Affiliate marketing, the process where someone earns a commission by promoting a product or service, has become very popular over the years. Both companies and affiliates, many of them influencers, have found a way of generating online revenue through a cost-effective marketing tactic.
Traditional marketing and old-school advertising are stepping aside, while new marketing strategies are becoming protagonists. In fact, the U.S.affiliate marketing spend in the last years has grown considerably. Statista estimates it is due to reach $8.2billion by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017.
There is no doubt affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate online revenue and drive sales, and it is especially attractive to influencers, as it requires audience building and authenticity in order to succeed and they are good at both.
Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing have something in common:both are marketing strategies focused on brand advocates and ambassadors to promote services and products. So, even though they are not the same, influencers can take advantage of it because affiliate marketing is aligned with their tasks and business.
Keep reading to learn more about affiliate marketing and how influencers can benefit from it!
What is Affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process where someone -the affiliate- promotes a product or service from a retailer or advertiser and earns a commission from it. The promotion can bed one through different channels, including social media, websites, email lists, and blogs. In the case of influencers, the most common channel is social media.
Depending on the partnership, the affiliate is rewarded a payout when delivering a specific result, which may include clicks to a website, downloads of certain software or app, free trials, registrations, and, of course, sales.
Companies can track these results with cookies, specific links shared by the influencers, and unique coupon discounts, among other strategies. Have you seen influencers sharing a discount code with a coupon with their name? Or a specific link for their recommendations? Those probably are measurable tactics to identify the performance of the campaign.
Since influencers can motivate the purchasing decisions of their audience, affiliate marketing is a great tactic for content creators who want to generate revenue and also for businesses willing to increase their brand awareness, generate more leads, and boost sales.
Why Influencers should take advantage of Affiliate marketing
Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are aligned and sometimes even overlap, so influencers can benefit a lot when implementing affiliate marketing tactics. It is relatively easy to execute and content creators have already built an audience, so they are not starting from scratch.
If you are an influencer, one of the best reasons for becoming an affiliate is because it isa passive income. Once you have shared a recommendation, people can click on it while you are away or even sleeping! Do take your time creating original and authentic content that would resonate with your audience, because it will make it more appealing to the public.
Affiliate marketing is also convenient because it allows you to set up your own goals and define your schedule according to them. In the end, you are the only one who decides how many campaigns to join and where to put your energy. You can also work from anywhere and keep building up your professional project!
And if it was not enough, affiliate marketing is also cost-effective. You do not need to invest large amounts of money or worry about fees. It can be done at a low cost, demanding mostly your time and creativity. Since your rewards are based on your performance, you will earn money according to the clicks/leads/sales you generate.
Are you considering joining an affiliate marketing program already?
Now that we have listed the benefits of affiliate marketing, let’s talk about money!
How Influencers can generate revenue with affiliate marketing
If you are an influencer interested in affiliate marketing, the first thing you need to do is become an affiliate. There are multiple ways of finding a company interested in promoting their services or products with a content creator like you: from joining marketplaces to reaching out to companies on your own.
Just as there are marketplaces for different kinds of services or products, there are specialized platforms where brands and influencers can connect. AvantLink and AffiliateFuture are examples of affiliate marketplaces.
Another option is to identify the brands you would like to work with and determine if they have an affiliate marketing program. Currently, the most popular program is AmazonAssociates, which has around 46% of the market share.
You can also reach out to brands and ask them if they have an affiliate program or if they would like to have you as a partner who would promote their services or products online.In these cases, discount codes are useful to measure the campaign.
Depending on the partnership, influencers can get paid in multiple ways:
Pay per sale: the affiliate earns a commission when they get someone to purchase the service or product. The commission rate can be a percentage of the final price (5% to 50% depending on the arrangement) but it could also be a flat rate per sale.
Par per click (PPC): sometimes affiliate marketing is used for generating traffic to websites. Influencers get paid when they redirect their audience to the merchant’s site. It can be measured through unique URL links, for example.
Pay per lead: the commission depends on the conversion of leads. The content creator must influence the consumers so that they visit the merchant’s website and complete certain action: register, subscribe, download an app/software or start a free trial, among other actions.
Keep in mind that affiliate marketing works on a commission basis, so joining programs or posting daily does not mean you are going to generate revenue. It takes patience and consistency to earn profit and how much money you make depends on your niche.In the end, affiliate marketing is performance-based.
Why you should take affiliate marketing seriously
Just as influencer marketing, affiliate marketing is built on trust. You need to create authentic and useful content for your audience while including recommendations of certain services and products. Have you tried out the products you are suggesting? Is it true what you are saying or are you just recommending stuff because you want a commission?
If you want to keep your audience engaged, try to be honest with them and only recommend products you have tried out. It is also important to check out the values of the brand you are working with, as their reputation may affect you.
Even though affiliate marketing is easier to execute than other marketing campaigns, it is just a tactic and the idea is to integrate multiple marketing tactics into your strategy. It requires time, expertise, and knowledge, which is one of the reasons why many content creators decide to work with a marketing agency, as they will guide them and help them out.
Final thoughts on affiliate marketing and influencers
Affiliate marketing has become very popular over the years and is an excellent tactic for influencers willing to generate a passive income by promoting brands and services from other companies.
This low-risk and cost-effective tactic offers a great opportunity for content creators from any background. They already have a platform, an audience and can start sharing practical recommendations with their audience.
If you are a content creator and want to become an affiliate, or if you have already tried it but want to define a solid affiliate marketing strategy, you can contact Stargazer! Our team of marketing experts is willing to guide you and help you get the best out of it!