10 Reasons Why You Need an Affiliate Marketing Network for Your Business
Benefits of affiliate marketing network and how it can grow your business online.
Affiliate networks and their services have flourished as more and more companies are turning to affiliate marketing to promote their products and services online, after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
While it is possible to work with affiliates directly, it requires a significant investment of time. Also, you have to invest in specialized affiliate marketing software such as Scaleo, to monitor your campaigns and your publishers. These investments payout easily, when you use affiliate networks. As a result, this method is now preferred by 83% of advertisers.
What are Affiliate Networks?
Affiliate networks are platforms that act as intermediaries between the publisher (aka the affiliate) and the advertiser (someone who has a product to sell). Advertisers post their affiliate programs on an affiliate network, and publishers can search the network for programs they want to promote. The affiliate network acts as a management platform for both the publisher and the advertiser.
How does an affiliate network work?
It starts with advertisers and publishers signing up to the network. Advertisers can then add their programs to the network, and publishers can access a wide variety of affiliate programs and promotional materials.
Publishers can sign up for programs they want to promote. When publishers are accepted as an affiliate partner by an advertiser, they get access to promotional texts or creatives for use on various platforms, such as social media, e-mail, or websites.
After registering with the network, the publisher is given a unique ID. These IDs are used in sales tracking through all programs advertised on the affiliate network. The publisher adds affiliate links to the promotional material. When a potential customer clicks on such a link, they are taken to the advertiser's website to make their purchase. The publisher ID is registered by the affiliate network so that the sale can be attributed to the publisher. Publishers and advertisers can use their dashboard at any time to request information about all aspects of the programs on the affiliate platform.
Affiliate network platforms (such as Scaleo) offer advanced account management and expert advice to support advertisers and publishers alike in creating and strengthening partnerships that allow them to expand and optimize their affiliate programs.
What are the advantages of an affiliate network over direct affiliate marketing?
Advertisers can look up and approach publishers directly to promote their products, but in general, it is easier and safer to use an affiliate network for this. The network takes care of many aspects of the implementation of an affiliate program so that the advertiser has more time for his own business.
The benefits of working with an affiliate network:
A managed solution
Because there is so much involved in an affiliate program, managing it is often very complex. An affiliate network streamlines management processes by providing account management, technology, and end-to-end tracking. Combined with payment and reporting options, this results in an efficient system that is easy to track, monitor, and adjust.
The affiliate network takes care of the payment of commissions to the affiliates.
Affiliate networks that also offer account management can support advertisers with their daily reporting. Advertisers benefit not only from insight into their own performance but also from regular benchmarks and industry analyzes. The account managers can support the general business strategies of the advertisers. They can also help achieve both business goals and targets for specific channels with campaign ideas and recommendations.
Account managers work with their advertisers to build a conversation, campaign, and execution partnership that creates value for both parties. The network also provides all the necessary tools for advertisers to easily track and promote their programs through dedicated interfaces and dashboards.
This one-stop solution also has the advantage that publishers are much more likely to trust your company and your brand, even if they've never heard of it. The transparent tracking and payment systems provide publishers with an added sense of security and the assurance that they are getting paid for their efforts.
Effective use of the advertising budget
Advertisers generally pay a commission when a sale is made. This sale also triggers the fee the affiliate network charges (often referred to as the network fee or fee). This fee is usually based on a percentage of the sale or commission, depending on the relevant advertiser's arrangements. But most networks are flexible with their payment model to make the affiliate marketing channel work as efficiently as possible. This allows many partners to start making money online with affiliate marketing without investing anything upfront.
Compare this with other forms of advertising, for which you have to pay a fixed fee regardless of the result of the turnover achieved, or with other online channels where you pay per click or per impression, regardless of the actual sales.
Product promotion through an affiliate network is a cost-effective way to manage your advertising budget, as the network's current reports and recommendations help you to spend your budget in the most targeted way. You can also keep a close eye on expenses.
You can set and calculate the commission rates during the start-up phase based on the profit margins. This allows you better to manage the expenses and costs per sold product and keep the budget under control all year round.
"Approved publishers only" products
Publishers must sign up for the affiliate network and go through a separate approval process for each advertiser's program. Not every publisher is accepted. Therefore, your products are only recommended by publishers who, according to the network, are suitable partners for the advertisers on the platform.
If you offer your affiliate program directly, you have to find suitable publishers yourself and approach and screen them all separately - a time-consuming process. By advertising on an affiliate network, your program is automatically brought to the attention of a large group of suitable publishers without you having to develop further marketing activities. Affiliate networks have a large database of active publishers from a large number of sectors. Each publisher has its own unique experience and skillset that you can take advantage of.
Central campaign tracking
With affiliate marketing software, you get access to an extensive dashboard, with which you can easily keep track of impressions, clicks, and conversions and, of course, your sales and your turnover. You can generate reports on this data at any time. You can track which publishers are the most successful and which campaigns are doing well. This allows you to easily optimize affiliate marketing without comparing and analyzing different reports from different sources. This way, you save a lot of time.
Compliance monitoring is included in the service
Publishers must comply with the terms of your affiliate program and the terms and conditions of the network, which rule out unfair, unethical, and unacceptable behavior. When dealing directly with publishers, it is often difficult to spot problematic behavior early on. Still, affiliate networks have a lot of experience in detecting suspicious activity and taking appropriate action. Thanks to their expertise, affiliate networks can spot unwanted activity before it becomes a real problem, and then stop it quickly and efficiently.
Affiliate networks also have special procedures for the prevention of unethical behavior, such as careful screening of all publishers and the implementation of user agreements and a code of conduct. This protects you against publishers who are not so careful.
Make use of influencers
Influencer marketing is a fast-growing trend. Consumers increasingly want to build relationships with people they know and trust. Progressive affiliate networks work closely with a variety of social influencers who can help boost your brand. This means that even more, possible affiliate partners are available. It takes time to build a relationship with an influencer, but as an advertiser with an affiliate network, you directly access the affiliated influencers.
Return on investment is an essential aspect of your marketing efforts, but with most marketing methods, it can take time to measure returns. By using an affiliate network, you benefit from ready-to-use processes and systems, so that you achieve a much faster return than if you were to work with publishers yourself. Because the necessary management systems are already ready for use, you no longer have to invest time in implementing and testing these systems. This makes the process much faster, and you also achieve faster results.
Less work for your own employees
Usually, the affiliate network assigns you a special account manager. He/she supervises your program, takes care of the program's daily implementation, and offers further assistance if necessary (depending on the agreed service level). The affiliate network manages the tracking and payment systems, while the publishers promote your product. In addition, expert support teams are available to resolve any technical issues. This means you need far fewer people than if you were to run a direct affiliate program yourself.
Better brand awareness
Every visitor sent to your e-commerce site by a publisher offers you the opportunity to build a new relationship. Affiliate networks have a wide international reach with publishers worldwide, so you can promote your brand in a wide geographic area. With every publisher that advertises your products, you increase your brand awareness in new markets and with new target groups.
You can easily maintain your brand identity on an affiliate network by uploading logos and creatives for your brand for use by the publishers. As a result, you are assured of a consistent brand presentation. You can also add branding guidelines and pass them along to the publishers to display your brand and logo properly.
With 81% of brands now using affiliate marketing, it is clear that this marketing channel is gaining popularity despite persistent claims from the digital industry that the channel would face a slow death.
There is no doubt that affiliate networks provide an efficient marketplace for advertisers looking for approved publishers to promote their products. These networks also provide a streamlined business model to manage campaigns effortlessly and without stress.
Enabling a worldwide affiliate network can be compared to outsourcing work to freelancers or contractors: you benefit from an extensive network of experienced and expert professionals without employing a specialized team yourself.
Affiliate networks provide a trust-based communication channel so you can build partnerships and relationships. This is of the utmost importance for the speed at which turnover and ROI can be achieved. Affiliate marketing thus has a unique selling point to distinguish itself from other marketing channels clearly.