What Is Affiliate Marketing? 

March 16, 2023

Today, there are many ways businesses can employ different marketing strategies to increase their sales. One major form of marketing that has taken the digital marketing world by storm is affiliate marketing, an advertising model that enables businesses to earn commission while promoting another product and/or service. 

In this article, we explore what affiliate marketing is, how it works, why it is important and how your business could benefit from affiliate marketing today. 

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Have you ever watched a YouTube video and the content creator included an affiliate link in their description? Well, this is a form of affiliate marketing. Have you ever read an online article and clicked on a product link which takes you to an external company website (which then provides you with a discount)? Well, this is another form of affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate marketing, in simple terms, is an arrangement made between two parties. Typically, a business will pay another business commission for any leads which are generated from its referrals. Nowadays, this can be achieved in many ways, whether it be through blogs, social media mentions or even leaflets, affiliate marketing is a great way to generate revenue and brand visibility. 

Why is affiliate marketing important?

There is no one set answer to marketing – for any business, it’ll require a blend of different marketing strategies and channels to ensure results are delivered. For instance, while social media is one way of marketing a company it is not the only way to do so. 

Likewise, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is another way for companies to increase their online visibility by ranking well on popular search engines, like Google. Interestingly, much like you will find companies and agencies competing to rank for things like ‘SEO agency in London’ or ‘digital marketing company UK,’ you will also find affiliate marketers vying for often very niche search terms in almost any industry. But, digital marketing does not end there. 

Today, many businesses now employ affiliate marketing because it is cost-effective and can deliver results with “less” input than, say, a social media campaign may require. 

For example, a company with its primary service as accounting software could create a partnership with an online popular blog that talks about money. The blogger could then write a post, targeting a niche audience such as freelancers, and hyperlink the product. If a sale is then made, a commission is then made. Affiliate marketing enables companies to see results relatively quickly, and with little time and money. 

Furthermore, it’s a great way for smaller companies to get their product out there. With a smaller budget, affiliate marketing can help increase a brand’s visibility – but, this will, of course, depend on the partner’s fee in question. 

What are the pros and cons of affiliate marketing? 

Clearly, affiliate marketing as an advertising model has many benefits. For example, affiliate marketing is: 

  • Low-cost to setup 
  • Easy to track leads 
  • Produces high ROI 
  • Beneficial for reaching new audiences quickly 

But, like everything in life, there are some potential drawbacks to consider with affiliate marketing. Find below some of the cons of affiliate marketing. 

  • Risk of fraud 
  • Less creative input 

Affiliate marketing, nevertheless, is a great way for companies to market their products, and also a great way for others to generate another source of income. Because the model is easy to implement and follow, many businesses in all industries are now adopting affiliate marketing. 

How do affiliate marketers get paid? 

Affiliate marketers get paid commission, which can range from 1 to 20% dependent on the arrangement made. For instance, the volume of referrals could impact how much an affiliate marketer gets paid. Moreover, it will depend on the campaign itself and how long it is projected for. 

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