When you run a startup, you need to go the extra mile for churning sales and revenues. A steady inflow of sales is vital to keep the company going. At the same time, you need recurring sales to break out of the startup phase. They come from loyal customers who contribute to building your brand in addition to driving home more sales. Acquiring and retaining such customers requires an out-of-the-box marketing mindset. You need a strategy that fuels acquisition and retention in the long run without spending a fortune.
Affiliate marketing ticks on both fronts- it is a low-risk opportunity that helps startups get a step closer to growth goals. It can boost sales and traffic while saving your overall marketing spends. The model involves collaboration with people who promote your products, and you reward them for the sales they generate. The benefits of integrating affiliate marketing into your startup plan are immense. Let us list them in detail.
Expands your customer base
Customer acquisition is perhaps the most challenging aspect of running a business, even more, when you just start. Statistics show that cold outreach seldom works for startups. Conversely, mass outreach is also not the best choice because it has a notoriously low ROI. Fortunately, you can collaborate with affiliates to address this challenge. They act as your sales representatives, leveraging their networks and audiences to grow your customer base. Consider them as independent contractors helping your company with their own promotional channels and techniques. You make a small investment and get customers the stress-free way.
Builds your brand
Another significant benefit of affiliate programs is that they contribute to building your brand, which is crucial for startups. They work like business partners who prioritize the success of your affiliate program. You can trust them to generate brand awareness and build brand image across their networks. Since they have credibility in their niche, people trust the products and businesses they promote. Everything boils down to getting the reputed affiliates relevant to your niche. They connect your brand with the relevant audience and extend its outreach. There couldn’t be an easier way to promote and boost your new brand.
Fits into the startup budget
Money is a concern for new businesses as it always seems to run short. If you want to survive amid cash constraints, you have to be extra careful about every dollar you spend. It is the first lesson you get while learning how to start a business and run it successfully. When it comes to creating your promotional plan, affiliate marketing emerges as a winning choice. The good thing is that you have to pay for sales only after they occur. There is no upfront investment in the program. You only have to pay for the affiliate platform and work on running it on a day-to-day basis. The rest happens when sales get flowing.
Boosts your campaigns
While affiliate marketing helps you save money as a startup, it goes a long way in boosting your campaigns. It can be of great help when you plan to launch a new product or feature. Affiliates spread the message through their own networks. So they can widen the reach of the campaigns substantially. You can start early by having them spread the buzz about an upcoming launch or offer even before the big announcement. Rest assured, your traffic will spurt before the launch, and sales will grow once it happens. Providing a special discount code to affiliates is a good idea as it can drive the conversion rate of the new campaigns.
Helps to scale the startup
Startups cannot afford to stagnate at any point. They must grow and scale over time, and affiliates can help with it. They bring you more traffic, leads, and sales that take your business on the growth route. Their networks and promotional channels give additional support to your expansion initiatives. When they add a referral link to your site, traffic can surge right away. It can bring a ranking boost for your search engine results too. Affiliate marketing can help your business deal with slowdowns and fluctuations, which can be killers for startups.
Empowers your business with UGC
Typically, your affiliate partners use the product themselves and render authentic user-generated content (UGC) to promote them. This content has immense selling potential as it is genuine rather than promotional. It is capable of influencing the purchase decisions of millennials. They rely more on real insights instead of marketing gimmicks. Product reviews and comparisons are some instances of the affiliate-generated UGC. These pieces of information go a long way in building the credibility of brands and products. Moreover, many buyers see them as personal recommendations for the products. Coming from affiliates, they become a tad more effective because people trust them.
Provides social proof
The UGC created by your affiliates provides social proof for your brand and products. Social proof can work as a catalyst for your startup because people tend to copy the behavior of others and buy things they endorse. Further, social influence goes beyond affecting the everyday choices of consumers. It connects them with brands for the long haul. When real people have a good word for your brand, others are likely to develop trust without any extra effort. So the benefit of the collaboration extends beyond a short-term sales boost. It is much about strengthening customer relationships in the long haul, which matters a lot when you are new in the industry.