What is affiliate marketing?

Let’s start from the beginning …

There is a market, a place where buyers and sellers meet to facilitate transaction of goods and services… The market can be PHYSICAL (buyers can physically meet the sellers and purchase the desired goods/services from them in exchange of money) or VIRTUAL (buyers purchase goods and services through INTERNET).

And there is marketing, a process of promoting, selling, distributing goods and services (products).

Internet as the biggest market place with exponential growth

So, INTERNET can be a big, very big market. The process of promoting, selling, distributing products on the internet is called “internet marketing”, “online marketing”, “web marketing” or “digital marketing”. And it’s getting bigger and bigger, with exponential increase of internet users (from 2.4 billion in 2014 to 4.4 billion users in June 2019) as well as amount of data created (44 billion of Gigabytes created per day in 2016, estimated 463 billion of Gigabytes to be created per day in 2025!)

It goes without saying that work-at-home jobs and home-based businesses have very high probability of exponential growth in the next decades. It’s always worth it to give a shot if you haven’t tried yet or to experience a different activity if you’ve been disappointed before! Affiliate marketing is a great choice !

Affiliate marketing as demand generation strategy for sellers/companies

For sellers, the ultimate goal is to get as many clients as possible, people visiting their website (e-commerce business) and buying their products. Most of the time, sellers are happy to collaborate with “other persons” to promote their products, to generate traffic or leads to the e-commerce website, as the more people visit the website the more likely sales increase. Those “other persons” are NOT intermediaries like agents, wholesalers, distributors or retailers (who are called “distribution intermediaries” meaning they distribute the products making some margins and profits), BUT rather act to bring/refer visitors/clients to buy the products through the company’s website. They are called “affiliates” or “affiliate marketers”.

Simple definition of “affiliate marketing”

From the explanation above, it’s clear that “affiliate” is an individual or company who promotes products and services of other individuals or companies and gets commission on each sale. And Affiliate Marketing is the promotion of another person’s or company’s product, in which you get a percentage of the profit if a sale is made. In some programs, you get paid for each visitor you send to the company’s website and click/navigate within for some time. Most people, most companies prefer pay per sale programs as sale is the ultimate target.

Affiliate marketing stakeholders are:

  • Advertisers: The companies that sell products or services online (mostly through their online shops but also through affiliate networks’ platform);
  • Publishers: These are affiliate marketers like “you” who publish ads (advertisement) in their website or online posts (youtube video, facebook, etc.). Those ads are links you can get from the companies “advertisers”, or from “affiliate network”;
  • Affiliate networks: An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers (affiliate marketers). It provides opportunities for advertisers to advertise on other sites and for publishers to promote different products or services from various advertisers on their site.

To explain the process simply, affiliate marketing is a 3-step process:

  1. You (publisher) recommend a product or service (belonging to other companies/advertisers) to your followers (in your website or youtube channel or facebook page etc.)
  2. Your followers purchase the product or service using your affiliate link.
  3. You get paid a commission for the sales made using your affiliate links.

Becoming “affiliate marketer”

Affiliate marketing is a great way for anybody to start a home-based business. Anyone can become “affiliate marketer“, you can become “affiliate marketer” wherever you are, wherever you live on earth. You don’t need to have any products or services, as you’ll be promoting products and services of others. As other online home-based activity, you can give it a try without quitting your current job which is not recommended, at least in the beginning. You can work part-time on it. You are free to set up your own schedule: one or two hours per day would suffice for example. Since the majority of affiliate marketing programs are free, all you need is computer, internet connection and a bit of motivation and discipline.

If you are interested in affiliate marketing programs, you can search the internet to find that you have thousands of options available to you, in various types of products and services, in different areas. Many companies use affiliate marketing as part of their marketing strategy to promote their brand, their products and/or services and to increase their sales.

In the next post, I’ll explain step by step the process to follow to really practice affiliate marketing.

Hope you enjoy the reading, please like or comment …

 

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Happy surfing!

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