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What Is Affiliate Marketing?

 Affiliate marketing is the process of someone creating content to promote a company’s product or service and earns a commission when they make a sale. 


Affiliate marketing is similar to a commissioned sales job. The main difference is they are driving traffic to the company’s website and making sales through their content. 


Affiliate marketing sounds like a lucrative and straightforward way to market, and it can be, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Now, let’s get started on our affiliate marketing guide!


What is the Difference Between an Affiliate, an Ambassador and an Influencer? 


This question is ubiquitous that has many different answers.


Affiliates promote a product or service as a blog, video, or post and have a link that people will click on to buy the product or service. The affiliate will then receive a commission from the sale that correlates to the association. Affiliates relationships are typically short-term.


An influencer works with a company to promote a product or service to the influencer’s audience through a social media post. The influencer then gets paid a fee per post to promote the brand. Influencer relationships are short-term.


Ambassadors are people who love your brand and products and agree to maintain a loyal relationship with your brand. Ambassadors might receive money to promote your brand, but they primarily receive complimentary products as an incentive for their content. Sometimes ambassadors don’t ask for compensation; they only want the product to succeed. Affiliates and influencers can become ambassadors if they like the brand. 


How Can Affiliate Marketing Help My Company? 


There are many ways for a brand to market its product, but affiliate marketing offers a cost-effective and efficient way to do it. Affiliates are especially helpful for companies that are on a tight budget for marketing. You would only have to spend money when working with affiliates, other than giving your product to the affiliate when they make a sale. This also entices the affiliate to produce good content to get the sale.


When people see someone they trust, the affiliate, buy a product from your brand, they will begin to trust your product. By using affiliate marketing, you are reaching a broader audience that resonates with what your brand offers. Marketing like this increases awareness of the brand and drives more traffic to the brand’s website. 


While the affiliate is reaching a broader audience and increasing awareness, they also show confidence in your brand that will resonate with their audience when the product is coming from someone they trust, proving your brand without needing reviews.


What Platform Should I Use? 


The platform you use should provide adequate reports, track affiliate links, easily manage affiliates, provide security on fake accounts, and integrate with platforms you use. 


The most used are ShareASale, Dovetale, Refersion, UpFluence, and Awin. 


I want to point out that there isn’t always a need for a platform to start, but it is more time-efficient.


Our Affiliate Marketing Checklist 


Now that we introduced affiliate marketing, it’s time to show and explain to you our checklist to get started: 


  1. Understand Your Objective


Awareness – Reach as many people as possible.

Content – Use original user-generated content (UGC) to improve marketing content

Traffic – Increase website traffic

Trust – Strengthen the reputation of your brand

Conversions – increase sales, sign-ups, etc. 


  1. Set Your KPI’s


Awareness – Reach, impressions, follower count

Content – Quantity and type of UGC

Traffic – Bounce rate, new visitors, page views

Conversion – CVR, CPA and ROI


  1. Determine Your Budget


How much can you spend on affiliate marketing? ____________


How do you want to incentivize the affiliate?


  • Product only     
  • Commission only     
  • Rate per content   
  • Product and commission    
  • Product and rate per content
  • Product, commission, and rate per content 


  1. Find Affiliates 


There are many ways to find affiliates beginning with your affiliate platform if they have a recruitment tool; if not, you can just look through social media. 


Make sure the affiliate connects with his audience because that will determine if their content is authentic.


An affiliate doesn’t have to be someone specific to your niche. If their target audience aligns with your audience, then work with them. The opposite is also true, be careful about having an affiliate who is in your niche, but their audience is not your target audience. 


Be careful as there are affiliates who are scammers out there. Usually, an affiliate platform should have tools to protect you from these scammers. Still, if you don’t have one, you can assume how many followers they have on social media compared to how many comments and likes they receive on their posts. If they are not congruent with each other, then that could be a red flag. 



  1.  Create a CRM 


It’s ways great to track who you work with, who you are prospecting and their performance. You should also be specific with the affiliate’s info, such as birthday, clothes size, the platform they’re on, etc., to show you care about them and they aren’t just another number. 


  1. Find the Ideal Supervisor


Find the ideal supervisor, or team, for your affiliate marketing campaigns. They must have good communication and negotiating skills, be detail-oriented, reply promptly, be friendly, and have a creative and data side of the approach.



  1. Reporting and Analysis  


Awareness – How effectively did your affiliate reach your target audience?

Content – What type of content, how much content, and how they performed compared to other content (engagement, traffic and conversions)

Traffic – Use google analytics to determine sessions, bounce rate and time on site.

Trust – Analyze engagement, create surveys and look at the number of online reviews and their ratings. 

Conversions – How well did your affiliate convert? Find this info on your platform.




Time to wrap up; here are our 7 steps to starting affiliate marketing:


  • Understand Your Objective
  • Set Your KPI’s
  • Determine Your Budget
  • Find Affiliates  
  • Create a CRM 
  • Find the Ideal Supervisor
  • Reporting and Analysis  


If you’re doing this yourself, don’t expect to be ramped up from 0-100 in 3 months if you aren’t entirely dedicated or have someone who is and is cultivating those relationships.


Affiliate marketing is a budget-friendly approach that provides an excellent opportunity to start online marketing once you understand how it works. 


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