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Using Affiliate Marketing to Get the Word Out

When it comes down to marketing, there are so many things that you can do before you have to start finding other avenues. One of the better avenues to choose these days is using affiliate marketing to get the word out about a company and the services/products that they offer. Using affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular and affordable methods for companies to reach out to their target market of consumers.

But, what is affiliate marketing? How can a company use it to their benefit in this ever-advancing world of technology? Well, the basics of affiliate marketing are to use a partner or an affiliate company to hand out your marketing information for you. Whether that marketing be coupons, direct links, or even an opt-in email list on their website or at their store. Any company that uses affiliate marketing will benefit by not having to house the marketing themselves. They are typically self-maintaining and will offer months or years of an outside source for your customers to get knowledge about the company you are running.

Some methods of affiliate marketing are:

Pay-per-click buttons and banners. These helpful little links are free to place on a website, until a customer clicks on the direct link. This means, the company isn't going to be paying for a banner or button on another company's website, that isn't generating interest.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) articles, written by affiliates or house on affiliate websites. These SEO articles often times include numerous links which will direct to a specified website.
Fliers and ads on affiliate websites that are paid in bulk.

Some of the websites that are the best to become affiliates with in marketing are:

- Search affiliates that will utilize the pay per click engines.
- Comparison-shopping sites or directories.
- Coupon or rebate websites that are willing to focus on sales and promotions.
- Loyalty or reward websites. These websites will allow customers to gain awards for purchasing through their affiliates.
- CRM websites. However, these should be CRM websites that offer charitable donations.
- Content or niche market websites. A lot of these are product review websites. Many companies are even looking into becoming affiliates with popular bloggers for the opportunity to touch their fan-base.
- Personal websites.
- Blogs and website syndication feed websites.
- Email list affiliates. These are the companies that own large opt-in mail lists, that will allow you to send out mass-marketing emails to customers.
- Shopping directories.
- Top-tier affiliates, or cost per action networks.
- Adbar websites. Sites like Adsense.
- Video blogs.

There are however, some things that a company owner needs to be aware of before participating in affiliate marketing. The biggest thing to keep an eye out for is the standards that the affiliate holds their business practice to. Remember, anything that the affiliate says or does, can and will be held against your company as a whole. Choosing a reputable affiliate is absolutely necessary to ensure that a business is getting the absolute most out of using affiliate marketing.

Get to know your affiliate's code of conduct and their industry standards. You also need to realize that when you have an affiliate, you may be held liable for collecting sales tax in their home base's location. Getting to know your local laws, and the laws regarding sales tax in your affiliate's areas, is absolutely a needed practice before moving forward with any partnerships.

Another thing to consider is cookie-based marketing, which often times will go hand in hand with affiliate marketing. With the use of tracking cookies, companies are able to produce side-banner ads that will appeal to the consumer's own personal preferences and previous searches. All in all, using affiliate marketing is a smart move in the business world, so long as it is done properly.

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