Affiliate Marketing is a part of digital or online marketing strategy where many companies follow this strategy to build brand value or brand awareness among customers. Affiliate marketing is the cost-effective marketing strategy by which marketer can showcase various products and builds brand value.
Concept of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is online marketing strategy which “performance-based” and e-commerce is the important 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 hundred million transactions.
- Affiliate marketing contributes about 8% to 10% of total online marketing in the UK and contributes approximately 0.8% of 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 which 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 websites.
The following terms are used in affiliate marketing online marketing program:
- Merchant: The company or organization who wants to sell products or services.
- Affiliates: The companies or websites which provide an online platform for purchase and marketing of these products and services.
- Affiliate program: This 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:
- Content Publishers: These types of affiliates focus on content and usually work with websites, the content can be self-authored or user-generated content.
- Coupons: These affiliates seek for various offers and attractive deals.
- Data Affiliates: These affiliates provide information about merchant products and services.
- Email Affiliates: These affiliates use email marketing to promote merchant product and services.
- Incentive Affiliates: These types of affiliates offer various kinds of incentives, money back offers, etc. to the end customers.
- Mobile Affiliates: 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.
- Video Affiliates: In this type, affiliates focuses on video advertisement to get 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 in his platform or website.
- The visitors to these publisher’s or affiliate websites get access to various products and then click on those links and attractive advertisement.
- 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 the 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 following things in mind:
- Payment Methods: 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 digital marketing system, it may happen that merchant and affiliate can be from different countries. So, 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, affiliate marketer should use custom link URL which he gets from the merchant. Otherwise, all the efforts made by 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.
- Email Updating: Affiliate marketer should always keep in touch with the potential customers or clients through emails, so the affiliate marketer should get in touch with the clients on a regular basis and updates them with updated offerings and products.
- Affiliate Statistics: Every affiliate marketer should keep a close eye on the statistics and data for his marketing efforts. This will help him to have real data about the affiliate marketing efforts and will get him realistic benefits.
FAQ’s Related to Affiliate Marketing
So, we have understood what affiliate marketing precisely as it’s a part of digital marketing where affiliate refers someone to get merchant’s or marketer’s product sell and when the purchase happens affiliates get the commission.
Commission varies from product to product and type of affiliates program. Let’s discuss few queries related to “Affiliate Marketing,” below are the common questions which every new marketer or affiliate can have:
Whether affiliate marketing is harmful or illegal?
The answer is 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 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 AdSense so that any online marketer can enjoy both the marketing methods. Most of the time’s affiliate marketing work better than AdSense as its 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 offer you have to check FAQ section on their websites and get related information.
One can also find affiliate link by just simple Google search, type the ‘product name’ in the search bar plus ‘affiliate program.’ The product name can vary from company to company so just 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 user etc.
How to find new products and how to promote them?
As mentioned above one can find best products and good affiliate offers in affiliate marketplace. Also one can also do some basic research for getting an idea about various affiliates programs. You should also keep a close eye on 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 don’t cost anything, you don’t have to pay a single dollar to be a part of 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 affiliate marketing program?
Well to be frank to join affiliate marketing program you don’t need any qualification anyone can participate in affiliate marketing. Apparently to be successful affiliate marketer one should good research, copywriting and marketing skills.
Any program available which convert the common link into affiliate links?
One get affiliate links directly from the “Merchant” whose products or services you wish to promote, but 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 affiliate marketing program?
In a real sense, there is no limit to earning by using affiliate marketing program as it all depends upon the particular affiliate program which one is promoting and how much conversions one is making. Good affiliate program and lots of conversions will result in higher income.
An affiliate marketer can earn from 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 “World Wide Web” was introduced to the general public.
The concept of affiliate marketing was not new and was already in process in traditional marketing, but 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 large scale, and it is Amazon only which made affiliate marketing methods and techniques popular, and many other companies eventually launched affiliate marketing program for their products and many online users or marketer 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 affiliate marketing program. In countries like UK affiliate marketing started to contribute to the country GDP so that one can imagine the impact ad popularity of 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 the part of affiliate marketing programs like file sharing, entertainment, internet related services, mobiles and various other sectors.
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 advertisements. 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 provided in YouTube where video maker can embed various advertisements in the YouTube through Google affiliate network. The world of affiliate marketing is growing day by day, and at present scenario, this way marketing is at its peak.
Top Affiliate Marketing Companies
One of the biggest in market is Clickbank