Digital marketing – along with Google algorithms and other online phenomena – has constantly evolved to fit the needs of consumers. With billions of active internet users, the empty spaces of websites leave so much room for marketing and advertising opportunities that, today, marketers and businesses are paying thousands of dollars to see results.

While many digital marketers have an arsenal of techniques ready to use for their best clients, none has seen the same rise as affiliate marketing. It attracts businesses because they get to expand their reach with it, and affiliates because they get to live off of the passive income they receive from it. It is a win-win situation for both parties; something not a lot of strategies can provide.

But with all the benefits it holds, is affiliate marketing truly worth the effort? For many, the numbers show a positive outcome. With the right purpose and use, affiliate marketing is enabling businesses to achieve the customers and revenue they need.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

For those who are not familiar with the strategy, affiliate marketing involves taking a company’s product or service and using a third party or affiliate to promote the product. The company increases its visibility online and receives the support of the affiliate network. In turn, the affiliate gets to publish promotions in exchange for a commission, which is based on either the company’s earnings from the affiliate’s promotion, also known as CPA (Cost per Acquisition), or the generation of leads, known as CPL (Cost per Lead).

According to Entrepreneur, this is different from a marketing strategy that uses a similar process: influencer marketing. Influencer marketing also involves a company and a third party promoting a product, service, or brand, but the latter is usually not a network and act as unbiased ambassadors for a brand, rather than a straight out promoter. Influencers are popular online figures with an amassed amount of followers, who can help bring your brand closer to consumers.

Affiliate marketing is available in a broad range of industries and channels and provides a good ROI for different businesses. If the numbers become ideal and all parts of a long-term affiliate marketing plan come together, businesses can see up to 200 percent increase in figure. Affiliates can increase the number of new customer acquisitions by 30 percent and create over 90 percent of the revenue paid.

Affiliate marketing can also increase the channels where it promotes products. The numbers demonstrate the effective use of affiliate marketing. In fact, the total price of commission for affiliates is only a sixth of the total potential earnings of companies.

However, if companies, networks, or even individuals are looking at affiliate marketing as easy money, they are looking at it the wrong way. Like any marketing strategy, it requires investing time and money to gain traffic and remarkable results.

Affiliates must sell the products’ unique selling points, while businesses need to find the appropriate affiliates who will help them reach their marketing and financial goals. If all sections of affiliate marketing do their part, they will eventually see better results, such as increased online traffic and revenue for all parties.

So, is affiliate marketing a sure-fire strategy? If done right, you bet. With its high returns and countless avenues and opportunities, affiliate marketing is a scheme that businesses should put their money on if they want to expand their customer reach and increase profitability.

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