The world of ecommerce is vast. As technology advances, it continues to expand. Among the mix of marketers and traders, the business environment is growing at a substantial pace. Moreover, it’s an open space where anyone is welcome to join the competition.
As an entrepreneur, you have a set of goals. However, earning money is typically at the top of the list.
Want in on a secret?
There’s an easier way to earn money than building your own company or creating your product. For those who already have both, who minds a little side hustle?
So this option is available to everyone who already owns an existing website, blog, app, or YouTube channel. The idea is to have a pre-populated site with content. The reason, of course, is to appear authentic to both the customers and the business owner.
But enough with the suspense already!
I am talking about affiliate marketing.
And Business Insider is claiming that income from the application of affiliate marketing has grown by 10% per year since 2015. Without a doubt, this marketing strategy is effective for both e-commerce and their associates.
By the way, what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way of earning money by promoting another company’s products or services. When a sale is generated, you get paid. You can say it is a passive process of earning income- you get to earn cash by promoting an already popular product.
Two parties are involved:
- The merchant has something to sell. They are also known as the seller, brand, retail, or vendor.
- The affiliate is anyone who can make money off a merchant’s product by promoting it. They are also known as a marketer or publisher.
Your job is to advertise and promote a product on your website, the affiliate site. You need to produce creative, attractive content and entice online shoppers to make a purchase. A link redirects customers back to the merchant’s website. While you gain popularity through affiliation, so too does the product/service.
So how do I get my money?
As an affiliate marketer, you are assigned a unique ID number. The link you place on the product you promote on your site leads a customer back to the distributor’s website. So when a sale is completed, your unique ID number allows the transaction to be traced back to you. And once a product is purchased, you receive a commission. Exactly how much depends upon what you have agreed to in the contract.
Who gains from affiliate marketing?
According to affiliatemarketingsuccess4u.com, the top 10 niches in affiliate marketing are:
- Fashion – 23.27%
- Sports and Outdoors – 18.16%
- Health and Beauty – 13.81%
- Travel – 10.74%
- Home and Garden – 8.7%
- Computer and Electronics – 6.65%
- Education and Training – 5.37%
- Business – 5.12%
- Finance and Insurance – 4.35%
- High-end Luxury stores – 3.83%
Affiliate marketing is useful for both the merchant and the affiliate website owner. As a popular marketing tool, it’s a great way to generate profit.
For the merchant:
- It’s a cost-effective and less time-consuming method to promote a product than through direct marketing.
- It’s budget-friendly- the commission is paid only after a sale.
- Affiliates manage their ads, so technically, you’re getting free brand exposure.
- It boosts your online visibility.
- More traffic because affiliates are also directing traffic to your website.
- An affiliate website has its SEO campaign. You can reap double the rewards of search engine optimization, one from your own and the other from the affiliate.
- With a stronger SEO in place, you can expect higher SERPs. The better the ranking, the more your brand/product can be discovered. With more traffic, there is a higher chance for sales.
- An affiliate is just as interested in a sale as you are. Results are performance-based; no sale means no payment.
- Accuracy and transparency can be maintained through tracking. It fosters better business relationships between the merchant and the affiliate.
- Enhanced analysis software identifies which affiliate sites are bringing in the most sales.
For the website owner (Affiliate Marketer):
- Startups that don’t have a product can gather consumer attention by promoting an already existing one currently available in the market.
- There isn’t a high cost to enrolling in an affiliate program. All it requires is an active site where merchants can market their products.
- It offers greater flexibility for strategy, location, hours, etc.
- Affiliate marketing tools help simplify tasks such as creating text and ads, tracking sales, backend operations, etc.
As you can see, affiliate marketing broadens the consumer base for both the affiliate site as well as the vendor site. So it’s a win-win situation. But one of the mutual benefits is that affiliate marketing boosts traffic rather quickly for both parties. That may be because more than 50% of affiliate-referred traffic comes from mobile devices. With over 2 billion mobile users worldwide, there is a consistent rise in mobile affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing can help drive traffic
There are several ways that affiliate marketers can target an audience. More importantly, your publication should grab a viewer’s attention. It should also answer the following questions:
- How will this product be beneficial to me?
- What is unique about this product?
- What are its pros and cons?
How to bring your A-game to boost traffic
An affiliate marketing campaign can only improve traffic if your tactics as an affiliate marketer are spot on. To enhance your strategy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Portray a strong positive connection to the product
Customers will not believe you if you don’t believe in what you’re selling. It will be evident that you’re merely marketing the product.
But if you show them how much you like the product as well as its pros and cons, your approach becomes realistic. People will respond positively and will be more inclined to make a purchase.
2. Provide additional value to your audience
Affiliate marketers such as beauty and fashion bloggers often give details about their outfit, accessories, makeup, etc. When they recommend something like a custom leather jacket or offer an exclusive discount on the shade of lipstick they are wearing, they become an affiliate to their readers. They promote the product to their audience. And at the end of the day, everyone gains from it.
3. Build a good reputation with your audience
Affiliate marketing only works if there’s trust between the affiliate and the audience. When an affiliate is a respectable figure in a particular niche, the audience instinctively trusts them even before they trust the product that they are promoting.
People expect them to provide an honest opinion. Moreover, they anticipate valuable insight about a product, service, or topic. So people are more likely to follow their advice.
4. Use your existing followers
And if you recall, in the beginning, we mentioned how important it was for affiliate marketers to have pre-populated content. Having a massive fan of followers with whom you regularly interact makes it easier to market an affiliate product.
Your choices already inspired your audience, and they have no reason to stop now.
5. Use your words effectively
Whether it’s through text or video, your words need to motivate the audience to fulfill the desired action. Put yourself in the place of the consumer. Understand what evokes a response and what motivates them towards a CTA.
Concentrating on emotions and personal benefits of a product for a customer helps connect with the audience. The more personalized and convincing a post is, the better the results will be.
6. Work on a cohesive visual appearance
Again, whether it’s a photo or a video, the quality of the visuals you use must be exceptional. The image should present the product in the best way possible. Post-high-quality visuals to allow the audience to get a clear idea of how the product can be beneficial to them.
But remember, it’s not only a photo or video that you need to concentrate on. First off, the headline, possibly featuring the product name, must also grab a person’s attention. The text should be scan-able and easy to read. And at the end, use relevant hashtags to make the post easy to find alongside a compelling call-to-action.
Affiliate marketing is a slow and steady way to bring in a decent side income. You get paid for every sale. But if you have plans to make it rich quick, this may not be the best route.
You need a great deal of patience and effort to promote a product over a long period. And having a broad audience that loves clicking on your content can help.
When done right, affiliate marketing can let you make money without investing in employees or inventory. Moreover, as the business world grows, you can continue to meet market demands while staying competitive.
About the Author
Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.