Affiliate marketing is often called a “channel” to do marketing, but actually it is a model of marketing or a framework that makes it easy for manufacturers or brand owners or can be collectively known as merchants, marketers, and consumers connect with each other, monitor progress of sales and measure performance and efficiency of both manufacturers or brand owners and their marketers.
For example if you are a brand owner or manufacturer of jewelry, you can connect with websites, bloggers, review sites, publishers, and other promoters online. Through their online sites, your products are promoted, inquiries and orders are thrown at you, and sales transactions, reviews and feedback are received. Whatever your partners can do and would want to do – generate leads, drive sales, and others, you pay them after every transaction and delivery. In other words, you are paying them for actual outcomes of whatever actions they do for you.
This marketing strategy can both cater to products and services. Like for example, spa owners can tap a blog site to promote their services and any booking orders via the blog site can benefit the blogger monetarily.
Sites like http://www.AffiliateMarketingThatWorks.com can give more in-depth information about affiliate marketing and what it is like, how to go about it and can also give guidance on how to begin your own affiliate program or how to become an affiliate.
Who are the key players in affiliate marketing?
Merchants – these are the manufacturers, brand owners, companies, industries, and others that provide the products and services
Affiliates – are the marketers or marketing partners who publish, advertise, give good reviews, creates posters, shopping sites, mobile apps, mass media and social media sites, reward websites, and others that help market the products and services of the merchants.
Affiliate networks – they handle the tracking, payment to marketers, reports, and other administrative stuff pertaining to the activities in this kind of marketing. Some of these networks provide full services on management and human resource. These groups also give merchants access to more affiliate programs.
SaaS Platforms – software as a service provides manufacturers and companies the software necessary in tracking performances, reporting updates, and payments. The technological aspect of this marketing structure runs around SaaS platforms.
Agencies – these groups provide supervision, management, and overseeing functions of the daily operations. They introduce more strategies relative to activation and optimization, and recruitment. These groups work directly with the marketers and with the SaaS platform that provides the technological services necessary in the program.
Customers – these are the audience in this marketing story. They are those who marketers would influence to make a purchase, sign up for membership, submit lead forms, avail of a trial period, potential buyers, become new customers, and others. The positive reaction of this group is the target of all the other players in the program.
How does it work?
Perhaps this is confusing to first timers or to those who are outside the program. While it is multifaceted, the structure is built on transparency and on real relationships, long-term relationships and not just a one-time big-time transaction.
Its overall goal is to create a scenario where it is a win-win situation for everybody involved in the program, click here to read more.
To illustrate this win-win scenario, let us take for example selling a certain lipstick brand.
An affiliate partner or the marketer posts a picture of the lipstick together with a thorough review of it on her blog site with proper promotion paraphernalia. When her follower (potential customer) clicks on the promotion, a cookie is stored somewhere; this cookie makes it possible for SaaS to track the consumer’s progress – if she adds it to her shopping art or actually purchases it online.
The potential buyer, after clicking on the promotion, is then redirected to the merchant’s or company’s website. She purchases the lipstick or any other products found in the website.
SaaS automatically pays the commission to the affiliate (these of course is part of the program priorly set). The affiliate is paid for driving the sale. The driver was her blog site where she posted the product.
In this scenario, the merchant sold a product and made revenue; SaaS also performed the role of what it is being “purchased or paid to do”; the blog site was used for promoting and driving the sale; the affiliate got paid a commission, and the consumer got what she wanted and needed. It is a win-win situation.
Affiliate marketing is a convenient way of making money for marketer. They do not have to do the face-to-face marketing stuff; all they have to do is publish on their sites and just make sure they get many followers (networks). Another important thing in this strategy is the concept of return customers. Return customers are like “positive reviews” of the website or of the products published. They are good for publicity and for boosting the reputation of both the site and the product or service promoted.