Written by: HaleyMikel P
Forms of affiliate marketing have always been integrated into business instinctually as a way to share knowledge about businesses or products, with a goal of increasing sales. The online referral marketing system got its start in the 1950s, but we don’t have to take it all the way back to understand how the affiliate marketing network ecosystem works and how to maneuver within it.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing system that allows both advertisers and affiliates to gain revenue through successful campaigns.
Affiliate marketing provides affiliates with the opportunity to generate a passive income for themselves while at home, working a 9 to 5, or by fully committing to the affiliate space. Each time a purchase is made in association with an affiliate link, that affiliate receives their agreed-on commission percentage. Now, of course, there’s some behind-the-scenes work that needs to be implemented, but we’ll get to that.
This is great, right?! All you have to do is put some compelling information out there and soon you’ll be watching the word spread and your earnings soar? Well, there’s actually a bit more to it than that. So, let’s take a look at how you can get started in establishing successful partnerships and producing profitable campaigns.
Choose and carefully learn your niche
Selecting brand and product partnerships that will align with what your audience is interested in will largely determine the success of your campaigns. Product relevance is the number one deciding factor when picking a partnership.
As much as technology is adapting, consumers are adapting too. SEO is continuously improving and, with that, the specifics of customer searches. Highly specific keywords are used in searches and yielding even more tailored results. Know the demographics of your website traffic and implement that information to ensure you’ve positioned yourself in the correct categories to be found in more searches and, in turn, increase conversion rates.
In hand with this, if your audience generally comes to you for beauty product recommendations or hair care product recommendations, and lands on your page to see a banner ad for a new lawnmower, they might A) be uninterested in the product entirely and potentially deterred from revisiting your pages and B) find it hard to trust that you stand behind the products you represent.
Whether or not you choose to be on-brand with the partnerships you select will either help or hinder your profit. Coming across to customers as disingenuous will almost always result in a loss of trust and loyal following.
Be transparent, represent the types of products that your audience expects from you, provide content that is useful, and you will be on the right track.
Managing income and commissions as an affiliate
Developing a relative idea of what you want your commission contracts to look like is important, as you will need to compare the different structures advertisers are offering (among other comparison points) to ultimately determine which partnerships you will place yourself in.
While you’re getting a feel for the financial landscape, you will probably start to realize the potential to have multiple streams of revenue. Aim for a variety of different products and brands to work with; within your niche, of course.
An estimated 80% of brands have affiliate programs, so finding a variety to work with shouldn’t be too challenging. Brands come with their own baggage, and you don’t want to tie yourself to just one. Landing pages, quality of products, conversion rates, and commissions are all variables that change with each brand and ultimately affect your bottom line.
You will also want to think about how you will keep track of your incoming payments to make sure that your commissions are always paid on time and in full. We can get into that a bit, next.
Is the current digital landscape prime for entering the world of affiliate marketing?
Sales across the digital scene have been on a continuous upward trajectory in recent years, but organic growth for the digital space in a post-pandemic world has only skyrocketed. Affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of all digital marketing revenue, so, naturally, digital influencers are going to have a bit of weight in the game, but the types of affiliates involved in this marketing system aren’t limited.
Affiliates take on the form of bloggers, reviewers, and email marketers, just to name a few. There are always new opportunities arising to increase their productivity through the assistance of machine-learned programs.
Networks have access to data like never before with the help of technology. They are able to analyze and organize millions of data points that assist heavily in all aspects of the affiliate marketing process. As these A.I. technologies advance the capabilities and refinement of affiliate marketing, processes will advance as well.
I hope this helped shed a little light on the digital advancements in affiliate marketing and why now is a good time to start planting yourself in this digital space. It’s only going to continue rapidly developing and growth across the fields of digital and affiliate marketing is only expected to increase.
As technology continues to surpass its own capabilities every day, we can only expect more advancements in A.I. and SEO that directly impact the growth and abilities of affiliate marketing.