The secret is out! Affiliate marketing is an excellent source of promoting your business, building a great reputation and client base without having to spend extensive budgets on advertising.
Not only have sole proprietorships grown their businesses exponentially with affiliate marketing, but the big boys of business are jumping on the bandwagon as well. Companies ranging from LifeLock to Virgin Mobile and EuroStar have initiated very successful affiliate marketing campaigns, cementing the tremendous efficiency of this promotional strategy.
Research shows tremendous increase in affiliate marketing
According to the British research firm, E-consultancy, affiliate marketing has grown more than 45% in the UK alone, generating an increase of £3.13 billion ($4.65 billion USD) in the last year. These are only conservative estimates for one country. Imagine how much affiliate marketing is growing in the United States and worldwide.
What can the tremendous popularity of affiliate marketing be attributed to? Further studies show that 95% of all companies that engage in affiliate marketing appreciate how “cost-effective” this strategy is, especially in growing customer bases and increased revenues.
Indeed, there are no significant start-up costs when it comes to starting an affiliate marketing program. You do not need to pay for ad spots, radio slots, pay-per-click, or banner advertisements.
Instead, you simply need to derive a lucrative incentive or commission structure. You experience no risk. As a performance based compensation program, you only pay commission when you make a sale.
2008 trends in affiliate marketing
Although the murmur surrounding Web 2.0 has diminished, social networking is still a powerful platform for affiliate marketing. Indeed, many websites utilize social networking sites, such as YouTube, Digg, and Del.icio.us, to generate powerful back links (which are critical for increasing search engine rankings), as well as a strong source of natural traffic.
There are also new opportunities for social network marketing. One great example is Facebook’s opening for social advertisements on its immensely popular website. Additionally, with new media outlets slated to open in 2008 it will become easier to match your affiliate marketing program with niche topics such as retirement planning, travel, and home décor.
Other developments in widget advertising have truly flourished, and these outlets will provide niche methods of finding your exact customer base. Widgets are much more dynamic and visually interesting than banner ads, and thus, people are more likely to download, use, and keep them on their desktop making your affiliate marketing even more visible.
Changes in technology will also assist affiliate marketing efforts, as companies can now increase the efficiency in tracking sales, traffic, and conversions. This means there is an ease of management for both the company and affiliates’ parts.
To manage a successful affiliate marketing campaign in 2008, you will need more than attractive commission structures. Offering competitive and lucrative commission structures while simultaneously providing needed support will create a successful affiliate marketing relationship for both parties involved. These innovative strategies and support systems will help you maximize the revenues from affiliate marketing.