Whether you’re putting together a business plan for your own start-up or you’ve been in business for years, building an affiliate network or creating an affiliate marketing program is a great way to jump start or grow your business.
First Things First
Building an affiliate network starts with a fantastic product or service. Without that, no amount of marketing will suffice. The great news is, you probably already know which is why you’re looking to start up a company of your own or looking for ways to expand. Once you have your killer product/service nailed down, do some research on your market and product. One good way to do some testing and see what’s happening with your product is to conduct your own PPC or Pay Per Click ads. Google Adwords has its own manual to help you get started, and you’ll be able to determine which keywords to use, which campaigns would be a good fit, manage a workable budget, and to understand your buyers’ trends and behaviors. You’ll also need this info because it’s guaranteed your potential affiliates will want to know what’s in it for them other than a small commission. This will armor you with the answers.
Building an Online Presence
Gaining insight to product research on things like keywords, audience trends, and conversions rates, you’ll be equipped to either invest time or money into SEO, or Search Engine, Optimization. SEO is free to do and can have an impact on how your buyers/customers can find you, but it does take some time and staff resources. SEO will also help you tie your online presences together to created a uniformed, branded, view of your company to help expand your base customer reach. Finally, launch some promotions to get your name out there. Think of big discounts, giving away a free item with purchase, or partnering with a company or organization similar to your business vision with an established brand.
Navigating the Affiliate Network
Find some credible, well-established affiliates, make a personable and unique impression by combining all your notes and research to provide to them with your goal for that specific affiliate. Make your initial contact stand out by incorporating how you think the affiliate can help accomplish your business goal. If you can’t answer this question, you need to find affiliates that can help you answer this question. Your product analysis will also help you determine a commission you’re comfortable with. If you know you’re product is selling in large quantities, you can offer a lower commission because you can show the sales are coming in. If your sales aren’t coming in, in as large of quantities, try offering a larger commission to get sales tape rolling and give the affiliate some incentive. Standard commissions are 5–10% at the low end and 25–30% at the take-notice end.
The Buck Doesn’t Stop There
Unfortunately, the online world of customers is ever evolving and therefore, so should you. Even if you reach your goals, you’ll want to continue testing audiences behaviors and staying up on industry trends because technology keeps topping itself. A few great ways to do this are to join affiliate communities, ask questions, learn as much as you can, and eventually offer your expertise. Keep running your PPC ads and analyzing the data. Consistently monitor your affiliate conversions, and try to narrow down your niche audience. Keep expanding SEO and your online presence as much as makes sense. Focus on what’s working, pour more resources into those revenue streams, and you’ll find you’ve built a successful affiliate network.
Of course, a robust Affiliate Software Platform is crucial if you are serious about running your own affiliate network or creating a successful affiliate marketing campaign. We can help! Check out LinkTrust for a free trial!