What is Affiliate Marketing?

Remember that ad you clicked on your computer, tablet, or mobile device?

Did you click on a link or banner offering you a special rate on hotels, a coupon, or a product deal?  Did the link take you to an advertiser’s website to purchase a product?

Often times these links are the most well-known brands in the world.LinkShare_234x60

Clicking the ad is part of an advertising strategy.

By clicking on a link to the advertiser’s website and purchasing a product or service, the result is a commission paid from the ‘advertiser’ to the ‘publisher’ affiliate marketer for generating business for them.

They both made money, plus the customer most likely saved money.  The affiliate marketer ‘Publisher’ and the company ‘Advertiser’ have made a win-win decision to promote these products with this advertising strategy.

Most of us like an simple example: affiliate marketing is like a referral.  You refer someone to a product that you like and hope they will receive the same positive benefits you do…only you get a referral fee for having shared the product or service.

How Can Affiliate Marketing Work For You?

  • You can sign up with an affiliate network which acts as a trusted third-party that brings together advertisers and publishers (that’s you, the affiliate marketer). Or you can sign up directly with some companies.  Many large brand companies use an affiliate network.
  • As an affiliate marketer ‘Publisher’ you promote ads with links, ads, banners, and videos that are driven to the advertisers’ website. These ads are placed on your website, blog, or in emails and relate to your business plan and interests.
  • You earn a commission when the customer buys a product.  See Amazon example.

“We found that affiliate marketing attracts valuable customers for brands and retailers and is a relatively low-risk model for acquiring customers.” Forrester research done for Rakuten LinkShare

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Benefits for the buyer/shopper/customer:

  • Online shoppers are deal driven want to compare prices on sites with multiple brands and ads help them to make choices and purchases.
  • Buyers/shoppers like promotional offers, discounts, coupons and online promotions to save money.
  • Mobile devices with comparison shopping apps have made it easy for shoppers to find the best values, deals, and incentives.
  • Information put in front of the buyer/shopper helps their online experience.

Benefits for affiliate marketer ‘publisher’:

  • You can benefit from the growing industry of savvy shoppers that are buying online every day.
  • You and join an affiliate network where billions of dollars in sales have been exchanged with online retailers, major brands, such as Starbucks, Macy’s, Office Depot, Apple i-Tunes, and hundreds more.
  • You can make money in affiliate commissions to add to your business profits.
  • Join an affiliate network – it is no cost to start.
  • Promotional advertisements on behalf of an advertiser are ready to add to your website or blog and can be done quickly.
  • Find the products that relate to your business, passions, and help people to enhance their own lives.  It is a win-win when these products or services help the buyer and helps your bottom line.

Benefits for merchants ‘advertisers’:

  • For an advertiser, affiliate marketing is a great way to get other people or businesses to promote their products and services and extends their reach in terms of audience.
  • The advertiser’s brand loyalty grows then affiliate marketers advertise and bring customers to them.
  • The industry of E-commerce and mobile marketing is expected to perform well for advertisers for the next several years.
  • Buyers/customers are content hungry, value-insistent, and spend more than the average shopper when they go through the affiliate marketing channel.

How To Become an Affiliate Marketer

Go to an affiliate network or company of the product you want to promote and apply for their program (simple process). Examples of affiliate networks:

They have relationships with advertisers and you can select brands that are relevant to your website.  The affiliate network provides support and a place for collecting revenue and tracking sales.

See article on Top Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success to learn more.

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