What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a technique that includes cooperation between two brands for promoting their goods or services. Affiliate marketing may comprise of a single brand or a company or an individual that might be promoting a product in exchange for some commission on behalf of another brand/company/individual.
The underlying basic function of any affiliate marketing program is to carry-out cross-branding of the product amongst the customer base of other brands. This task is done when there is some kind of mutuality between the two brands that are looking to draw a common interest. Over time, affiliate marketing and various opportunities have come up due to the simultaneous emergence of the Internet. Affiliate marketing can be accomplished mainly by using web cookies and analytics.
What are Affiliate Programs?
Affiliate programs or affiliate models refer to an automated electronic platform that involves a web advertiser and webmasters. The webmasters enable themselves as an affiliate and are responsible for placing the company’s ads on their respective websites. The ads that are placed in the affiliate programs are generally linked to the website of the company, known as an affiliate link.
The affiliates have to apply for affiliate programs and a number of affiliate programs usually charge no capital for joining them. Whenever there is an online visitor that clicks on the affiliate link, the visitor is redirected to the advertiser’s website. In case of a purchase performed by the visitor, the affiliate is paid a portion of the total sales made, commonly known as the commission rate.
Some common forms of affiliate programs include- pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale. It is quite interesting to know that affiliate programs are an inexpensive option present online for driving traffic to a website.
What is an Affiliate Link?
An affiliate link depicts a fixed URL that has the affiliate’s ID or username. Advertisers use the affiliate links for monitoring the traffic being forwarded to the advertiser’s website and this is an inevitable component of any affiliate program. A signed affiliate agreement confirms that the affiliate is only responsible for arranging his own affiliate link and ensuring that it is connected to the advertiser’s website.
The key benefit of using an affiliate link is that it can be used for monitoring sales and it offers opportunities for those who’re interested in cross-selling of the products.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
Following are some of the key benefits of using affiliate marketing-
- The major advantage of an affiliate program is that is purely a performance-based task. As the affiliates are paid commission only when the desired action has taken place, it helps them in driving the conversions they’re looking for. This helps in mitigating any efforts that could drive traffic having minimal value to the company, and at the same time ensuring that the affiliate gets paid.
- Due to the increased number of affiliates across various product categories and different economic sectors, they have a huge visitor base. These partnerships bring in opportunities for expanding out to newer markets, thereby, giving a much stronger online presence for the brand. Affiliates can also be overlooked as extension partners for the current marketing and sales team.
- The user should look to partner with trusted bloggers and reputed websites for enhancing the reputation of his brand as well as products. The opinions of these sources will be of great effect and boost the confidence of consumers in the user products or services. Consumers today look forward to trust a 3rd-party’s opinion rather than the website that is directly selling the product.
- Due to all the reasons listed above, affiliate marketing proves to be quite cost-effective. When the business owner hires affiliates in newer markets, it proves to be a quite cost-effective method when the businesses are looking to expand into newer markets without incurring any additional costs of creating new campaigns for the newer markets.
- Having a dedicated affiliate team in the marketing program can be beneficial when the businesses the scale traffic at faster rates. More the number of sites that are linked to the business pages, more would be the chances to convert these users into paid customers in the form of warm and hot leads. Affiliate links also don’t have a direct impact on the search engine rankings of the website. Also, the website gets a higher range of referral traffic which can help in boosting direct and organic traffic on the website.
Becoming a Successful Affiliate Marketer
To become a successful affiliate marketer, you can follow the provided list-
- Having thorough research about affiliate marketing and the successful brands present within the market niche
- Having performed in-depth research of every affiliate program that the businesses are willing to join, such that one gets an idea of how and when is he going to be paid
- You can start even a blog and other social media channels for promoting the affiliate links
- You should always consider using a lead page and a funnel system for marketing your affiliate business
- Regularly monitor the success of your affiliate programs, in case you’ve planned several programs or even using other types of ad