“Affiliate Marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”
With many success stories accredited to Affiliate Marketing, the above statement from US Senator Bo Bennett is very appropriate in the present age of Online Marketing. As a concept, it is fairly easy and simple to understand, as it entails no high sounding technical jargon’s Ever since the advent of the concept of Sales and Marketing, Sales Agents have been instrumental in inducing prospective clients to purchase products and services on behalf of companies that pay them commissions or incentives based on every sale they execute.
Similarly, in the world of Internet Marketing, affiliates or publishers play a role akin to Sales Agents who get paid by advertisers or merchants to place a link on their website and get paid commission for every sale that is generated through their website.
A deeper in-sight into the concept
One of the best and most popular examples of an effective Affiliate Marketing program is amazon.com, which goes on to show how effective and important this type of marketing technique is for e-retailers. This concept differs from Referral Marketing in the sense that the former is purely incentive-driven to induce sales while the latter is steered by trust-building and word-of mouth to carry out sales.
Being a symbiotic “Win-Win” relationship between merchants and affiliates wherein both are mutually benefited from each other, there are several advantages of Affiliate Marketing for both the parties.
Significance of Affiliate Marketing
Its significance lies in the fact that it is a lucrative, low risk marketing proposition involving very less initial capital investment, does not require inventories, allows passive income generation through Leverage Strategies, and provides you the opportunity to place your business on auto-pilot, while a number of websites across the globe are selling on your behalf. The most common advertising methods used include Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay per Click or Search Engine Marketing); E-Mail Marketing, Display Advertising and Content Marketing.
Today, the most popular products and services being sold through Affiliate Marketing include mobile phones, hotels, travel agencies, dating and computer peripherals, leading to proliferating online shopping portals and e-stores. Affiliate Window, Affiliate Future, Commission Junction and Trade Doubler are a few major affiliate networks. For being a successful affiliate, the only thing one needs is a good website, with good visibility and a high ranking on major search engines. The rest will automatically fall in place once these prerequisites are met. So there is minimum pressure on the affiliate once the process is in place.
How to get started
Considering the growing business trends of internet shopping portals, e-store, e-retailers and massive proliferation of Affiliate Marketing programs on the internet, one needs to first clearly analyse and identify a niche market where one will be operating, and thereon scrutinize and decide on choosing the affiliate most suited to one’s requirements.
With four key players in the Affiliate Marketing sector, namely the Merchant, the Network of operation, the Affiliate or the Publisher and the Customer or end-user, and each one of them deriving a considerable number of benefits from this form of marketing, it is imperative that the Affiliate Marketing Sector is expected to magnify and diversify furthermore in times to come.
About the Author
Sitara Sankar is a Content Marketing Specialist at TIIT Solutions which is one of the top providers of seo services in India. She is passionate about writing unique, innovative and engaging content on a diverse range of topics. You can catch up with her on Twitter @sitara_sankar.
Paulene Yates says
very informative post. I’m a new webmaster trying my luck on my online store. Have to admit that I mainly researched and focused on SEO and SMO (social media optimization). Thanks to this post as it is a good start with affiliate marketing and hoping I can learn the ropes the soonest.