It is no news that the age of the internet and social media have changed the landscape of business forever. Through social media, consumers are now more connected and equipped with more information on every purchase that they make and have more power on influencing brands and organizations. Organizations are finding new ways to communicate with their consumers, and learning how to effectively use social media as a marketing tool in a world where shares, likes, and recommendations are more effective in driving sales than a celebrity endorsement.
Enter: Affiliated Marketing
Affiliate marketing, by definition, is “Revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, whereby compensation is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a hybrid model” (marketingterms.com). In short, it is a method which companies drive traffic and sales to their products through profit sharing with “affiliates”.
An affiliate can post about eligible products on their social media outlet, and a percentage of the sales made through this post is then issued as commission. Some sites even reward you for just driving traffic to the site.
Amazon.com is an example of a company highly utilizing affiliated marketing; their program is so strong that they’ve inspired sites like canopy.co, a site that curates Amazon products and profit from commissions. Thisiswhyimbroke.com is another popular affiliated marketing site. The creator curates cool and fun products on the site and provide links to platforms where you can make the purchase. The website started off as a hobby project and is now a lucrative business with both full time and freelance employees! I recently put together a graduation present for my cousin, and made a significant amount of purchases through this blog post, most of the products are links to Amazon, which I am sure the blogger is set up as an affiliate and collected commission off of my shopping spree :).
Why companies should consider using affiliated marketing
Data Data Data
Affiliated marketing can be easily tracked, gathering valuable data from consumers and helping companies tailor other marketing strategies based on consumer activities.
At an average of 2%-6% of the product sale price, this commission based business model allows for dedicated marketing efforts, where marketers (affiliates) are only paid when a transaction is made, saving the company marketing dollars that are typically spent on potential sales versus an actual purchased item.
A Captivated Audience
Research shows that consumers can be bombarded with up to 5000 ads per day. In a time where the average person is more and more desensitized from traditional marketing advertisements, consumers turn to sources of trust when taking money out of their wallet. Tastemakers (curators like thisiswhyimbroke.com); Feedback from interest groups (mom blogs, fashion blogs, etc); Friends (shares on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) all are sources (lists, ratings, reviews, recommendations) where consumers can find relevant and trustworthy information on products. In a world where everybody is competing for eyeballs attention, individuals with an established audience become great partners to company and brands.
Why you should consider becoming an affiliate
Affiliated marketing allows individuals to participate in the market with very low risks. No capital is required and setting up only takes about 10 minutes. There is no risk if one fails, and much reward if one is successful!
Practice Your Marketing Skills
For anyone who is interested in building a social media presence or practicing their marketing skills, affiliated marketing provides a platform for purpose and content with measurable results. It is a great start to learning about monetizing your social media skills.
This one is straight forward – who wouldn’t like some extra income?!
With everyone already having a social media presence, affiliated marketing has a huge market potential. It is only a matter of time when most of our shopping will be done online and through targeted searches. With Pinterest and Snapchat both enabling buying methods straight from the app recently, affiliated marketing can take on a much bigger piece of the market and help both companies and affiliates bring in more income—a win win situation for all!