What is Affiliate Marketing?
Do you want a cost-effective marketing approach? Or do you want to earn by promoting other company’s products? Whichever you want to achieve, affiliate marketing might just be the marketing strategy you are looking for.
What is your daily routine as an entrepreneur? For some ordinary workers, they’d wake up early in the morning just to barge in on a busy street and enter a jungle-like office. Then, wait until the shift ends and back to the busy road until they reach home. All that monotonous stupor to earn a few bucks.
However, in an ideal world, entrepreneurs are making money anytime, anywhere—even when asleep.
Well, you can achieve that with affiliate marketing. With this strategy, you can both generate online revenue and sales. It does not matter whether you are the product creator or the marketer, both benefit from this marketing approach.
So, what is affiliate marketing, and what makes it so unique?
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Basically, affiliate marketing is promoting a third-party company’s product or service and earns a profit when it makes a sale.
Notice blogs, you will see banner ads placed in various sections of the blog page. These are affiliate links. While reading the blog, you might see an advertisement about a product you are very interested in. So, you click the said ad, and it redirects you to the shop where you instantly buy the product.
Not only does the shop gain a sale, but the blog owner gets a commission from the successful transaction. That is online affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing has three parties: the merchant, the affiliate, and the consumer.
Meet the merchant. This party is the seller, creator, or the brand itself; it is any company that sells a product or service.
As long as you have a product that you want to sell, then you can be a merchant.
It is through the affiliate that the marketing magic starts. The affiliate, also known as the publisher, is responsible for promoting one or more affiliate products online. They do this by creating value for the product so that potential customers are convinced to buy it.
Some seasoned bloggers and YouTube vloggers are affiliates. For bloggers, they usually post a product review where they inform their audience of the cool features of the product. They can also be an affiliate marketing network such as CJ Affiliate.
The third and last party is not directly involved in the marketing action. However, they are very much essential to keep the affiliate marketing system running.
The consumer, as the name suggests, are the customers. They are the target audience of the product and marketing.
We all fall under the consumer party, but not on the former two. As an entrepreneur, you can choose between the merchant and the affiliate. If you have a product to sell that needs promotion, then you are the merchant. If you are promoting other company’s products to earn a commission from their sales, then you are the affiliate.
How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
In a 2019 survey conducted by BrightLocal, they found out that 91% of consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations. It is no wonder vloggers and bloggers who make product reviews earn while making a few praise words online.
Looking at this number alone can make you conclude that digital marketing is dominating all other marketing strategies. Furthermore, there is now a lot of new practical marketing approaches that are veering away from traditional marketing, and affiliate marketing is one of them.
So, how does this marketing style help marketers earn money? Do they always need to make a sale to earn a commission?
Well, an affiliate can earn in various ways, whatever fits the niche and platform.
Pay per sale
This is the most standard of all affiliate marketing programs. The merchant and the affiliate agree on the commission that the latter will receive once the consumer purchases a product. Since each product differs in price, the commission will base on a percentage of the sale price.
Pay per lead
The pay-per-lead affiliate program is no way more complicated than making a sale. However, the process is much more complex. With this program, the affiliate must convince the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete an action such as completing a form, signing up for trial service, or subscribing to a monthly newsletter. The purpose of all these actions is to generate leads for the merchant.
Pay per click
Pay-per-click is more attainable than the first two affiliate marketing programs. With this program, the affiliate gets incentives when the consumers are redirected to the merchant’s website. They don’t need to make a sale or fill-up a form; all they have to do is thoroughly engage the consumer, so they are willing to visit the merchant’s site. The main goal of this program is to drive more traffic to the website.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?
Now that you know how this marketing technique works, one question remains lingering, how to start affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing may seem easy if you look at the surface. Contrary to common belief, affiliate marketing is getting more and more complicated. The core of this marketing is trust. For the consumer to trust the word of the affiliate, the marketer should be esteemed enough to promote the merchant.
This can only be achieved by doing the following.
Decide on a platform
Blog, YouTube channel, and a podcast are the three channels you should choose from (or you can have all three).
Blogging is mostly cheap compared to the three. There are a lot of DIY blogging platforms for you to start with. WordPress blog and Blogger.com are free platforms where you can create your blog site. You can be creative as you can be.
Other than being cheap, blogs have a more personal yet professional feel, especially for product review blogs. This casual approach also contributes to how the consumer receives the content. The more personal the reviews are, the more the audience can connect and trust the content.
A YouTube channel and a podcast also get a lot of attention. However, these are more complicated since you need to create quality video and audio. You will need high-quality equipment for high-quality content.
Whatever platform you choose as long as you can successfully pull it off, you are on your way to success.
Choose your niche
The competition is fierce in the current digital marketing field. There are a lot of bloggers, YouTube vloggers, and seasoned podcasters online. How can you keep up?
So that you stand a chance, all you need to do is narrow down your niche. Choose a topic focusing on a specific category. Don’t say your niche is generally fashion. Try to dig deeper and tackle something more specific, like outdoor and sportswear for men.
By narrowing your topics, you can focus on a target audience. With this, your research will no longer be vague and broad. Instead, you can concentrate on a specific demographic.
Create excellent content
One way to successfully build an affiliate marketing program is to have more traffic on your platform. You can only achieve this if you have great and efficient content.
Your content should be catchy for readers, yet engaging and informative enough to keep them interested. Your content should contain what the consumer wants to know.
For example, an affiliate is creating a product review that promotes an Epson projector. A consumer can simply read through customer reviews from the store, but all projectors seem to have similar criticisms. What they want is a more comprehensive review of the product.
So, the affiliate writes about a home movie experience with friends over the weekend. They had fun watching three movies using the Epson projector.
The main topic of the content was not the Epson projector but the affiliate’s excellent home movie experience. Throughout the blog, the affiliate continuously injects features of the product from a user’s perspective. In the end, the reader gets to have the feel of the product without even using it yet.
This type of content is what makes affiliate marketing successful.
Partner with Full Scale
To summarize everything, affiliate marketing is the process where an affiliate earns incentives by promoting the product or service of a merchant. This is only possible if you have chosen a platform, defined a specific niche, and accomplished excellent content.
Seems easy? Think not. Affiliate marketing is only possible if you partner with expert marketers. Lucky for you, Full Scale is headed by two successful entrepreneurs who paved the way for a lot of startups to scale up.
Whether you are looking for affiliate marketers for your startup or looking for an offshore team to create content, Full Scale can provide you information and workforce.
At Full Scale, we have seasoned graphic designers that can provide impressive designs for your blog or website. If you want refined blog content, our content writers can help you with that.
If you are interested, all you need to do is schedule a FREE consultation and tell us what you envision.