What Is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is perhaps the best example of how an old marketing technique can be revolutionized by technology. The concept and practice of affiliate marketing has existed from the time marketing itself has existed and yet, it was not until Amazon.com incorporated the concept into their business model, that Affiliate Marketing became a thing.
Although the term is new, the idea of affiliate marketing has always been operating in the market. The recent development is just that it has been formalized under the term ‘affiliate marketing’. So, precisely, what is affiliate marketing?
In simple terms, it is when a third party promotes your stuff on their own digital spaces. Fundamentally, it is different from general media in that, unlike media owners, the affiliate marketers are not paid for the promotion, instead they are paid a fraction of the sales they help make.
The internet has various tools which you can use to tell which leads have been generated by your affiliate marketer.
The more technical answer to the question of what affiliate marketing is would be that it is a marketing method where the job of pitching and selling the product is outsourced.
The outsourced individual who gets a commission out of the sale is called an affiliate, and the process by which they make the sale for you is called affiliate marketing.
People have always been promoting business through word of mouth based on personal experience, Amazon just found a way to monetize it. And it worked.
It worked so well, that they had to come up with a term for it. And that’s how affiliate marketing exploded into a big bang to create the world of digital marketing we live in.
Affiliate marketing is the hottest trend in digital marketing right now due to the exponential spike in social media over the last decade. Social media has immensely increased the value of goodwill in marketing. How many people know you has never been more relevant to the day-to-day life of the average individual.
The explosion of social media has made one’s social currency extremely relevant to marketing, the greatest example of which is affiliate marketing, with influencer marketing on its heels. According to Statista, business spending on affiliate marketing will hit $8.2 billion in the U.S in 2022.
Types Of Affiliate Marketing
Broadly, there are three types of affiliate marketing. The incentive structure is more or less the same for all types of affiliate marketing, they all differ primarily on the basis of the involvement of the affiliate.
Unattached Affiliate Marketing
This is the most basic type of affiliate marketing. Just about anyone could do it. The affiliate is not related to the brand they are promoting in any way more than the next man. The sector the brand belongs to is not their niche or specialty.
This kind of affiliate marketer is not looking to build their business network through it, they are just trying to make some money.
You don’t really even need an online presence for it, you can just spend some money on google ad words and use PPC for affiliate marketing.
Attached Affiliate Marketing
This is a moderate type of affiliate marketing where the affiliate is ‘’attached’’ to the product/service/sector of the brand in one way or the other. Usually, the attachment is that the individual shares the niche with the brand and is often kind of an expert on it.
Moreover, the affiliate has an online presence that establishes them as a sort of authority on the subject. For example, a buff dude with his top less photos all over his Instagram would make a very good affiliate marketer for a fitness brand, say, a protein powder or a gym.
Involved Affiliate Marketing
This type of affiliate marketing is different from the previous one in the level of involvement of the affiliate. In this type, the affiliate is more personally involved in the promotion. They vouch for the brand, basing it on personal experience.
Their testimony becomes a proper ad for the brand. It’s like affiliate marketing boosted by endorsement. And, the affiliate has such an online popularity that their endorsement is no less than a celebrity endorsement. This type of affiliate marketing ends up being the most engaging for the affiliate.
Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing
The most obvious benefits of affiliate marketing in simple terms:
- Low cost: You don’t have to pay the affiliate anything for promotion. They can promote you and promote you, but you don’t have to pay them a dime until you make a sale through their promotion.
- Low risk: There is no risk of losing your money. You invest no money in the affiliate’s activities. All you risk to lose, in the worst case scenario is a lot of time and effort you put into vetting out the affiliate and setting up the arrangement.
- High return on investment: The return on investment is calculated on an investment of zero. So, it is a foolproof strategy where you just can’t lose. You only ever stand to gain from affiliate marketing.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are accrued from exploiting the low costs of the internet: the marketer doesn’t mind promoting you because it doesn’t really cost them much and is more than happy to be paid a commission.
And that’s basically the entire efficacy of affiliate marketing right there. And you, as a brand, can not find a more cost – effective marketing model; for affiliate marketing the ROI is calculated on an investment of zero!
There are obviously many benefits of affiliate marketing, especially for smaller organizations, but the one that makes this particular marketing model so good is its sales driven incentive system. It is a type of marketing where you only spend money, when it works.
You don’t have to keep frantically monitoring the number of impressions and the money spent. You don’t have to worry about wasting money on poor impressions. You don’t have to worry about funding the marketing – the marketing funds itself. It is a brilliant, self-driving model.
The marketer is directly invested in, not fickle impressions, not uncertain leads, but the solid SALE. You and your marketer have the same eventual aim.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are as tangible (the sale) for the brand as they are for the affiliate (the commission), and it is a classic example of a win-win situation. Sounds too good to be true, right? Wondering what the catch is? What are the risks?
Well, it just so happens that the affiliate marketing model is as low risk as it gets. No risk of losing money; the worst-case scenario is that you end up wasting all that work you put into finding and vetting the affiliate.
And for the affiliate, it could turn into a very easily scalable business. They can sell for several different brands from a single platform and have multiple streams of income for themselves.
Worst comes to worst, the affiliate doesn’t earn anything but can still use the online presence they have built to experiment with other endeavors.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing
How to do affiliate marketing in simple steps:
- First of all, you need to pick a platform. Do you want to advertise on blogs, youtube, instagram, snapchat, and so on.
- Then, look for content creators whose niche intersects with your brand. This is the most crucial step, for you must sift the potential affiliates very carefully in accordance with your preferences and requirements.
- Once you have got a pool of candidates for your affiliate marketing, you need to start reaching out to each one of them and discuss your offer.
- After you have successfully recruited your affiliates, you need to have a unique url created for each one of them.
- Now, your affiliate marketing campaign has officially commenced. All you have to do now is monitor the cookies created by the affiliate links and hope to make sales.
Before we dive deeper into how to do affiliate marketing, first a word about how it works.
When you hook up with a merchant, they give you a unique URL, clicking on the link which redirects the user to them. You use the URL as the call to action wherever you promote the brand.
Whenever a user clicks on the link, the brand can trace the lead back to you. If the lead is converted, you get your commission.
Now, the really interesting thing here is how the merchant is able to trace the lead. The URL is created such that a small file called a cookie is stored on the device of the user who clicks on it. It is through this cookie made by that unique link that the merchant is able to tell where the lead came from.
So, then, how to do affiliate marketing? From an affiliate’s perspective, it is pretty straightforward — pick a platform (YouTube, Instagram, blogging) and a niche, find affiliate programs to join, create great content, and optimize it to drive more traffic to your space.
The only really tricky part is to find a good affiliate program to join. And conversely, finding the right affiliates is the most crucial part for the merchants as well.
Since the affiliates work autonomously, for people looking to advertise, the question of how to do affiliate marketing is reduced to how to find the right affiliate.
One way to do it would be to avail the services of an affiliate marketing agency, if you have the funds for it. But if you are still developing, you would be defeating the whole purpose of the marketing model by spending money on it.
If you are not keen on spending on affiliate marketing, you can get the best affiliate marketers in the form of influencers. They are ideal because, they are already making the content anyway, they have already got the reach and presence that an affiliate marketer needs to build, why would they mind showcasing your link here and there in return for a commission.
As an advertiser, all you need to do is to keep your eyes and ears open while browsing your regular social media and watch out for the content creators whose stuff intersects with your product/services in any way.
Affiliate Marketing Examples
The biggest success stories from digital marketing today are affiliate marketing examples.In India, Flipkart Affiliate and Amazon Associates are arguably the best affiliate programs you can join.
Other affiliate marketing examples in the country include reseller club, vCommission, BigRock Affiliate, DGM India, Yatra affiliate, Admitad, Hostgator Affiliate,Optimise, Cuelinks, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Marketing, Sovrn commerce and Shopify Affiliate. If you are a beginner affiliate marketer, you should probably join one of these programs.
Through the Flipkart Affiliate you can earn commissions by product banners and links on your website that redirect the users to the FlipKart website. There’s usually a 12 % commission for every lead you generate that gets converted. What’s more, you can join the program free of cost.
You get a commission when a user clicks on the Flip Kart URL and during that same session adds the product to his or her shopping cart and goes ahead to make the purchase. You will be eligible for a commission only if the product is added to the cart within 30 minutes of landing on the Flip Kart page.
If the customer places an order for the product, and then before thirty minutes are up, places another order on the same page, unlike Amazon, you won’t be eligible for a commission on the second order. Also, the referral fees/commission is paid only after the transaction with the buyer has been completed.
Amazon Associates is the single most major affiliate marketing example, not only in India, but the whole world. It is probably the most affiliate friendly affiliate marketing platform out there.
With Amazon the cookies that get stored on your device when you click on an affiliate link have an amazing 24-hour expiration time in comparison to the 30 minutes you get on FlipKart.
This means that you will get a commission for all the purchases the user makes after landing on the Amazon page through your referral link in the twenty four hour window. So, technically, your scope of earning through Amazon Associates is unlimited.
Best Affiliate Marketing Websites
Affiliate marketing, in spite of its success, is a relatively new marketing model, and best practices are still developing. If you are considering adding affiliate marketing in your advertising this year, you are going to need quite a bit of guidance to do it in the most efficient way without wasting a bunch of time vetting out affiliates.
The Media Ant does it all for you, from recruiting affiliates for you whose niche is the closest to your brand and whose terms make most sense, to helping you get the lowest rates of commission.
Media Ant is a recognized advertising agency where you can book ads for affiliate marketing through partners at discounted rates.
If you are looking for affiliate marketers for your ad campaign, in India, The Media Ant is one of the best affiliate marketing websites for affiliate marketing through partners.
Our team is a cooperative bunch who is always very understanding of the requirements of the client. We assist you closely every step of the way till the end of your campaign . We provide top class monitoring services to ensure a seamless execution of your campaign.
Rates Of Affiliate Marketing Ads
The rates of affiliate marketing differ on a combination of several factors like the page position and the ad size. One very important factor though, is the type of affiliate marketing you avail : unattached, attached, and involved.
The pricing is often determined in Cost per Click and Cost per Month. The affiliate usually gets 10 to 20 percent of the sales value, though in some cases the commision is a fixed amount.
Affiliate marketing through partners has one of the lowest CPM of all affiliate marketing options.To learn more about affiliate marketing through partners, visit The Media Ant to get the best rates of affiliate marketing ads In India.