Driving Digital: How affiliate marketing is helping brands across industries

Affiliate marketing allows you to hit the sweet spot between publicity and promotion

To say that India is a lucrative online market will be an understatement. Home to the second-largest user base, both in terms of smartphone and internet users, the country is the fastest-growing market in the global e-commerce sector and is expected to get bigger at a CAGR of 50 per cent till 2020.

Mapping India’s online potential

A recent Deloitte India report projects the Indian e-commerce market to be worth $1.2 trillion by 2021. As a result, the demand for online goods and services has increased substantially. This is reflected in the number of online transactions in the country. The value of mobile wallet transactions alone increased from Rs 200 billion in the 2016-17 fiscal to Rs 3,000 billion in 2017-18, highlighting how mobile is rapidly establishing the future of commerce in India.

But, with the increasing competition in the online space, how do brands across industries stand out from the crowd to reach out to their customers and drive better business results? How do they choose between different digital marketing strategies – such as influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO/SEM, etc. – and find the one that works best for them?

Most importantly, how do they ensure that their marketing spending generates concomitant value and helps them meet KPIs such as customer acquisition, new app installation, or sales?

Affiliate marketing: The must-have digital option for brands

This is exactly where affiliate marketing steps into the picture. Leading affiliate marketing networks allow brands to showcase their offers and products through new-age publishers across a host of platforms and formats. Such affiliate partnerships helps brands reach out to their target audiences through relevant content in a contextual, captive environment.

But what makes these affiliate networks so effective? Here’s looking at the key reasons why affiliate marketing holds sway amongst brands looking to create optimised marketing value:

Lower risk to advertising spends

Affiliate marketing offers benefits and works well for all kinds of online business, even on a limited budget. It gives advertisers access to various pricing models such as CPA, CPS, CPC, CPI, CPL, and CPV etc., along with a wide variety of traffic sources. Publisher/traffic sources get the payout as per the predefined KPIs.

The process is clear and defined: the publisher will get a commission for meeting the performed actions. Through this, advertisers are able to reduce the risk to their marketing spends. Moreover, they don’t have to make heavy upfront investments when working with affiliate partners, unlike other digital marketing approaches such as influencer marketing.

Top affiliate networks also ensure that losses caused by digital ad frauds – which, according to recent industry reports, could reach as high as $19 billion annually – are completely eliminated. Leveraging proprietary tools such as anti-fraud technology, global affiliate networks like Admitad address this major challenge of by curbing fraudulent traffic and launching traffic control department.

Higher transparency and effectiveness with updated technology

The integration of cutting-edge technology enables improved tracking codes, cross-device and cross-browser tracking, third-party tracking, ad performance analysis, and product feed integration for brands.

These solutions enable brand marketers to gauge the effectiveness of publishers associations on aspects such as brand salience and product sales in real-time. Leading affiliate networks also leverage innovative tech-led tools to facilitate retargeting and re-engagement opportunities, enabling brands to derive more value from their advertising spends.

Brands also have access to all the necessary details of the affiliate partner, including practices, processes, and prior performance, to eliminate blind spots. State-of-the-art SDK integrations give advertisers access to a fool-proof CPA solution across websites and mobile apps.

Amplification of brand message through various traffic sources

As mentioned above, affiliate networks facilitate partnerships between brands and new-age publishers. These can include online blogs, coupon/cashback websites, online video channels, influencers, content marketers, real-time bidding (RTB) platforms, and social networks. Such a unique and diverse mix of media formats and traffic sources helps brands in amplifying their brand message and garner more engagement with the target audience. Building your own affiliate program with an affiliate network is another benefit which will help you add revenue to your business and bolster the growth of your online brand.

End-to-end campaign management

Choosing affiliate marketing can also help brands eliminate the hassle of having an in-house team to track, manage, communicate with partners, and report on campaign performance. Affiliate networks automate these tasks to make accurate, real-time information accessible and available to brand advertisers at all times. Additionally, choosing an affiliate network with in-house tracking technology can save time and a lot of effort for the brand team, delivering more effective results than third-party tracking platforms.

In addition to this, affiliate marketing delivers other benefits to advertisers. To begin with, since affiliate networks employ cutting-edge tech tools to analyse consumer behavior, the advertising content displayed is much more personalized to end-users’ stated and unstated needs. Such customised delivery of advertising content helps in driving better engagement with the target audiences and helps brands garner much higher consumer mindshare. The cost of retaining and re-engaging customers through affiliate marketing is also much lower than other paid marketing channels.

Why your brand should opt for affiliate marketing

If you’re still unsure about affiliate marketing, despite the benefits listed above, here is something to put all the information in perspective: it allows you to hit the sweet spot between publicity and promotion by going beyond simple advertising. Affiliates have reliable audiences, thus collaborating with the right affiliate gives you the right exposure, leading to increased traffic and revenues.

Leading affiliate networks can also augment the earning potential for a brand prior to peak sales periods. This makes affiliate marketing an integral part of the overall digital marketing strategy for brands. Top players in the affiliate marketing domain are also integrating online influencers into their affiliate networks to expand the range of options available to advertisers, making it easier to drive brand salience and consumer purchase decisions.

It is little wonder, then, that affiliate marketing is finding traction across all major industries, including high-value sectors such as travel, fashion, beauty, and electronics. The industry is expected to touch $835 million by 2025, showing how affiliate marketing has emerged as a wonderful investment avenue for online brands. Building your own affiliate program or partnering with an affiliate network will help you add revenues to your business and bolster the growth of your online brand.

(The author is CEO Admitad India. The views expressed here are her own and may not subscribe to them) 

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