Small Businesses and Affiliate Marketing

How to judge if an affiliate marketing campaign is right for your business.

Most small businesses and startups will have the following aims:

  • Find new audiences and improve the loyalty of existing ones
  • Increase brand awareness and search rankings
  • Create meaningful partnerships: sustainable, long-term relationships with outsourced marketing specialists and like-minded promoters and brand ambassadors
  • Drive incremental sales and/or the acquisition of high quality new customers

However, budget limitations and smaller teams means they require all marketing investments to be cost-effective, reliable, low-risk, quick to set up and easy to manage. Flexibility is also important for meeting the needs of developing business plans.

We at Grow believe that launching an affiliate program on our network can address many of these needs and help businesses attain these goals. Here’s why:

What is affiliate marketing and how can running an affiliate program meet these aims?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based digital marketing model, where publishers (affiliates) promote businesses in return for a commission. It is a means of outsourcing your marketing efforts, and harnessing specialist expertise across a variety of different channels. Each different type of affiliate will be able to deploy unique strategies for targeting users at a given stage of the purchasing funnel.

Commission can be awarded based on a variety of ‘events’, such as impressions (CPM) clicks (CPC) or acquisitions (CPA) such as sales (CPS) or leads (CPL):

  • CPM – Cost per thousand impressions
  • CPC – Cost per click
  • CPA – Cost per acquisition
  • CPS – Cost per sale 
  • CPL – Cost per lead

Being performance-based means affiliates are incentivised to attain results, and since most affiliate programs will run on the CPA model, an affiliate program is one of the most efficient ways for advertisers to drive incremental sales.

How is running a program via a network better than running my own affiliate program independently?

  • Affiliate networks consist of specialists ranging from Google Shopping/ CSS, Paid Search, Display, Retargeting, Deals/Offers promotions and Content publishers. The diversity of the network means you can experiment with multiple channels and access the same partners as leading brand competitors.
  • Tracking is taken care of by the platform’s technology, plus payment to publishers is automated.
  • Flexible, low-risk payout model: the standard CPA model means you define how much and on what basis an affiliate is paid.
  • Possibility to scale: with our automation, launching a program via a network means you can lay the foundations easily, whilst retaining the opportunity to arrange specific, tailored partnerships with individual organizations according to your business needs.
  • You can still recruit your existing connections to join the affiliate network. At Tradedoubler, it’s free for affiliates to sign up to the public network, where they will be able to work with other Tradedoubler programs in addition to your own.

Is affiliate marketing right for my business?

Many small businesses pride themselves on their independence and uniqueness, and often this is key to their success over time.

The way that affiliates engage with and target the right audiences and present the brands is often a crucial to achieving the desired conversion rates and developing a secure customer base.

At Grow, we believe that as long as a brand is open to try and test a range of promotional types, an affiliate program can generate results for almost any business category.

Some sectors are trickier, and might require a more dedicated approach to recruiting relevant publishers and finding receptive audiences. B2B services and businesses selling age-restricted products often prove to be more difficult. However, at Grow, the flexibility of our technology and the responsiveness of our support team should make your projects easier to facilitate. Sometimes only a handful of engaged affiliates can make the whole endeavour a valuable asset in your marketing toolbox.

For more information about what Grow can offer your business, please get in touch with Grow Support.

Ellen Kemp
Grow Client Support Executive - UK and US Markets

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