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So What’s Affiliate Marketing?

Before we get into all the benefits of affiliate marketing, let’s talk about what exactly it is.

What is affiliate marketing?

Have you ever seen a link to a product on somebody’s website that they don’t own? Maybe a video where someone talks about a product that they like and they ask you to click a link? That’s affiliate marketing baby.

Basically, affiliate marketing is a practice in which a business (typically one involved in e-commerce) partners with an affiliate to promote it’s products on their online spaces, whether it be websites, videos, social media, etc. 

So it’s the same as a sponsership?

Make no mistake, sponsorships are different. With sponsorships, the promoter gets paid a flat fee to showcase the product. Additionally, more restrictions get placed on how the actual promotion happens. You usually have to stick to the script and guidelines more with sponsorships. With affiliate marketing, the promotor get’s a percentage of the sales made. It also tends to be more lax on how to present the content.

So what are the benefits? Well, affiliate marketing gives you access to a broader market for your product to sit with. The decision of who you pick as your affiliate is up to you! Meaning that you can choose the perfect person to reach your target audience. Finally, it’s cheaper than a lot of other methods while still netting a great return on investment. All that said, there are still somethings you should look out for.

What should I expect with affiliate marketing?

For one, this sort of thing requires some preplanning. Setting up all of the terms of conditions, finding the right affiliates, clearly establishing what can and cannot be done takes some effort.

There’s also the potential for fraud with affiliate marketing. Underhanded affiliates can squat on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect. They’ll also use online registration forms containing fake or stolen information, purchase AdWords campaigns off search terms where company rank high in popularity (and make more money), spam social media channels about their offers. The best way to avoid this kind of this is to have someone closely monitoring the affiliate program.

Affiliate marketing can bring in a lot of good business to your company, and is honestly something that any e-commerce business should be taking advantage of. That being said, it’s not a faultless marketing tactic that will bring you millions in a day from “some weird trick” it takes some effort and maintenance. All in all, it’s worth the time investment to get working the way it should.