Any company whatever its field may be is always looking for ways to boost its annual revenue and its brand image.
The sales department is usually the one responsible for boosting the brand’s image among its customers base and in the market in general.
As a company that produces various products and services, the need to generate brand awareness requires more work than enhancing the company’s image itself.
That’s because when you are competing with other companies with good reputation like yours, you will be left with the goal of presenting your product as more quality in effort to gain wider market share.
With your company doing heavy advertisements along with your competitors, you need an edge that puts your product over the top.
Affiliate marketing might be just what you need to gain this extra advantage over your competitors.
Affiliate marketing training helps affiliate marketers run successful campaigns, all which improves the overall efficiency of affiliate marketers for any product.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing can be looked at from two perspectives:
- Product Owner
Product owners see affiliate marketing as a way to recruit marketers to promote their product in exchange for a commission that is paid for each sale the affiliate generated.
Marketers on the other hand look at affiliate marketing as a way to make profits from products they don’t own (your product) without having to worry about customer and technical support.
Running various advertisement campaigns for your product on TV, Radio, Newspapers and other channels could give you great exposure.
But this kind of advertisement hardly generate a good sales conversion rate, so if you are running your ad say on TV that has 1 million viewers, your sales conversion percentage will be modest.
That posed a problem for small and big businesses alike since they are looking for better performance for their ads to maximize their budget’s ROI (return of investment).
In the last decade, big advertising companies have developed a new marketing model called “Performance Marketing”.
This marketing model charge companies for goals achieved from their ads as opposed to running the ad itself.
Examples of these goals are:
- Online ad getting clicked
- Subscribers generated for your list
- Downloads received on your app
- Surveys filled for market research
Performance marketing is more effective for online channels, since you can easily track these goals online than offline.
Such tracking helps companies and in particular sales persons to fix and scale up their ad campaigns based on the results achieved.
This helped create what is called “affiliate marketing”, which itself is subset of performance marketing.
Affiliate marketers can now focus on certain goals that the product owner demands, and find the most suitable affiliate program for them and for their marketing techniques and budget.
For companies, affiliate marketing offers them another weapon in their arsenal.
By recruiting affiliates you pose an army of marketers that share the same responsibility of increasing the brand awareness as yours.
They help increase your product’s sales and they use their own marketing techniques and secrets to help your product evolve and gain more market share.
How PR Pros Could Use Affiliate Marketing
As a sales manager you need to integrate affiliate marketing in your plans. And this involves two must do steps:
- Create an affiliate program
- Recruit affiliate marketers
Step 1: Creating Your Affiliate Program:
Affiliate program is a system that allows affiliate to promote your products and it is created with the help of your credit cards processing company.
The reason for this is that your credit cards processing company is the one who receives payments from your customers.
Since they are responsible for handling and distributing payments to you, they are responsible also for distributing payments to your affiliates.
Another reason that credit cards processing companies should be running your affiliate program is that they have tools to help affiliates better promote any product.
They also handle the technical aspects of affiliate marketing (i.e. affiliate links) and tracking the performance of your affiliates.
Many credit cards processing companies have their own database of affiliate marketers, and they offer a marketplace to make it easy for them to pick the products they want to promote.
But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do on your part.
As a sales manager you need to prepare your affiliate program first and make some important decisions like:
- How much you are willing to pay your affiliates per sale (affiliate commission).
- What kind of incentives you will provide to affiliates
You need to be a bridge between affiliates and your company’s higher ups.
This is most evident in the decision to set the affiliates commission percentage.
The higher the commission the more attractive your affiliate program will look to affiliate marketers.
But how much commissions you offer in your affiliate program requires you negotiating with your superiors to reach the perfect balance between affiliates profitability and the company’s financial interest.
Incentives help attract more established and influential affiliate marketers; they also encourage affiliates to promote your product over other competing products.
Incentives can be in form of:
- Special discount codes & coupons
- Higher affiliate commission than your competitors
- Incremental affiliate commission rewarding
- Affiliate competition to reward top performing affiliates
- Banners to help affiliates run online paid ads
- Email swipes for affiliates that use list building to promote products
- Other tools that make affiliate marketers job easier.
A good example of an affiliate program looks like this:
Step 2: Recruiting Affiliate Marketers
Recruiting affiliates is usually a job of affiliate managers but as a sales manager you can totally take on that job or at least find a suitable affiliate manager for your company.
Having a solid affiliate program gives you an initial boost when trying to recruit affiliates, because if your affiliate program is profitable then many affiliates will jump on board.
Being on a good affiliate network like Amazon, Commission Junction or ShareASale already gives your affiliate program an exposure to 1000s of affiliates and most of them will find you with no extra work from your side.
But you could gain more exposure among affiliate marketers by promoting your affiliate program on affiliate marketing forums like JV Notify Pro and OfferVault among others.
Another technique to promote your affiliate program is to contact influencer blogger in your niche and try to persuade them to join your affiliate program.
To detect influencer bloggers, you could visit their blog and look for blogs with many comments on their posts.
Lots of comments on posts mean that the blogger pose a great deal of respect and trust among his readers and they are most likely to trust his products’ recommendations.
Affiliate marketing helps companies grow and achieve more profits, and as a sales manager you should make sure that your company is well aware of this fact and acting upon it.
Affiliate marketing had grown recently and attracted the eyes of many online marketers. It will be a surprise to see a product selling company not taking an advantage of that.
There any many affiliate marketing courses and training online with the goal of improving the performance of affiliates and teaching them about affiliate marketing if they are beginners.
All this effort put in affiliate marketing will have a positive effect on your company’s product sales by increasing the number of available affiliates in your niche.