February 3, 2016

How to Grow your Affiliate Network with the Right Tools

Affiliate marketing might seem like a simple revenue model, but its successful implementation depends on a variety of factors. In fact, the whole affiliate marketing business is considerably more complex than it appears and depends on your ability to plan the use of available resources, choose the right tools to work with and do some math on how you can best grow your revenue.

With the advancements of web technology and tracking systems, affiliate marketing has become somewhat of a mathematical equation that includes precisely defined factors that influence revenue growth. Of course, this equation differs from merchant to merchant and is based on their industries, types of services or products sold, as well as the strategy adopted. Yet, consistent planning, measurement and analysis are vital for expanding an affiliate business and this is why you need to work with the right tools.

Once you start thinking about doing business either as a buyer or reseller of affiliate programs, think about the following tools that can greatly influence your business.

Consider the subtle differences between CMS solutions. 

Although the easiest way to start a blog is to simply use a website builder such as wix.com or webbly.com, serious affiliate marketers need a more solid solution. This means you should consider WordPress, Blogger, Joomla! or Hubspot platforms, which provide you with a greater number of options to customize your website, track your users’ behavior and integrate other tools you might need.

WordPress and Blogger are known for their simplicity, while Joomla! and Hubspot require some technical skills in order to be properly set. All the systems provide just enough options to start blogging and scale resources as your audience grows, thus letting you plan the expansion of your affiliate network more strategically.

Choose affiliate platforms that offer relevant integrations. 

Consistent networking is essential for developing a successful affiliate marketing business, which is why you need to invest a significant amount of time into looking for new networks, contacts and partners. Among the great resources for doing this within the CCBill platform is the Merchant Connect network.  CCBill’s Merchant Connect is designed with the goal of providing an easy way to find and work with the most relevant CCBill partners.  In addition to processing your payments, and handling your subscription base, CCBill also lets you connect with the consumers of other CCBill Merchant Connect websites, both in your industry and other industries.  That way, you can tie together and automate your payment services and your traffic generation using a single system and use your time more effectively.

Develop growth strategy using tracking and analytics systems. 

To be able to resell products and services, you need to engage your audience on different channels and the only right way to do this is to understand their behavior, interests and needs. A great place to start analyzing your potential audience is Google’s Consumer Barometer, which gives you an insight into people’s online and buying behavior based on different parameters.

However, as you start building a loyal readership, you should track your user’s behavior on your website specifically. This is why tracking and analytics are now available for a variety of tools and even for each CMS you may decide to use.  To further ‘close the loop,’ Affiliates who process payments with CCBill can also integrate our FlexForms with Google Analytics and Google AdWords to get comprehensive reports on the most valuable data about their prospects and customers.

Integrate automated social sharing tools. 

Social sharing is a great way to expand your customer base and attract new visitors to your website. But, the social space requires you to be constantly present, meaning that you should post regularly and on different channels. This typically takes time, especially if you’re serious about measuring your engagements. In such cases, tools such as HubSpot (paid), Hootsuite (free) and Buffer (free) may be ideal because they allow you to schedule posts, track their performance and maximize their efficiency.

These are some of the resources that can aid your affiliate marketing strategy by helping you segment your audience, optimize your website and drive targeted traffic through affiliate networks. Of course, the success rates will depend mainly on what you have to offer, and you should always combine those with the right promotional tactics, in order to succeed.