4 Ways B2B and B2C Affiliate Marketing Can Benefit Your Business

Blog cover: Communicating with Affiliates

Affiliate marketing is the route you want to take to a higher level of business success. Do you sell VoIP call recording software for large corporations? Or bespoke, hand-painted pug statues to a very specific kind of customer? Affiliate marketing has benefits for every level of business, and not everyone is taking advantage of it.

But is adding one more marketing channel really worth it? You already have your Facebook campaigns, your Adwords PPC set up, and maybe you even hire a team of social media experts to drive your organic sales.

Even if you have these classic marketing methods down pat, 52% of marketers use three to four different marketing channels, a number that’s only growing. More, it seems, is better.

Affiliate marketing is a financially sound tool that you can easily add to your kit.

Tired of sinking costs into marketing that goes nowhere?

Marketing is about risk. You pay money in an attempt to earn money. Technology has drastically improved the odds in the last decades. Marketing practices during the last century were incredibly untargeted. How did anything ever get sold? We now obsess over conversion rates and audience segmentations, but still, it’s not enough.

There’s no guarantee, after all the cost of getting your product onto someone’s screen, that they’ll buy.

Affiliate partnerships are low-risk, highly targeted marketing. They can get right to your target audience and make sure-fire sales to budget.

Affiliates want to be your brand ambassadors

Rather than try to elbow your own way onto someone’s smartphone screen, affiliates will do it for you. In most cases, they are already grabbing your potential customers’ attention with blogs or videos, and you need to take advantage of that!

Better yet, as an affiliate talks up your product, it is putting you in the public eye. It works wonders having a third party advocating for your product - it’s marketing that comes with a free public relations boost.

This is obviously a massive benefit. When starting or scaling up an enterprise, positive communication is the bread and butter to bringing in new customers.

Affiliates are out there. And they are waiting to rave about your product to their own adoring fans. They are your ideal marketers in terms of positioning, expertise, and the fact that you only pay for successful sales.

Still sitting on the fence? Here are the four most impactful ways that affiliate marketing can benefit your business.

Benefit 1: Low-risk marketing

We’ve already touched on this above, but it is so important it deserves reiterating.

Affiliate marketing piggybacks off of other people’s work, expertise and audience. And you only pay them when they succeed.

Let’s say that again. You only pay them money when they make a successful sale. Normal marketing channels, no matter how skilled your marketer, will never hit a 100% conversion rate. Usually, you are paying for the chance that someone will click an ad and make a purchase.

According to Smart Insights, social media channels averaged 1.1% in conversion rate in 2019. That means 98.9% of the paid-for clicks ended up… nowhere. Money in the void.

Referral traffic, however, was almost three times as high at 3.0%. When people follow a link with intent, they purchase more. Even better, with affiliate marketing, you will only pay for the 3% of referrals that convert. The remaining 97% is free web traffic for your data analysis.

Smart insights
Source: SmartInsights.com

Less wasted budget and a huge step towards improving conversion rate optimization. What more could you want?

It is also possible that traffic coming from affiliate links can help with optimizing checkout pages. The final hurdle of the purchasing journey plagues online brands. Seven in ten sales fail right before the customer hits the “buy” button.

The benefit of using an affiliate is that the customer journey starts with a positive referral. Affiliate traffic comes with an endorsement from someone the customer trusts. It improves the quality of the lead and all sections of the journey will benefit, including the dreaded checkout page.

Benefit 2: A healthy boost for your website

Search Engine Optimization. SEO. The granddaddy of all website tropes. You’re either an SEO specialist who loves climbing Google’s index or, more likely, you’re sick of hearing about it.

Well, good news either way. Affiliate marketing can help boost your SEO. Backlinking forms a huge part of proving to the algorithms that your website is relevant. The more people linking to your site, the more highly it must be regarded.

A link from an article ranking 2020’s best call center software that directs business owners to your internet calling product is going to help your website climb to the top.

As affiliates are going to be linking to your product from their blog, Twitter, or Instagram, there’s a lot of backlinking potential. It reduces the mind-numbing job of hunting out mentions online and chasing the owner to link back to you properly.

Shares and likes on Instagram or any public forum on which an affiliate posts will also generate more awareness. More awareness and better SEO means more traffic which means more sales.

Benefit 3: Broader horizons mean more safety nets

Success often comes down to who you know. In the dark and dismal years before the internet, connections were solely built from face-to-face networking. Unlike with today’s varied enterprise communication solutions, it was the only way to connect with potential business partners and people able to give you a leg up. Now, partners and favors are only a few clicks away.

Broaden your horizons. Make partnerships with new people. Affiliates are experts in their field and you should use their experience. Don’t be so proud of your current marketing strategies that you blind yourself to new opportunities.

Usually, affiliate marketers have their own audiences. They have the expertise to sell to their marketing niche. Combining their audience, their expertise, and your product means that everyone is a winner. Plus, you can be sure that they will do as effective a job as possible to ensure that they get paid.

For example, let’s think about Software Defined Networking. Cutting-edge companies already know how to successfully use an SDN. They jumped onboard the SDN rise throughout the late twenty-teens.

That explosive adoption of SDNs couldn’t have happened without content creators explaining just what on earth they are.

A quick search will pull up hundreds of business blogs explaining and emphasizing their use, all with a subtle salesy undertone. B2B bloggers have the expertise to turn even the densest of explanations into a successful sell.

Google search software

What’s more, each affiliate you bring on board is an independent stream. Every revenue stream you earn money from is another safety net.

Too many companies, especially startups, have far too narrow sales channel strategies. They put their marketing eggs in the same basket. If you only have leads coming from one place, say Facebook, you’re in a fragile position.

If the social media giant were to go offline, even for a day, then (amid the screams and panic in the streets) you’d take a massive hit to your income.

Today, few successful businesses thrive off the one stream, but however many you already have, more is always better. A network of affiliates feeding you juicy leads is a robust backup - one that won’t go down easily.

Benefit 4: Pick and choose from the rising tide

There is no time like now to start picking and choosing your affiliate partners. Business Insider claims that affiliate marketing spending has grown by roughly 10% per year. The market is growing.

Statista Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing spend in the U.S. 2010-2022 Source: Statista

In fact, email marketers need to watch out; affiliate marketing is set to take over as the king of online conversions.

However, if you’re selling a newsletter dispatch system, a content management system, or virtual business phone and fax software, there is no point directing marketing towards someone looking for that hand-painted pug statue.

The sheer number of affiliate partners out there means there’s one suited to every business in every industry. While there seem to be infinite affiliates dedicated to B2C marketing, you can as easily connect with a specialist in B2B marketing.

And you can pick up as many as you need. The development of affiliate networks makes gaining and organizing your affiliates easy.

The more you partner with, the more targeted audiences you can cover, and the more experts you have on your side. Get out there and get started with your affiliate marketing!

A fresh flavor to your marketing

Affiliates bring a unique and expert flavor to your business. They can revitalize your marketing strategy and open up new and dependable revenue streams.

More and more, the average customer is getting savvy. They know what they want and they won’t be won over by shallow marketing. Even as we consume more online, the internet gets ever busier and more cramped, and people want a voice they can rely on.

The reliable voice is the affiliates that they trust. The experts who can show off your product and speak their language to get it sold. Whether you need to market B2B or B2C, it is an affiliate who can make it happen.

John Allen, RingCentral US

John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and audio conferencing provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Hubspot and Toolbox.

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