New eCommerce businesses—and even the more established ones—can still find it tricky to drive new sales for their products or services. Two of the most pressing challenges entrepreneurs face are driving traffic and increasing sales. While you can always rely on SEO and paid traffic, these methods can be costly and time-consuming.
The good news is there are several ways to grow your business, even in 2022. One such method is affiliate marketing, which still proves to be a viable method to grow your eCommerce business. Affiliate marketing is a win-win for marketers and affiliates. For the former, affiliate marketing helps you reach a wider audience, find new customers, and drive sales and revenue. For affiliates, it’s a viable income stream that lets them enjoy independence while allowing them to grow their following.
In this article, we’ll briefly explore what affiliate marketing is and how you can benefit from it. We’ll focus more on finding affiliates to drive growth for your eCommerce business in 2022.
8 Ways You Can Find Affiliates to Drive Growth in 2022:
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is essentially a partnership between businesses (or brands) and affiliates. Marketers work with affiliates who do online marketing to promote their products on their sites or videos. When a site visitor makes a purchase using the affiliate’s link, the affiliate earns a commission.
Businesses can either join an affiliate program or create their own affiliate system. Through affiliate programs, businesses can expand their network, increase brand awareness and revenue, and boost SEO efforts. Another benefit of affiliate marketing for businesses is it allows them to fully showcase what they’re offering through the content created by their affiliate partners.
Furthermore, it’s not just brands and affiliates who benefit from affiliate marketing. Customers also enjoy a variety of benefits, such as getting added value from the products or services through the information generated by the affiliates.
Affiliate marketing is a big industry showing no signs of stopping any time soon. In fact, expect affiliate marketing spending in the US to grow to $8.2 billion in 2022, from $6.8 billion and $7.4 billion in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
As appealing as affiliate marketing sounds, it’s worth noting that it does not apply to every business. For eCommerce businesses with small profit margins, affiliate marketing may not be the right choice, given that you need to make a profit while still being able to pay your affiliates.
To determine whether or not affiliate marketing will work for you, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Are other companies within your industry doing affiliate marketing?
- Will you be able to afford to join or build an affiliate program?
- Will you be able to manage your affiliate program?
Aside from eCommerce, here are some of the industries that leverage and have some success in affiliate marketing:
- Software companies or app developers
- Membership websites
- Health and nutrition
Now that we’ve covered the basics of affiliate marketing, let’s dive into several ways you can find affiliates for your brand.
8 Ways to Find Affiliates to Grow Your ECommerce Business in 2022
When it comes to finding affiliates, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. While there are plenty of methods you can try, it’s important to remember that only some might work for you. Just because one or two methods are effective for other companies, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll work for you.
Taking that into consideration, we’re sharing eight ways to help you find affiliates who can help you grow your eCommerce business:
1. Join affiliate networks and/or directories
Affiliate networks and directories are some of the best places to look for affiliates. Affiliate networks like ClickBank, ShareASale, and Amazon Associates are among the most popular and reliable affiliate programs you can join. They serve as middlemen between you and your affiliates.
Marketers turn to these networks to find products or services they want to promote. Joining an affiliate network gets your business listed in its directory, increasing the chances of affiliates finding your listing or offer. Additionally, these networks give you access to competitive commission structures and incentives.
Directories also let you list your affiliate program for free. They usually require you to link back to their site in return for the free listing service.
Aside from joining affiliate networks and directories, you can also participate in online communities or forums relevant to your niche.
2. Leverage influencer marketing
Influencer marketing continues to be a thriving industry in 2022.
In 2021 alone, the industry proved to be profitable, with the market raking in $13.8 billion. This year, it’s expected to grow to $16.4 billion.
It’s a form of social media marketing that leverages influencers to promote products or services through endorsements or product mentions. It’s an effective form of marketing because these influencers already have followers who trust them and view them as experts in their respective fields.
Influencer marketing heavily utilizes social media, where you can find influencers who can become your affiliates. Leveraging influencer marketing is a strategy that complements your affiliate marketing campaigns. Combining these two methods enables you to optimize your campaigns.
Moreover, through influencer marketing, you have the opportunity to grow your audience, build brand awareness, and create long-term relationships with your affiliates.
3. Build a relationship with customers and turn them into affiliates
Loyal customers are your biggest advocates, and they hold a lot of potential for your marketing campaigns.
Customers who are already engaged and invested in what you offer can potentially become your brand ambassadors or affiliates. They already love your product and are willing to recommend it to their network. Another great thing about customers as business partners is they’re your target audience.
4. Participate in affiliate events
Joining affiliate events and conferences helps you meet potential affiliates. They also allow you to expand your network, find ideal affiliates for your brand, and create genuine connections with your potential partners.
5. Partner with affiliate recruitment agencies
An affiliate recruitment agency is one of the easier ways to find affiliates. They find and recruit affiliates on your behalf and are knowledgeable in the best practices in sourcing affiliates. Plus, they already have access to a network of affiliates that they’ve previously worked with.
Another option you can look into is working with an affiliate manager, a professional who can help you identify and recruit new affiliates. An affiliate manager’s duties include:
- Communicating with affiliates
- Monitoring your conversions and sales
- Brainstorming promotions
- Monitoring and engaging your affiliates
6. Look for niche content creators or sites
In the online space, having a niche is highly beneficial. A niche blog is highly focused on one specific thing or topic. This, in turn, helps establish the blogger’s expertise or authority in that specific area, which they share with their like-minded audience through their content.
If you belong to a particular niche, you can try looking for affiliate niche sites or content creators online. Say you’re selling pet toys. You can conduct an online search using relevant keywords like “best pet toys” or “best pet toys for puppies.” From the results, you can identify sites like review sites or blogs that specialize in such a niche category. These, in turn, can potentially become your affiliate partners.
7. Try online ads
Advertising your affiliate program and offers online can be a powerful tool for finding affiliates. Online ads have the potential to get you reliable and high-quality affiliates because of their large reach. Plus, they can save you a lot of time and can be promoted on different platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
You can even run your ads on Google AdWords, which is a tool that enables users to find relevant keywords. LinkedIn is also a great place to find affiliates through online ads as the platform lets you advertise to groups of professionals or experts in their respective fields.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should discount traditional print publications and ads. Print ads that appear in niche publications still have the power to attract affiliates. This method gives you better control of your circulation and, thus, your reach.
Print and digital ads have both come a long way through the years. However, word of mouth still proves to be a powerful marketing tool. Word-of-mouth marketing banks on recommendations that can potentially generate a lot of impact. It’s more effective than paid ads and accounts for $6 trillion in annual global spending.
Through word of mouth, you can solidify and boost your reputation, which, in turn, can prove valuable when you’re finding new affiliates.
8. Tap into industry experts
Industry experts can be a valuable resource when it comes to finding affiliates. They can help you identify the ideal affiliates within your niche that align with your vision and your goals.
Growth and Development with Affiliates
To help jumpstart your growth in affiliate marketing in 2022, we’re sharing some of the best practices you can follow:
As with any business endeavor, affiliate marketing involves a lot of planning. Having a solid plan keeps you from wasting valuable resources and can help you better optimize your strategies and campaigns.
It’s crucial that you also determine your goals and make sure that they’re realistic and measurable.
- Think about your offer and commission rate.
Another thing to consider when finding affiliates is your offer and commission rate. Make sure that they are compelling and competitive enough to attract potential affiliates without breaking the bank. Find out what the average commission rates for your industry are and determine what you can afford to shell out for your affiliate marketing campaigns.
- Make signing up to become an affiliate easier.
Having a lot of forms to fill out can be a major deterrent for potential partners. Try to keep your forms as simple as possible and make sure that they’re mobile-friendly.
- Keep your affiliates continuously engaged.
One way to do this is by changing your commission rates now and then. This encourages your affiliates to perform better and prevents competitors from catching up with you. If you don’t step up, chances are, your affiliates will be scooped up by the competition.
Moreover, it’s important to keep your affiliates motivated. Pay them early or on time and give them the collaterals they might need.
When working with affiliates, you must nurture them. Encourage collaborations and provide them with content that they can utilize or reuse.
Your affiliates are valuable assets who can help drive sales, boost brand awareness, and expand your reach. While finding the right affiliates for your eCommerce store requires a lot of effort, it can ultimately be a rewarding venture. We’ve shared several easy ways you can use to find affiliates who resonate with your brand and what you have to offer. We hope that these methods can help take your business to new heights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is affiliate marketing still effective in 2022?
Yes, it is. The affiliate marketing industry continues to grow, with spending predicted to increase to $8.2 billion in 2022.
What other benefits can businesses and affiliates get from affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing can expand your network and bring in higher ROI. It’s a relatively low-cost and low-risk way to promote your products or services. It’s flexible, scalable, and gives you access to targeted traffic, ensuring that the affiliates you work with and their audience align or resonate with your brand.
What are the reliable affiliate platforms and networks that I can be a part of?
Some of the most popular and reliable affiliate platforms and networks for both brands and affiliates include: