Over the past few years Content Marketing has proved to be an effective and well adopted medium to drive traffic that eventually translates into business. Most of the research websites that have done independent surveys to gauge the performance or feedback that businesses had for Content Marketing shows that around 72% of businesses believe that content is essential for them; and around 63% Marketers say that well executed content has helped them increase their Leads & Conversions by around 40%.
However, with competition stiffening it’s just not enough to maintain a Blog for your business. In today’s E-Commerce scenario it’s easy to find multiple players within numerous categories whether that be Fashion, Food, Electronics, Jewelry, Education and so on; and almost every one of them is operating a well drafted Blog, Social Channel, Email List and so on; I am sure you reading this are also aware of how your competition is using content to drive relevant traffic to their website. So how does your business then amplify its content creatively and achieve its objectives?
This is where Affiliate Marketing can help you.
The Indian E-Commerce category is a burgeoning market. As per statistics in the business standard, it’s valued at $17 Billion as per 2014, and is slated to hit a $100 Billion valuation by 2019. Initially it was a challenge for businesses to encourage users to purchase Products & Services online since almost everyone was used to using their sense of touch and sight while deciding on a purchase. However, in the year 2014, around 1/3rd of the Internet Population i.e. roughly around 40 Million People in India were recorded making purchases online; and this number is also on the upward slope and is pegged to hit 65 Million people by 2015.
At the outset, a lot of the E-Commerce carving was done by the now giants Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and so on. However, with the steady improvement in infrastructure related to e-businesses like Broadband, Logistics and Portable Internet devices, a number of Startups proliferated and decided to venture in the space. The more the number of incumbents in a particular market or category, the higher the competition for survival becomes for businesses in the space. This led to Startups resorting to ingenious ways of promoting the value of their business, and one of them is setting up an Affiliate Channel.
However, just setting up an Affiliate Program is not going to help.
In recent times Content Marketing has steadily risen in popularity. Every business on the internet, whether established or starting up, has set up a Blog or use alternate mediums through which they offer useful and engaging content related to their Product/Service; or a problem that their business could solve. A Google Trends search shows a definite spike in the interest that people have had for Content Marketing over the years, and the enthusiasm for it doesn’t seem to be dropping. However, it’s important to understand why Content Marketing is favored by businesses.
Google, in today’s time, is the most preferred Search Engine by users worldwide. People have a natural tendency to use Google to search for quick solutions to their queries or problems. This makes it imperative for businesses to ensure that they’re complying with the ever changing demands for Search Engine Ranking, and lately a lot of emphasis has been placed on Content.
This is where knowing how to Recruit Affiliates, especially the ones that focus on content, can help amplify your Marketing efforts.
It always feels nice to see Affiliates signing up for your program. It gives you the slight excitement of knowing that some of these guys you approve could have the potential to be your top performing Affiliate, and help you achieve your forecasted conversions. For some of the well known brands the no of Affiliate Sign Ups they receive in a day could go well into the few dozens, and for some of the newer brands it could be a significant number but relatively lower than the bigger brands.
In either case you’re happy and you go ahead and approve your Affiliates. After a while you start assessing the numbers. You start by looking at the No of Conversions & Leads, and you’re not very happy with the figures that your report is showing you for most of your Affiliates. You then compare those numbers with the no of clicks those Affiliates have delivered to your website; the click traffic might be astoundingly high, but the corresponding result isn’t appealing.
You then decide to export your approved Affiliate list for research, and then realize you don’t have the right types of Affiliates in your Program.
If you’re a regular reader of my Blog, a connection on LinkedIn, or interacted with me professionally, you may have noticed that I am a staunch supporter of Affiliate Marketing. Back while working at ResellerClub, I would derive immense happiness out of checking sales numbers at the start of the day. Seeing my Sales KPIs being met by my trusted Affiliate Team through great content drafted by them would delight me. It’s quite intriguing for me to see how this specific Online Marketing Channel proves to be an effective growth hack for a Startup trying to meet its pre-defined objectives.
Compare that with the efforts and costs that would get invested in SEO, SEM, or any other paid method, and it would be impressive to analyze the return to the spend. I am not saying that SEO & SEM should be ignored, you’ll be hurting your business if you do that given its independent benefits, I am simply suggesting that Affiliate Marketing is a Startup friendly way to look at Growth.
This brings us back to the importance of Affiliate Recruitment.