3 Ways Affiliate Marketing Programs Work for B2B Lead Generation

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Written By John Dubay

Any business owner eventually faces a plateau of new customers.

Good business owners will know what to do to rise up from that plateau and generate new leads. Great business owners will understand that there is a more efficient way of generating new leads than trying to do it themselves, and they partner with an affiliate program.

No matter how you run your company, your ultimate goal is most likely to have more eyes on your product or service. Teaming up with an affiliate marketing program allows you to focus on your brand while the marketing team gets more people to interact with your brand.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a system where an online company pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

Affiliate marketing can take many forms from cold calling services to blog posts to email campaigns.

Why is Affiliate Marketing So Successful?     

There are three simple ways that affiliate programs work for B2B lead generation. Affiliate marketing programs are low risk/high reward, help you reach a larger audience, and provide results you can see.

1. Low Risk, High Reward 

3 Easy Ways Affiliate Programs Work for B2B Lead Generation

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk way to grow your clientele because you only pay for results.

Affiliate marketing is commission-based, so instead of paying upfront for a marketing campaign that may or may not work, you are paying for a thoughtfully targeted audience. This means that the more you owe your affiliate marketers, the more customers they have brought you!

Affiliate programs help you to spend money on the right people. It is entirely performance-based. Because the affiliates don’t earn until they get results, they are more motivated to provide you with lead generation.

You are spending money on the right people instead of shots in the dark with randomized email marketing, online advertising, social media, or SEO campaigns.

2. Reach a Larger Audience

An affiliate program will be able to introduce you to an entirely new set of customers. Most affiliate programs are niche-based, so they know exactly who to look for when they are bringing new clients to your webpage.

Some companies hire marketers who are already influential in a certain industry, like social media personas or bloggers. These influencers promote links to your products or services on their sites and the people who follow them are more inclined to check out what you’re doing.

One way to market your referral program and maximize referrals is to create social media campaigns. This will significantly boost the customer base and reach a wider audience.

3. Results You Can See

 It is easy to track ROI with affiliates because you can directly attribute conversions to your publishers.

3 Easy Ways Affiliate Programs Work for B2B Lead Generation

A spike in conversions won’t happen overnight, but if you monitor certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) over the weeks following your partnership with an affiliate you will be able to see quantifiable growth.

Your company can work with your affiliate program to decide what KPI(s) you want to focus on.

Agreeing on where you want to see growth will help all sides see how successful the program is. KPIs you want to consider include:

  • Amount of revenue brought in by affiliates each quarter or year
  • Number of qualified leads brought in by affiliates per quarter or year
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of unique sales from affiliate links 

Currently, affiliate marketing drives a significant part of e-commerce orders around the US. With the stats to back it up, it is easy to see how affiliate marketing will help your business grow exponentially. 

How Do I Know if Affiliate Marketing is the Right Avenue for My Business?

  • If your marketing goals include getting in front of as many responsive prospects as possible to increase leads, B2B affiliate marketing is a great tool to use.
  • If you have a high customer retention rate, taking on an affiliate is a good idea.
  • If your company has a high-profit margin, using an affiliate program will help increase sales while keeping costs relatively low.
  • If you sell products primarily online, affiliate marketing is a great strategy.

If you are still unsure whether you want to hire a company to help your business, you can always test the effectiveness of affiliate marketing by reaching out to one or two industry influencers and asking them to promote your page or product to their followers. If they agree, you can see how other people advocating for your brand can draw in new customers.

I Want to Hire an Affiliate Marketing Service – Now What?

1. Decide on the Main Goal

Obviously, the goal is to generate more revenue, but you need to be more specific than “increase sales.” Take the time to define your company’s sales funnel and the steps you want your customers to take when they visit your website.

Since you will be paying your affiliates for valuable leads, identify the section of the sales funnel you want your customers to jump into. For example, if your overall goal is to increase email sign-ups, you will want to commission your affiliates to get people to sign up instead of only visiting the site.

Having a clear goal will help you choose the desired outcome that involves customer interaction. Instead of a passive action, you want to generate conversions through newsletter signups, email inquiries, chat messages, purchase of a product, etc. Simply paying for visitors to your website can lower your conversion rate.

2. Determine the Value

Ask yourself (and your team) how much this is worth to you. To grab the attention of affiliate marketers who already have other clients, you’ll need to offer competitive rates. You will have to figure out the happy medium that will entice your publishers but not break your company’s bank. 

You can offer a flat commission rate for the desired outcome such as $5 for every direct conversion. You could also propose a scaled system based on the interaction level of the customer: $1 per person who visits a blog page, $5 per person who joins the email list, and $10 per person who makes a purchase.

Incentivizing your affiliates will lead to more revenue for you in the long run, but you want to make sure you’re still turning a profit.

3. Choose the Right Affiliate Program

3 Easy Ways Affiliate Programs Work for B2B Lead Generation

Don’t just settle for the first affiliate program you find—it is important to find a good match for your company’s needs. Browse their sites and learn about clients they have had in the past and their preferred methods of marketing.

Every company is different, and you want to make sure you work with the right people to make your business the best it can be.

  • Find a publisher in your company’s niche.
  • Pick a program that has proven results for past clients.
  • If you cater to small business owners, don’t choose an affiliate that primarily works with big businesses and vice versa.
  • Although you want affiliates with experience in your industry, avoid a company that markets for your direct competitor because they will be forced to split their marketing outreach.

This step will probably take a fair amount of time if you want to find the right partner program. Investing your time in this venture will pay off in the long run because there are generally fewer potential customers for B2B companies, and all new customers will have a higher lifetime value.

4. Give Your Affiliates the Tools They Need to Succeed

As amazing as affiliate marketing programs are, you can’t just offer them money and kick back while they do all the heavy lifting.

It is necessary to provide your publisher any information they could potentially need to generate leads. The more details and media you give them, the more effective they will be. If you can give them a package of high-quality images, video testimonials, articles, etc. then they will have everything they need to make you stand out to potential customers. 

It is also necessary that your website is easy to navigate. If affiliate programs are sending people to your site to sign up for a newsletter, they should be able to sign up for that newsletter in less than five steps. If a customer gets lost on an unfamiliar website, they may just close the tab.

A successful affiliate marketing campaign demands a lot of time and attention from all parties involved. You have to remember that their success is your success.

5. Keep Up with Your KPIs

Circling back to your ultimate goal in your measurable KPIs, take the time each week to analyze your progress. Figure out what is working and what adjustments should be made. Before you know it, you will have a plethora of new customers.

Setting Up An Affiliate Program

You can use a step-by-step guide for setting up an affiliate program for vendors that can be of great help in handling the process related to products and sales funnels.

Features for vendors to verify their affiliates are also included in the Paykickstart account. It gives you an option, once you have created your affiliate program, to share the campaigns with affiliates, or add to the Marketplace to request approval to promote your Campaign and your Funnels and product offers.

Are you working with an affiliate company? Please share your experience in the comments below!

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