How often do you see your favorite influencer talk about a product she loves? Or a blogger reviewing a product they have used with scrutinizing details? It is a common sight around us, and this is exactly what affiliate marketing is. All one has to do is look for a product they would like to promote, build a platform with enough following to talk about it, and then get compensated for each sale that they bring.
There are predominantly four parties involved in affiliate marketing-
1. Merchant: Merchant is the one who offers the affiliate program and the product to be advertised. A typical example of this would be the company which manufactures the product to be sold. This is the end party that gets the complete revenue when a sale is made.
2. Network: Running an affiliate program can be resource consuming. You need to track down the sales made, split the revenue, and constantly search and reach out to affiliates, asking them to promote your product. For this reason, often merchants chose an intermediary to track and manage their affiliate programs.
3. Affiliate: The publisher, also known as the affiliate, promotes products to their own follower base in return for some compensation for every sale they make. With the authority they have built via their platform, affiliates talk about how the product can add value, or solve the end customer need.
4. Consumer: This is the end party which needs to be convinced to buy the product. An affiliate only earns when they can motivate the consumer to complete the purchase. Or else, no sale, no revenue, no payouts. A consumer may or may not be aware of the affiliate program, it totally depends on the level of transparency maintained by the affiliate.
We can look at the following example in this picture to see how the program moves across all four parties
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that it is free. All you need to have is a platform with good and loyal following. You might incur some cost in marketing your own platform, or you could simply grow organically and then invest towards paid promotions as you start earning.
You can earn money while you are sipping a mocktail on your vacation, or even while you are sleeping.
Now all this sounds good, but how about we arrive at the main question?
How can you become an affiliate?
Affiliate marketing does require the knowledge of Digital marketing. You need to know how to establish a platform, and market your brand across multiple channels. You need to know various kinds of marketing techniques so that you can reach the end consumers and sell the products.
There are multiple mediums you can use to build your affiliate marketing career on.
Website: You may opt for establishing a website where you put up product reviews. Or you might simply be a curator like www.thisiswhyimbroke.com
Blog: You can run a blog where you talk about products. One of our favorite affiliate marketing blogs is https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/, which also has some of the best articles on affiliate marketing and how to get the best out of it.
Videos: You could start a youtube channel where you talk about products. Here is one such example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBnq6jh2UNA
Notice the detailed product descriptions in the description of the video.
Social Media: One way to go about this is by becoming an influencer. Social media allows direct communication with your audience. You must have seen a lot of fashion influencers talk about products they use.
Focus on trust
Remember, the key to become a successful affiliate marketer is building a good relationship with your followers. Be transparent and honest with them and earn their trust. Don’t lose the trust of your followers for just a review. Talk about products you truly feel positive about.
Build a mailing list
A smart way to go about this would be building a contact list. You can collect emails of your followers and directly approach them every time you have an update to share. This step is very important for all the channels apart from social media. Infact, even social media influencers can benefit from email marketing due to the limitless creative approaches it offers for formatting and information sharing.
Affiliate marketing allows ‘consumer’ to be a job title that pays! Get started with the niche you are passionate about and start building your affiliate marketing platform.
The Digital Marketing executive certification from IIM Raipur is designed to help professionals gain an updated and comprehensive understanding of the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing and social media. Topics such as digital marketing practices, social media marketing, digital consumer behavior and more key concepts are covered in depth. In the 5 month course duration, foundational and fundamental aspects of digital marketing are covered which will help managers lead the digital transformation in their organization.
Published with permission from our partner Nulearn.