One of the easiest forms of online marketing is affiliate marketing. It is a marketing strategy where a merchant or a business house pays an affiliate for making a sale of their products and services. In short affiliate marketing means redirecting or referring a customer to a product or service that the affiliate marketer recommends with the intention of converting him into a client. The affiliate marketer is paid on the basis of the sales he or she generates for the company or the business house.
The four main people involved in affiliate marketing are the seller/company/business house/brand, the affiliate or the network which promotes the product, the publisher and the customer. There are also secondary players involved in this game of affiliate marketing. They are the affiliate management agencies, the super affiliates and the specialized third party vendors or sellers.
Affiliate marketing and internet marketing do overlap at times as the customer visits the affiliated websites to know more about the product and the affiliate marketer usually advertises on the internet. Affiliate marketing generally utilizes one website to refer or direct the customer traffic to another website. However, even though affiliate marketing is low profile in comparison to search engines and websites that advertise special products to attract customers, it has made a significant contribution to the marketing strategies promoted by online retailers and sellers.
In the case of a company or a business house, affiliate marketing is the most cost effective way to increase their sales. Payment too is based on performance and so there is no loss of money to the company or the business house. From the point of view of a person who wants to be an affiliate marketer, it is the most effective way of setting up an online business as the initial investment is minimal.
Steps Involved in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an opportunity for a person to make a living online. It means that the marketer recommends a service or a product and he refers that particular product to the customer. The steps involved in this form of marketing are as follows:
- Pick a product to promote: To take up affiliate marketing one should choose the products that he is interested in and sign up for an affiliate program. The person will get a few more links from the company to attach to his website or the emails he sends out. The affiliate marketer should create a professional looking link to the home page of the product. The product should be one that the customers can not only relate to but also be interested in buying.
- Write a review: The affiliate marketer must tell the customers about the product he is promoting. He should review the product honestly and write his review in a well balanced manner. He can describe the product and its attractive features and put a link to the site where the customer can gain more information about the product concerned. As such he can push the customer closer to the decision to buy the product.
- Determine the approach to your writing: The affiliate marketer should provide the customer with sufficient valuable and applicable information about the product. The review of the product should be so written that it should not be fully complete, leaving the customer with the desire to purchase the product to try it out for himself or herself. The sales approach of affiliate marketing should preferably be in the form of tutorial articles or tips.
- Review the progress: One can either get lucky by making good sales or one may not make any progress as well. If success is still elusive, it is time to review the product and the company and do not hesitate to look for other products.
Effective Strategies of Success in Affiliate Marketing
Any business house, brand or company can utilize affiliate marketing to show case their products and services. This is a low cost form of advertising as well and in this marketing strategy payment depends solely on the performance of the individual.
The traits that an affiliate marketer should possess in order to be successful in his job are patience, a thirst for knowledge and persistence along with commitment and hard work. The effective strategies which could be applied for achieving success in affiliate marketing are as follows:
- Find a unique niche: As there are many products that can be sold through affiliate marketing, one tends to make the mistake of diversifying too much by taking on too many products. This may not be the right approach as it would be better to concentrate on one product and create a specific niche in the market, promote and sell it well.
- Search engine marketing: To promote ones affiliate marketing products, it is necessary to achieve an organized search result which is possible through hiring the services of a search engine marketing company rather than the pay per click search engines.
- Know your product and customers: Someone involved in affiliate marketing should learn all about the products and services that he is promoting. The information given out should be written in such a way that it builds ones credibility which in turn translates into customers trust that converts into cash for the affiliate marketer.
- Do not put all your eggs in one basket: In case an affiliate marketer does not do well in selling a particular product, it is perfectly acceptable to diversify and accept niche products from other different companies or brands.