The Growth Potential Of Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses

The Growth Potential Of Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses

In the ever-changing world of digital commerce, retailers face many challenges in reaching their potential customers.

Affiliate marketing has proven effective for reaching a large global audience and growing sales on a small marketing budget. This is a $17 billion industry where 15% of people earn over $50,000 annually. 

Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses

For small businesses with limited marketing budgets, affiliate marketing, if done correctly, offers a cost-effective method to drive traffic to your business and increase sales. 

Enhanced social proof

The modern shopper checks out the social proof of a brand before making a purchase. Social proof humanizes your brand, strengthening credibility and developing trust with potential customers. An affiliate relationship proves to potential customers that someone believes in your product and is willing to endorse it.

A BrightLocal survey shows that almost 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Another research showed that 95% of shoppers read online reviews before buying. Therefore, having an affiliate marketer endorse your brand is a solid strategy to build trust.

Cost-effective customer acquisition

99% of affiliate programs use the cost-per-action payment model. In this structure, an affiliate receives their commission only after a closed sale.  

This approach is more effective than traditional marketing because businesses don’t have to pay for advertisements upfront. You also benefit from the existing customer base of an affiliate marketer, saving you the time and effort of building your own. 

Improved SEO performance

Whenever small businesses partner with affiliates, they generate more backlinks to their websites, which helps to boost their search engine rankings. The impact of affiliate marketing on small business web traffic cannot be overstated. More than 69% of affiliate marketers implement SEO to drive visitors to their sponsors’ websites. 

Better sales tracking

Affiliate programs offer real-time tracking software and metrics on clicks, impressions, and sales. They also provide custom lead conversion tools like email signups and form submissions. The ability to track the performance of your business helps you make future operational adjustments to your site. This can translate into higher online revenue and benefits for your business.

Tips For SMBs To Maximize The Value Potential Of Affiliate Marketing

  • Partner with affiliate marketers with a large audience to gain access to a huge consumer base
  • Work with top-rated blog owners with a proven track record to help you drive more sales
  • Encourage high-quality content that aligns with your brand values 
  • Pay your affiliate marketers a standard 3-7% commission per sale

The Future Of Affiliate Marketing For Small Businesses

As remote and hybrid work models become the norm, more and more people are quitting their jobs to become solopreneurs. Consequently, industries like affiliate marketing are becoming more alluring due to the passive income they bring. 

Forbes Council Member David Gasparyan believes that affiliate marketing is only warming up.  If you still feel unsure about whether affiliate marketing saves the day or poisons the well, remember that incorporating an affiliate program into your marketing mix doesn’t mean you have to go all out. Many small businesses limit their affiliates to promoting a single offer in order to simplify promotion and commission tracking.


Affiliate marketing is here to stay. If you want a piece of the pie, start building an affiliate-friendly brand. Get marketers who have a large following online, and personalize your affiliate marketing offers to their audiences.

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