Smart entrepreneurs always look for opportunities to expand their businesses further. One of the ways to take it to the next level is to find an alternate revenue stream. Not exactly a second business, but finding ways to complement your business. Affiliate marketing is a well-used tactic to drive revenue growth and generate significant online sales. You would be surprised to find that 81% of brands and 84% of publishers already use affiliate marketing. So what is affiliate marketing? Let us explain it.
Affiliate marketing is a framework that enables brands to partner with individuals or entities (referred to as associates, affiliates, partners and publishers) and allows you (brands) to track their performances in cost-efficient, scalable and effective ways. To put it simply, a performance-based marketing model where content creators can monetize their content by promoting products and services online.
Types Of Affiliate Marketing
Like any other model, affiliate marketing also has so many special terms that can be confusing sometimes. These terms such as affiliate link, affiliate program, commission, conversion, cookies or cookie expiration. But broadly, affiliate marketing can be categorized into three main categories: Unattached affiliate marketing, related affiliate marketing and involved affiliate marketing.
Unattached Affiliate Marketing
As the name suggests, it’s implemented when an affiliate partner has a large audience base. But the audience may or may not be a user of your product/services, and the affiliate is not connected directly to your product, nor they claim the use of the product/services. Mostly in this type of marketing affiliate partner does not claim to have related skills or expertise. Unattached affiliate marketing predates the internet, and advertising campaigns on mainstream media or newspapers can also be considered examples of unattached affiliate marketing. It is an inexpensive way to market your product, but the lead quality is likely to be poor.
Related Affiliate Marketing
This type of affiliated marketing product or service you are offering is not alien to your affiliate partner’s audience. Generally, these affiliates have a niche audience for the category of product or services you are offering. The affiliates have enough expertise and level of authority to make them a trusted source and generate traffic; however, these affiliate partners do not claim the use of the product. Here lead quality is relatively better than unattached affiliate marketing, but the number of leads may be smaller.
Involved Affiliate Marketing
As the name suggests, the affiliate partner and the product or service they are promoting have a clear connection. They have used or use a product/service and are confident enough to recommend to others about positive results. Here, affiliates also communicate with the audience by answering their queries in the comment section or DM (direct message). These affiliates too have enough expertise and level of authority to make them a trusted source, but since they recommend a product or service, their reputation may be compromised with any problems arising from the offering.
Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be termed as a mutually beneficial business partnership between affiliate and business or merchant whereby affiliates get compensation for every client by their effort. But like everything else, this too has its pros and cons. From a business perspective, pros are: businesses get a much bigger audience to sell their product or services, resulting in more revenue and profit. They don’t have to spend their time acquiring new clients and sticking to their core competence. They get reliable information about current trends and demands at no extra cost. For clients, they don’t have to physically visit a business’s premises to review or to get services/ products, and from affiliates’ point-of-view, they don’t have to make large investments or get involved in customer support or bookkeeping. And the cons for the businesses are such as they may incur high commission costs. Affiliates may also make misleading claims to drive up sales commission.
How Successful Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is flourishing. HostGator has taken it to the next level and effectively changed the scenario of the hosting industry. Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to start a business online with virtually zero investment. According to an IAB survey, Affiliate marketing is worth approximately 12 billion and is expected to grow by 10% for a few years to come. Well, strategize affiliate marketing to boost revenue by 30%.
Some Of The Best Performing Affiliate Marketing Programs
To get the best performance from affiliate programs, one needs to try out a few platforms to find out which works for you. Affiliate is considered the top choice of marketers and businesses who want access to a lot of verticals, and DFO Global is not far behind if you are looking for high-quality affiliate networks. For beginners, Amazon Associates provides a superb platform to start a new venture. Shopify also runs a high-rewarding affiliate program that benefits numerous marketers over long periods. SEMRush, a leading SEO tool is also known for its Affiliate Marketing Program which is quite beneficial to professionals in the digital marketing industry. Pairing your affiliate program with your industry line is perhaps the best way to synergize your outreach efforts.
As affiliate marketing works by spreading responsibilities with a variety of individuals, it is best placed to leverage the abilities of those individuals. Affiliates normally search for products or services they enjoy and then promote the product. Consequently earns some part of the profit as commission for each they make. These sales are tracked by affiliate links from one website to another. We hope this article is able to help clear confusion and help come to a conclusion.
If you need any guidance on the topic, feel free to contact us. We have a seasoned team of marketers who can help you with cutting-edge affiliate marketing solutions.