Affiliate Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

Affiliate marketing is prevalent on social media platforms. You don’t have to spend a significant amount of time on any social media platform to see ads. They come in an explicit form, such as a post with the words “sponsored ad,” or they can also appear more subtly.

Many influencers have dominated social media platforms as a voice of authority and respect. These influencers, also sometimes known as content creators, use affiliate marketing.

Companies sometimes approach them to test their product or service and tell the million social media users who follow them all about it. This is one of the most effective marketing strategies to promote your product to the masses in a world of influencers. Affiliate marketing works both ways. You can become an affiliate marketer or use an affiliate marketer to advertise your product and, either way, you can generate income.

what is affiliate marketing

Definition of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when an influencer or affiliate earns income from sales in the form of a commission by marketing a company or person’s product or service. Affiliate links track deals from one website to another. They are a great way to earn passive income, and they benefit both parties.

Who are Affiliate Marketers?

There are many areas of expertise that people want to learn. Learning a craft or skill is at anyone’s fingertips with websites such as YouTube. By becoming an expert in any of these areas (art, music, makeup, mechanics, etc.), you can become a resource for a targeted audience that needs advice on what materials or tools to use.

By providing affiliate links along with high quality content, you are helping give a need while also making passive income. With affiliate marketing being a billion-dollar industry, there’s a place for everyone at this proverbial table.

Where Does Affiliate Marketing Take Place?

YouTube

You can add an affiliate link to your YouTube channel. Many times the links are to products that are shown in the video. They can also be affiliate links to the tools used in the video and the materials. Sometimes the whole video revolves around testing the products, and sometimes the video uses the products to create or build something.

Blogs

Another place to incorporate affiliate links is by starting a blog. This can be your blog about:

  • Cooking
  • Sports
  • Fitness
  • Baking
  • Your love for music
  • Horses
  • Stationary
  • Jewelry
  • Education

The list goes and on and on. The significant part of technology and the wide range of blogging services available is that you can choose the right blogging platform based on your needs and interests.

affiliate marketing

Social Media 

One of the more obvious options is to post your affiliate links on your social media accounts and pages. Social media affiliate marketers also track your engagement, so you should have a large audience of active followers. However, just about anyone can start affiliate marketing on social media.

You can easily use social media for affiliate marketing on the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and more strategically on Instagram. You will need to verify your Instagram account or have a business account to use links through the Instagram Stories.

The business account must also have 10,000 followers before you can access this Instagram feature. The other option is to use the bio section in your Instagram account. Refer your followers to the “link in bio.”

Email

The number one use for email marketing is to promote your business, but another use is affiliate marketing. If you have a fan base, then chances are you also have a mailing list. For companies that want to start using affiliate marketing campaigns, using their email list to target potential buyers easily covers all bases.

You can include links to your YouTube channel that already has affiliate links, or you can put links to landing pages in the email itself. Email lists are here to stay. Everyone still uses their emails, and as long as that is true, you should take advantage of email marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

There are specific affiliate networks, and brands and companies use affiliates to help market their products. You can go through a program or work directly with a brand that wants your help to market its product. It often makes sense to partner with companies that share your same audience interests and create a product that your audience will genuinely be interested in.

For example, if you blog about fitness, some great products to advertise and team up with would be a protein drink, exercise equipment, or meal-prep service. Ultimately the best way to find these affiliate programs is with a Google search.

affiliate programs

Affiliate Programs

These affiliate marketing programs allow ease of use and don’t rely on popularity. You can enroll in any of these programs. There’s nothing to lose, the programs are free, and no harm is done if you don’t sell anything. Ultimately these programs want to sell their products in any way possible.

Amazon Affiliate Program

One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs is Amazon. You may notice that many people on YouTube include Amazon links to the products they are using. This is an easy way to monetize your website or blog. However, there are some things you should know before getting started with Amazon affiliate marketing.

They want to make sure that your website is legitimate and does not infringe on anyone’s rights or involves illegal activities, violence, or abuse. This verification process generally will not take more than a day or two. It requires making an account and also filling out an application.

From there, you will be able to create your affiliate links. You can search for products on Amazon you want to promote. Sign in under your affiliate or Amazon Associate account and click the ‘Get Link’ button. All that’s left is to post it on whatever platform you have decided to use to share your affiliate links.

Target

Besides Starbucks and Chipotle, many people love Target. Luckily for you, they offer a way for you to profit from sharing their products and your love for their pumpkin spiced latte selection. As part of Target Affiliates, you can earn up to 8% when people buy. Similar to Amazon, Target offers a broader range of products.

TripAdvisor

With TripAdvisor, you choose a network partner, and they provide you with affiliate links. After selecting the partner, you sign up for the affiliate program under TripAdvisor. This program lets you earn a commission even when someone doesn’t make a purchase but clicks on your link.

Cheapflights

Cheapflights’ affiliate program is user-friendly and allows simple integration into your blog or website. It also offers a commission for a potential customer clicking on the links and a flat purchase fee. Since travel is the largest retail category on the internet, this program is worth researching.

affiliate marketing programs

Affiliate Marketing Programs

With any of these affiliate programs, there are different factors to consider:

  • The way they calculate commission
  • How long the link is valid
  • Payout conditions

Commission

Some companies have tricky rules that you need to notice. One of those rules includes paying based on what the website you promote gets paid. This is especially helpful to think about when using affiliate links from third-party travel sites such as Booking.com. The percentage of the commission you make is based on how much the airline or flight pays to Booking.com and not the total cost of the travel expenses.

Link Duration  

This part is what’s known as the ‘cookie life.’ It tells you how long the link will be considered commissionable when you first link it on your website, blog, or social media platform. Basically, the longer the cookie time window, the better.

Payout Conditions

Like many reward-type programs, there are sometimes disclaimers on how and when you can get your money. In some cases, the money is distributed in increments, maybe weekly or monthly. In other cases, you may need to earn a certain amount of money to get paid at all.

influencer marketing

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing 

All in all, it doesn’t take much effort to include an affiliate marketing link on whatever platform you are using to reach your audience. You don’t have to be a famous influencer to take advantage of these online affiliate marketing options. The best approach is to share links to products or services you genuinely enjoy and tell your audience why you love said product and why they should buy it too.

When done correctly, this should be an organic give and take the process that benefits you, the affiliate company, and the customer purchasing the product or service. Go ahead, tell the world about your favorite pen (and make some money in the process.) Or, you can find an influencer who is an excellent fit to help you promote your company’s products. With affiliate marketing, the opportunities are endless.

FAQ: 

  • What is affiliate marketing?
  • What are some affiliate marketing programs?
  • Who are influencers?
  • What is an example of affiliate marketing?
  • How do I start affiliate marketing?

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