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Have you ever heard of ‘affiliate marketing’? Most likely, but what you have heard about it might not necessarily be true. There are plenty of myths surrounding this particular topic that call for some clarifications.
Basically, affiliate marketing is a specific type of marketing program whereby third parties are paid a commission for performing a certain task for a merchant. Most often this could be in the form of a sale, but it could also involve getting people to subscribe to an email list or completing a lead form.
Amazon’s Associates Program has been credited with really bringing affiliate marketing to the limelight and has been serving as a model for others to follow since the program launched over two decades ago.
Since then, the affiliate marketing space has expanded, yet despite its recognition, there are still plenty of myths that surround it.
Many people associate affiliate marketing with scams or low-quality sources of traffic to their websites. However, this is flat-out false. In fact, affiliate programs are as highly valued as the people behind them. If they’re shady, the programs themselves might be as well. On the other hand, if the affiliate marketers behind their strategies are ethical and professional, so will the programs. Affiliate marketing offers an opportunity for businesses to expand their reach to fresh audiences, and gain new customers through solid, sound partnerships.
Given some of the shady history that affiliates have had, today’s affiliate programs are much more sophisticated and professional than their old school counterparts. The “black hat” methods that used to be employed to gain traffic and suck people in – such as cookie stuffing, spamming, typosquatting, link farms, and spyware – are dwindling by the minute. The high-performing affiliates during that time were mainly restricted to coupons and deal sites, as well as general business development referrals.
The affiliate programs of today, however, now provide much more value than ever. Over the past few years, technological advancements have vastly improved the affiliate marketing world. With the rise of social media marketing, the population of affiliates around the world has grown substantially.
Piggy-backing on the last point made, there are more affiliate marketers out there today than ever before. But that doesn’t mean that the market is too saturated to allow for more to hop aboard.
Today’s affiliates can take advantage of a number of sophisticated tools to allow them to be highly successful and profitable. They have campaign tracking tools, online sales tracking, referral tracking, and many more digital tools that they can use to their advantage. There are more options for products, services, and subscriptions that can be promoted across all types of niches.
Becoming a successful affiliate takes plenty of hard work, dedication, and discipline. Here are some crucial components to making it work as an affiliate marketer:
Devise a strategy — You need to be able to solve a pressing problem. Determine what issues people have that they are willing to pay for something to help solve it. Offer something unique that will help people with their issues. Design your brand look, identify your messaging, and set an action plan.
Build your brand — Understand what your brand is, as well as who your audience is, then broadcast yourself keeping both of these in mind.
Keep learning — Don’t stop learning about affiliate marketing, strategies to market your brand and products, and keep abreast of current trends.
Communicate with your affiliate managers — Your affiliate managers should have an idea of what you’re doing to promote their products. Communicating with them will also give you a chance to tap into what they’re doing best that you can implement yourself with your business.
Learn how to analyze your data — Tracking your data is perhaps one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. Crunch the numbers to determine your marketing costs to drive traffic to your site, and calculate conversions to find out what’s performing best.
Affiliate marketing is a viable platform for internet marketers and has become a sophisticated realm. Not only is affiliate marketing valuable, it also continues to have a lucrative future.