For entrepreneurs, affiliate marketing has plenty to recommend it. But a lot goes into the practice – and the more you know, the better your returns. If you’re interested in starting an affiliate business in South Africa, read on to learn a little more about the basic concepts, and get some practical advice.
Defining Affiliate Marketing
In the simplest terms, affiliate marketing is an advertising model where the supplier of goods or services pays a third party to generate sales or traffic on its behalf. If you want to start an affiliate business, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
The issues that you need to consider before you begin are what you plan to promote and what affiliate business will best suit you, how you are going to approach the suppliers, whether you’re going to buy or establish a site, and how you’re going to go about marketing.
Deciding What to Promote
Because there is such a low entrance threshold to affiliate marketing (literally anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection can do it), it’s a highly competitive industry. This means that choosing your niche is something that must be carefully considered. Everyone from Amazon to online casinos offer affiliate programs, and these can include adding banners or adverts to an existing business site or blog, or creating entire sites dedicated to affiliate marketing purposes.
While there are affiliate business opportunities for all kinds of products and services, online casino affiliate programs are amongst the most popular. Creating a well-known gambling review site could for example see you bring in a large amount of revenue monthly. There are many popular sites of that character out there, such as Gamblers Africa which are focusing on providing the latest iGaming news from across Africa. The advantage of this type of affiliate business is that you are catering to a massive market, but it’s one that is highly saturated and requires continual investment in order to see on going returns.
When it comes to signing up with a program, the question is whether you go through an affiliate network or approach suppliers and service providers privately. Many companies are part of vast networks as they aim to get their brand out to as many people as possible, so you may need to sign up with a network rather than an individual entity.
Buying a Site vs Establishing Your Own
Whether you buy an existing site or establish your own will also depend on the market you are entering. If you wanted to start an online casino affiliate programme, for instance, you could purchase an existing review site with established readers, or you could start your own from scratch.
If you buy a website, make sure that any special deals with the suppliers stay in place, and that your commission will remain the same or higher for conversions. And, it goes without saying, make sure that the site has a good reputation.
Your Promotion Model and Conversion Tracking
Affiliate marketing is generally commission based, and payments are determined by cost per action, revenue share or a mixed model of the two. Depending on the program you have signed up for, the relevant model will be applied, and, in most cases, the more traffic you generate, the greater the revenue stream.
Your affiliate link will be tracked by the brand you are advertising, and it is up to you to decide how best to market it. You can opt for creating a content-rich website, sending out promotional bulk mails, or creating social media accounts that generate traffic. You can also combine these tools to maximise your ROI.
Whatever marketing channels you employ, keep them user-friendly and paint yourself as an expert to build trust and turn clicks into conversions.