Wondering how to set up affiliate marketing for your franchise business? Trying to decide which are the best affiliate platforms?
Let us be your guide to successful affiliate marketing programs From the very basics right through to a list of the top names in the industry right now...
To start with, if you're completely new to this field you could be asking:Photo by NY Photographic/ CC BY
What is affiliate marketing?
You might think of affiliate marketing as a sort of ultra-lightweight franchise opportunity. Or each of your affiliate sellers as small autonomous extensions of your marketing team.
Rather than paying you a certain amount of money or fees to use your entire brand name, business processes, and model, your affiliate sellers simply promote or sell your goods or services in exchange for a commission.
It's an incredibly popular type of online business and has been since pretty much the birth of the internet. There are a huge number of affiliate sellers out there, mainly because becoming one:
- Requires little or no upfront capital
- Only requires an online location or presence
How do affiliate marketing programs work?
If you operate a successful franchise business, you'll almost certainly have already received offers from individuals who wish to become your affiliates. If you haven't taken any on board as yet, you might not be aware - but it can cost considerable reserves of time to pay each one manually.
That's where an internet marketing affiliate program comes in. It's either an automated system or specifically recruited webmasters or a webmaster company, which takes care of your affiliate marketing network for you.
This saves you from having to coordinate with all of your affiliates. You can simply monitor their individual or overall effectiveness without having to grease every single wheel.
Why take on affiliates?
Having an affiliate marketing network lets you retain control of all aspects of your modes of production and operation - with the exception that you now have additional sales channels being cultivated by your affiliate sellers.
There are several other major benefits of affiliate marketing programs:
- Increase brand recognition and awareness
- Performance-based sales minimise your spend
- Drives new traffic and sales
- SEO benefits, including backlinks from authoritative websites
The only downside is that unless you make some sort of stipulation in your affiliate agreements, you won't have any control over the market positioning and techniques your affiliate sellers use to sell your goods or services.
How to implement affiliate marketing in your franchise marketing strategy
Affiliate marketing advertising is now a highly competitive field. Everyone's trying to get in on it, which means it's more difficult for individual affiliate sellers to be successful straight off that bat.
This is good news for you if you're considering offering an affiliate program. Or at least, it isn't bad news:
You'll have a whole lot of potential affiliate sellers to choose from. Plus, in such a saturated marketplace, you can afford to be choosy. For example, if you're only taking on a small number of individual affiliates, why not ask them about the tactics they'll be using?
Just like when you're choosing your new franchisees, this will give you the chance to see if they'll be a smart fit for your brand.
Because just like your franchisees, your affiliate sellers are going to be representing your business in the online world. You need to know they aren't going to bring you down.
Why not check them out a little?
For instance, what do they know about...
Surely if they're going to sell to your audience, they know a little about it. Specifically, the section or demographic of the part of your audience that they're going to target with their marketing.
The days of affiliate marketing where sellers used cheap tactics to sell diet pills and other poor quality products are largely gone. Some dinosaurs are still wandering around, but you've got to wonder how successful they still are.
The modern consumer is largely wise to their game. Any link that smells anything like these old-school, light-on-content bridge page sites quickly gets ignored or cancelled.
Instead, you'll want your potential affiliate seller to show that they're willing and able to build up some trust with your audience.
3.The mobile market
Like all online marketing, ignoring the mobile market is a bad way to go. You'll need your potential affiliates to show that they're ready to use the mobile market to its fullest extent - a properly mobile-optimised website should be the very minimum they have.
The shortcut of course, is to partner up with market influencers or bloggers who already have trust built up within a certain section of your audience they've already targeted. Or you can talk to an online marketing company which has already built up a trusted affiliate marketing network, or get in touch with an affiliate webmaster or cost-per action network.
This takes the necessity of individual recruitment out of your hands.
Types of affiliate marketing
Planning how to set up affiliate marketing for your franchise?
You'll need to know a little bit about the various options available as online locations you can choose as internet marketing affiliates.
Though there are no hard and fast industry rules, these terms are generally understood or used by most professionals:
In today's market of switched-on consumers, search affiliates are often the option you'll want to prioritise. They use both organic search and Pay Per Click methods to promote your goods or services.
Content and niche market websites
Like some search affiliates, content and niche market sites - including product review sites - concentrate on organic SEO search practices to draw in potential buyers.
Price comparison service websites and directories
These are a feature of many companies' affiliate networks.
These usually provide a reward every time a user acquires some sort of system-specific points.
Cause Related Marketing sites
This type of site offers charitable donations as part of their sales techniques and market positioning.
Coupon and rebate websites
These money-saving sites are good for the positioning of some brands.
Personal websites, weblogs, and websites syndication feeds
The personal websites and weblogs of influencers or other established bloggers can be the ideal affiliate outlets for your products. Many will be highly receptive to your affiliate offers.
E-mail marketing list affiliates
This type of promoter will generally offer affiliate marketing advertising via a large email list that they own or have access to. Others will offer their services as newsletter affiliates, providing a more content-based approach.
Registration path or co-registration affiliates
Ever registered for a site and received a sales offer as part of the registration process? That's what co-registration affiliates offer.
These directories focus on providing up-to-the-minute data relating to products and services. This means they generally avoid offering comparisons or money-off vouchers, instead leaving this to coupon and rebate sites.
Cost per action networks
Otherwise known as top-tier affiliates, or occasionally affiliate webmasters, this type of affiliate will have their own affiliate marketing network, the entirety of which will start advertising your products if you engage their webmaster.
Websites using adbars
A staple of many independent websites, adbars are an ever-present feature of online life at the moment. They show products to site visitors contextually.
Virtual currency - like that typically found in a game or similar virtual space - can be used to purchase advertising from some affiliates. These will only usually be suitable for certain market niches.
File sharing websites
File sharing websites have long been an internet feature. Though generally illegal or frowned-upon sites like Pirate Bay (which sometimes share download links to files they aren't licensed to) tend to be a bad choice as an affiliate seller, there are many that can provide a good option when used as an affiliate.
Video sharing websites
YouTube is by far the most prolific example of a video sharing site that offers affiliate marketing programs. YouTube will allow your affiliate to create a video, and then place links to the product or service of yours that they are promoting in the video description, or the video itself.
How to Work Affiliate Marketing For Franchise Businesses
Let Local Fame be your guide to successful affiliate marketing. Years of experience paired with an expert affiliate marketing team means we'll be able to use affiliate advertising strategies to boost your sales.
You can also download our FREE affiliate marketing network guide for more information on the best affiliate platforms.
Or why not check out the current condition of your online marketing? You can get a FREE report from us at any time. It's the first step to take towards your very own local fame.