Showdown! Affiliate Marketing vs. Traditional Online Advertising

Let’s face it, most consumers know when they’re being advertised to and they generally don’t like it. There’s a weariness when a customer clicks a display ad or paid search result and is taken to a website, knowing they are being sold something. Affiliate Marketing programs strive to replace this uncertainty with brand trust.

Traditional Website Marketing

Generally, a traditional Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is quick to setup and easy to track. And, depending on your overall marketing goals, it’s uncomplicated. But many advertisers find it time-consuming to monitor performance reports and performance is dependent on trial and error. Moreover, according to a recent Lumen report, only 35% of those ads get seen at all, the rest languish on low-trafficked pages.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing), which includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization), offers desirable conversion rates but often the price tags on high-trafficked keywords can rise as they become hot with competitors. And similar to PPC, data reports need to be monitored and new keyword strategies tested to stay ahead of the competition.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing offers elements of traditional advertising programs, but with some additional desirable advantages. First, affiliate networks are targeted communities with established leaders or brand influencers who can endorse your brand, create content and reviews about your products. That personal, word-of-mouth introduction is powerful in brand recognition and building of initial trust. According to a Nielsen report, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product when referred by a friend.

Also, an affiliate program is usually set up on a “pay for performance” model or CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), offering a commission to an affiliate only when a desired result is generated, rather than just a click on a website. Regardless of traffic, the added brand exposure in these communities is just another advantage of these programs. (Read more about Commission Models in our post).

Lastly, affiliate marketers can offer a wealth of knowledge in this type of online marketing, providing deeper engagement with ideal networks and partnering with your team and strategy.

Traditional online advertising will always have its place in a marketing plan, with its combination of display ads and SEO buys, but a shrewd marketer will look for new avenues of quality leads that can come from an affiliate program.

Share Results is a leader in Affiliate Marketing. Reach out for a demo and to learn more

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