The word “Affiliate” refers to a person or a company that is attached to a larger company. So, “Affiliate marketing” can be understood as a marketing strategy, wherein the larger brands or companies bring in people to market their products or services and pay them a percentage of sales.
With social media platforms captivating people’s life, it’s one of the most sought-after options for companies to reach out to larger audiences with ease. These platforms have undoubtedly changed from being mere forms of entertainers to massive influencers and under such circumstances, the concept of affiliate marketing seems to be working wonders.
The larger brands or companies get in touch with the most influential people on the social media platforms and channelize their product promotion and selling through them.
The strategy of Affiliate Marketing
The affiliate marketing model comprises three major players. The sellers, the buyers, and the affiliates. Understanding more about these three players would get us an idea of how this whole concept of affiliate marketing works.
- The Seller: The seller is the larger company or the brand that wants to market and eventually sell its products or services. This could be a very renowned brand or could be a small-scale seller.
- The Affiliate: Affiliates also known as marketers are the influential people on social media platforms. They are the link between the sellers and buyers. They get in touch with the sellers or vice versa and create content on their accounts so that their subscribers are influenced to buy the products or services that are being marketed.
- The Buyer: The buyer here refers to the consumers who understand about the products or services through the affiliates and then decide if to go ahead with the purchasing, based on their interests.
Why is Affiliate Marketing attracting online influencers ?!
It is not a difficult task for the larger companies to get affiliates, as these affiliates or the social media influencers have been responding to this greatly. Along with what they earn from their content, affiliate marketing helps them earn some extra money without any great hustle.
It’s low on investment, all that they would probably have to invest is on a laptop, internet connection and, time, to create content that promotes this particular company or brand, so practically there are no huge monetary investments involved. Also, the content once created for this would remain on their account forever and this would keep fetching customers as long as their account is active.
So, like this, the efforts put in are one time. Also, it’s unaccountable, the affiliates are not responsible for any customer-related queries on the working of these products or services that they sell. And lastly, like any side hustle, they can work on this at their convenience and comfort, so this adds flexibility which would help them balance out their schedules.
Also, the payment procedures are well defined and the affiliates are aware of what exactly they need the consumers to do, for them to get their payments. There are different ways by which an affiliate marketer gets paid. Pay per scale is the standard practice, but the companies are coming up with newer ways of payment to encourage more influencers to take up affiliate marketing.
- Pay per sale: This is by far the most common way affiliate marketers are getting paid. The affiliate receives a percentage of the sale, only when the consumers click on the product link and buy the product or service.
- Pay per lead: In this case, the affiliate gets paid even if they don’t get the consumers to buy the product, but just get them to fill a few forms or get them signed up for some free trials. This is a form of generating lead to the sales and thus it’s named as “Pay per lead”.
- Pay per click: This is less used, but one of the unusual ways of payment, where the affiliate gets the money even if they just get the consumers to click on the product link without creating a lead or getting the consumers to buy the product.
Ways to getting started off as an Affiliate Marketer
1.Choose a social media platform:
Instagram tops the charts when it comes to the number of people who access, use, and get influenced by it. But considering the limitation it imposes on the posts, blogs and YouTube seem to channelize the process of marketing much more smoothly.
Nevertheless choosing something that suits your interest and ease of handling would help you work more efficiently. Also, the idea of introducing the same content on different platforms or what’s known as cross-promoting helps you to understand what works best for you.
2.Understand the trends and select a niche:
With the number of active YouTube channels, blog spots, or Instagram influencers increasing each day, you need to understand that creating a niche is of utmost importance to stand out from those millions of influencers.
Forex. starting a baking channel would pull in more customers than just a normal cooking channel. So, narrowing down on the area of content always helps you concentrate and create the content of quality and at the same time brings in more audience.
And, yes, numbers play a great role while you are trying to make money as an affiliate marketer. So, it’s crucial to find ways to set your own set of audiences before you venture into affiliate marketing.
3.Connecting with the sellers:
Once you have chosen your social media platform, selected your niche, and established a fan base, the next thing you need to do is to get in touch with a brand or a company.
You can either join the affiliate marketing programs or reach out to the brands yourself.
Make sure to research the company before you enter into an agreement with them and it would also make sense to partner with companies from more than one domain that you believe in so that you understand what works best with your audience.
4.Creating content for promotion:
Once you sign up with a company or a brand and understand their requirements, now it’s time to create content on your channel, page, or blog to incorporate these affiliate sales links that the companies provide you with.
Make sure that the content is entertaining enough to attract the audience and also make sure that the promotion of the product happens rather organically in a way that doesn’t make the audience feel forced. The more natural it seems, the more likely it is that the audiences will get the confidence to buy it.
Like this, both companies and the affiliates have come together in this marketing model which has not only benefited the seller and affiliate but also has been successful in instilling confidence in the buyers about the products, as they get to hear about it from some of the favorite people out there !