How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

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Affiliate marketing continues to increase in popularity within the marketing industry. In fact, around 93% of marketers have tried affiliate or influencer marketing within their strategies. This approach is particularly popular in the B2C space, where marketers hope to take advantage of the following that influencers have built on their respective platforms. Unfortunately, so many B2B marketers are still wondering how to get started with affiliate marketing. In fact, our research suggests that only 25% of B2B marketers have integrated an affiliate program into their marketing efforts. 


It’s easy to see why the use of affiliate marketing is consistently growing, since 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations. However, you might be wondering whether this effect translates into B2B marketing strategies. 


In basic terms, affiliate marketing and B2B marketing have similar goals. They aim to utilize the trust between a brand or influencer and its audience to generate sales. Despite this, B2B marketers have yet to realize the full potential of affiliate marketing. Consider an innovative affiliate marketing program for your B2B tech solutions.

How to get started with affiliate marketing

The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing in B2B

B2B businesses traditionally have much longer sales cycles. Purchase amounts are higher, and this means that multiple decision-makers are involved in the buying process. The best marketing approaches reflect these sales cycles. 


Building trust is key to B2B sales, and this is why the inbound marketing approach is so popular. Inbound marketing aims to position the brand as a thought leader, and provide quality content that builds trust with its potential buyers. 


Affiliate marketing, combined with good content, can provide a similar service. Influencers or partners have already built a relationship with your target audience. An affiliate program will help your company to take advantage of these relationships for improved lead generation, and give your marketing a leg up versus more time-consuming inbound strategies. 


Your chosen partners will have a target audience that should align with your own. This means that your marketing efforts are almost guaranteed to reach your specific buyers. Affiliate marketing is also accessible to all types of businesses, no matter the size. Your success with affiliate marketing is less dependent on the budget you have available, and relies on the quality of your collaborative content and effective targeting.


To take real advantage of all these benefits, however, you need to understand how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Building a Partner Program

You’ve decided to incorporate affiliate marketing into your marketing strategies, but you might be wondering how to get started with affiliate marketing. It can be challenging to launch a new marketing approach from scratch, so here are some key steps to building a partner or affiliate program. 


Define Your Audience

You should already have a target audience, or buyers persona, defined for your existing marketing strategies. Ensure this still aligns with your marketing and your solution. This information should be used to narrow down your choice of partners. 


Pick Your Medium

Consider what types of content or platforms are important to your marketing. For instance, you might wish to branch out into video, and affiliate marketing would be a great place to start. Or, you might have a backlog of blogs and written content that you want to take advantage of. Either way, this will inform your choice of partner, too. 


Specify Your Incentives

What are you willing to provide your potential partners with in exchange for their participation? Ultimately, they are providing your brand with the trust they have generated with their audience, so you need to provide incentives or rewards. Some affiliate programs offer a percentage of sales, or just one-time payments for each piece of content. It’s important to consider which approach suits your business. 


Define Your Goals

Identify what you’re looking to achieve by implementing an affiliate program, as this will help you decide on your incentives, and what kind of content you need to create. For instance, if you’re looking for lead generation, SEO and quality written content are key. If you’re looking to generate sales and conversions, you will need to offer worthwhile incentives. 


Research Your Partners

Begin conducting research in your space. Consider who your buyers are looking to for valuable information and guidance. Or, who are they reading in their spare time for entertainment? You need to target the right partners or affiliates with the right audience to ensure maximum success for your program. 


Generate Quality and Relevant Content

Content underpins affiliate marketing. Your potential partners still need to provide value to their audience. Ultimately, this is what built their trust in the first place. Provide your affiliate with quality content that demonstrates the value of your solution or product, while still being informative. It’s important to collaborate, rather than advertise, and understand each other’s audiences and goals.  


At Nituno, we build and launch affiliate marketing programs for B2B tech companies. We understand that the affiliate industry is continuously evolving and growing, and we are keen to help companies monopolize its lead gen capabilities. Get in touch with us for help generating a partner program that works for you.

How to get started with affiliate marketing
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