Should Your Small Business Use Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is growing in social media marketing. The truth is, it’s a new spin on an old idea: that ordinary people are the best people to spread the news about your business. In the old days, businesses offered referral discounts to avid customers. The new spin? Social media gives referral marketing new power. And, it could be a simple way for your small business to grow.  

Is it the same as influencer marketing?

Affiliate marketing is similar to influencer marketing. Influencers are social media personalities with large numbers of followers. And, they often charge large sums for their sponsored posts. Small businesses may not find this kind of marketing cost effective. But, affiliate marketing might be a better option for small businesses. That is because your affiliates earn commission on the sales they generate. So, the concept is scalable for small and mid-size businesses. 

Here’s how the concept works.

  1. A company identifies or recruits affiliates interested in sharing their experiences with your product or service. 
  2. The company and the affiliate enter a relationship through an affiliate network, marketing agency, or directly.
  3. The affiliate shares about your company on their social media platforms. They include  a link or coupon code your business (or the agency) give to the affiliate.
  4. Followers of the affiliate make a purchase using the coupon code or link. The business makes a sale and the affiliate gains a commission.

This kind of direct marketing can be beneficial for small businesses. And, that is because it does not require much upfront advertising revenue. And, it gives a company access to new potential clients. But, the downside is that the company has less control over the message that an affiliate posts than what you post on your own social media. 

Marketing on social media can be difficult and time consuming. If you want to discuss the online presence of your small business with an expert, contact us for a consultation.