How to Be an Affiliate Marketer Without a Website (Part I)
Can you be an affiliate without a website? If yes, how can website-less affiliate marketing be done?
This popular question is answered in this article. You will not only get the answer to this fundamental question, but also plenty of examples to get your creative juices going.
One of the most common asked questions about our industry is if one can do affiliate marketing without a website.
The answer is Yes!
While you might be thinking if it’s possible to be an affiliate marketer without a website, you need to consider two vital things before you get into the specific scenarios of how you can be one.
First, since many affiliate program managers will need to see an online place that tells how you will market their company, having at least a one-page website is typically better than having none.
Second, before you spend your money, time, and effort on marketing a product, brand, or service, always examine the respective affiliate program’s policies and rules. Better find out that something is forbidden before you’ve invested your money and energy in unwanted activity.
Regardless if you have a small “friends and family” list of email addresses or have a full-blown opt-in email list of a targeted audience, email marketing can be effective when united with affiliate marketing.
Example: each Q4 right at the start of it, my son’s school sends out an email to all parents, urging us to shop for gifts at a couple of online stores. They are being transparent by saying that a part of every order will go into the school’s account and used for enhancing our kids’ school experience. They don’t do the same through their website but are a dynamic email affiliate.
Living Tax-Free as an Affiliate Marketer (Part II)
The first step in living tax-free as an affiliate marketer is to create your offshore business. The most effective structure is typically a company formed in a zero-tax jurisdiction. Nevis, Belize, Panama, and the Cook Islands are the top choices for online businesses.
If you want to put on some asset protection, you can create a Panama foundation or trust as the host. This will deliver maximum protection from future civil creditors.
One word of advice about Panama
The directors and officers of Panama businesses are public record and listed in a searchable database. The same goes for council members and trustees of a Panama foundation.
Affiliate marketers usually want privacy to reduce the possibility of a lawsuit. So, you may add an LLC from Nevis or Belize to the mix. You are the CEO of the LLC and the LLC is the founder, officer, or director of your structure. This way, only you and your banker know who the beneficial owner of the company is.
The second step is to open a merchant account and an offshore bank account for your web business. Your clients or affiliate networks have to be paying by wire transfer into this account.
Clients typically look to Panama, St. Vincent, Cook Islands, or Belize for this account. The most well-known offshore jurisdiction with affiliate networks is in Hong Kong and Panama. The issue with this is that both of these jurisdictions now oblige you to have legal residency before opening a business bank account.
If you can’t get money into an offshore bank account, then you’ll have to have a US corporation. You want this business to bill the customer and then relocate the profit to your offshore account. The US business bills the client and you bill the US company so that it breaks even at year’s end.
Living Tax-Free as an Affiliate Marketer (Part I)
Here’s how to work and live as an affiliate marketer and pay zero in US taxes. If you market other people’s products online, you can effortlessly structure your business to be tax-free and completely compliant with US laws. If you’re working and living outside of the US, this article on how to live tax-free as an affiliate marketer is a must-read.
This article is purposely tailored to affiliate marketers, people who promote other people’s services or products online. You might use SEO, PPC, or PPA. The point is that you are promoting other folk’s products and not selling a physical good into the US.
The Tax Picture
If you’re selling your own products online or white labeling products, the tax analysis is way more complex. If you’re selling other people’s products, the tax picture is simple. It’s unproblematic to live tax-free as an affiliate marketer if you understand the rules.
And these same methods can be used by anyone selling a service online. You’re doing the service of marketing. And services are taxable wherever the work is done. So, affiliate marketing done outside the US is deemed foreign source income.
The same rule applies to any other service business or business where labor/work is what makes the money. If you’re selling subscriptions, hosting conferences outside of the US, writing blogs or marketing other people’s services or products, you’re in the service business.
The difference with a physical product sold into the US market is that products generate some sort of US source income. Some value has to be assigned to the product itself, and that value is taxable in the US regardless of where the work is done to ship, create, pack, support, and promote the product.
Living tax-free as an affiliate marketer:
- Create an offshore business and run your business through that thing.
- Open an offshore bank account and have your customer’s bills pay into that account.
- If you must have a US business and account, move your income out of the US and over to the offshore business every month or quarter.
Steps Before Going Global with Your Affiliate Program (Part III)
By walking the track before getting into a new market, you’ll be more ready to distinguish its quirks and address any marketing challenges, nuances, and cultural intricacies that develop.
Pick Your Partners Carefully
The energizing adventure of increasing your affiliate program abroad can become a nightmare if you unite yourself with the wrong partners. Global expansion is a huge move with numerous steps involved. This is why you need to be discerning about who you select to take the adventure with.
Just because a network or an agency says it has coverage in a particular area doesn’t mean they are the top choice. No single platform or network is a world leader in each market. They might be #1 in one market and #15 in another.
We’ve also heard of companies providing a “one-stop-shopping” experience to brands for their international expansion initiatives. While this might make the process sound simple it’s far from the best. For instance, an agency may be adept at affiliate marketing on their home base, but not in other areas.
Also, a big digital marketing agency might have a global footprint but be short of affiliate marketing expertise or experience. To make it appear as if they do, they’ll typically rapidly throw together an account team by bringing folks over from other channels, like display or paid search, who aren’t skilled in affiliate marketing.
In some instances, a perfect solution may be to work with a single agency that aligns with local partners in the country you’re wanting to expand into. If so, that agency partner must possess the know-how and resources to work as your global point person, making sure you work with the best agencies, platforms, and networks for your company in every region.
When you pick the best partners in every region, you’ll have a way better chance of seeing your affiliate program thrive and sales grow.
Steps Before Going Global with Your Affiliate Program (Part II)
How strong is your brand recognition?
If you have some brand awareness in a market but it’s not very convincing as well as an abundance of top-quality publishers in your sight, then your affiliate program can help expand your brand recognition in the region. Though, if there’s little to no brand recognition, your affiliate program will be way slower to begin and it might be hard to get publishers to capitalize in your program.
What are the best practices and unique customs in the region?
Audiences vary by country and can be made up of different sub-cultures. Be sure that someone on your team is acquainted with the best practices and local customs. Or, partner with a local agency. Businesses that fail to deal with cultural differences usually face resistant, skeptical customers and might have a difficult time winning over specific publishers.
Are there top-quality affiliate partners in the area?
These partners have to know both the affiliate industry and your particular vertical in order to give insight into how your brand will reverberate with the customer base in the area you’re looking to grow into. And since every country has its own laws on affiliate marketing, disclosures and taxation, these partners have to be able to help you navigate various legal challenges. Without these partners, your program will probably struggle in that new market.
How are the technology and service resources structured?
In the U.S. and Canada, networks typically charge additional fees for program management. Big marketing agencies usually aren’t very experienced in terms of affiliate marketing plans or best practices. By contrast, in Europe, networks usually include program management services in tandem with technology services.
Also, big European marketing and advertising agencies typically have well-developed affiliate management expertise and practices. These regional differences can result in a unclear assortment of technology and service choices that have many levels of sophistication and costs.
Steps Before Going Global with Your Affiliate Program (Part I)
Many e-commerce businesses are embarking on such an escapade by taking their affiliate programs worldwide. In their native setting, their affiliate marketing program has proven to be an agile and lucrative vehicle for propelling revenue.
So, as they develop other aspects of their company into global, new markets, it makes all the logic in the world that they’d want to incorporate their affiliate program in the expedition.
While technology has made it simpler than ever to manage and operate a global e-commerce company, technology alone is not adequate to ensure the success of a global affiliate program. Truthfully, businesses might find that enlarging their affiliate program globally is anything but straightforward and simple. Customary pitfalls for expanding your affiliate program internationally include:
- Agency and network differences
- Difficulties in establishing brand awareness
- Varying compliance standards
- Discovering, recruiting and handling local affiliates
- Language barriers with both partners and publishers
Luckily, by taking two vital steps, several of these pitfalls can be prevented.
Walk the Track
In auto racing, numerous teams practically walk and chart the roads that will be maneuvered on race day. Before rubber hits the road, walk the track, getting a gist of the landscape and recounting what’s found has become as vital as safety helmets and spark plugs.
In the context of the world expansion of your affiliate program, walking the track should include in-depth market research. Here are some significant questions to ask yourself and your team before going into a new market:
Is there a desire for our service or product in the X market? If you’re looking to get into an area where folks either rarely buy products online or wouldn’t have a serious interest in your products, then even the most well-operated affiliate program is doubtful to succeed.
Setting a Realistic Social Media Ad Budget (Part IV)
Social Media Isn’t for Everyone
For some companies, there are worthier ways to reach possible customers than social media. B2B companies usually fall into this category. Though, it’s also simpler to presume your customers don’t use social media. According to research, around 7 in 10 individuals use Facebook.
The trick to being successful is splitting your audience from the rest of the folks using that social network.
For example, putting a Facebook Pixel on your site can help you find out more about the interests and demographics of the potential consumers actively visiting your company site. Also, it can help you generate target audiences for social media advertising campaigns.
Having a couple of narrow focuses on particular audiences can help increase the spending power of a social media budget.
Trying to be everything to everyone never works, particularly on social media. The tighter you can get in pursuing a certain audience, the more triumphant you’re likely to be in the long run.
The Future of Social Media Marketing Budgets
In the future, there will probably be even more importance on quality and creativity in social advertising, so make sure to begin budgeting for creativity if you have done so already.
Would you find the ad interesting, funny, or engaging? You have to be willing to spend a little more on producing video content and creativity and you’ll have bigger success in the long run.
Many of the social networks and their artificial intelligence systems are consistently making enhancements in order to improve in the area of targeting. While this advances our capability as advertisers to put precisely the proper ad in front of the right person at precisely the correct moment, it can be assumed that these relevant developments will come at a higher price.
Setting a Realistic Social Media Ad Budget (Part III)
Creativity Impacting the Cost of Social Ad Spend
While it takes more money, time, and energy to add creativity to marketing on social media channels, several companies find these labors are worth the investment in the long run.
Usually, engaging and creative advertising efforts connect with audiences better, acquire organic momentum, and are more likely to get shares, comments, and likes.
Try to affiliate your content with the type of content folks have come to anticipate from that specific social media channel.
Avoid relentless selling with newspaper-style purchase ads. Ask yourself, is this something you would like to have in your own news feed?
Creativity Pays Off
Over time, social media channels, like YouTube, are likely to pick up on which advertisers create quality content and which advertisers can’t cut it.
While most of the social networks want to produce money, most decline to do so at the price of user enjoyment. High-quality, create content in advertising efforts on social media is a win-win for all.
Facebook, for example, will even assist an ad in doing better at auction if folks appear to be liking the content. Pleasure is basically measured by shares and likes.
Ad Spend Is Only Part of the Cost
When breaking down the complete cost of social advertising, try to ponder holistically about what’s truly involved. Even if you’re managing the work in-house, people have to use time tracking the results, placing the ads, coming up with a strategy, designing ads, writing the copy, and managing the whole process.
Here is an estimate of how much to budget for every one of the many activities involved in social media advertising:
- Project Management 5%
- Ad Spend 40%
- Strategy 10%
- Copywriting 10%
- Tracking Results 5%
- Design, Graphics, Videography, Visuals 30%
As you decide how much is being spent at every stage, don’t let the peripheral activities gobble up the ad spend part of the budget. Most small businesses aren’t going to hit a substantial number of users, particularly on platforms like Facebook, without coming up with some money.
Setting a Realistic Social Media Ad Budget (Part II)
How Much Should Your Company Spend on Social Media?
Step one in budgeting for social advertising is to decide how much you’re planning to spend on all your digital marketing endeavors.
- Next, you’ll need to determine what % of that budget is going to be dedicated to social media.
- Many businesses spend around 5% to 15% of yearly revenue on marketing
- Of the total marketing budget, around 35% to 45% must be spent on digital marketing happenings.
- Of the digital marketing budget, roughly 15% to 25% typically gets spent on social media marketing efforts (paid and organic).
- Your overall digital marketing aims have to play a factor in deciding how much gets allocated to social media spending.
Once you get the answer to those questions, it’s time to decide which social media channel your particular audience is using.
Social Media Channels That Allow Advertising
- Facebook Messenger
Don’t Forget Your Audience
There’s plenty of front-end work that must be finished before buying ad spend on social media, regardless of if you’re paying to enhance relevant content to audiences or buying ad space.
Social Advertising with Video Vs. Static Images
There are various ways to go about advertising on social media. Most companies are familiar with advertising through static image ads, but there is an increasing segment of advertisers that are using video ads.
Video content is usually pricier and more difficult to produce than a static image, but business is likely to make a greater impact and drive more engagement with a video advertisement, something all the social media channels appear to want.
The best thing about the video is that a piece of video content can frequently be used across numerous platforms and seems to have a longer “shelf life” than images. You can even cut video content up into various length clips to use in many capacities.
Setting a Realistic Social Media Ad Budget (Part I)
Is your business struggling to get social media success? Is your business thinking about taking the plunge into social media advertising? Are you getting hammered by your peers and seeking a new social media plan? Businesses across the globe have had success marketing on social platforms, but others have missed the memo.
When it comes to promoting on social media, it’s best to progress with caution and with a very precise budget in mind. Never forget that spending more money doesn’t really equate to better success, and it’s really easy to waste money on social ads.
Calculating the ROI for Social Media Advertising
It’s simpler than you may think for a company to spend hordes of money and time on social media without receiving the results they want. If your business isn’t pleased with the current return on investment from publicizing on social media networks, it may be time to reevaluate the budget and distinctly define your objectives.
In this article, we’ll talk about a few of these straightforward social media advertising budget topics, like:
- How much to spend
- How to measure success
- What % of my budget should be dedicated to social?
- Which social media channels permit advertising?
- Can creativity impact ROI & cost?
- Static image advertising vs. cost of video
- Ad spend Is only part of the cost
Measuring Success in Social Media Advertising
Every company is going to approach this question in its own way. Numerous companies measure success by the number of leads generated, potential customers engaged, or products produced.
Paid advertising on social platforms as a branding play can be more complex to track. But it could be the correct move if the strategy aligns with the company’s digital marketing objectives.
Social media is a good place for companies to connect with vast numbers of people.