B2B Affiliate Marketing in 2023 – Navigating Through the World of Marketing
Ever wondered about what is the best way to market your Business-to-Business (B2B) company? Heard about B2B affiliate marketing?
Well, today is your lucky day, as you have landed on this comprehensive guide to using affiliate marketing services for your B2B venture. Affiliate marketing is not just for B2C companies but also for B2B.
But how can I say this? Well, here are some interesting facts for you too.
Affiliate Marketing and Market Trends
To simply understand affiliate marketing we must realize the power social media has in today’s age. Social media has made overnight stars out of normal people like you and me. In recent times, TikTok stars have taken over the internet by storm. Therefore, a lot of the influencers have based their op-ed platforms on TikTok.
However, the widely used and most common social sites that originally introduced affiliate marketing to netizens were Youtube and Instagram. Affiliate marketing is based on getting endorsements from influential people for one’s products and services and influencing us commoners.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) brands typically use the prowess of affiliate marketing to the best of their capabilities. As the typical consumer is highly influenced by the lifestyle choices of bloggers and social media influencers. Therefore, they have proven to be the best affiliates for any and all brands imaginable.
In this blog, you will be reading about B2B affiliate marketing, its tools, and multiple benefits so let’s dive right in.
Understanding Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is an online performance-driven marketing strategy that empowers influencers and social media bloggers to affect people’s purchasing attitudes. Brands hire affiliates’ services to boost their sales and pay the affiliates a commission.
In case you are a business looking into expanding your customer base and reaching your target audience effectively, affiliate marketing can be your best friend. All you need to do, to establish a good affiliate program, is to define your goals and create a brand identity. Once a brand has a clear target of what they aim to achieve from marketing they can devise an effective strategy.
After defining goals, brands then look out for influential personalities on the internet who can help them achieve their targets. The influencers online, partner with brands to drive sales and earn for themselves a commission once a sale occurs through their reference.
The most famous affiliate programs are associated with B2C leading brands like Amazon with its Amazon Associates and eBay Partner Network. However, with constant advancements in the field of advertising and marketing, affiliate programs have also progressed far beyond typical e-commerce.
How To Make the Most of B2B Affiliate Marketing?
At one glance people think of affiliate marketing as an easy-to-generate link that is endorsed by influencers and will generate a lot of sales. However, this is not it. Designing and implementing an affiliate program is no easy task. It involves the culmination of many intricate details to produce a quality end product.
Making the most of affiliate marketing first requires hiring an expert marketer or an affiliate marketing agency. These individuals or companies have expertise in designing marketing campaigns that best suit a B2B company’s needs. The efforts and constant communication between the affiliate and marketer are essential to producing the desired results and minimizing lapses.
Implementation of a good marketing strategy involves a full team of social media experts. Some companies prefer to outsource the responsibility of setting up an affiliate program to agencies while some prefer to do it in-house. Despite whatever route, a B2B company takes there needs to be coherence among affiliates and companies.
Even if a business outsources its marketing needs they still need an in-house person who can expertly oversee the marketing agency’s efforts.
Some things an in-house marketer does to improve their affiliate program include the following:
- Oversee the marketing plan devised by the agency
- Maintain active communication with the marketing firm and affiliates
- Review the results and tweak the processes to enhance them
The Role B2B Affiliate Marketing Plays in Boosting Businesses
As compared to B2C, selling or purchasing products/services for a B2B company is much more nuanced and detail-oriented. Both types of business models are distinct and attempt to speak to different audiences.
When a B2B consumer is out to make a purchase he/she bases the decision on research and recommendation from credible sources. Their decision is accurately thought-out and is based on long-term investment concepts. Purchasing attitudes of B2B customers put a high value on the Return on Investment (ROI), more than the typical B2C customer.
Therefore, B2B companies opt for taking help from affiliates to market their products and services. The right affiliate helps these businesses reach their niche audience and encourage them to purchase their products or services.
B2B affiliate programs provide a cost-effective solution for companies to pique the interests of their target audience. This boosts the company’s ROI and helps them build a good marketing funnel.
Following are the multiple ways through which B2B affiliate marketing services boost business growth:
- Connects the right influencers to the right brands
- Enhances B2B leads and sales
- Increases website traffic and sign-ups
- Greater ROI as affiliates are paid their commission only when the affiliate links drive sales and meet targets
B2B affiliates are highly beneficial for companies that operate within technology, software, financial and retail. Wholesale businesses and brokers also widely employ affiliate marketing to boost revenue generation rates.
Types of B2B Affiliate Programs
The different affiliate partners produce different kinds of creative content based on the brand’s brief. Most companies offer their affiliates the autonomy to curate any type of content however some give very strict instructions.
The different types of affiliates a company hires includes bloggers, social media influencers, websites and reviewers. Moreover, B2B companies often collaborate with other companies offering similar products and services on a shared affiliate program. This kind of collaboration effectively captures the attention of their audiences.
These types of collaborative affiliate programs are known as nontraditional affiliate programs but are beneficial for all parties involved. Other types of affiliate programs employ different types of affiliate partners, these include,
- Email marketing affiliate partners
- Tech-based affiliates
- Media based affiliates
- Social Media Influencers
Suggested Read: Email Marketing 101 – The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Conversion
4 Steps To Help You Start Your Own Successful Affiliate Program
If you are a B2B company and you have made it this far in trying to understand affiliate programs then I am sure you are now ready to gain the tips and tricks to set up your own. Following are the top 5 tips that can help you design and implement a beneficial affiliate program;
Find the Right Affiliates
B2B clients typically conduct significant research on products or services before making a purchase, more so than B2C consumers. They frequently communicate with multiple additional stakeholders during the purchasing process. A B2B rarely consents to an immediate transaction. B2B purchasers prefer long-term investment.
Therefore a B2B company also puts a lot of effort into deciding on an affiliate for their company. They prefer to recruit those affiliates who have a good reputation and are regarded highly among a B2B’s customer base.
Define Realistic KPI for Affiliates
B2B affiliate programs should be designed in a way that is data-driven and is able to give off measurable results. Therefore companies that opt to implement a B2B affiliate program first define realistic and achievable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The KPIs defined are given as guidelines to affiliates hired for marketing purposes and they influence the program’s efficacy. Henceforth, if you have decided to implement a B2B program then you must set goals that are measurable and realistic enough to be achievable. The KPIs that matter the most in a successful affiliate program are as follows;
- The revenue you want to achieve from the program
- Number of leads you want to generate for your business
- A set conversion rate (leads to sales)
- Website traffic you want to generate
Offer Fair Commission to Affiliates
This is an ethical point and businesses should really focus on this point. Companies should offer a good and equitable commission to the affiliates that they are hiring. This boosts the image of a B2B company and its affiliate program. It helps affiliates choose the right companies they can work for and builds the trust of people in companies.
Refine the Affiliate Program Regularly
After you have set up your affiliate program and it has been implemented then it is necessary that you monitor it regularly. Regular monitoring ensures that all KPIs are being achieved and what more you can do to achieve even better results.
How MarketPro Fits into the puzzle?
Now that we have carefully explained the purpose and mechanics of an affiliate program. I believe it has now become more clear as to how you as a B2B company can design and use your affiliate program. This blog has empowered you with the apt knowledge to implement a productive affiliate program that will help you earn and grow your customer base as a business. Therefore, helping you all founders, startups, and entrepreneurs in utilizing the services of an affiliate program.
If you want to know more about how MarketPro can help you, contact us.