conversions.
If you need any assistance in finding the right affiliates and creating an affiliate strategy, feel free to reach out to us for affiliate marketing services. We’re experts in creating performance-oriented affiliate marketing strategies.