Affiliate marketing emerged in the mid-90s in one of the most popular multinationals today: Amazon. Thanks to it, affiliate programs or affilate marketing have gained many followers and today it is one of the most effective digital strategies and, therefore, allows achieving success more easily.
What is affiliate marketing really?
Affiliate programs or affiliate marketing are a monetization tool and a marketing strategy at the same time. They are based on payment for results and act as a channel through which large or small-scale brands promote their products and services after agreeing a price with those who help them in this promotion.
In this model, three well differentiated actors can be identified:
- An advertiser, that is, the owner of a brand, service or product.
- An affiliate, that is, the administrator of a fan page, a website or a blog that joins a product or brand to promote it and obtain a commission for those sales.
- A platform in which the supply of advertising space impacts demand.
Affiliate marketing emerged in 1996 thanks to the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, who designed a way by which to link other vendors so that they might receive a commission for every book was sold on Amazon and it was websites referred by the other merchant’s website.
There are different types of affiliate programs, for example, those websites that deal with a specific topic and are interesting for merchants who sell services or products related to the content of that page.
These web pages usually advertise the products of those stores to their readers and, if they get a click, sale or registration, they get a commission.
How do affiliate programs work?
When a person joins an affiliate program, the merchant assigns that person a unique code with which they can refer products to their followers. This code will be used to track the conversions generated by that associated or affiliate ID.
In other words, the company gives a link to a user with whom it can refer customers on its website and, every time someone uses that link to purchase any product, the company will know where that customer comes from and to whom it should deliver the relevant commission.
In order to obtain a good result it is necessary to know the target audience perfectly and define the niche of the site. Thus, when any type of promotion is to be carried out, it will be certain that the followers of that site will value it positively and thus the probability of conversion will be high.
The two factors mentioned, knowing the target and defining the niche, are crucial for advertisers to choose or accept their affiliates. They usually don’t want to invest in a site that is unrelated to their target audience or that doesn’t offer quality content.
Before joining an affiliate program, it is also necessary to make sure that what is going to be recommended is something really good because otherwise the followers will not be satisfied and that will reduce the reputation and reliability.
Ultimately, affiliate marketing programs allow a person to generate a commission by promoting the products of others.
A blogger can have a community or tribe that follows and supports him in all the content he shares. As his readers trust him, when you make a promotion about a service or product it will be very easy for them to be interested in it. If this interest materializes in a purchase, the blogger will earn a commission per sale.
For all this it can be said that it is a win-win strategy, since, on the one hand, sales are generated without its own products or services and, on the other, customers are obtained without making marketing efforts. The only ‘effort’ is to pay a commission for each sale. Ultimately, the affiliate marketing strategy suits the company, the blogger and the customers.
What are the types of affiliate programs that exist?
Different affiliate programs with different remunerations can be managed, although the most common are the following:
- Pay per click: on this occasion, a payment is received based on the number of views that are redirected to the link or website of the sponsor and that have made any type of click from the link or hyperlink that has been placed on a fan page, website or blog. Affiliates provide qualified traffic to merchants through phrases or words in major search engines, such as Yahoo or Google.
- Cashback: companies that use cashback have a user registry. They share with them the commissions with exchangeable points, money or discounts. These users make purchases through a platform and receive a percentage in return.
- Payment by form: a commission can be obtained if the people who have referred fill out a form with their data on the destination website.
- Pay-per-conversion: Through this program, merchants pay a commission for the sale to a customer of the product when the purchase process is completed after a referral.
- Co-registration databases: those users who are interested in the services or products of different companies can make a subscription to the affiliate newsletters.
- Pages or websites: in this specific case, websites that deal with specific topics are interesting for merchants who sell services or products related in some way to that content. On these websites, the products of the stores are advertised and a commission is received for each click, registration or sale that has been achieved.
- Email marketing databases: another type of affiliate marketing consists of transferring the data of registered users who are interested in a subject related to the service or product offered by the merchant. It is used in conjunction with other types of affiliate programs. The most used commission is the one that corresponds to the cost per thousand impressions or CPM.
- Affiliate networks: in order to regulate the relationships that exist between merchants and advertisers, the so-called affiliate networks appear, whose main exponents are Tradedoubler and Zanox. These companies act as mediators between a large number of affiliates and advertisers to whom they provide the tools to track sales directed from an affiliate page, which will allow them to control transactions so that there is security for both parts.
A large number of merchants and advertisers are hosted on these platforms. Some of these are clothing stores, hotel chains or gourmet store accessories, among others.
Some stores use their own affiliate network in which these affiliates can register and keep track of the results of the advertising they are providing on their website.
Advantages that everyone involved in an affiliate marketing scheme has
First of all, it should be noted that affiliate marketing does not require a large initial investment. When this strategy is used, the advertising company decides what its ideal advertising model is and, if the affiliates accept it, they only pay the affiliate website based on the results that have been obtained. These results can be records, sales or contacts, among others.
Another advantage that affiliate programs offer is the possibility of reaching and impacting a greater number of users. On the Internet you can find a multitude of websites, pages and blogs that can be related to the scope of a business and provide a large number of potential customers.
When an affiliate marketing strategy is applied, both the promoting company and the website on which ads are included benefits. The first, because it sees increased sales, and the second because it receives a commission subject to such sales.
In addition, affiliate marketing can be applied on different media such as mobile phones and tablets.
The last advantage that should be noted is that any company can choose its affiliates, that is, it can select the web pages in which it will show its ads. You will be able to segment the audience, increase the rate of clicks and visits and target the audience that may interest you the most.
Affiliate Marketing Goals
The affiliate marketing has three fundamental objectives for any advertiser company can use. These goals are to expand your customer base and your website traffic and generate sales. In this way, if the affiliate extends the scope of his action to different social networks, he will be generating an opportunity with which he will obtain visibility, shares and quality traffic through this content.