If you are an entrepreneur you may be wondering …”how can I improve my business?” especially in such economic periods when everybody has to cut a lot and spend less each and every day.Or you thinking “how am I supposed to be different and shine?“…I have so much competition and paying for expensive ads is not even an option.
What if I told you that you can get advertising for free?…
Infographic – The creation of an Affiliate Marketing Program to let Affiliates Advertise and Market your Business Online just For Free
And what is Affiliate Marketing?.. you would probably ask.In a nutshell Affiliate Marketing takes place when online visitors are redirected to a merchant’s website through another website that is promoting the merchant’s product(s).Now when these online visitors leave the promoter’s website to get to the merchant’s website a cookie is placed to their computer to track down the activity.
This way the merchant knows that the visitor redirected from the promoter.And then if the visitor complete a purchase or some other kind of action the merchant pays the promoter a predefined commission accordingly to the visitor’s action.
As you can see if you are an entrepreneur that owns a product you can let Affiliate Marketers promote your business through their marketing campaigns.You won’t have to spend a dime of your money to advertise your products.This is something that the Affiliate will take care and the Affiliate will get paid only if sales occur .Then you have to pay the Affiliate the commission you agreed.
Now let me ask you?..Which solution seems better for you in order to improve your business?..a) to pay for advertising that may lead to zero results? or b) to pay a percentage of your profit as a commission when sales occur?…This way you are getting a little smaller profit but you make more sales and you don’t lose a penny
…If you choose to pay for ads then you might lose money without any profit and no sales at all.Don’t forget the fact that when the Affiliate(s) get started promoting your product(s) then your company will be earning recognition to all of the world.Another important factor is that the Affiliate will “turn the earth upside down” in order to make sales and get profit from the process.
Related article on the Key Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing
What you Should Take Care When you Offer an Affiliate Marketing Program for your Products
A) Calculate your product costs again and prepare to include in the final price the commission for the Affiliate Partners that will enter your system.Remember that the FINAL PRICE of the product will remain the same , this way the final customers will pay that exact price , the Affiliates will have their commission and you will granted the rest of the profit.The same product will still continue to have the same price on your website if customers buy directly from you.
So what is a good commission?…it all depends on the kind of product you are selling.For example in digital products or services most affiliate networks offer a high commission , sometimes it reaches 50% or even in some rare cases the 80%.For physical products simply you can not offer such high commission rates because there are more costs involved.
The product’s cost itself and the delivery costs and other costs such customer service , support.You have to offer though a decent commission rate in order to motivate the Affiliates.Your target is to generate more sales and to gain recognition for your product.You have to sacrifice a small percentage of your profit in order to get Advertising for Free.
B) Make a payment plan according to your business strategies and stick to that by all means.You have to pay everyone on time.Most companies use a monthly payment plan but that is up to you and your type of business.But do not exceed the 2 months in any case.If you fail in that section the Affiliates will probably abandon you and that is something you have to avoid.
Another trick you can use to keep the Affiliate Partners motivated is to set a minimum amount of money for the commissions.For example if you set the Minimum amount to $50 and the commission for one product is $10 then the Affiliates will have to make 5 sales before they can ask for a payment.This way you avoid paying for each and every sale and the Affiliates continue on working with your product promotion.
Now it is time to Create An Affiliate Program Page on Your Website
In which you have to present the Affiliate Marketing Opportunity describing what you offer , the Affiliated Products commission rates , the payment plan , the minimum payment balance and all other appropriate and necessary details.
You have to fully present your product , offer your best product images and videos (if you use any – in case you don’t probably the Affiliates will produce videos in their campaigns) , marketing banners in all sizes and provide online 24 / 7 support for your Affiliates in cases they need to contact you.
Now the Affiliates are your partners , you have to take care of them.Offer them a guide tour on your website describing what you offer , your expectations and let them know all the details on your product in order to get familiar with it and promote it with the best results.Explain what differentiates your product from your competitors and or supply training for your product if that is necessary.
It is Time to Promote the program on Your Own , Don’t worry though that can be done for Free too.
A) Create a Twitter Page if you don’t have one already.Make sure that you promote the Affiliate Program along with your products as well.And begin to interact with the community , a very powerful tool that as you continue using it you will discover the full potential.Tweet daily about your Affiliate Program Opportunity and follow Marketers or similar and competitive companies and discuss with them.Do not tweet only targeting sales , the main purpose here is to create connections.
B) A Facebook Business Page is another alternative to Twitter.It can be used as a small blog full of images , videos and information for your products.Again you have to interact with the community.Offer discounts for facebook fans who liked your page and or create vote polls for your products are only a few ideas.
C) Create a Gmail account and proceed with a G+ page.Follow companies , marketers and potential customers.You can use the power of G+ communities to gain recognition , search for similar communities and if they do not exist create one on your own and invite people , friends , marketers and begin to interact with them.If you have a local business facility get on Google – My Business and connect with customers that are looking for information on Google.
This My Business service lists your business in Search , G+ and Maps so the customers can easily find you , no matter what device they are using.Do not forget to place your operating hours and a phone line (mobile phone number as well).The customers can review or rate your products and you can use the +1 action on their comments.Post daily on G+ not only about your products but to begin conversations with your customers mostly.
D) Create a Free account on Yelp for business owners.Yelp is an active community where online visitors can review products.Upload your images , place your operating hours , your phone and all other necessary information.I suggest that you respond to users reviewed your product and interact with them.This tool can be used to improve your product’s quality as well by listening to what people think on your product.
E) Pinterest account.If you do not already use Pinterest then you miss a huge opportunity for your business.This is the ideal place to present your images.Get your camera and if you have a local business take photos of the facilities , of the production line , of your employees while working and your office as well.Create Infographics about your product and your business hierarchy.
Do not forget to create more Boards in Pinterest that show people your interests.You do not want to list just one board about your business only,You are not only selling your products , you are a potential customer as well.Pinterest is a live online community and interaction with real people takes place again.
F) Other similar networks you can use for Free advertising is Tumblr , LinkedIn , Yahoo Local Marketing for Business or even a YouTube channel with videos about your products and your business and many many more.The power of internet is endless.I just presented some of the online possibilities.
Don’t forget to link back to your website from all these online networks
Online Directories , Business Forums and Communities
According to your business niche and your product there are Free online communities and Forums that let you create your listings.Be as descriptive as you can and use images and videos as well (if allowed).Interact again with all the customers that may contact you.Keep your listings up to date and you can offer discounts as in other networks especially for repeated customers.
There are also some Article Directories like Street Articles or EzineArticles and many more that provide sections on specific topics where you can post your articles for free and expose your business to way more people.Create an account with your website signature and do not post about your product sales here , you have to post useful content that visitors will be informed about.
These Article directories are used from people that are looking for specific information and advices.Post about your product’s advantages and how they can help people.Present a story of yours , your business background and do not forget to post on other’s authors posts as well.
The analogy should be like 5 comments on others – 1 on your own.The king though in the Article Directories is nowadays Reddit where the categorization and sub – categorization makes the navigation very easy for the visitors.No sales posts here either as they will be considered as spam and will be removed.
Newspapers , Magazines , Columnists
According to your business area there are newspapers and / or magazines that can let you advertise your product for free.You can offer some product samples to these organisations and let their columnists praise your business.Do not forget to add discounts in future purchases for their personnel.You can make special deals contacting the owners and talking with them.
You can also make a Charity for your local area and have your business advertised.A lot of newspapers cover charity attempts on their Front Cover and you will gain recognition pretty fast as a sponsor in such activities.Although this is not a FREE method , giving though some samples for free is a great start up point for future success.You want to be found , you have to make it found.
Offer an Open Review Section on Your Website
When your business website will be getting attention after all of these activities in the above networks and methods we mentioned the traffic to your website will grow.Then you can offer a special review section open for anyone.The comments will be held for moderation before they are published so you will have the chance to modify or delete them in cases of spam.
This way you can use their reviews as testimonials for your products.Do not forget to update your network accounts with such testimonials , preferably the most positive.Create a sidebar widget also.Real testimonials add to your brand credibility.
Reward Top Affiliates and Get Informed on Their Actions
As the Affiliates promote your products some of them will drive more sales to you than others.It would be a great idea if you rewarded the Top partners.Some bonus commission like 1% would be a high motivation key for these Affiliates to drive even more sales to you.You might also want to consider giving bonuses and prims to Top employees as well and their families.
A Very important task here is to check each and every one of your Affiliate Partners actions.You do not want Affiliates that they have irrelevant websites to your niche promoting your products.You want Affiliates websites to be perfectly associated with your business area and to provide their visitors with great information.
Check their websites and their campaigns.Are they using your images appropriately?…are their videos producing value to your customers?…Remove any “Thin Affiliates” from your Affiliate program that only intrude their visitors with ads and / or with low valued content.
Business Allies , Relational Advertisers , Complementary Companies
I have already discussed about the power of Relational Advertisers in my post here.You can even get in contact with competing companies and begin a co-operation that would result in a win-win situation for both sides.Placing your banner in their website and Theirs in Your website would seem like a nice and productive way to gain some more recognition.Your competitors are not your enemies , are companies that serve in the same business with you.Make alliances with them.
Check also companies that offer Complementary services or products to yours.Get in contact with them and start making deals.In that way you will offer additional quality and services.Exchange customers listings as their customers might be your customers as well.Offer discounts for customers coming from that complementary listings and refer your partners to do the same with your listings.
Seminars , Webinars
Organising seminars to extend your product recognition.Seminars are a great way to let people know about your product and your business.The ideal solution would be to host a seminar in your business facilities , explaining your product details and showing in real time how your business operates.Invite everyone that you are connected , marketers , affiliates , customers , competitors and partners.Let them get familiar with your services and make your offerings
If you can not host the event on your facilities or if you want to take full advantage of the web host a live webinar.This way you can connect to the whole world at once.Create a short video or article announcement and post it in all networks ,forums ,communities repeatedly 2 weeks before.You can use an email sequence as well.Offer a phone line or a Twitter or email support for live questions and finally offer at least a 45 minutes Q & A session (Questions & Answers) in the end of the event.Post the next day on your networks accounts informing about the success of this happening.
You can use the power of emails to let existing customers know about your products updates , your new networks accounts and activities and all of your future plans.Responding to every returned email is a must.You do not want your customers asking you questions and leave them unanswered.Do not bombard them though with sales emails all along.
Use this campaign to inform them , to make suggestions and for interaction.Create surveys or polls and let them reply , this way they will feel that they are not only customers but are human beings that can participate in your business.Create short questionnaires and let them fill their details about their businesses and status.
Ask them for propositions , what they need to see changed , give them the respect they deserve … The Main Target of any Business is not the Money – is the People.
Become An Affiliate Marketer Yourself
If you decide to learn about Affiliate Marketing and to explore its true potential for your business ( no matter what this business is ) I suggest you check out the Wealthy Affiliate Community.There you will learn the ropes of Internet Marketing , how to create your own blog and how to provide high value information to your visitors through that blog.
Creating such an informative blog could return in an enormous future benefit for your business.People are looking for information all the time , long gone are the times where sales ads or unbidden videos were driving money to businesses.Internet has changed people as they can find reviews on anything they are searching for.
Wealthy Affiliate will help you stay up to date and discover ways to boost your website rankings through SEO actions , keyword research , content creation , email marketing , video marketing , blogging , PPC (pay per click marketing) , social engagement and marketing , website development , local marketing and so many more areas.A must have instrument for any business success.
This is your time , your website will not drive sales just by magic.Use the full power of internet to make relationships , inform about your products and make partners that will help you boost your sales.
Remember that these networks and communities I referred is only a small portion of the Web Strength.Wherever there is a forum , a news magazine , a community , a network , a social media platform , a local scope there are huge opportunities.Master KEY in all places is the COMMUNICATION and the creation of connections.Do not try to sell directly to anyone.This kind of action belongs to the past.
Be as much creative as you can , and always think of new ways to improve your business
I hope you enjoyed this article.Waiting for your comments and questions.If you have a business running and need specific answers to your plans try to be as much descriptive as you can.This way I can offer my answers faster.See you in my next post?
Your online concierge
The Best All-in-One Business Package for Newbies