Q: It’s been challenging to find appropriate publishers, and therefore recruit quality merchants that sell B2B. What do you feel the future of affiliate marketing is in the B2B Space?
A: I think the future, as well as the past, is all about managing expectations of merchants. The universe of available affiliates is inevitably smaller in B2B affiliates due to the focused nature of the products and services.
I think you’ve got to look at it almost like B2C affiliate marketing in the late 90’s when it was a matter of selling Webmasters on affiliate marketing before you could recruit them as affiliates.
So if you’ve got a client that’s selling some sort of construction products, take a list of all of their relevant keywords and search through Google, Yahoo, Ask, etc. to see which sites are coming up in the organic and paid results.
Start pitching the affiliate program to those sites. Plus any construction related blogs, newsletters, wikis, or any other type of potential affiliate.
It’s certainly more of a slow burn than a typical affiliate program selling widgets that have a mass appeal, but I think there’s a lot of potential if you are willing to put in the legwork.