Are your social media feeds or favorite sites full of seemingly ordinary users who happily post about specific products and services? You may be witnessing the fascinating ecosystem of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based system.1
Third party affiliates receive an affiliate commission from a company to share their products and services and thus drive sales.2
If you are a business owner looking to create a new growth strategy or someone hoping to build a sideline, it can be a great time to learn the mechanics of affiliate management and marketing.
So how do you start affiliate marketing? Let’s dive in!
How does affiliate marketing work?
The highlighting of social media has been a boon for the world of affiliate marketing. Business Insider attributes 15% of e-commerce revenue to affiliate marketing. This is because some of the best affiliate marketing programs are easier than ever.
Anyone can create a profile on a social media or website and build their audience, and companies can access sophisticated software to track sales sources and conversion rates. Still not sure the nitty-gritty of how affiliate marketing works?
Let’s break it down:
Start a program – If an online company wants to increase its audience and sales, it can start an affiliate program. Find an affiliate – Connect to affiliates with established audiences through a blog post, websites, email lists or social media profiles. Connect to your new audience – Affiliate marketer will market the company’s product or services on their individual affiliate site and include a unique tracking link provided by the company. Make the sale – When someone clicks on the tracking link associated with the affiliate partnership, they are redirected to the company’s website and the company automatically registers the customer’s source.
If the potential customer makes a purchase, affiliate marketing receives their commission. This commission can be in the form of a discount, free product or even five to ten percent of the sales amount.
Both the company and the subsidiary share the same goal: to conduct affiliate sales. This overall economic benefit creates a promising affiliate partnership.
How Much Money Does Affiliate Marketers Make?
The associated income varies greatly depending on factors such as:
Audience The product or service The time invested
A full-fledged influencer can make six figures, while a niche micro-influencer can earn a few hundred dollars. The more time you invest in your affiliate marketing, the more money you usually make
Types of affiliate marketing
We can divide the affiliate marketing strategy into three main categories:
Non-affiliated affiliate marketing – With affiliate affiliate marketing, the third party affiliate has no direct connection to what they are promoting or any skills, expertise or authority regarding the product or service. It’s easy to build an independently affiliate marketing program; however, the subsidiary has no relationship with the customers or the product. Related affiliate marketing – Related affiliate marketing is the other side of the coin. The subsidiary will have a relationship with the product or service they are promoting because it relates to their personal brand and identity. Related subsidiaries can drive more traffic than non-affiliated subsidiaries because of their authority and the trust of their audience. Involved affiliate marketing – At the other end of the spectrum, affiliate marketing is involved. These affiliates have used the product they are promoting so that their words are credible and genuine. This can help generate more sales; however, it can also potentially backfire on the subsidiary if the product or service ever experiences setbacks from customers. Unlike non-affiliated or related affiliate marketing, involved affiliates can claim the product or service because they have first-hand experience with it.
If you are hoping to get affiliated, you can start with independent affiliate marketing as you build your personal brand and audience. Businesses can experiment with each of these three styles to find out which type generates leads with the highest conversion rates
Pros and cons of affiliate marketing
Like any marketing strategy, affiliate marketing has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at some of the different pros and cons for the company and the subsidiary, respectively.
Benefits for businesses
Companies can enjoy benefits such as:
Low Cost Advertising – Affiliate marketing programs are an inexpensive option, especially because the subsidiary bears the potential cost of advertising. Return on investment – There is generally a high return on investment because companies only need to pay the subsidiary for traffic that converts to sales. Creativity – Companies can enjoy the creativity and novelty of their external affiliates. Control – The company will determine the terms of the affiliate marketing program so that they can maintain full control. Increased reach – Companies can diversify and expand their audience by collaborating with subsidiaries globally.
Benefits for affiliates
Eager subsidiaries can also look forward to some enticing benefits such as:
Increased income – affiliates receive compensation for converted sales as well as incentives such as free products, services or discounts. Growth Opportunities – Affiliates can develop their marketing skills and creativity through affiliate programs to build their online presence and eventually increase their prices.
Disadvantages for companies
Businesses can avoid the biggest disadvantages of affiliate marketing through proper planning and experience. Beware of disadvantages such as:
False Analytics – Early affiliate marketing programs that paid per. Click or per. Impression, were vulnerable to software that could artificially increase clicks or impressions; however, modern programs are less susceptible to this manipulation. Potential Fraud – There are still ways to deceive affiliate marketing programs. Tactics include buying misspelled domain names to earn commissions on the redirected link, filling out false information registration forms, or buying AdWords for high-ranking search terms. Required Planning – To reduce fraud, companies need to plan their affiliate programs effectively and clearly define their partnership agreements. Companies must also provide comprehensive details on how they want their brand and products represented. Extra labor – Because affiliate marketing programs still attract scams, they require the company to monitor affiliates and enforce partnership agreements.
Disadvantages for affiliates
Unfortunately, some of the advantages for companies become disadvantages for their subsidiaries. In particular, consider:
One-sided risk – affiliates have the cost of advertising, so the risk for both parties is not the same. Lack of control – As the company defines the terms of the affiliate marketing program, affiliates have less control; But as they grow their brand and audience, affiliates also increase their bargaining power.2
How to get involved in affiliate marketing
Now that you know the answer to what affiliate marketing is, you can implement this marketing strategy yourself. Whether you are a business or an individual, you can create an affiliate marketing program or become a subsidiary with minimal upfront investment.
Since the advertising pulse is on the subsidiary, it is a straightforward process to build an affiliate marketing program as a business. Consider following these four steps:
Define the partnership – Start with a clearly defined partnership agreement. Decide what kind of affiliates you want to work with, how they will be compensated, how they will represent your brand, and how they will be penalized for waiving your agreement. A binding contract will protect you from headaches down the road. Promote the program – Find your affiliates. Major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy and eBay allow potential affiliates to apply for their program. If you are a small business, you may need to contact influencers and stakeholders directly if your online presence is consistent with your brand and your intended target audience.2 Track sales – Build your sales funnel. Decide how you want to track your buyers’ path from affiliate page to click on purchase. You will probably need to invest in a particular service that tracks customer analytics if you have not already done so. Examine the success – Audit your program. Converting leads? Is the Commission cutting your bottom line? Would a different style of affiliate marketing work better? Mapping the success of your affiliate marketing program will help you get ahead of any barriers.
With these five steps, potential subsidiaries can increase their influence and develop an enviable side-string. The five steps include:
Develop your identity – Start with an internal audit. Could you be a fashion blogger? A foodie? An online comedian? Fine-tune a major aspect of your identity that you can center your content around. Know your target audience – Think about your audience. What type of content do they want to see? Which social media platform or marketing channel will they respond best to? A clear understanding of your future audience will help you begin to increase your influence. Awaken your personal brand – Focus on growth. Create timely and relevant content that will increase your audience and your organic reach. Develop a social schedule and strategy to increase your influence. Research Affiliate Marketing Programs – Start by researching potential affiliate marketing programs. Find products or services that suit your personal brand and audience demographics Create content – Develop enticing content. Imagine what might convince your audience to buy the product or service you are advertising and invest in organic and paid strategies to capture leads.3
Are you ready to enter the world of affiliate marketing?
According to Forbes, e-commerce will reach $ 1 trillion in annual sales for the first time by 2022.3 Businesses and potential subsidiaries should develop associated marketing strategies to keep pace with the incredible growth in e-commerce.
The future of shopping is undoubtedly online, and affiliate marketing will continue to be an important channel for customer acquisition and conversion. If you are ready to start your affiliate marketing journey, our digital marketing agency is ready to help. Whether you choose the Amazon Affiliate program or want to learn more about what a Twitch affiliate is, we are here to guide you through your affiliate journey!
Dummies. What is affiliate marketing and how does it work? https://www.dummies.com/business/marketing/what-is-affiliate-marketing-and-how-does-it-work/ Investopedia. Affiliate marketing. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/affiliate-marketing.asp Entrepreneur. 3 tips to get started with affiliate marketing. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/367966