Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest and most common form of online marketing. In this type of marketing arrangement, an online retailer pays commission to an external website or partner site for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.
The affiliate industry has many players. Affiliates are marketing partners. They include bloggers, review sites and organizations and can prove to be effective in selling a brand or service as affiliate marketing helps to drive new customers to a company. While this form of marketing has many benefits and helps to create a new customer base, there are also some watch outs.
Not All Affiliates Are Beneficial
In affiliate marketing, a company primarily benefits from the efforts of affiliates or channels. However, there could be some affiliates that are not really generating value. For example, some affiliates design their business models to capture customers who are already in the buying process in the shopping cart. Such affiliates get credit for transactions when the customer tries to make a purchase though they have done nothing to initiate or offer incremental value. It is important to scrutinize the contribution of affiliates to avoid this type of low and no value activity.
If you don’t do so, it can also negatively impact affiliates who are actually selling your brand and getting you new customers via blogs, social media or review sites.
Not All Affiliates Share Your Values
While affiliates give more significant value to the company, some involve in deceptive marketing activities to collect commissions. This kind of fake online marketing can put the brand and the integrity of your company at risk.
Many companies turn a blind eye to these wrong marketing techniques as it generates revenue. Sometimes companies do not have any idea of these types of affiliates who are promoting their brand in an illegal way. But remember it neither reflects well upon the company nor demonstrates a successful marketing program. To avoid unethical affiliates getting into your company you should screen all your partners carefully, have transparent insights into what they are doing to promote your brand and monitor their activities once they are taken into your program.
Over the years, the affiliate marketing domain has evolved and matured but some of the above problems still exist because they benefit the many players involved and shutting down this can mean less profitability. However, it has been observed that today companies are now becoming more concerned about how they partner and with whom. They prefer to pair with partners who share their values and can representing their brand with integrity.