What is local affiliate marketing? How can you cash in on doing this as a local SEO?
Is it even worth doing? These are the questions that I will unpack in this article.
Traditional affiliate marketing is where you go on an affiliate platform like Clickbank or Amazon and find an offer to promote on your blog, to your email or list or even with pay-per-click marketing.
This is a great way to make money and something I am heavily involved with. However, the only problem is that it can be incredibly competitive, especially in some niches.
If you want a shot at something easier, consider local affilate marketing.
Let's dive in and see what it's all about and how YOU can benefit.
What is Local Affiliate Marketing?
Local affiliate marketing is where you will promote the products or services of businesses in your area (or any area for that matter).
As a local affiliate, you will need to "talk" to local businesses with human-to-human contact. This make some traditional affiliate marketers feeling a little squirmish because we tend to be an introverted bunch. This is because with traditional affiliate marketing you don't really need to pitch ideas, talk to anyone or pick up the phone.
Here are the steps involved in setting up a local affiliate program:
- Step 1 - Pick a niche and find a local business in that niche
- Step 2 - Contact them and ask if they would be interested in YOU selling their services
- Step 3 - If it's a yes, discuss whether you would get paid via a % commission or on a per lead basis.
- Step 4 - Ensure you have a tracking system for your leads. There is call tracking software available for phone calls or email leads.
- Step 5 - Develop a strategy to get traffic. This can be pay-per-click ads or through your website with SEO.
- Step 6 - Bill your local SEO client for revenue earned
Local Affiliate Marketing Through CPA Offers
If contacting businesses makes you feel kinda squirmish, there is another way to do local affiliate marketing where you don't need to contact businesses directly.
These are called CPA Offers. You can find CPA offers which stands for "Cost Per Action". on websites such as OfferVault, MaxBounty, CPAlead and more. Not all of these will have local offers, but some might so you'll need to search for them.
The great thing about this is that you won't need to contact business owners or set up tracking software. Everything is provided to you and you can view your stats from the provided dashboard.
Just to be clear, CPA marketing isn't exactly local affiliate marketing, but it can be if you can find offers for businesses that operate in specific areas that you can target. For example, "Mold removal San Diego" as a keyword to target for a CPA offer on mold removal in San Diego.
Why Should You Consider Local Affiliate Marketing? (The Pros)
First of all, why would ANY business want to include affiliate marketing in their advertising budget?
According to Statista, affiliate marketing spending increases every year. For example, back in 2017, affiliate marketing spending was 5.4 billion. In 2022, it went up to 8.2 billion. This number will likely increase year over year as more businesses are created and more affiliate marketers get on board to capitalize on this upward trend.
Now that you know affiliate marketing is an essential tool for any business, why should you consider being a local affiliate marketer?
1. Higher Conversion Rates
Local campaigns often enjoy higher conversion rates than broader campaigns because of the specific targeting. According to various studies, local campaigns can have conversion rates that are 2x-3x higher than non-localized efforts.
2. Trust Factor
Local consumers tend to trust (and like to support) local businesses and service providers over the larger and impersonal corporations.
According to the BrightLocal's Local Consumer Review Survey, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses to determine which business they should do business with. If you can add value for one of these businesses as an affiliate marketer, their greater success (and more positive reviews) equals greater success for you too.
You can encourage your visitors to leave a positive Google review for the company you are an affiliate for which can help you and the business generate more revenue.
3. It's Cost Effective
Doing affiliate marketing for a local business isn't going to cost you anything to set up. Ok, well, there might be a few expenses such as setting up a website, call tracking software and other expenses. However, these are very low and manageable so you don't need a big budget to start.
4. Easier to SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it's just one of the strategies you can use to drive traffic to businesses as a local affiliate.
For example, let's say you are in the home improvement niche. You could create a page on "outdoor decks Miami" where you could link to a local business in Miami that builds decks.
The smaller the city, the easier it would be to rank so choose wisely. On top of that, you might even get in the "snack pack" in Google search, giving your page a lot more traffic.
Just a caveat, a lot of established businesses will dominate the snack pack so it's best to target smaller areas or niches that are not so popular. You might need to have an address to register with Google My Business to get in the snack pack, but sometimes you can get in there without this - I've seen it happen before.
Cons Of Local Affiliate Marketing
Now that we've looked at the pros, let's check out some cons of affiliate marketing.
1. Limited Reach
In "normal" affiliate marketing the world is your oyster, so to speak. Meaning, you can market products and services to any part of the world, giving you potential to make a lot of sales globally.
With local affiliate marketing, you are pretty much limited and won't be able to grow that reach beyond the city you are targeting.
2. Resource Constraints
Local businesses often have smaller budgets, which could limit your earnings or the scope of the campaign. On top of that, if their business starts to suffer or can't afford to pay you commissions anymore, they may shut you out.
3. Increased Competition
At any point, other competing businesses could pop up, which could result in less traffic and less sales. Competition isn't always a bad thing, but in local affiliate marketing the less competition the better.
4. Dependence on Local Economy:
Being tied to a local market means being vulnerable to local economic conditions. A downturn in the local economy could negatively affect your earnings as a marketer.
5. You Can Easily be Replaced
After some time you could end up getting replaced by another local marketer that offers the business better terms. Unlike traditional affiliate marketing, local businesses prefer to work with just one marketer so if you're not performing for them, you can easily be replaced.
6. You Could Lose Money If Doing PPC Ads
PPC or pay-per-click ads is another strategy you can use to drive leads to your local affiliate offers. Unlike "doing seo" for a local business where they may also incorporate a pay-per-click campaign that they pay for, as a local affiliate, you would have to take on this cost.
If your campaigns aren't resulting in commissions higher than what you are paying for clicks, you are going to lose money.
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Training For Local Affiliate Marketing
Where do you get training for local affiliate marketing? You first need to have experience with traditional affiliate marketing before even considering local. You don't want to approach businesses as a newbie, you want to be able to understand how affiliate marketing works and to provide them some proof that you know what you are talking about.
I've reviewed the best affiliate marketing courses that you should consider taking. Once you understand how it all works, you could easily switch focus to local.
So there you go. Is local affiliate marketing something you should consider? If you are the extroverted type that likes to talk to people, make cold calls, have in-person business meetings etc, then yes, go for it.
However, if you are introverted and would rather not talk to people and just work on your laptop on a beach somewhere, then just stick with traditional affiliate marketing.
That's what I prefer. 😊
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