SMBs can easily capitalize on new customer opportunities using affiliate marketing if they choose affiliates matching their target audience, says Aprile Parella, an experienced digital marketer. This is a marketing strategy to collaborate with sources who get more customers and, in return, are compensated. It is a successful monetization approach used by many businesses.
However, SMBs can equally profit from this marketing strategy as it provides big growth opportunities in terms of customers and brand. It will be important to focus on whether you are targeting B2B or B2C segments, because depending on that your affiliate marketing strategies can differ. Your marketing messaging will be different, compensation will differ and target segments will be large or specialized. Additionally, as a B2C affiliate marketer you will sell, but as a B2B you will qualify.
Here, however, we are talking about how affiliate marketing for SMBs can be beneficial.
No Need to Pump in Heavy Funds
As an SMB, you cannot pump in funds especially for your affiliate marketing. The best you can do is use the basic means of communication to reach out to your affiliate partners. Connect with your existing customers using newsletter and email campaigns to get the word out about your product. Ask service reps to schedule calls with VIP customers, rope them in and see if they can help you share your product news. Write a blog and distribute it to your bloggers list asking them to share it with their audience.
All these efforts will take zero investment, and if your program is getting traction, you can utilize a small amount of funds to reach out to big publications or social media ads.
More Exposure for the Business
Word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire if done right. By reaching out to different sources with different industry backgrounds, you are promoting your business and product. This provides more exposure to your business, and gains more customers from various industries. For example, imagine that you have an appointment-scheduling app and your customers are from tech industries. However, one of your tech customers may recommend your product to one of his or her customers who own a chain of beauty salons. This is how your customer from one industry can help you get you on the map of another industry.
Sell Product Directly
Direct sales provides a two-way benefit for both the business and the partner. Affiliates (or partners) are helping you acquire more customers by redirecting them to your product. This means you are still directly selling to these prospects and will have a say in the sales messaging. You are the one producing the product, and all the partner has to do is market your product to his or her network. So affiliates are not creating or producing anything, just selling it for you.
Delegate More to Earn More
When you are the only one selling your product, you will have constraints in terms of workforce. You might have a sales team of three or four people who are selling for your business. However, with affiliate marketing, your entire customer base is acting like your sales reps, so you are delegating your sales across your customers. Let’s say 45 out of 100 customers signed for your affiliate program, now you have 48-49 people selling your product.
The more people involved in your sales, the more work is done. This means more salespeople, more sales opportunities and a greater revenue margin.
Brand recommendations are useful and increase brand credibility. Because these recommendations are coming from people who have used your product, it becomes more reputable. So when your customers are talking about your product to their network, there is a huge brand exposure opportunity.
People tend to buy products that get recommended by direct customers. Amazon reported an increase of 29 percent in sales through its recommendation system, plus the added advantage of brand recognition.
If done correctly using this marketing strategy, SMBs can record a good increase in web traffic, and you can build better relationships with your existing customers. Your business will not only reach unexplored markets, but will also provide unique opportunities.