Affiliate marketing can often be confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing rely on using third parties to push sales towards the originator, however they are in fact two different entities. The key difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies solely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales, so would more commonly relate to networking groups.
With the rise of ecommerce, affiliate marketing has really taken off. Affiliate marketing comes in to play every time you see a banner advert appear on a website you’re browsing, offering you a special rate on travel tickets, cash-back on a purchase or a 20 per cent discount on some new brand.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t require you to meet the people whose product you are representing, you don’t really even need to know or understand the product… All you need is a website of your own that has visiting traffic. In affiliate marketing your website acts as a digital sales team for your business and also the businesses you choose to promote and in return, you get a commission. If your website carries an advert on behalf of an advertiser which visitors to your website click on, then they would be directed through to the advertisers website. This click through is recorded and then, dependant upon the parameters set, you would get paid for driving that action.
For many, this is seen as a win win form of marketing. You get paid for doing very little and the advertisers have the opportunity to get their brand / product / service seen by an ever expanding audience. There is a train of thought that says proceed with caution, particularly if you are a smaller business. Whilst consumers are used to being bombarded by adverts on larger sites, for multinational brands, albeit not always happy about so many adverts, you may find that it calls into question your own business credibility if your website is littered with random adverts. Be cautious not to dilute your own sales message.
When you start to look into affiliate marketing, it can become very complex however there are publications dedicated to the subject so with some research you can make it work for you. You don’t have to set the whole thing up yourself, there are established affiliate networks that you can sign up to. These networks offer a range of a services that include access to leading brand advertiser programs, support and development, tools and techniques for boosting affiliate revenue, and tracking and performance analysis.
Whilst we’re not experts on affiliate marketing ourselves, we can help you with straightforward marketing advice and explosive creative ideas! Get our contact details here.