Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular schemes for monetizing your web content. It is also a very effective digital marketing technique that can bring benefits to all the parties involved. Successful affiliate marketing plans involve at least three different parties:
- Advertisers – are companies or individuals that promote their websites, products or content using the affiliate marketing schemes;
- Publishers – are bloggers or webmasters who promote advertisers’ offers or websites for commission or subscriptions;
- Consumers – are regular internet users who browse websites and click on affiliate links or ads
The example for this type of digital marketing scheme is the Amazon Associates platform, which is probably the biggest affiliate marketing operation in the world. Amazon Associates allows bloggers and webmasters to earn commission by promoting the products that are being sold in Amazon stores.
Some affiliate marketing schemes also involve the fourth party. It is called the network, and it’s usually the affiliate platform that connects advertisers and publishers and calculates publishers’ commission. The example for this type of relationship is the Edmunds.com Affiliate Program, which connects car dealers and websites and blogs from the automotive niche.
Since affiliate marketing is already very popular among the web content publishers, affiliate marketing gurus often forget to mention the benefits this concept brings to advertisers, affiliate networks and consumers. In this article, we won’t share tips and tricks for content publishers. You can find these types of posts on blogs and websites run by popular affiliate marketing influencers, like Charles Ngo. In this article, we’re going to list the benefits affiliate marketing brings to each party involved.
Advertisers need to give out the part of their earnings to affiliates and affiliate networks. Still, the benefits this concept brings to their business easily make up for all their expenses. These benefits include:
- Cost effective customer acquisition – Advertisers only pay for the leads that subsequently become their customers.
- Fixed costs – Network fees and affiliate bounty are usually fixed, and they can be easily added to the product price.
- Better brand visibility – The affiliate marketing secures high search engine listing.
- Narrowly targeted prospects – Many consumers who click on the ad won’t conduct a purchase on the advertiser’s website, but they’ll still enter the sales funnel. Since affiliates choose only relevant ads, all the prospects that come through the affiliate link represent the advertiser’s targeted audience.
- SEO improvements – investments in affiliate marketing bring more visitors to the advertiser’s website and improve its SEO rating.
Many publishers use affiliate marketing as a form of passive income. For some of them, this is the main source of income and can bring thousands of dollars each week. The only requirement for publishers’ success in affiliate marketing is a highly popular website or blog, with lots of interesting and useful content. You may want to consider building your entire business model around affiliate marketing – in which case you should explore online business ideas that are best suited as platforms for affiliate marketing. You may also want to consider online marketplace business models.
These are some of the benefits affiliate marketing provides to the publishers:
- No investments – This concept doesn’t require any type of the investment from the affiliates.
- No operating costs – Publishers don’t need to pay a dime for being the part of this operation.
- It makes money 24/7 – Websites and blogs are visible all day long, so publishers can earn income even while sleeping.
- No risks – since publishers don’t need to invest money in this scheme, they also don’t have risks.
- No need for a warehouse – Affiliate marketing is similar to the eCommerce business model. Publishers act as salespeople, and unlike regular eCommerce schemes, they don’t need to build their own payment platforms or use warehouses.
Website visitors are the people who drive publishers’ and advertisers’ revenue. Most affiliate experts forget that this marketing concept also benefits the consumers, who are the most important element of affiliate marketing schemes. These benefits include:
- Good recommendations – Bloggers and webmasters usually advertise products that they personally use.
- More information – Many affiliates build special pre-sale pages, which contain plenty of information about the products and lots of high quality images.
- Sales and discounts – Affiliates always share information about the sales on their pages and, depending on their relationship with an advertiser, they can give out special discount codes to their visitors.
Affiliate networks are the players that benefit the most from the affiliate marketing operations. They use complex algorithms to connect the right advertisers with the right publishers and calculate their commission for every purchase. As you can see from this article, the affiliate marketing is a win-win (-win-win) situation, and that is why it is still one of the most popular forms of online advertising.
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Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.