Estimated time of reading: 10 mins.
What I’ll learn from this article: Why affiliate online marketing is the Marketing Strategy you need.
In this Digital Era, if you can’t find something on the Internet it means it doesn’t exist.
Obviously, businesses and companies didn’t stay behind.
And as every one of us can tell, it didn’t stop there. Marketing and the Internet itself have been evolving since the day they were invented. From Emails, Online Ads, Websites, Blogs to the now very popular Social Media, companies have found a way to promote their products or services.
Through time, there have been many kinds of interesting Ads that has made history. We all remember popular internet ads like the NHS Beer Goggles or the WD-40 Always Handy that made you click on them all the times, and before you knew it, you were watching an ad! Unfortunately, evolving means that anything can’t stay the same as it was. Online Marketing strategies like Email Marketing or displaying advertising, although helpful, won’t work by themselves anymore.
Today’s Internet is bigger than ever, around 60% of the world populations use internet on a daily basis and I assure you a ton of them know what they are doing. Most people find emails bothersome and they know they won’t read an advertising email unless their life depends on it (or you offer a REALLY good discount).
The same thing goes with ads, Internet consumers (mostly young people) don’t find ads captivating or interesting anymore, rather annoying. Having programs like AdBlocker became a necessity for regular internet users.
If regular ads are ignored it means that they don’t work anymore, that leaves the question: What’s next for advertising?
The Cycle of Affiliate Online Marketing
Although today is a popular term, it was first used more than 2 decades ago, being Amazon the first company to use an affiliate online marketing program in 1996. Amazon’s Associates Program let people use their website to promote Amazon’s own products by giving the promoters a small amount of money in return for referring new customers.
Affiliate marketing is basically referral marketing with a commission, or as Pat Flynn puts it in his e-book Smart Passive Income:
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
Understanding the cycle means understanding its parties.
The affiliate marketing process can be explained with 3 parties: The Advertiser, the Publisher, and the Consumer.
The advertiser is the seller, the brand, the company behind the curtains, the one who owns the product. Is not necessarily being a big company to be the advertiser but greats examples from today’s advertisers are big companies like Origin who sells Laptops and Computers, an education website like Skillshare or even clothing stores like Meundies. These are examples of the biggest advertisers of 2018.
The publisher, also known as the affiliate or the promoter. It’s the one with a big public that has the work to attract and convince customers of the importance and potential of the advertiser’s product.
And the final part, the customers. They are the ones that make this whole system work. If a publisher doesn’t have any customers it means that the advertiser didn’t get any money and therefore the publisher won’t get any revenue either.
Although these three are the important parties in affiliate marketing, there’s a fourth one which is intrinsic in the publisher’s part. The platforms cover a huge part in the publisher strategy, whether it’s a Blog, Website or Social Media, depending on your network the audience that visits you may vary and it’s not hard to tell that you must consider your audience to know what products or service you should or shouldn’t promote. I personally recommend you to be aware of your target market or you might end up promoting gambling to children (Yes, this has happened).
Affiliate networks help businesses contact publishers and align them depending on the product or service they want to sell so issues like the one previously explained don’t happen often.
Why is affiliate online marketing growing?
As a company, to get people’s attention you just needed to show your product. The main goal was to put your product out on the internet and eventually, customers will come knocking down your door. Right now is not that simple, with the internet being so big and everyone wanting to have a big spot, it’s hard to come out on the top. Even though you are a big company, you’ll always have the necessity to promote your products, but as we said before, ads are not enough.
People can’t trust every ad anymore, so they stopped clicking on them, emails are ignored. So, what can you do to now to successfully promote your product? Well, in today’s society, there’s one thing that has resonated inside everyone’s ears, social media. Whether is YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, people use social media on a daily basis creating along accounts with thousands of followers. Whether it is for admiration, tips, funny gags or news, social media has created different platforms in which regular people can be heard. Once much more than others, you might know them by influencers.
Influencers have their own public. Their followers are interested in what they say and what they think, if they like something their followers might like it too and if they advise their followers they are surely prone to listen to them so if you’re trying to become an influencer, please remember: With great power comes great responsibility.
You might think that affiliate marketing is just another marketing strategy to boost sales because it is, but it’s also true that it’s effective. Every day more companies are choosing affiliate marketing to promote their products and its statistics are just bound to grow over the next years.
On the reasons for its constant growth is the Customer-Seller relationship. In contrast to companies, most customers don’t see the promoters as sellers, but as someone that’s recommending you a product. It’s been proved that customers are more interested in listening to other customers opinions. Let’s put it in context:
The secret of affiliated marketing: What makes it so attracting?
Let’s picture that every Tuesday you watch your favourite YouTuber (Sam) talk about animals, and whether it’s content makes you laugh, think or creates awareness, you enjoy watching it.
One day, Sam starts talking about a certain brand of Dog Food, tells you that from his personal experience he knows that it’s better than other brands and that if you don’t have a favourite brand or you don’t know what to exactly feed your dog, you should buy the same brand and he gives you a link below the video with a discount so it’s easier for you to get it. You like Sam’s personality, you trust him, so you consider to at least check the link to know exactly what your favourite YouTuber is recommending you and to think whether or not to buy it.
Sam could be acting as an affiliate without you knowing about it, he’s getting paid for advertising a product. The best part is that even if you find this out after buying the product you won’t even feel mad about it because Sam’s content is free and you really enjoy watching it so you’re happy to be able to donate to Sam’s cause and also you are getting better and cheaper Dog food. Everyone ends up happy.
It doesn’t have to be just a YouTube video, it could be a Facebook post, an Instagram photo or a Blog talking about it, those are the examples of affiliate marketing, but when talking about Sam’s example, that would be the best-case-scenario in Affiliate Marketing. A successful publisher should try to follow Sam’s example by doing the following:
What you must to do be a successful affiliate marketer
Finally, to choose the perfect affiliate marketer for your company, you should know yourself how to do it correctly. If you understand the mental process of the regular publisher you’ll have an easier time searching for advertising. The must do of an affiliate marketer are:
- Promote products or services that have something in common with your content. You already should have viewers and thanks to their feedback you should know what they like and what they don’t, promote accordingly.
- Promote authenticity with authenticity, if you sell your viewers bad quality products you might even lose them in the process, remember to always give honest reviews.
- Use your expertise on the subject. With the help of your personal experience it becomes easier to explain everything, your viewers need to know about the product and you’ll convince them in no time.
Affiliate marketing could sound like easy money for some people, but I assure you it’s not. Even though you can have it as a second job, without a plan of action you won’t make any money whatsoever. I recommend you read through some Marketing tips before adventuring yourself into this world and you might be able to gain as much money as the best affiliate marketers.
Knowing what to do is important, but let’s not forget what not to do as an affiliate marketer is a piece of really handy information to have in mind. You wouldn’t like to blow up your first try by biting more than you can chew, would you?
Affiliate Marketing has grown a lot since its beginnings, reaching the point to be called one of the best Online Marketing Strategies. For the reasons explained before, everyone expects it to be the pillar of the next era of Digital Marketing and whether you are a publisher or a company its growth will bring great opportunities to you.
By John Mackenzie – Founder & CEO of Staff Leverage, NT Digital and JohnMac Digital
Do you want to be successful? We know how you can be. For more information on the previous topics and deeper insight into the intricacies of efficient business, see the following articles: