So what is affiliate marketing and how do you make any money with it? Well quite simply its a way of generation leads for products and services and getting paid to do it.
Affiliate marketing is a special type of marketing though, that is based on performance. What this means is that all affiliates of a business or a company gets rewarded for each customer or visitor that he or she brings about using company generated marketing material and their own efforts to the main products and or services. This type of marketing has been around since it was first launched back in 1989, but nowadays it is very popular and it is gaining more and more interested customers and advertisers all over the world on a daily basis.
The mechanics of affiliate marketing, is not too complicated and there are four wheels to this money making vehicle. These are the merchant, or ‘retailer / brand’, the network that makes the products or services available to the customers to chose from and also processes the payments, the publisher, advertiser or marketer, in other words ‘the affiliate’, and, then finally, the customer end user. Because of the massive growth in this industry this kind of marketing also involves another set of wheels. These include entities such as super-affiliates, third-party vendors and affiliate management companies or agents who support the overall trading process through to the payment of affiliates. So you can see that there is a lot of extra things going on in the background which you don’t have to do. Making this the most easy to get involved in as all you do is market the product or service and then the rest is taken care of by the back office of your affiliate program.
Since affiliates use advertising methods that are regular and they do that quite often, the affiliate marketing is also often related to internet marketing to a certain extent. The methods that are frequently used are SEO or (organic) search engine optimization by doing keyword research on Google, e-mail marketing and search engine marketing. However, the affiliates sometimes opt for some other methods and techniques. For instance, they may produce a video review of a product or a service that a partner offers usually with catchy title like ‘ Don’t purchase “X” until you watch this!’ to draw in potential new customers.
In summary, affiliate marketing is one of the many types of online marketing out there today. Although it has been around a long time, its popularity is only just starting to really grow. Especially in the recession and redundancy ridden years we have been having. Its not that complicated and it can turn out to be very lucrative if you put in some focussed effort. Its many options allow for the merchants to display their products or services in lots of places which allows for the customers to look for and then chose the products that they think are the best for them. I can only see affiliate marketing continuing to grow and show its great potential in the years to come.
Here are just a few companies that I have seen out there with massive growth and potential. Some are affiliate and some distributor based.
The Social Networking Academy – Social Media Training and Tips to help grow any business worldwide
The Utility Warehouse Discount Club - Utilities wholesalers who are UK based
Empower Network – Affiliate program that fits all business models worldwide
Aweber - Email autoresponder system to keep in touch with customers with newsletters etc…