Affiliate Marketing is a part of a digital or online marketing strategy where many companies follow this strategy to build brand value or brand awareness among customers. Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective marketing strategy by which marketers can showcase various products and creates brand value.
The Concept of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is an online marketing strategy that is "performance-based," and e-commerce is the vital sector where affiliate marketing has greater penetration.
E-commerce websites like amazon.com have various affiliated specific which directs the relevant traffic to amazon.com and in return use to get a commission in the form of money.
So, affiliate marketing is the online marketing strategy where the third party uses to market and sell products on their websites or platforms and get a mutually agreed commission on every purchase.
Various statistics prove why affiliate marketing is an essential part of online or digital marketing:
The affiliate marketing done only in the USA spent about 3.4 billion until the year 2014 and is expected to contribute approximately 6.5 billion by 2017.
It's about more than ten thousand online businesses, and marketers are present, which uses affiliate marketing as a part of their online or digital marketing campaign.
It's reported from the UK that about four billion clicks contributed to affiliated marketing, which finally resulted in approximately a hundred million transactions.
Affiliate marketing contributes about 8% to 10% of total online marketing in the UK and contributes approximately 0.8% of the country's GDP.
The concept of affiliate marketing was introduced by William J Tobin in the year 1994, through his company PC Flowers and Gifts.
It was the first organization that used affiliate marketing as a part of their online or internet marketing program and subsequently adopted by other e-commerce websites like amazon.com and various other sites.
The following terms are used in affiliate marketing online marketing program:
The company or organization who wants to sell products or services.
The companies or websites which provide an online platform for the purchase and marketing of these products and services.
It is an arrangement or agreement between one party or "Merchant," which is having products or services to pay to another party called "Affiliates," which provide referrals of sales, marketing, and other services.
The types of Affiliates are as below:
These types of affiliates focus on content and usually work with websites; the material can be self-authored or user-generated content.
These affiliates seek various offers and attractive deals.
These affiliates provide information about merchant products and services.
These affiliates use email marketing to promote merchant products and services.
These types of affiliates offer various kinds of incentives; money-back offers, etc. to the end customers.
These types of affiliates mainly focus on mobile marketing and pay per call kind of marketing individually.
Search engine marketing:
In this type of affiliate marketing, affiliates employees other SEM or search engine marketers to get desired traffic for the advertisers.
Social Media Affiliates:
In this type, affiliates use various social media marketing methods to drive traffics or purchases for the marketer or merchants.
In this type, affiliates focus on video advertisements to get the desired goals.
How Affiliate Marketing Works:
The affiliate marketing methods in online or digital marketing work as below:
The website or publisher who is working for the merchant publishes links of the merchant on his platform or website.
The visitors to these publishers or affiliate websites get access to various products and then click on those links and attractive advertisements.
The visitor or end customers click on these links, and if purchase or conversion happens, the publisher gets the commission.
Things Which Should be Included in Affiliate Marketing Program for Successful Campaign
The main reason for the popularity of Affiliate marketing is that it's the easiest and lucrative way to make money online today.
There are many types of affiliate marketing program available today, but to be successful while doing affiliate marketing program, every affiliate should keep the following things in mind:
Before indulging in affiliate marketing, the marketer should get and understand the payment methods & systems from merchants for whom they are doing the affiliate marketing.
As we all know, all these markings will be done online or on a digital marketing system, merchant and affiliate may be from different countries. So, the affiliate marketer should have a proper sense of payment options and methods so that he can get timely payment for his efforts.
Custom Link Option:
Every affiliate marketer should keep in mind that the price tag or rate offered for the products or services is not the payment he will get while doing the successful affiliate conversion.
So, the affiliate marketer should use the custom link URL, which he gets from the merchant. Otherwise, all the efforts made by the affiliate marketer will get wasted.
Custom Coupon Code:
Discount coupon code always attracts end customers and clients as they still offer lucrative discounts, but if an affiliate marketer launches his discount coupons its will help to generate more profit to him besides building his brand value in the market.
An affiliate marketer should always keep in touch with potential customers or clients through emails, so the affiliate marketer should get in touch with the clients regularly and updates them with updated offerings and products.
Every affiliate marketer should keep a close eye on the statistics and data for his marketing efforts. It will help him to have real data about the affiliate marketing efforts and will get him practical benefits.
FAQ's Related to Affiliate Marketing
So, we have understood what affiliate marketing, as it's a part of digital marketing where affiliate refers someone to get merchant's or marketer's product sell. When the purchase happens, affiliates get the commission.
The commission varies from product to product and type of affiliates program. Let's discuss a few queries related to "Affiliate Marketing," below are the typical questions which every new marketer or affiliate can have:
Whether affiliate marketing is harmful or illegal?
The answer is a big NO because it's just a referral program or referral-based marketing strategy where one gets paid or commissions by just referring products and services to customers or clients, also called the third party.
If some are using an affiliate marketing program, can he also use Google AdSense for online marketing?
Well, one can use both affiliate marketing program and AdSense at the same time or anyone as per his wish, Affiliate marketing method does not violate any terms & conditions of Google AdSense so that any online marketer can enjoy both the marketing methods.
Most of the time's affiliate marketing work better than AdSense as it's easy to implement and cost-effective.
How to find an affiliate link for any product?
To work as an affiliate marketer, you have to check the webpage of various companies for which you wish to work as the affiliate.
Not all companies offer affiliate marketing program but which suggest you have to check the FAQ section on their websites and get related information.
One can also find an affiliate link by just a simple Google search, type the 'product name' in the search bar plus 'affiliate program.'
The product name can vary from company to company, so type product name + affiliate program, and one can get the affiliate program link.
Many companies also advertise or give you the offer if you are already connected to them regarding users etc.
How to find new products and how to promote them?
As mentioned above, one can find the best products, and an excellent affiliate offers an affiliate marketplace. Also, one can do some basic research to get an idea about various affiliates programs.
You should keep observing the best affiliate programs so that you won't miss the best offers provided by them.
One can also have its blog to promote and search affiliate marketing programs.
How much payment is required to join the affiliate program?
Well, joining any affiliate program doesn't cost anything; you don't have to pay a single dollar to be a part of an affiliate marketing program.
But when you decide to promote the products using AdWords or PPC marketing, then, of course, you need to pay as per your marketing program and techniques.
Any specific qualification to join an affiliate marketing program?
To join the affiliate marketing program, you don't need any qualifications; anyone can participate in affiliate marketing. To be a successful affiliate marketer, one should good research, copywriting, and marketing skills.
Any program available which converts the common link into affiliate links?
One get affiliate links directly from the "Merchant" whose products or services you wish to promote. Still, there are also some programs like "Vigilinks" and "Skimlinks" available by which one can convert their ordinary links into affiliate links.
How much money can one earn by joining an affiliate marketing program?
In a real sense, there is no limit to earning by using an affiliate marketing program as it is dependant on the particular affiliate program, which one is promoting, and how much conversions one is making. Excellent affiliate program and lots of conversions will result in higher income.
An affiliate marketer can earn from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on his expertise and experience.
History and Origin of Affiliate Marketing
The program, which includes revenue sharing and referral techniques of marketing, first started in the year 1994, just four years later, when the "World Wide Web" was introduced to the general public.
The concept of affiliate marketing was not new. It was already in process in traditional marketing. Still, this concept of affiliate marketing using the internet was first introduced by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts, who also patented this marketing technique.
Later many other companies launched affiliate marketing methods. Amazon is one among them and flourished this marketing method at a massive scale, and it is Amazon only, which made affiliate marketing methods and techniques famous.
Many other companies eventually launched an affiliate marketing program for their products, and many online users or marketers started being an affiliate marketer.
The affiliate marketing method grew and became very popular by 2006 as it allows easy marketing and very cost-effective to the marketers and also allows extra income to the people who joined the affiliate marketing program.
In countries like the UK, affiliate marketing started to contribute to the country's GDP so that one can imagine the impact ads popularity of the affiliate marketing program.
It was also reported that affiliate marketing methods and techniques earned about 6.5 USD worldwide in the year 2006, in the same year the most promising sectors which were running affiliate marketing was retail, personal finance, travel, education, gaming & gambling, telecom, and publishing.
Subsequently, various other sectors became part of affiliate marketing programs like file sharing, entertainment, internet-related services, mobiles, and different other industries.
Various websites which are based on web 2.0 concepts which include blogging and interactive online communities also affected affiliate marketing method and techniques; these platforms allowed the user to have direct communication with the merchants or in other words, merchants and affiliates used to have improved and better communication.
Web 2.0 also opened many opportunities and platforms for various online bloggers, independent writers, individual website owners, and other internet users. This way, they can have extra income under their belt as well as got channels to promote themselves.
With the new media, the way companies were publishing advertisements also changed, and they have diversified their techniques and methods to display ads.
For example, as we all know that YouTube provided platforms for advertisers and merchants to display their advertisement before the videos get played; there are other techniques also offered on YouTube where video makers can embed various publications on YouTube through Google affiliate network. The world of affiliate marketing is growing day by day, and in the present scenario, this way, marketing is at its peak.
Top Affiliate Marketing Companies
One of the biggest in the market is Clickbank.