What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing refers to the act of earning a commission via advertising another company or individuals’ products. (bigcommerce.com)
According to neilpatel.com, affiliate marketing involves promoting the products of other individuals or organizations to generate a certain percentage (proportionate) commission from each sale.
I will continue to address the question of ‘What is Affiliate Marketing’ as the blog progresses.
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
To evaluate whether Affiliate Marketing is worth it, we must first know what it entails. What does it mean, what are its many applications, pros and pitfalls. The media and other components that can be deployed and some real-life examples.
Which affiliate partners to seek out? Knowing Your Affiliates
It is paramount that we are selective of which affiliations to seek out.
Sell One – Earn More
Ideally, we would like to target programs that pay more on the sale of 1 particular product unit. This would enable us to market and play our role in successfully selling that product each day to generate an income.
For instance, making $100 a day from that good alone rather than trying to shed light on trading on a diverse pool of commodities that might not all sell each day and will hence not raise as much revenue. Selling 1 product for a high commission is known as high ticket affiliate marketing. Wix is one such example. (Buildapreneur, 2019, YouTube)
Types of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can take up many forms. These usually stem from web hosting, then placing banner advertisements on the other business’ website or by mentioning, referring, linking third party products via blogs, posts, emails, and social media. The covers the content that affiliate marketers create around products based on popularity and the deals being offered by the company.
Essentially, a lot depends on your content, your authenticity, and how many viewers of your target audience you are able to attract every time you post. More specifically, you must be able to create engaging content, either to the mass audience or to your specific niche. There shouldn’t be any misleading information, and the person or organization running the page should have credibility.
Create Content That People Want
One good way to navigate what kind of content people want to see can be found through referral programs such as neilpatel.com. This can provide you with a solid medium to learn about passively making earnings. Keywords with a higher frequency of interactions such as the ‘One funnel away challenge.’ Such programs allow you to know what content people want to see. If you can address any of these topics categorically, it will allow you to earn passive income, once you’ve posted the relevant content.
Aspiring affiliate marketers can also equip these skills through the experience and tips of other affiliated marketers who have been successful in the field.
Know Your Mediums
Another crucial aspect to consider is the medium that has to be adopted. Affiliated marketing can be taken up by specialized microsites, influencers, bloggers, established media websites, or via email lists.
It also depends on the personality and skills of the affiliated marketer, what suits them more, a visual-oriented platform such as through a YouTube video, or are they far more comfortable writing a blog.
Other factors will also play a pivotal role in this decision. These can vary from being able to catch the eye of the desired audience to keeping them actively engaged. The cost that the affiliate is willing to bear. Or, if that product category requires demonstrations, a medium such as YouTube would be more appropriate. (onlinemediamasters.com)
The Best Affiliate Programs To Aim For
Sites such as Amazon Associates, Fiverr, Wix, LinkShare, RewardStyle, CJ.com, Impact or ShareASale also provide the best possible opportunities for affiliate marketing through affiliate links and offering coupons codes.
Coupons can be effective as they entice the users to avail the discounts on hand and make them feel that they have now derived better value for the price.
Knowing Your Affiliates
When selecting between such programs, marketers must be aware of the differences in their offerings. Attention must be paid to cookie length, percentages offered, affiliate marketer’s content, the affiliate marketing program and its product, your compatibility, and the affiliate marketing channels.
Getting approval from Google AdSense can also be a great source of income generation. You cannot undermine the benefits of getting accepted for having relevant products advertised on your pages. The oncoming traffic might be indicative to them of some potential buyers for the commodity.
Affiliate Program Criteria
Before any affiliate offer can come in or you start making money through affiliate sales, there are certain criteria or those few metrics that affiliate programs will judge you by.
We’ve already covered how pivotal your main content is, so here we will talk about traffic and SEO.
SEO for Traffic
Traffic is a critical indicator that an affiliate program thoroughly checks before offering affiliate links or any sort of approval for generating an income stream. Often, affiliate programs want to see some commotion to know that people regularly visit your sites.
Similarly, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows your website to be readily detectable by your target audience. When competing for clicks, visitors, and views, it is vital to be one of the top sites to pop up when searching for a keyword that relates to you. Google Analytics paints a similar picture. It helps marketers analyze what consumers are searching for, given the current time period.
Why Do Affiliate Marketing?
Here are some of the reasons why I believe affiliate marketing is worth it!
Limit Your Liability
One benefit of adopting affiliate marketing is that it is often considered a relatively ‘hands-off’ approach. So, for instance, if the customer of the affiliate program has a complaint, all that the affiliate marketer or business needs to do is to direct them towards the company that sells the product.
Costs Less To Start
Moreover, it is relatively cheap when it comes to startup costs. Sometimes, all you need to work on is your website, media channels, and content. This is a core reason why so many people earn passively through this medium. In many cases, individuals still treat it as a side hustle. Although, in recent years, it has become a rather popular tool for raising passive affiliate income.
This can give rise to online entrepreneurs, who are hesitant to delve into physical marketplaces. This is because, as mentioned earlier, to kick off the affiliate marketing journey, the marketer does not need significant financial capital. Even a few dollars would suffice, based on the affiliate marketing efforts they are willing to undertake.
Win-Win for All
It creates a predicament where both affiliate marketing partners will gain from it. The affiliate marketer will generate a passive income stream as a percentage of affiliate sales made through them, and the program will enjoy brand exposure and awareness.
Furthermore, advancements in technology have made it easier and quicker to track transactions than previously considered possible.
These factors have played an integral role in convincing online business owners to learn and implement affiliate marketing.
Caution: Be Careful About Your Affiliate Choice
If you want to promote other firms’ goods on your pages, you need to be diligent about what genre of affiliate products you want to present to your audience.
Some products might be inherently harmful or carry the attributes of a demerit good.
In other cases, they might have some underlying issues or maybe faulty in quality or design, or they may simply not perform as advertised.
Avoid Haste To Avoid Waste
Sometimes, marketers may rush into accepting any line of affiliate products they are offered to start earning affiliate revenue without realizing the repercussions of their choices.
Or they may not know much about the pleasure derived from the employment of the good or service or its specific features. This is termed as unattached affiliate marketing. Whereby, the marketer promotes a product that they themselves do not consume.
Know What You Are Doing
There is a sensible way of tackling such an ordeal. You must make sure that you have in-depth knowledge or understanding of the affiliate product and how it performs. Or put simply, the marketer must have some experience of the product themselves.
Your Reputation Is At Stake
Such an occurrence must be avoided. Not only can it raise questions about your integrity, reputation or reliability, it is also unethical to showcase products that will not be beneficial to your viewers. Marketers must have some essence of belief in the affiliate products or their performance in order to attempt to sell them. (Central Media Affiliate Marketing 2022, YouTube)
Affiliate Marketing Applications
When it comes to the application of affiliate marketing, there are various methods that marketers may undertake.
The most fundamental configuration of affiliated marketing entails the formation of affiliate networks. These are when an affiliate website displays third-party goods and services, which, upon clicking, takes the consumers to the website that provides those products.
Earning through Affiliate Links
Linking occurs in almost every affiliate marketing strategy. Every affiliate marketer aims to add affiliate links to their website, blog post or whichever form of media they choose to convey their messages to other people through.
An array of these links can be classified as direct affiliate links, where the affiliate links or URL of the company that provides the good or service, is displayed on the medium or page owned by the marketer.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Another important component of affiliate marketing is PPC. This stands for Pay Per Click. Here, the content creator or a mainstream site such as Google or Facebook will get paid each time a person clicks on the link or the advertisement banner which takes them to the website of the business providing that good or service. This method is extensively applicable across many spectrums of affiliate marketing. Payments are made regardless of whether a sale has been made or not.
The concept of Link Cloaking
To speak about some technicalities, there is a practice that many affiliate marketers use to alter the process of redirecting and changing address, rather than having it link directly to the main URL. This enables marketers to adjust their affiliate programs easier and exercise more control from the back end.
Certain website builders can be used to assist in this activity, such as WordPress, Wix, and a few others.
Some marketers are advocates of link cloaking for a bunch of reasons. These can range from trying to add security, making switching affiliations less complicated, or simply looking more appealing. These ‘Pretty Links’ are more visually pleasing compared to standard URLs.
We will also talk about how to market these products by delivering the sales pitch and the many mediums that marketers can adopt to reach their targeted audience.
The Sales Pitch
The presentation of the ‘sales pitch’ depends on the ideology of each individual marketer.
This usually implies the marketer’s attempt to tell their audience about the various reasons as to why they should consider purchasing the good.
Affiliate marketers sometimes base their pitch around listing the product’s positive features. For this, they need to have quite a bit of understanding of the product and its functions. This is termed related affiliate marketing.
Alternatively, they could narrate a positive personal experience. Which, can be termed as involved affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing & YouTube
For a visual medium such as YouTube, the marketer can show the item in the video, talk about it briefly, add affiliate links, and sometimes even drop a coupon link in the description that directs the viewers to another business’ online store.
It can sometimes also contain a unique affiliate link. Again, this depends on who the affiliate partner is or what kind of affiliate partnership exists between the parties.
Breadnbeyond is an example of successful affiliate marketing campaigns portrayed on YouTube. They are an explainer video company that forms partnerships or collaborates with video tools and software companies. According to Andre Oentoro of Breadnbeyond, they achieved this feat by leveraging authentic product reviews.
How to promote Affiliate Products through YouTube
Likewise, a YouTube channel can promote products that an affiliate marketer uses in the video or shoot the video itself. It also provides affiliate links in the description that go to a different website. (onlinemediamasters.com)
Many individuals often use affiliate marketing channels such as YouTube for making affiliate product reviews after studying internet trends and doing some keyword research when looking up popular searches in search engines. The revenue stream of affiliate marketers will then rely on affiliate sales of those products.
Or an affiliate marketer can accomplish this by simply sifting through the relevant keywords or autofill sentences in search results. These could be running in a certain theme.
For instance, viewers indicate that they want to see reviews of those items that they could give their loved ones as gifts for Christmas. This sort of affiliate marketing campaign can accommodate affiliate links or direct the viewers to the company’s online store.
YouTubers can encourage their audience to click on the Amazon affiliate links after reviewing the best value products on offer, to make their cut of affiliate revenue. These often reflect changes in seasons and tastes.
Paid ads also play a crucial role in YouTube for affiliated marketers. These usually start playing at the start, after a certain minute mark, or towards the end of the video. Sometimes, ads may start playing more than once for longer videos. A lot of weightage is given to 10-minute marks and particular intervals. It can display ads based on the sort of affiliate partnership held.
Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
One of the significant social media platforms for marketers to survey is Pinterest. Pinterest Marketing fundamentally revolves around surfing a wide array of images with links attached to them. The social media platform users tend to save what they like to their Pinterest boards. It acts as a great visual search engine for people who want to see aesthetically beautiful images.
The Pinterest users provide an unmissable opportunity for marketers to target them on the premise of the Pinterest content that they like to scroll. In that case, the Pinterest affiliate marketing strategy would necessitate looking into demographics to create pins, more specifically affiliate pins.
Pinterest ads also exist to create awareness among the consumers’ minds on the forum. To entice them with associated goods, to click on the pins, and visit the website.
How to find your target audience
Pinterest SEO, Pinterest analytics, and Pinterest traffic are clear indicators of the interests of the users. Researchers can monitor it through the Pinterest search bar.
So, suppose a marketer is in an affiliate partnership with a stylish handbag manufacturer. In that case, they will look to place affiliate pins on pages showcasing classy handbags or find those group boards of Pinterest users who possess the necessary characteristics.
Marketers must also pay close attention to click-through rates of the Pins, the amount of time spent on the site by Pinterest visitors of a specific category. Moreover, the conversion rates should be thoroughly scrutinized to know which groups of the audience to promote extensively to.
Pinterest can also aid in the building of custom email lists. Affiliate marketers can even think about the utilization of the more descriptive, Rich Pins to stand out at times. Tools such as Pinterest Analytics can assist in such decisions. (shopify.com)
However, marketers must abide by specific rules on the platform. One of them is only allowing one business account. Other regulations require them to disclose affiliate links and avoid link cloaking.
The future of Affiliate Marketing
Nowadays, more individuals and companies invest their time and energy into achieving auspicious affiliate marketing results. Especially given the ascending role of influencers, bloggers, and other famous personalities.
According to bigcommerce.com, 84% of publishers and 81% of brands in the USA now utilize affiliate marketing. This number is likely to rise in the coming years.
So, evidence suggests that affiliate marketing, alongside other forms of marketing such as digital marketing, has the potential to lead us forward in the world of advertising and promotion.
So yes, I do think affiliate marketing is worth your while. You can run it alongside your main profession and it has relatively lower risks than other, more traditional covenants of marketing. However no business proposition is without its risks, so that should be kept in mind.