Affiliate marketing for small businesses can be a very tasky job, but at the same time, very satisfying—from your very first sale to your first one hundred followers on your official Instagram page, and then the constant referrals and perhaps even out-of-state and international orders.
Sure, but online customers tend to remain loyal to brands and small businesses they trust. However, the big question is; how can you build and maintain trust and consumer loyalty in a clime as volatile, unpredictable, and fraudulent as the digital space?
The answer is simple – Affiliate Marketing.
Did you know that over 80% of eCommerce companies and 85% of software business owners use the power of affiliate marketing to drive sales, grow their brands, and connect to their consumers? And more recently, small businesses are following this path too.
Affiliate marketing allows your small business to attract new customers while giving existing ones a reason to call again, and that would only happen when you use reputable affiliate marketing tools with enough features even without having to break the bank. All you have to do is find enthusiastic affiliates to sign up.
Whether you’re considering hiring micro-influencers, brand ambassadors, or fresh MBA holders, one thing is sure, you would need to manage everything all from one platform to make things a lot easier and exciting for your brand as well as your affiliates.
In this article, we will discuss in great detail the elements that make affiliate marketing for small businesses very friendly.
This includes setting up your commission structure, building a stellar product, recruiting the right affiliates for your affiliate program, the best software tools to use to leverage this for your small business, and many more.
If you run an eCommerce or SaaS business, you should also check this out.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Ways To Make Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses More Friendly
- Getting Started with Metricks.io
- Conclusion on Affiliate Marketing for Small Businesses
Top 7 Ways To Make Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses More Friendly
Many small businesses love affiliate marketing and make thousands of dollars from it all day, every day, but that does not make it an excellent choice for every small business. Here are some things to consider.
Most small businesses find a loss of control to be the biggest con. As soon as your affiliates start promoting your brand, you tend to lose control of messaging and branding.
As an affiliate advertiser, you obviously do this for your campaigns, websites, and promotional content. Affiliates, however, can sometimes say and do things that damage a brand.
Affiliate fraud is another discouraging factor. Most small businesses do not have what it takes to safeguard their internal systems from fraud, but not to worry. We have put together a detailed guide to help protect your precious small business from affiliate fraud.
Most small businesses and advertisers that worry about this fix the problem by being very selective about which affiliates they approve to promote their products. The disadvantage of doing this is that you may have to spend time scanning through sign-ups and selecting the right affiliates.
At Metricks, we have two campaign types that let you control how your affiliates get access to your campaigns. Read more about our Single Access Campaigns and Multiple Access Campaign.
Small businesses should also consider their monthly turnover and know their numbers to be careful to know their numbers. If they are not aware of their profit margins, they may find themselves paying affiliates more than they can afford to and come to realize they are actually losing money on each customer brought in by affiliates.
That being said, if a company has a firm grip on its brand and its numbers, it can do incredible things and reach entirely new audiences with a stellar affiliate program.
Below are seven boxes to check to make your small business affiliate marketing friendly:
1. Choose your products wisely
Affiliate marketing is about having your affiliates promote your outstanding products and earn commissions when people buy those products.
But how do you convince affiliates to join your program, and when they do, how do you help them convince their prospects to purchase the products they are promoting? It all comes down to trust.
You need to position yourself as an authority in a particular area and offer people valuable information about specific products they care about.
Your product should be something that you are knowledgeable and passionate about and something that people are interested in and want to buy. Narrow down your niche to an area of interest that is underserved online.
Discover some of the best affiliate marketing niches.
2. Offer the best commission rates
Affiliate marketing is really about commissions and rewards, so before you kick things off, you need to have a clear idea of your commission structure.
The average commission rate ranges from 5 – 30% per conversion, but you may want to take your time to think this through. You don’t want to discourage affiliates with too little commission or set it too high that it adversely affects your profit margin. Remember you are only a small business.
You can find the most appropriate commission level by looking at competitors in your industry and setting realistic rates for mutual profit.
Once you’ve decided on an appropriate commission structure and percentage, you also need to work out your commission type.
This means deciding how you want to pay your affiliates. This could be:
- One-off: This simply means that your affiliates would be paid per sale. For example, if an affiliate sells a $100 product with a 10% commission, you’ll pay them a one-time sum of $10 when the sale is closed. This payment system is best for eCommerce businesses.
- Recurring: Here, your affiliates would be paid monthly. This option best suits subscription-based (SaaS) businesses. For example, suppose an affiliate sells a subscription to a customer for $100 per month and they receive a 10% commission. In that case, you’ll pay them $10 per month for either a specified period or until the customer they’ve referred stops renewing their subscription.
3. Find innovative ways to reach new audiences
If you want to make the most of your advertising efforts, you need affiliate promotion methods to get the word out and ensure you reach the right audiences at scale with your affiliate marketing.
Product reviews are essential for affiliate marketing, so it’s important to think about how you will engage with your target market. Think about what platforms they use most and what type of content they consume.
4. Provide your affiliates with quality content that provides value
The biggest mistake that many small business owners make is providing their affiliates with branded content that is created to only drive sales. Your customers can see right through the sales pitch and if there is nothing else that provides them with any value, they will quickly leave and likely never return.
Think about what you want when you’re searching online for particular products or topics. Try to give your readers something they can take away with them such as an answer to a question they may have, useful information about a product or service, or tips that they can use to make their lives easier.
5. Use clear calls to action
While you don’t want to inundate your audience with sales pitches, you still want to give them the option to purchase the products you’re promoting and make it easy for them to do so.
Use clear calls to action on your site that are easy to spot such as “buy now” buttons, tables that prominently display products, highlighted links, and images that showcase the products and encourage people to click.
If you create video or audio reviews, be sure to let your audience know how they can purchase the products you are discussing and include your affiliate link or promotional code.
6. Have outstanding products
As a small business owner, you have a unique insight into what people want in a certain genre. By creating a product that fills a gap in the market, you can add value for your customers, create an additional stream of income, and even leverage the sales of your product to increase your affiliate sales.
7. Build connections with a community
Finding a community of like-minded people can be invaluable for your small business. Other small business owners and their affiliates can give you advice about various companies or campaigns and switch you on to useful tools and resources that can boost sales.
Affiliate communities can also keep each other in the loop about ever-changing algorithms, as these can have a profound effect on your traffic and in turn, your sales. You can find affiliate forums online, on social media platforms, or through programs like the Ministry of Freedom.
Getting Started with Metricks.io
Metricks is an affiliate marketing tracking software developed to help SaaS, eCommerce, and Small Businesses across the world scale through cutting-edge affiliate programs and a seamless tracking experience.
With Metricks, they can provide referral links, coupons, etc and also track affiliate driven conversions.
So how does Metricks really work?
First, integrate Metricks into your website by copying and pasting special codes from your Metricks dashboard into your website. These codes will track your clicks and conversions and report back to Metricks.
Metricks offers you an admin dashboard where you can see all your data and manage your campaigns.
Next, generate a unique affiliate link to drive affiliate sign-ups to promote your programs and campaigns. Using our marketing templates, you can share this link directly from your Metricks dashboard to your social media pages, website and even email contacts to join your program as affiliates.
All your affiliates will be provided with a unique affiliate link. When customers click those unique affiliate links, the code placed on your website is triggered, and it sends data to Metricks on clicks or conversions.
Once the action is confirmed by the system, the affiliates responsible are rewarded a commission for the conversion from their unique referral links.
Your affiliates can use their unique links to sign up and log in to their dashboards, where they can download and/or share marketing assets to social media, track their conversions, view commissions and if enabled, recruit other affiliate marketers under the MLM feature.
Launching your first campaign with Metricks
There are a few things you should do before creating a cutting-edge affiliate program for your small business.
1. Set your campaign goals
First, have in mind what you want to achieve with your campaign. You can set a campaign goal and Metricks will let you know if you are meeting your impression threshold, clicks, Average Order Value or affiliate sales target. These are a few of the goals you can set for your campaigns on Metricks.
2. Perform an integration
Ensure you have tested your integration and it’s working perfectly. Our support team is always available if you run into any trouble setting up your integration and need some help.
3. Test Order
Run tests before launching your campaign to ensure that Metricks is tracking your orders and/or subscriptions accurately.
4. Customize your campaign
Design an attractive signup page that represents your brand’s identity. Select your template, take control by editing the word contents, uploading your logo and favicon or including the terms and conditions of your campaign.
5. Invite affiliates
Spread the word, and let affiliates know you have a new campaign for them to sign up for. You can also invite old customers to help promote your business. You can also share on your social accounts directly from your dashboard or set up features like the post-purchase widget and post-purchase email.
6. Upload marketing creatives
Upload downloadable and shareable marketing creatives for your affiliates to use in their advertising. This can include eBooks, flyers, how-to videos, pictures, links, landing pages, etc.
7. Set up Trigger Notifications
Maintain your brand’s identity by setting up and customizing your email communication channel with our templates for every event in the network.
Receive updates in real-time when you enable trigger notifications for events like new affiliate sign up, a new commission, etc.
Conclusion on Affiliate Marketing for Small Businesses
Affiliate marketing for small businesses can be incredibly profitable, especially if you set the right strategies in place and use the right tools and software.
All it takes is determination and a bit of know-how to create a wildly successful affiliate program that can generate profit for your business while you sleep.
Henry is a marketing and communications specialist. He enjoys helping individuals and brands find answers to their marketing questions. He has spent the majority of his career in the SaaS industry, gaining experiences in areas such as corporate communications, digital marketing, copywriting, and community building.
Henry currently serves as the head of marketing and comms at Metricks.