Smart entrepreneurs running a thriving business understand that there’s always more they can do to make that business grow and simultaneously find an alternate stream of income. That doesn’t mean starting an additional business but exploring newer avenues to add on and grow exponentially by offering more value to the target clientele. Let’s go and dig more about what is Affiliate Marketing and how to become a successful Affiliate Marketing Consultant in 2022.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing has a pre-dated existence much before the arrival of the Internet. The Internet however has increased the visibility of affiliate marketing. Amazon put an affiliate marketing program on the map, whereby websites and bloggers put links to the Amazon page to receive fees that they had reviewed post their purchase from Amazon. In this sense, affiliate marketing is nothing but a pay-for-performance marketing program where the performance is measured by the act of selling, that is outsourced across to a wider network. According to the trade magazine Business Insider, A direct and prompt generation of 15% of e-commerce revenue can be attributed to affiliate marketing.
However, it’s the world of digital marketing, reporting, and analytics, that has made it a booming billion-dollar industry. An affiliate marketing program can trace the links that bring in leads and, through internal analytics, see how many of them get converted to sales.
An e-commerce merchant longing to expand his product reach to shoppers may hire an affiliate. An affiliate could be either the owner of multiple websites or has a large database of email marketing lists thus marking his presence over a wider network. The hired affiliate then broadcasts and promotes the products offered on the e-commerce platform to his wide network through banner ads, text ads, or links on its multiple owned websites or via email to its clientele. These attractive advertisements in the form of articles, videos, and images are used to capture the minds of the audience and pull them towards a service or product.
A visitor’s click on those links/adverts will be enough for Affiliates to redirect them to the Shopping cart. Post the successful purchase, the e-commerce merchant transfers the agreed-upon commission spanning between 5% to 10% of the sales price to the affiliate’s account. The end goal of using an affiliate marketer is to increase sales, thus making it a complete win-win situation for both the merchant and the affiliate.
How to find affiliate programs?
If one is wondering how to get their hands-on luck with affiliate marketing, you’ve got a few options. Every company doesn’t offer affiliate programs, some manage their own affiliate programs while others use an affiliate network.
The other viable and easier option would be to visit an affiliate marketplace or platform and browse to scout top-performing affiliate platforms like;
The next option would be to visit the websites of the products and services you use and check if they have an affiliate program. Large companies mostly promote programs on their sites, such as Amazon Associates or the Shopify Affiliate Program.
You also can take a more direct route, i.e. by reaching out to the owner of a great product you came across and inquiring if they can possibly offer an affiliate marketing program. If they don’t, they might be happy to offer you a special coupon code to share with your followers. The best deals are often sourced with the first mover’s advantage coupled with a wide distribution channel, such as approaching the baker if you’re a food blogger.
Affiliate marketing programs will have specific terms of service that need to have adhered to, so it’s better to read the fine print.
Also read : What is Digital Marketing
Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
The terms and conditions for an affiliate marketing program are set by the advertising company. These terms must be tight, especially if the contract agreement pays for traffic rather than sales thus reducing the chances of potential fraud.
Earlier the companies largely paid on per click or per mile basis for advertisements. This was a chink in the armor, as clicks/impressions could be generated by the software. With the technical advancement, the focus has shifted to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads.
Now, there are stringent guidelines to generate leads. Malpractices like installing adware or spyware to redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate’s page have been nullified.
Unscrupulous affiliates can sit over misspelled domain names and get a commission for the redirect. They can populate fake online registration forms with unsolicited information to purchase AdWords on search terms the company already ranks high. This just highlights that, even if the terms and conditions are clear, an affiliate marketing program does require a 3rd eye to monitor affiliates and ensure rules are being adhered to effectively.
Businesses using affiliate marketing
Wirecutter: Wirecutter, which was acquired by The New York Times in 2016 used to promote kitchen tools and travel gear. It only makes recommendations after exhaustive research, interviewing, and testing by a team of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers.
BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed started out as a gift guide and expanded into product reviews under various product categories. The site’s USP is that it covers a variety of ordinary items, giving multi-dimension reviews. BuzzFeed’s reviews are quite precise adding a lot of value to the reader.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to increase their revenue potential by exploring resourceful avenues. Subsequently, this is being done successfully, wherein a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service.