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What Is Affiliate Marketing? And How To Do It Right?

14 Mar, 2024

This article by SkillTrans will bring you information and knowledge about Affiliate Marketing from an objective perspective. The content mentioned will include the definition, why it is effective, effective ways to do Affiliate Marketing, and finally issues surrounding Affiliate Marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are many definitions of Affiliate Marketing, to have an intuitive view, we will learn from the most reputable organizations today about how they define Affiliate Marketing:

According to IEEE Xplore - a large research database, Affiliate Marketing is briefly defined as follows: "Affiliate marketing is like teamwork in advertising. Here's how it works: when affiliates (partners) bring in visitors, get people to sign up, or make a sale for a company, they earn a reward, called a commission. This setup helps businesses by letting others handle some of the selling. The reward for affiliates is often a percentage of the product's price, but it can also be a fixed amount for each person they refer."

According to BigCommerce, Affiliate Marketing is defined as "Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person's or company's products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another."

So, in a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where you (the affiliate) earn a commission for promoting another company's product or service. You don't own the product yourself; instead, you act as a middleman, connecting potential customers with the seller and earning a reward for each successful referral.

Why is Affiliate Marketing so effective?

Affiliate marketing brings many benefits to both sellers and affiliates, contributing to a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship.

For sellers, this is a cost-effective way to expand their reach and attract new customers. This is achieved without a significant initial investment in traditional marketing methods. By leveraging a network of affiliates, sellers can reach a diverse audience and increase their market presence effectively.

On the affiliate side, this marketing model offers a unique opportunity to monetize their audience or platform. Affiliates can promote products they truly believe in, eliminating the hassles associated with managing inventory or providing customer service. This allows affiliates to focus on what they do best – connecting with their audiences and endorsing products they find valuable, while earning commissions for successful referrals. 

In essence, affiliate marketing acts as a symbiotic relationship in which both parties can benefit from their respective strengths and contributions to the advertising process.

The 5 Most Effective Ways to Do Affiliate Marketing

The 5 Most Effective Ways to Do Affiliate Marketing

Although there are many ways to implement Affiliate Marketing, those methods are ultimately implemented from the original methods. Understanding its nature, you will find effective ways to do Affiliate Marketing. The most effective ways to do Affiliate Marketing include:

Content Marketing

Content is king and it never fails. Creating content that helps readers and focuses on their problems is still the best way to be loved by readers. When you are highly appreciated for your content, readers and customers will trust you, and trust what you are promoting.

Of course you will have to do it right, never mislead users with false content, genuinely share what you really feel and your Affiliate Marketing strategy will be surprisingly effective.

However, to make your content more effective, you need to follow the principles of writing user- and search engine-friendly content. Google's tutorial can help you do that.

Social Media Marketing

Leverage the power of social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, X, etc.) to showcase the products you're promoting and engage with your audience.

Of course to do that you have to develop social media to some extent. There are people who interact with your posts, there are people who comment, and even more effectively, there are people who share your posts regularly.

That shows they are interested in the content and areas you share. And so, they will be interested in the services and goods you are advertising.

If you haven't started with social media yet, we recommend you start it soon because social media profiles are an indispensable element when you want to grow your business in this era. For more reference materials, you can refer to our article on The TOP 10 Social Media Platforms for Your Business.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is always a marketing channel that any business wants to succeed. However, most businesses cannot deploy email marketing successfully, especially small and medium businesses, let alone using email marketing for affiliate marketing.

So, what formulas have successful businesses applied in affiliate marketing through email marketing? The answer is to focus on the user. They spend days and months classifying customers who really have a need for the product they are promoting, so that customers will avoid putting them on the "black list" and their emails will be opened more.

Avoid sending mass emails to any customer or to a number of customers whose needs you do not really understand. The worst thing is that they will unsubscribe and you will lose customers because of an ineffective affiliate marketing strategy.

Video Marketing

Using videos for affiliate marketing is a powerful strategy because they are fun and showcase products well. You can use different types of videos like:

  • Talking about and reviewing products.

  • Creating tutorials and how-to videos.

  • Unboxing videos where you open and show the product.

  • Comparison videos, where you compare different products.

  • Sharing case studies and success stories.

  • And any other way you can think of to promote your product effectively.

Our important advice is that you need to evaluate the product as objectively as possible no matter what promotional methods you use.

Remember that affiliate marketing is just a marketing channel, giving a false review of a product just to get a commission will cause your other marketing channels to be negatively affected.

Reviews and Comparisons

Reviews and Comparisons is a method of comparing and evaluating products objectively through trial and feedback.

Create in-depth reviews and comparisons of products you're affiliated with, highlighting their features and benefits to help potential buyers make informed decisions.

Combine methods to do Affiliate Marketing

We can combine the above methods to do Affiliate Marketing. 

For example: In your blog post about comparing products, include a video of you comparing products on your YouTube channel. Also share videos and articles on social networks like Facebook.

This helps you reach more customers, and bring the content you share to more customers. After all, there are customers who like to read blogs, there are customers who like to surf social networks, and there are customers who like to watch product videos on YouTube. 

Only implementing Affiliate Marketing on one media will be ineffective.

Issues of Affiliate Marketing and Prevention

Issues of Affiliate Marketing and Prevention

We talked about the wonders of affiliate marketing and how to implement it properly. So what about its issues? 

Even when we present to you how to do affiliate marketing, we always mention focusing on the user and avoiding misleading users. Those are also the problems that affiliate marketing is facing.

Email Spam

A study by Wired titled "Shady Web of Affiliate Marketing" showed that when affiliate marketing first started, lots of people didn't like it because affiliates often used spam to promote the programs they were part of.

But as affiliate marketing grew up, many companies made rules to stop affiliates from spamming. They have added user protection rules, allowing users to unsubscribe from newsletters related to promotions.

Therefore, when you do affiliate marketing through email marketing, don't forget to add the option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in your email. Otherwise you will violate user protection laws, depending on the country you live in.

Search Engine Spam

People used to send spam emails to advertise products, but now some marketers create fake websites containing product information to fool search engines. They do this to make their site more visible in search results. This is called "spamdexing". 

Each page focuses on a specific topic using certain keywords. This fools search engines, but it's not good because it obfuscates search results that are supposed to be useful. Google made changes in 2006 to prevent this and improve search results. Sites with a lot of affiliate links are also considered bad if they don't have good content. 

Google started labeling some as "thin affiliates" and removing them or pushing them down in search results. To avoid this when doing affiliate marketing, you need to create useful content on your websites instead of just having lots of links to promote products.

Other negative issues revolve around Affiliate Marketing

In addition to the problems mentioned above, affiliate marketing also faces problems such as bad browser add-ons, sneaky ads, using brand names without permission, unclear amount of money everyone earns and the reality is that there are no clear rules for everyone to follow.

Fixing these issues is important to making affiliate marketing more honest and fair for all participants. You should also pay attention to these issues when doing affiliate marketing, ensuring transparency and benefits when cooperating with other brands.

Final Thoughts

Making money online through affiliate marketing can be a good idea, but it needs hard work and a smart plan. To do well in affiliate marketing, you should know the main ideas, pick the right ways to market, and make sure you are not misleading users when doing affiliate marketing.

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