The idea of internet-based affiliate marketing was pioneered and patented by William J. Tobin in 1994. Affiliate Marketing is the successor to the traditional revenue sharing model where a commission was paid for business referrals by an individual/agency.
Later with the emergence of the internet, the evolution of such revenue sharing theories to e-commerce happen after the world wide web was launched in 1994. Right from its launch, affiliate marketing has made rapid strides.
The growth of e-commerce websites, that started as a dolly had transformed into a vital player in the business plan of an organization and has grown hugely when compared to the traditional offline business.
In The Article
Affiliate marketing means the reward that an online retailer pays the affiliate/s for their intense marketing of his products and enhancing the sales levels. Normally, four players are involved in this brand of marketing, namely: retailer, affiliate, network and the customer.
Affiliate marketing can also be called as performance-based marketing. Affiliate marketing is carried out with the prime intention of enhancing sales through paying commission to the affiliates based on their marketing performance.
How Does Affiliate Marketing work
In affiliate marketing, bloggers or people working in other content sites that pertain to the same sector as that of a retailer are appointed as affiliates. These people are paid a commission by the online retailer or merchant for fetching new business to the latter. Affiliates induce the internet visitors to visit the site of the retailer to do a purchase.
Affiliates could even write a post regarding some new product or promotion on the retailer’s website and even give banner ads on their own websites to induce people to come to the retailer’s website. In short, the payment is done to an affiliate by the retailer for undertaking these marketing services.
Most Popular and Successful Affiliate Marketing Programs
There are some affiliate marketing programs that have not only been familiar amidst masses but have been able to satisfy the two business players, retailers and affiliate marketers.
Hereunder is the list of winning affiliate marketing programs in terms of their popularity level
- CJ AFFILIATE BY CONVERSANT
- AMAZON ASSOCIATES
- REVENUE WIRE
Affiliate Marketing Companies
There are many affiliate marketing organizations that have grown and still progressing well in the affiliate marketing business.
The top 10 affiliate marketing companies in the USA are:
- Rakuten Marketing – This company forms part of the Rakuten Affiliate Network. The company has succeeded in gaining the overall satisfaction of advertisers and publishers.
- ShareASale – ShareASale is a part of affiliate window.
- eBay Partner Network – eBay Partner Network is the in-house company of eBay that involves in affiliate marketing.
- Avangate – It is a service provider for e-commerce companies to solidify their sales via all channels, mode, and market. Avangate Affiliate Network has over 50,000 affiliates that concentrate on sales of digital products through intense marketing.
- Amazon.com – It is a leading e-commerce organization that started its company by selling books online. It has a huge affiliate network and works with a multi-pronged sales strategy. Its products are sold mostly by its third-party sellers thereby resulting in the company making mammoth sales.
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant – CJ Affiliate is an online advertising company that has a presence in the affiliate marketing business on a global basis. The abbreviation CJ stands for Commission Junction i.e. the old name of CJ Affiliate. Alliance Data is the owner of CJ Affiliate.
- ClickBank – ClickBank is a leading online retailer alongside a very powerful affiliate marketing network company that has showcased its might and been instrumental in generating earning opportunities for several time-strapped entrepreneurs. ClickBank’s technology aids in payments, tax calculations and a variety of customer service tasks. The company also has a strong global base.
- FlexOffers – FlexiOffers is one of the leading affiliate networks operating in the USA with more than 5000 popular advertisers from all spheres of business. It has 10 + years of experience in the affiliate marketing sector. They have earned the reputation of being a phenomenal customer service provider. Apart from this, they operate in a swift manner, have a series of good data delivery tools and consistently do timely payments.
- LinkConnector – Link Connector is a highly rated affiliate marketing company that has its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. Through its vast affiliate network, it works hard towards enhancing the online sales of merchants. It is well known for offering excellent affiliate program benefits and works in line with the expectations of customers.
Link Connector has been a path breaker in terms of bringing new technologies. The company began operations in 2004 and has gained good experience wherein it has literally redefined the meaning of affiliate marketing.
- RevenueWire – Revenue Wire is a company that operates in the e-commerce industry and does numerous activities. Revenue WireAffiliate marketing is also one of its successful verticals, operating as a vast affiliate network. The organization has now expanded its business to over 200 countries and is becoming a seasoned campaigner.
It is ranked as one of the fastest growing and promising companies in Canada and has also placed its firm foothold in USA and UK.
Affiliate Marketing Step by Step Guide
The five basic steps that an entrepreneur, willing to foray into the affiliate marketing profession needs to follow are:
- Choosing the right plan while visiting the affiliate company
- Arrive at a firm decision for picking your most interested area of business
- You need to have the skill of creating your own website so that you can get satisfaction on all counts
- After picking your passionate area, you need to build your own website to write about your topic of interest. Thereafter, you need to choose the affiliate programs that will be advertised by you on your website.
There are numerous products and services to choose and you need to pick the right one that is relevant to your area/s of interest.
- This is the most crucial step wherein you need to build and grow your website. The website must contain valuable and voluminous content that must ensure to satisfy the visitors. The visitors must definitely get that feeling of not having seen content like this anytime before.
Affiliate marketing Issues
The issues that are present in affiliate marketing are:
- Picking your most suitable area of business that is also worthy
- Coordinated working with HTML Code and Affiliate Links
- Writing content for the chosen business area
- Induce self-motivation and follow time management
- Getting Traffic
- Making sales
- Writing a sales copy where the prime focus must be on pre-sales
- Smooth working with online retailers or their affiliate program managers
- Link Building
- Building a Responsive mailing list
Affiliate Marketing compensation disclosure
Affiliate marketers are required to comply with the compensation disclosure guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission.
- The guidelines require that any affiliate who uses reviews, rankings or testimonials to promote products must clearly disclose the fact that they receive compensation for doing such activities.
- Review sites should clearly state how reviews are composed and checked. These websites must also ensure whether and how commission or conversion rates have influenced the presentations, including ratings or rankings.
- To ensure that the FTC guidelines are followed, affiliates must disclose the commercial relationships with businesses that appear on their site (its influence on the ranking of businesses), clearly identify paid promotions and advertising.
Role of Social Media in Affiliate Marketing
Social media can play a useful role in boosting affiliate marketing. It is one of the easiest and fastest methods to make online money. The only requirement for effective use of this medium lies in the hands of affiliates to assure that their social media posts have high valuable information. This is vital for successfully expanding the reach of their (affiliate) website link and also the retailer’s website link.
Methods of Using Social Media Effectively for Affiliate Marketing
- Work on Creation of a Redirect Link – Instead of just having their affiliate link, affiliates can design a simple and clear link so that the visitors will be induced to click.
- Focus on superior affiliate products – It is important for an affiliate marketer to have links with superior products. This is essential for making the audiences to get easily attracted and they will indulge in doing word-of-mouth marketing. Self-satisfaction is one another thing that an affiliate will get through concentrating on best-in-class products.
- Concentration on Content – Content holds the key to pulling the attention of the audience. The audience must feel that there is something really worthy of them to read. Affiliates must use their education and skill on how to fascinate their social media platform customers through providing riveting and top-class content.
- Use Photos – Photos have an indomitable appeal. The usage of product photos or other related photos by the affiliate marketer/s on their social media page alongside the content will automatically induce the readers or visitors to study your social media pages. Utilisation of Instagram application by affiliate marketers for posting their photos will tell about the appeal of the latter.
- Stay Alert – It is vital for an affiliate marketer to have a strong continual hold on his audiences on whichever social media platform he operates. It is not necessary for an affiliate marketer to operate on many social media sites as there is a likelihood of non-deliberate carelessness in handling the audiences. Communication and posting on a regular basis is the foundation for an affiliate marketer to succeed on the social media platform. The affiliate marketer needs to spend a few hours on a daily basis for working on this platform.
- Social media – It is a very mighty device that has been found in this modern era and it can be used efficiently for marketing and many more purposes. Social media can be utilized efficiently for affiliate marketing by having a good interrelation with other affiliate marketers and help each other for success.