Affiliate marketing is a very broad topic that includes a variety of different marketing techniques. In this article, we’re breaking down the many possibilities influencers and performance marketers have to advertise online and why you as a consumer yourself shouldn’t necessarily believe every shoutout, coupon code, or product link you see online!
What exactly counts as affiliate marketing?
As an affiliate marketer, performance marketer, or influencer, you promote other people’s products online by sharing the said product with your established online network. Usually, affiliate marketers will receive a commission on all the sales that happened through their marketing efforts. The “affiliate” part refers to a “publisher” whose endorsement can be through whatever channels they operate. If the brand decides to allow the affiliate marketer to come on board, the affiliate marketer receives a percentage on the sales, paid monthly. The other side of the coin is the brand that tries to promote and sell its product through affiliate marketers.
The key, of course, is in the level of engagement of the affiliate marketer’s fan base. Further, it is crucial how intelligently they market the product. Generally, good product research and expert knowledge lead to more convinced buyers.
There are plenty of different options and ways how you could create an income stream with affiliate marketing. Here three handpicked and briefly explained examples:
1. Content & blogging:
Creating content or blog posts that either directly promote a product or drive traffic to the partner’s website e.g
2. Banners & links:
Placing graphics and links on your website or profile that link to the partner’s website and products
Reviewing products or services and redirect your viewers to said product
(review video was picked randomly, to give you an example)
How do you get paid for affiliate marketing?
Mainly, affiliate marketers create income in one of four ways:
Pay-per-click: Depending on how many readers click on the affiliate link
Pay-per-action: Whenever a user carries out a particular action (buying a product, e.g.)
Pay per impression: Every time an ad appears on the page when someone visits
Two-tier affiliate programs: A way to earn money within a certain affiliate program by recruiting others to join the program as affiliates themselves.
According to Glassdoor, it’s a cushy symbiotic consumer relationship that can make affiliate marketers anywhere from $42,000 to $83,000 per year.
The advantages of affiliate marketing
The job of an affiliate marketer has many advantageous characteristics. Particular highlights are the passive income and the possibility to work from home or even remotely. Additionally, the fact that everyone can do it makes the job even more interesting. As long as you are motivated and engaged, you have a chance of competing. You no longer have to be well connected professionally or famous yourself to get a gig.
The biggest part of the workload is setting up your campaigns, working out deals, and creating the content. But once this is done, your efforts will make you money even when you sleep. This means that you will receive money continuously, long after you finished the initial effort 😏
And usually, all of this can be done from anywhere in the world. The job does not require you to be at a specific spot at a certain time. Also, the amount of money you make lies pretty much in your own hand. Since your partners will pay you on a performance basis, you are going to earn what you are putting into it.
Further, you are not responsible for the products or services that you promote: you don’t have to be concerned about customer support or complaints – since the products are not yours. However, of course, you need to be careful not to advertise for shitty products because this would decrease your own credibility by a lot.
Why is affiliate marketing important and booming?
A few years ago, “When in Rome” became “When in Bali.” Tropical beaches everywhere and people snapping shots of themselves to get the attention of people and brands. Those brands would then pay them to market their products actively. Both brands and influencers realized that new advertising possibilities were developing here.
Whether these content pieces were YouTubers offering “how-to” demos on deep-sea diving or Moms of Instagram reviewing the safety of sand toys. If you could create a niche audience and create hype about a product, a brand’s interest will be gained eventually.
By now, most people know the basics of affiliate marketing and influencer marketing. What isn’t as clear is how elaborate this method of selling has become.
There are now online global affiliate marketing programs such as Clickbank with 200 million customers and products to promote. Self-proclaimed affiliate marketing universities (and even traditional universities) offer programs, crash courses, and boot camps that award certificates to students and connect affiliate marketers with hundreds of platforms to build a network.
Affiliate marketing agencies help you grow your brand and refine your marketing partnerships.
Entire platforms and networks allow marketers to come up with various affiliate possibilities and make money from advertising third-party products or services online.
How are sales being tracked?
When you start working as an affiliate marketer, the first question that usually comes to mind is: How will the seller or I know how many sales I’ve generated?
From a technical point of view, there are 2 fairly easy methods to track sales:
1. You provide a special, individual coupon code that customers will use during checkout.
2. You provide a tracking link to let the seller track customers to you as the source.
While the first method is typically easier for everyone, it does not necessarily work for every platform. Also, it does not guarantee success (for example, if the user forgets to use the coupon). Coupons are also often connected to price reductions, which in some cases is not what you (or the seller) want.
(example of a typical coupon code on Twitch profiles)
Tips for affiliate marketers
Authentic and personal opinions are getting valued more and more in the marketing industry. Nobody wants to see you promoting a product or service that you don’t really believe in. In the current creator economy, it is important to be authentic and relatable to your audience.
Pick products that you are convinced of and that your audience can truly benefit from. Don’t waste your time on products that don’t fit your branding because your conversion rates are going to suffer.
(affiliate links to books that were talked about on this YT channel)
Reviews are a great start
If you are thinking about starting your first affiliate marketing efforts, why not start with reviewing products or services. Watching reviews is still a booming trend that will most likely continue to grow in the future. Become an expert in your niche and review related products for your audience. No matter if it’s cosmetics, accessories, sportswear, etc.
Reviews are an easy way to connect your audience to an affiliate program partner and earn income on the side.
Diversify your efforts
Once you’ve established a solid portfolio of campaigns and partners, it is time to diversify. Don’t waste the entirety of your efforts on one funnel only. Make use of a variety of strategies and find out which works best for you.
For example, email campaigns, blogging, or even active social media content production.
Also, try to work with as many different partners as possible. This way, people are not getting the impression that you represent one specific brand only.
As always in the marketing world, you have to stay ahead of the game. This is especially true for affiliate marketing. Whenever a new trend hits, people are increasingly interested to hear about it and receive recommendations. Using this state is your best bet to gain new users and maintain a high conversion rate. Naturally, this includes the usage of new and upcoming platforms like Twitch, TikTok, Clubhouse, and whatever might come next.
Never underestimate SEO
If you are building your website, articles, or reviews in a proper and adjusted way, you can still rank very high for most topics out there. This, in return, has the potential to bring you a ton of free organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, and so on.
These days, people are naturally looking online for information. This is why you should never underestimate the power of good on-page SEO and ranking for the right keywords.
Affiliate marketing was once an in-the-flesh industry. So to speak, professional and famous figures which were paid to wear and promote brands. Or salespeople who stood in megastores doing live demonstrations of cleaning products like it was a Broadway musical.
But today, affiliate marketing is the “refer a friend” program or the “you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours” of the online consumer marketplace. Remote, efficient, and open to everyone.
And since the sector is a $12 billion economy that experts expect to grow by 10% (in the short term), it’s safe to say that this wave hasn’t peaked. Even if the beaches of Bali are pretty full these days already.
We are looking for affiliate marketers too!
Guess what? We’re actively looking for people who want to help us with the Neonacademy!
If you have a large audience on any social network and feel interested in helping us grow, feel free to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org!