How to Leverage B2B Affiliate Marketing to Maximize ROI • Scaleo Blog

How to Leverage B2B Affiliate Marketing to Maximize ROI • Scaleo Blog

Marketing

While it’s common knowledge that B2C ecommerce businesses benefit greatly from affiliate marketing, not many are aware that B2B affiliate marketing also exists – and that it’s incredibly effective for generating leads, increasing sales, and maximizing ROI when done properly. 

Affiliates are typically prominent and reliable content creators in your industry, which is why consumers are more willing to see what they’re offering. In fact, 15% of digital marketing revenue can be attributed to affiliate marketing, according to Business Insider. 

No wonder more and more B2B businesses have incorporated affiliate marketing into their strategy. So, if you have yet to hop on the bandwagon, now would be the best time to do it!  

In this post, we’ll be tackling three things: How affiliate marketing works, how your business can benefit from it, and how you can leverage it to maximize your return on investment. 

That being said, let’s begin!

What Is a B2B Affiliate Marketing Program?

In a nutshell, a B2B affiliate marketing program involves companies collaborating with content creators to promote their products or services. 

These affiliates advertise their partners by simply adding links to their website within their content. Whenever a visitor converts after clicking on the link, the business rewards the affiliate with a commission. In turn, this win-win situation motivates the affiliate to elevate the business’ growth even further, with the cycle repeating over and over.

Benefits of Starting a B2B Affiliate Marketing Program

Besides the fact that your business will get more exposure from other businesses, here are four reasons why you should consider getting into B2B affiliate marketing:

It is low-risk and cost-effective 

Affiliates are only paid after they make a successful lead or sale, making affiliate marketing a cost-effective strategy for your business. At the same time, it produces results with less risk, considering that traffic comes with an endorsement from someone customers trust.

It improves SEO

Brands that invest in SEO are no strangers when it comes to ranking high in Google and other search engines. And, guess what? Affiliate marketing plays a part in boosting SEO, particularly backlinking. There’s a lot of backlinking potential, as your affiliates will be placing your website link to their blog and social media channels.  

It establishes you as a trusted brand

People trust industry leaders and fellow consumers more than messages that directly come from brand, which makes affiliate marketing a word-of-mouth powerhouse. Seeing that you’re being endorsed by a well-known personality in your niche, your target audience won’t be having reservations about you.

It increases your sales and leads

Your affiliates can direct their audience to just about anywhere on your website, and yes, including any landing page you have. This improves your odds of directly generating high-quality B2B leads and sales.

Ways to Leverage B2B Affiliate Marketing

Now that you know what’s in it for you when you choose to team up with third-party experts, you’re probably wondering how to get started as soon as you finish reading this post. Well, we can reassure you that these tips will lead you to the right path and ultimately maximize your ROI:

Choose the Right Partners

Recruiting the right affiliates isn’t just the first step in running an affiliate program, but it’s also the most time-consuming one. Because you’re targeting those who are experts in your industry, it is you who should be actively winning them over, not the other way around.

To recruit top-selling affiliates for your business, look for established B2B influencers and professionals your target audience already follow and trust, as well as content creators in our niche who produce quality content that resonates with your audience. As much as possible, opt for those who aren’t promoting a competitor of yours. 

Also, try to pick affiliates across various segments of your target market so you can build a network that delivers personalized messages to their respective audience and direct leads to specific landing pages. 

Don’t Overlook Existing Customers

Although there’s no denying that partnering with big names in your industry can help put your business ahead, you should think about selecting a couple of your current customers to be your affiliates too. 

Customers can actually make a difference in the B2B sector, especially if they have an incredible following themselves. Strategically speaking, customer referrals push affiliate marketing programs more organically and quickly than traditional forms of outreach. Here are some stats to prove just that:

Perhaps the best part of having a loyal customer in your B2B affiliate program is that they can genuinely share how your products or services have made their lives easier. 

With people preferring to hear real customers who can sincerely vouch for a brand from a buyer’s perspective, recruiting a handful of customers to your program will definitely give your business a major push. 

Offer Competitive Commissions

As you’re setting up your affiliate program, spend some time deliberating what incentives your partners deserve. 

For B2B companies like you, the best way to incentivize your affiliates is by offering a fixed percentage of every sale they bring in, paid out in cash. Or, you can reward them with a fixed commission for each purchase made through their link. 

Regardless of which option works best for you, make sure that your commissions are much more competitive than those of other companies within your industry. For instance, you’ll find yourself in a bad position if you offer a 10% commission when most of your competitors’ affiliate programs have a 15% commission.

One-upping them, however, isn’t really the solution you’re looking for. Instead, determining the best commission rate may require you to answer these three questions:

Once you have your answers, that’s the time you decide on a reasonable yet attractive rate you can afford to pay out. 

Build Your Own Affiliate Network

For B2B businesses that are just starting out, going through an existing affiliate network can be a huge time- and energy-saver.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way for any long-term affiliate marketing. 

Sure, an affiliate network will gladly do all the recruiting and managing for you, but that also means you’re gonna have to spend a lot of cash. Aside from paying your affiliates directly, you’ll also be paying the network for their services.

On the other hand, by cutting out the middleman and forming your own affiliate network, you get to:

Educate Your Affiliates

Once you’ve finally assembled your affiliate network and are completely satisfied, your next move is to teach them everything they need to know about your brand, guidelines, rules to earn a commission, and of course, your sales cycle. 

Emphasize the needs of your target audience, as well as the role your affiliates have to play in fostering trust and nurturing relationships with prospective leads. 

In case you have affiliates who have no experience in promoting B2B offers, see to it that you clearly explain the complexity of the B2B sales process upfront to prepare them for the program. Let them know that the process usually takes more time so they won’t get frustrated from waiting later on. 

During this initial training, it’s important to set a regular schedule to check in with your affiliates. That way, you can keep track of their progress, and at the same time, keep them posted on the latest happenings regarding your business. Plus, reaching out to them consistently gives them the notion that you truly value them, boosting their morale.

Pick the Right Affiliate Software

Affiliate marketing software, such as Scaleo, is certainly something you should have in your digital marketing arsenal. It’s there to tell you which affiliates are responsible for which sales, strengthen your relationships, automate your payouts, and so much more.

Most of these software programs include a portal or dashboard where affiliates can monitor their progress. This helps them identify which areas they excel at, and which ones they should improve on. 

As for its usual price, let’s just say that affiliate software typically costs much less each year than the fees charged by an existing affiliate network. You’ll save a ton of cash, that’s for sure. 

Again, B2B affiliate marketing is always a powerful tool for generating leads, driving sales, and maximizing your ROI. As long as you follow the tips we tackled, you’ll be on the right track. 

This content was originally published here.

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