Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing where a business enterprise rewards its affiliates for bringing more customers and business. The rewards are given out based on views/clicks/purchases made by the customers through the affiliate website.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Basics and Quick Tips
In the simplest of terms, in affiliate marketing, the affiliates showcase the product of the business that they are connected with and receive a commission based on the agreement with the business. In this business model, the affiliates have a major role to play in deciding the amount of commission they can generate in a given span of time. Let’s take a quick look into the different parties involved in affiliate marketing.
Parties involved in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketer or a publisher is the individual who publishes the advertisement on his website or blog and advertises the merchandise for the business. His remuneration for advertising the merchandise solely depends on the way he can push his webpage or blog further (increase incoming traffic through organic or paid methods). How famous that person is/what topics his website deals with/how well known his website is, determine the number of people who visit his website. An affiliate marketer will get a commission for marketing the merchandise if the person visiting his site either clicks on the link or buys the merchandise. The exact value of the commission will depend on the agreement between the affiliate marketer and the business whose product has been listed on the website.
Merchants are people or firms that market their product through the Affiliate marketer. They prefer to plug their product through affiliate marketing. This kind of sales policy is great for a business because the commission only needs to be paid in case of a conversion. So it’s very financially lucrative for businesses. The merchant pays a commission to the affiliate marketer in one of these three ways:
- Pay Per Click (PPC)– In Pay per Click programs, the affiliate marketer gets a commission for all the valid clicks that are generated from his site. The number of generated leads or sales volume doesn’t affect the commission.
- Pay Per Lead (PPL) – In Pay Per Lead programs the advertiser pays the affiliate marketer a commission (a fixed amount) for a professional action which may be a brief survey, free trial, install, sign up, online form submission etc. A great example for Pay per Lead programs are dating websites.
- Pay Per Sale (PPS)– In Pay per Sale programs, a percentage of all qualified sales is paid by the advertiser to the affiliate marketer. The most popular Pay per Sale affiliate program is the Amazon Associates Program where affiliate marketers have the ability to earn up to 15% depending upon the category of products.
The term customers doesn’t really need much explanation. However, it’s what customers do that decides how much an affiliate marketer earns in the end afterall.
In general, customers can directly visit the websites of the product and service providers and buy what they need. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, a lot of people get their buying information and advice from websites or blogs which are not directly associated with the company which makes products. For example, a customer who visits a camera review site like Snapsort would make his decision based on the reviews on the site and would most likely just click on the affiliate links mentioned on the website. Sometimes, websites can offer extra discounts if customers buy through their links. Such enticing offers tend to convince customers to buy the products more easily.
An Affiliate network (commission junction) is nothing but an intermediary between the affiliate marketer and its affiliates. It allows website publishers to gain access to the affiliate programs that are suitable for their websites. Once the publishers can find the right affiliate program, they can start generating good income.This really helps with the merchant’s business promotion as well.
Why do brands like affiliate marketers?
Brand prefers affiliate marketing because of the following reasons:
- Since the payment scheme for affiliate programs is generally performance drive, the merchants only need to pay the commission to the affiliate marketers if customers actually go ahead and buy something from the merchant’s website. That provides a great return on investment for the merchant since they are only paying on successful conversions. This process is purely performance driven i.e. if there are not any sales there’s no commission. This results in a greatly reduced cost of sales.
- It has a way better ROI then Cost per Click (CPC) OR Cost per Impression.
- Brands get much higher coverage thanks to the efforts put forth by affiliate marketers in promoting their own website/blog.
- More people get connected to the brand through affiliate marketing. This leads to the creation of more partners within the ecosystem.
- It also helps create awareness of the products with the help of the extensive reach of the affiliate marketers.
Quick Tips About Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
- Sell what you are knowledgeable about. If an individual is an expert in mobile phones then it’s advisable that he should stick to selling mobile phones. People will identify your expertise and appreciate and value your advice. This will help create your niche and help you with marketing brands within the same niche.
- Start your own website. You can purchase a website and web space from godaddy.com and use word press to make your own website as per the niche you want to operate in.
- Research and Join Affiliate programs. Whatever your niche is, it’s quite possible that affiliate marketing giants such as Amazon and eBay have something for you. However, remember to read all the terms and conditions very thoroughly before you sign up for any affiliate program. If a merchant asks you for your credit card info, you are most likely going to become a victim of a phishing scam. The companies might require your bank account or PayPal account number to transfer the commissions that you earn, but they will never ask for your card details. Also, most affiliate programs are usually free of charge.
- Market the product on your website. You will need to add links of the affiliate within your website’s content so that the visitors on your website can click on them and make a purchase. Let’s assume that you’re writing about the newest Samsung Phones on the market. The relevant merchant companies would provide the links of the product to you and you can include them in your content for people to read and click.
- People are attracted to visual aids. Most websites these days possess a visual sidebar. Because of that, companies generally provide images and clip art for you to add to your website.
- Keep updating your content. It’s your content which can interest people to return to your website. In fact, if they like your content, they can even recommend it to their friends and followers via social media. As the traffic on your website increases, viewers will have the chance to look at different products you’re affiliated with. This will help your site’s regular visitors to just shop through your site instead of searching over 50 other sites.
- Use social media for your site’s promotion. The reason behind that is simple math. Social media shares can increase the number of people who visit your website. The higher the number of people visiting your website, the higher are the chances of them buying something through your affiliate links.
- Ensure that your website caters to a specific niche. Don’t mix mobile phone reviews with lingerie reviews. In case you want to handle more than one niche, create multiple websites and host relevant affiliate links on them. Never make the mistake of cluttering up your website with unrelated items. It is not a good thing for your target audience to read.