Many of us heard the words “Affiliate Marketing” but do not really understand what it truly means, or how it works. The words may sound intimidating and seem like they can’t be understood in a one-time explanation by normal people, but in reality, it isn’t. Affiliate Marketing is not that hard to comprehend and is actually an easy concept, but of course, like other hustles, it is hard to put it to life.
Affiliate Marketing is a great way to earn money online, expand brand awareness of businesses, and gain more traffic. It is a little complicated and is not as easy as it may sound, but all your efforts will definitely not be in vain and will be worth it.
Read more to know what exactly Affiliate Marketing is, how it works, its benefits, and the best practices!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the process of someone promoting a product or service by a business and getting paid by it the moment that the target market avails.
Affiliate can be an intimidating word, especially for lots of people. But basically speaking, Affiliate really just means “Promoter” that is paid for every sale made by them.
Because they promote the products and exert marketing efforts in order to bring traffic, sales and etc.
Here is an example as an affiliate:
You are an affiliate of an online shop, let’s say for example it’s a clothing online shop. Now, you are exerting your marketing efforts in promoting the business. And then you have bought let’s say 10 customers to buy on the shop, and 7 of them added the products they desired to the cart, and the 3 actually checked out already. You will only be paid for 3 and will be paid more the moment the 7 check out the product on their cart.
That is how Affiliate Marketing works. Having a commission for every sale that is gained by the business through your marketing efforts.
This type of marketing most of the time involves influencers because they are the ones who bring a load of customers and sales to the business. Especially since they already have a foundation which are their followers who are most likely to avail from the business they are promoting and be customers. But anyone can still be an affiliate as long as they are ready to work hard to accomplish the roles and responsibilities an affiliate has.
Let’s say an influencer whose niche is makeup is an affiliate of a beauty business, and the said influencer is highly trusted in terms of reviewing and promoting products that are trustworthy, then her followers will definitely buy or at least check the products out. And she will get paid with every customer she bought from the business that actually bought products from the business.
But even when you are not an influencer you are still welcome to be an affiliate. It all boils down to how many customers you can bring to the business using your own marketing efforts. And the good thing is there is no pressure because there is no quota, you can earn passive income through this also as long as there are customers buying under your efforts.
How to Start in Affiliate Marketing?
In starting as an affiliate, the most important thing to do before anything else is to know what are the responsibilities of an affiliate. You should have a clear and solid grasp of what affiliate marketers do in order to be able to start.
Affiliate marketing is easy to understand as a concept but is hard to do as a job or for a living.
Here are the most common responsibilities an Affiliate Marketer has:
Create Marketing Efforts
Creating campaigns in any way possible to promote the products of the merchants and assure that people will buy, avail, or convert for the merchants. These campaigns have to result in bringing sales, conversions, traffic, and brand awareness for the businesses.
This is most of the time the sole purpose of an affiliate. To bring sales to the merchants by executing campaigns that promote and highlight the products or services of the merchants.
For example, a user on TikTok signed up to be an affiliate for Amazon. If you don’t know about TikTok, it is a video-sharing platform where users can create, share and watch videos. Now, the product is let’s say, for example, a trashcan that opens up when you are about to throw in it, an automatic trashcan. So how does this user make a sale?
First, the user will make content that features the trashcan, he will show the features and then share how great the trashcan is through the video he created. Those people who love it will want to have one for themselves.
So what he will do is, he will say this sentence at the end of the video
“If you want to buy one, click the link in my bio!“
Now, those people will go to his TikTok account and click the link on his bio, which is given by the merchant for tracking purposes. It means that if this certain link is used by the customer to buy, then this certain affiliate bought this customer from them.
It was mentioned above that being an affiliate can also be a passive income, here is why. In our example just now, the video that the affiliate made through TikTok is on TikTok for as long as he wants. And the longer time it is on the platforms, the more people will see it. And the more people will see it, the more people will buy the product. People can buy through his link even when he is sleeping, eating, or even making new content for another product. And TikTok’s algorithm works pretty much like the other platforms where they show you the things that you are potentially interested in. And when the algorithm works for the people who might be interested in automatic trashcans, your merchant will have to re-stock their product. That’s how powerful affiliate marketing is.
That is just one of the endless possibilities of how an affiliate makes sales for the merchant. You can go with whatever platform you are expert and comfortable with.
Most of the time, bringing sales is the top responsibility of the affiliate. It still depends on the objectives and goals of the merchants. But what’s important is to make sure that as an affiliate, you are doing your best to bring as many sales for the merchants as possible, you will also reap the rewards of this!
Traffic, Awareness, Conversion
Depending on the needs of the merchant, the campaigns, or the way the affiliates promote will adjust. Our example for sales of course will have to highlight the product that they want to sell. It is different in every program. But one of the important things affiliate needs when doing campaigns is to prove to the people that they tried it themselves first before telling the market all about it so that they are sure that it is a good service, product, subscription, etc.
For example, let’s say the merchant wants conversion, then the affiliate has to prove that they tried converting first and have seen amazing results before persuading the people to convert.
When it is traffic, then the affiliate must show that they have been there on the website and worked with it and prove that it is indeed a good website to be in and etc.
When it is awareness, the affiliate has to make sure that she is introducing the brand as clearly and as well as possible. Leaving the audience with absolutely no questions. What the brand does, what it offers and for who, how to avail of them, its benefits of it, and so much more.
Identifying Potential Customers
Make sure that you are targeting your potential customers according to the industry and business you are in. As an affiliate, you should be very aware of who your potential customers are and who you are selling the product or services to. Because then and only then will you be able to actually sell. Because you will know their needs and attend to them through what your merchant offers.
After reading the responsibilities of an affiliate, assess yourself and ask yourself questions.
Can I do this?
Do I really want to do this?
Can I stand on the responsibilities?
If your answers are all yes, then can definitely be an affiliate! But later, you will know what are the best things to do as an affiliate so you won’t just be an affiliate of merchants you have absolutely no idea about.
Steps you should do to start in Affiliate Marketing
- Pick a specialization.
- Assess the industry’s demands.
- Examine the opponents.
- Choose an affiliate program and sign up.
- Select the Affiliate Marketing Techniques.
- Select the offers you want to advertise.
- Get a different referral link for every deal.
- Produce and Disseminate Excellent Material.
- Share those URLs on your homepage, blogs, and social media channels.
- Every time a customer buys something via one of your links, you get paid.
Pick a specialization.
Each affiliate marketer focuses on a certain specialty to try to persuade their clients on buying the products. Having a niche or specialization is very important. What industry or business can you focus on, beauty, health, wellness, finance, food and etc.
Assess the Industry’s Demands.
It is best to choose industries where there is high demand but not a lot of affiliates. (THIS IS NOT IN ANY WAY ENCOURAGING SMOKING VAPE, THIS IS JUST PURELY FOR EXAMPLE) For example, vapes have high demand but not a lot promotes this type of product. You most likely will be noticed by the target market since not a lot of affiliates for this type of product unlike in other industries.
Examine the Opponents.
In business, it is important to always make sure that you analyze your opponents (other affiliates). Their behavior toward promotion and etc. You do not necessarily have to rack them but you have to know which opponent is your “opponent” and who you should look out for.
Choose an Affiliate Program and Sign Up.
Below we have examples of networks where you can get affiliate programs and then sign up for programs that you think suit you best.
Affiliate Marketing Techniques.
Employ strategies that will help you in promoting effective and excellent campaigns. In doing this, you should consider what you do best.
For example, you produce good videos, use them as the means to promote, write excellently, use blogs as a channel and etc.
Select the Offers you want to Advertise.
Select the best offers for the customers! For example, offers that are cheaper but are still quality, or offers that have promos for them to save money end, etc.
Get a Different Referral Link for Every Deal.
For every deal, make sure you ask your merchants to have a link that customers you made can use. This is for performance-tracking purposes.
Produce and Disseminate Excellent Material.
Make sure that the materials you use in promoting are not low quality and “just-just” It should be well-thought-of, clear, and most of all helpful and educational for the viewers which are the potential customers most of the time.
Share those URLs on your homepage, blogs, and social media channels.
Talk about your promotions! One of the roles of affiliates is to make sure the brand is known even to the unreached people group if possible.
And by doing so, your links for referrals must be on every social media account you have so that traffic from there will only have to click one link in order to buy.
Every time a customer buys something via one of your links, you get paid.
And there you have it, reap the rewards of your labor! You will now get paid every time a buyer makes a purchase through your links!
Affiliate Marketing Channels
There are four types of Marketing Affiliates.
Marketing Network Group
A platform that links affiliate marketers with businesses is known as an affiliate program. The network serves as a “mediator” to make it simple for affiliate marketers and companies delivering programs to connect with one another. Businesses may quickly locate and hire affiliates to advertise their goods and create new revenue streams. Marketing network groups are basically the bridge between the affiliate marketers and the business to be able to connect and make deals and market their way to the carts of the customers.
Businesses resorts to using affiliate marketing when they want to have more sales, want to increase brand awareness, and be able to reach a new group of audiences.
According to Shopify, these are the top 10 Best Affiliate Networks to Earn Money:
- CJ Affiliate
- Avangate Affiliate Network
- Rakuten Advertising
All these networks are basically platforms where you can find thousands of affiliate programs. This is a pool of programs affiliates can join to discover a lot of programs to work with.
Affiliate Management Platforms
An affiliate management platform is where affiliate programs are created and maintained. It allows users to organize, simplify, and manage their affiliate marketing campaign activities overall. These are the ones that help you with managing your affiliate campaigns overall in a platform.
Here are the top 10 Affiliate Management Platforms that will allow you to manage the campaign:
- Referral Rock
- Post Affiliate Pro
- Ascend by Pepperjam
An affiliate markets a business’s goods or services by employing a unique link that points to your weblog as the supplier of visitors. The affiliate gets paid when a visitor clicks on the hyperlink or buys the thing the affiliate marketer recommends.
If you plan to be an affiliate in this industry, you need to have a website or a blog of your own and you have to build and optimize it. And then you have to find a niche or an industry you want to focus on. And then you need to find out what are the best products or services that you can review in your blog with regards to the industry you chose.
Build your credibility and the authority of your website and then you can eventually sign up for Affiliate Marketing on the different networks.
Social Media Affiliate Marketing
It is straightforward and uncomplicated to use affiliate social media marketing. To succeed there, you must understand your target market’s interests and motivations. To entice readers to engage with your blog entries and affiliate links and so increase sales and revenue, provide compelling content. Your affiliate program offers you a unique link for tracking purposes.
Let’s say you are a content creator and you are known for Mukbang (satisfying eating content) and people look forward to your lunch or the food you eat every time. And you are an affiliate of a food business. If you want the viewers to engage and respond to the links or call-to-action buttons for sales, you should produce compelling content. For example, your contents are videos. Then you should produce high-quality videos, good angles, and good food reviews that are reliable and true.
Who Moves in Affiliate Marketing?
Inside Affiliate Marketing there are three people who move, the merchant, the network, and the affiliate (which is you)
Pay attention to see exactly the roles each one plays and the importance of each of them to the Affiliate Marketing world.
Merchants in Affiliate Marketing are any enterprise that uses an affiliate network to boost sales and build brand recognition for its goods or services that they offer is known as an affiliate marketing merchant. To recruit partners (affiliates) to advertise their goods, these businesses frequently leverage affiliate platforms and software.
So merchants or much easier to understand when we refer to as “businesses” are the main reason why Affiliate Marketing is existing! Because they want to get the benefits of Affiliate Marketing which is to have more sales, more conversion, and increase brand awareness.
You can be an affiliate because there are merchants, and you can promote and market products because there are businesses that want you to make a marketing effort for them and sell their products, which you will get paid for.
As described above, networks in affiliate marketing are the bridge between the merchants (businesses) and the affiliates (you). They are the platforms where merchants can find affiliates and vice versa. It is safe to say that this is where the affiliates and merchants meet to start the deals. Networks are responsible for handling the relationship between the affiliates and the merchants.
You, as an affiliate has the responsibility of exerting marketing efforts and making sure that you deliver customers to the business who actually buys and you make sales for the merchants. It depends on the program, it can be more on conversion such as subscribing, hopping on the 30-day free trials, signing up for something and etc.
If the merchants are the ones who need the sales, traffic, and brand awareness, you as an affiliate are going to give it to them. And the network is the one that handles the relationship between you and the merchant.
It is important that as an affiliate marketer, you know your responsibilities and the weight of your role. You can’t just sign up for being an affiliate and then hope for a miracle that you will bring sales and conversion to the merchants without exerting any effort.
Affiliate Marketing Pays Per:
This is how affiliate marketers are paid by the merchants depending on their program and the goals of the merchant.
This is how affiliate marketing is often structured. When a customer purchases an item as the outcome of the affiliate’s marketing tactics, the merchant compensates the affiliate for a portion of the manufacturer’s sale price. Basically, before receiving payment, the affiliate must successfully convince the buyer to purchase the goods. For every sale that the affiliate brings the merchant, they will get a commission (depending on the program of how much or percentage per sale) For example, in Amazon Associates, it starts at $0.50 per sale.
Pay-per-lead associate systems reward the affiliate depending on the generation of leads in an increasingly complicated manner. Be it completing a contact information form, registering for a trial, enrolling to a blog, or installing apps or documents, the affiliate should convince the customer to go to the merchant’s store to carry out the required task. This is basically paying per conversion and the actions that generate leads for the merchant.
With this system, the affiliate is rewarded for sending customers from their promotional strategy to the advertiser’s website. This indicates that the affiliate should actually involve the user so that they visit the merchant’s website instead of the affiliates’. Depending on the growth in website visitors, the affiliate is compensated.
5 Best Practices as an Affiliate Marketer
As an affiliate, the market will rely on you and your opinion of the products. And it is crucial that as an affiliate you truly know everything you can and you have tried as much as possible the products. And you can only do this by promoting products that you trust and use or at least are extremely familiar to you. Make sure that you know what you are talking about and that you are telling only the truth to the market.
Being an affiliate means having the upper hand. It means that most people will believe you especially if you have built your credibility and authority as an affiliate. Some people, if not a lot will listen to you. Which means you can say anything you want about the products and they will believe you. Use this perk as an affiliate to only tell the market the truth about the products.
Diversify your Merchants
To make sure you’re constantly interacting with fresh clients, broadening your affiliate portfolio seems to be a smart idea. To improve your probability of succeeding, advertise goods from a range of various businesses. The more products you promote, the more sales you will bring. The more brands you help, of course, the more money you earn. You can always have more than one merchant. Especially when you have been in affiliate marketing for a good amount of time. But you just have to make sure you exert efforts equally to all of your merchants. It’s good when you do not compromise the others.
Show Before and After
Transformation sells. Potential customers love to see transformation videos. Let’s say you as an affiliate for hair products. You should show the viewers how your hair looks before using the products you promote. And how they transformed your hair. Basically a before and after story and a testimony of how the product worked wonders for your hair. And the assurance that it can also do the same for them. Depending on the products or services that your merchant offers, always incorporate how the product helps. Even not exactly in before or after, it can be testimonials, screenshots and etc. Just show the people that you use the products yourself before making them buy them. And show them that you are still using them.
Utilize Discount Codes
Who doesn’t love discounts? Give discount codes to the user. This can persuade them to buy and make them want to avail the product since it will appear a good deal. If they can enter COCO15 for 15% off of a prom dress, it would be lovely! People love discounts, it helps them to get past the “should I or should I not?” phase of shopping.
Use Channels that you are comfortable with
What do you do best? Writing? Producing Videos? Ads? Vlog? TikTok content creation? Whatever you do best, make sure that you use it as your channel. This way you will never have to compromise your materials. When promoting products and you will always be guaranteed to be doing your best.
Affiliate Marketing is a win-win situation for everyone, the merchant, the affiliate, and the customers. It is an excellent marketing system that exists. The concept might be easy to understand but the execution will take a little effort. You can’t just hop on it if you do not understand the responsibilities of an affiliate.