Marketing is too important

A Guide to Affiliate Marketing

“Marketing is too important
to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard

If you’re a marketer and have been in the business for a while, you’ve probably already come across the term “affiliate marketing” or have come across the idea of establishing affiliations. It’s a concept that’s been around for quite some time mostly for it being a more lucrative concept in that there’s money to be earned.

If you’re not completely aware of affiliate marketing and how it works, be assured that this write-up will cover the basics of the concept and how it could potentially help your business and your overall social media marketing strategy.

What is Affiliate Marketing?
One of the older forms of marketing that has a legacy of its own, affiliate marketing is carried out through promoting someone else’s products through your reference. The process as a whole, carries a commision for every sale that occurs.

To give it more context, you promote a product that you like to others in the hope that they make a purchase. The resulting purchase will lead to a commision on sale for you. If this sounds similar to influencer marketing, it’s probably because in theory, they’re quite similar.

So Why do it?
If you’re someone who just generally enjoys promoting and talking about products you like, affiliate marketing is something you could certainly consider as a means of earning money. Many consider this approach mainly due to ease of accessibility in the fact that it’s easy to pick up. So why do it?

  1. Ease of accessibility: As mentioned above, this is a great way to earn money on the side especially if you enjoy promoting and talking about products your genuinely like. If you choose to market these products, you could always consider joining affiliate programs which don’t cost much. If you’re a blogger that’s looking to make some extra money, this becomes an easy step.
  2. No Inventory needed: Let’s make it very clear. You don’t have to physically sell any items from your end. In this case, you don’t have to worry about packaging, delivery and support since that is completely handled by the store.
  3. Convenience: As a blogger, this would mean not having to actually work in a designated place. Such a profession can be conducted within the confines of your own home at any point of time. What’s better, if you have a good following as a blogger and influencer, your audience is bound to follow any recommendations.

How Does it Work?
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are usually 3 parties involved in the entire process.

  • The Seller: The creator of the product, looking to sell them and earn a substantial fee for the product.
    They can be big companies or even smaller ones entering the market.
  • The Affiliate: They are usually publishers of the product. They’re usually individual marketers that use their blog to review such products and promote them with the hope of achieving a sale.
  • The Consumer: They provide an end to the cycle. Based on the ability of the affiliate to market a product on the right channel, the consumer will eventually see fit to actually make a purchase.

How to go about it?
Affiliates can choose to structure their business model in two ways. The first is by creating a resource model. In this case, the affiliate will create a website dedicated to promoting a variety of products. In such cases, proper research will need to be done on a niche industry that the affiliate wishes to promote. Information will need to be updated on a regular basis and articles will usually cover product launches detailing information about said product.

The other way, and this is something most affiliates consider, is the review model. In this case, the affiliate would write up a review on the product the wish to promote in an attempt to convince the audience to buy said product. Careful research will need to be made on the product so as to not mislead the audience in anyway while also adding credibility.

Do I qualify to become an affiliate?
In short, yes. It may not be for you though, but anyone can become an affiliate. There’s no prior qualification required to become an affiliate marketer. Although, you’d have to sharpen up on your writing skills as it would involve some amount of creative writing. Having marketing skills would be an added advantage.

In Conclusion
While it may have been stated earlier that becoming an affiliate marketer is relatively easy, don’t confuse that with the job actually being easy. Being an affiliate is no easy task. It involves a substantial amount of groundwork not just in terms of the products and industries you wish to work in, but also finding the right audiences that align with the niche categories selected.

But that’s not all. In time, you’ll also find yourself creating and maintaining relations with your audiences. You’d have to spend your time wisely coming up with right content and when to publish it. The most important trait required is patience. Without it, your path may be difficult but if stayed true, the monetary benefits will eventually come.

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