Explaining Affiliate Marketing

Explaining Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be referred to as a type of performance-based marketing involving a merchant and the affiliate marketer. It works on the principle of rewards where a business rewards its affiliate marketers for every visitor or customer that is brought through the affiliate’s marketing efforts

The idea behind it is that you promote another person’s product to enable you to get a commission if people buy that product. It is centered on a revenue sharing policy. Those who have products on sale and they wish to sell more, all they need to do is to offer promoters a monetary incentive. To those who don’t have a product, but want to make money, then they can offer to promote a product to earn an income through it.

With that said lets now take a look at the four major players in affiliate marketing and their roles.

The Merchant

The merchant can also be referred to as the seller, the creator, the retailer, the vendor, or even the brand. This is the player that creates the product. The product can be something like a big company, such as Dyson, that is known for producing vacuum cleaners for your home and office. The merchant can also be a single individual, for example, Mariah Coz, who sells online entrepreneurial courses to female entrepreneurs.

From individual entrepreneurs to huge Fortune multi-billion companies to startups, you can be the merchant behind a robust affiliate marketing system. You do not necessarily need to be actively involved, all you just need is to have a product to sell.

The Affiliate

This is another major player in affiliate marketing; this party can also be referred to as the publisher in some instances. Affiliates can range from single persons to entire companies. This is where the marketing takes place. As an affiliate, your task is to promote a product or multiple products. You are tasked with attracting and convincing potential customers by illustrating to them what value they will get in the merchant’s product so that the customers end up buying the product.

You can do this by running a review blog of the merchant’s product or through an entire site that is dedicated to finding cool products centered on a certain topic.

The Consumer

The consumer or the customer ensures the affiliate system goes round. When there are no sales, consequently there will be no commissions to be handed out and no revenue to be shared. The affiliate will make an effort to try and market to the consumer trough whichever channel they deem fit, be it a social network, through content marketing blogs or digital billboards.

Whether the customer knows that they are part and parcel of an affiliate marketing system or not is majorly up to the affiliate. Some affiliates choose to let their customers know and more and more affiliates tend to be open about their marketing being incentivized financially, however, others do not. They let the tracking system to work in the background, where the consumer can follow the purchasing processing in a usual way, and still the affiliate ends up being paid his/her commission.

The Network

Only a few definitions consider the network as a key player in the affiliate marketing equation. However, in most cases, a network takes up the role of an intermediary between the affiliate and merchant. Whereas you could be technically promoting an online course, someone has developed and just arrange a straightforward revenue share with them, allowing a network take care of product delivery and payment puts a more serious note on your duties, affiliate marketing.

In some instances, affiliates are forced to go through a network to enable them to promote the product. For instance, this could occur if the merchant only released their product or products on the network. Additionally, the network could also serve as a database of lots products, from which if you are an affiliate you can choose which product you wish to promote.

In the case of promoting consumer items such as books, toys, tools, and household items, the biggest known network is Amazon. Through their Amazon Associates program, you can be able to promote any of the items that are on sale through their platform. You just need to sign up and then generate custom links to the products. If anyone purchases a product through your link, you earn yourself a small commission.

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