The internet has become a crowded place. Consumers now have more choices than ever before. And companies face stronger competition online. Research shows that online ad spending is continuing to grow at a rapid and will soon account for a quarter of ad dollars by 2016.
This is not surprising given that more people around the world are spending more of their time online. Keeping up with the fast pace of digital marketing can seem like a pointless exercise.
But one overlooked area is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing continues to remain a core online marketing technique to drive more sales and attract new customers. The way it works is simple. A company that sells products or services can sign up with an affiliate network.
Some of the popular affiliate marketing networks include:
Affiliates can then use these networks to find products to promote on their own websites or other marketing campaigns. Commissions are only earned when a sale is made. This model allows companies to leverage a network of affiliates to promote their products or services.
But having an affiliate program is no guarantee for success.
The key to a successful campaign lies in careful planning and strategic execution. This is where an affiliate manager comes in. Whether your business sells products to a global audience or specializes in delivering services to a narrow market, affiliate managers can drive even more sales to your business.
The following are five of the biggest benefits of using an affiliate manager.
1. Streamlined Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate managers are tasked with a number of responsibilities to oversee a merchant’s affiliate program. This includes:
- Creating commission structures
- Developing an affiliate support site
- Creating resources for affiliates
- Providing support for affiliates
- Monitoring daily activity
- Ensuring compliance enforcement
- Optimizing conversion funnels
- Tracking results
Affiliate managers are able to streamline the entire process and provide marketing solutions that best fit the needs of the merchant. Attempting to do these tasks alone will require a significant amount of time.
2. Established Relationships
Companies are free to use a number of resources online to create their own affiliate program without having to use third parties. The only problem is that merchants starting on their own often lack the time and resources to get the most out of their programs.
Affiliate managers are able to leverage both.
Agencies are primarily concerned with one goal: To deliver results for your business. This means having a dedicated team that works with you to maximize results with your affiliate program.
This is exactly the reason why some of the largest companies in the world continue to use affiliate networks because of the resources and campaign management available.
3. Creation of Marketing Resources
Most companies do not have the luxury of having an in-house marketing team. This is not necessarily a disadvantage but it means that affiliates will have to create their own marketing materials. The more resources you can provide, you increase the chances of attracting quality affiliates.
Marketing materials can range from complete HTML pages to custom banners and content. Creating these materials can be a challenge, even for large companies. This is where using an affiliate manager can prove to be a valuable investment.
Affiliates depend on marketing materials to make sales. Without them, affiliates could very well choose a competitor that has taken the time to develop these resources. Affiliate managers focus on developing a support site for affiliates that include marketing resources and more.
4. Compliance Enforcement
Some affiliates will rely on questionable techniques or other fraudulent activity to earn a commission. This can include bidding on brand name keywords for PPC campaigns or engaging in spam. Determining whether a transaction is real or fake can be difficult without the right resources.
Affiliate managers are able to provide added levels of security to ensure compliance from all affiliates. This helps prevent paying out commissions due to fraudulent activity, protecting company assets and more.
5. Detailed Tracking and Reporting
Setting up an affiliate program is certainly a step in the right direction but should not be the last. Affiliate managers can implement comprehensive guidance to make the program even more profitable. This can include:
- Setting up click maps
- Creating conversion funnels
- Monitoring sales
- Improving landing pages
And much more.
Unless your company has a dedicated marketing team, it is much more practical to leave this to professionals who can oversee the entire process. Affiliate managers are easily one of the best investments you can make to improve the profitability of your affiliate programs.