炉石传说在线注册官方As one of the strategies available to online businesses, affiliate marketing offers plenty of opportunities but before you get started you need to understand the entire concept and what it is all about.
The origin and development of affiliate marketingThe entire concept of affiliate marketing is focused on sharing the revenue by partnering up with others, and it is the concept that has been around for a while before the world wide web even started. In terms of affiliate marketing as an online business model, we can trace back its origin back to 1994 when the first affiliate program was launched by PC Flowers & Gifts. One year later, they had over 2000 partners in their affiliate program. Perhaps the best-known affiliate program today, Amazon’s affiliate program, was launched in 1996. In fact, e-commerce websites, in general, started seeing affiliate marketing as an excellent way for them to increase sales without any direct promotion from their part.
Image: https://pixabay.com/en/wallet-money-credit-card-online-2125548/Even though there have been several business models in affiliate marketing, what really changed the game was the introduction of Web 2.0. This shifted the focus to the user-generated content, optimization, and integration of social media. As a result, affiliate marketing became even more available to the ordinary people, bloggers, influencers, etc. who suddenly started seeing this type of marketing as a perfect way for them to monetize their online influence. No longer has this partnership been available for businesses only, but individuals started taking a massive role in the concept, changing the world of affiliate marketing for good.
Affiliate marketing definedAffiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing. This means that the efficiency evaluation and reward systems are based on the performance, which can be evaluated at specific intervals, or it can have a particular goal that needs to be achieved. There are two roles in affiliate marketing which are crucial for this entire system to work. First, there are merchants, who decide to create an affiliate program. They provide an offer for others to promote their business and earn their commission. On the other side, there are affiliates, who are also known as publishers. They are the ones that are interested in joining an affiliate program. The main reason for merchants to create an affiliate program in the first place is the potential to increase sales and boost profit with no direct promotional campaign, except for enabling affiliates to join the program. Since the entire concept of affiliate marketing is performance-based, there is no investment or pre-payment required by the merchants. Affiliates are also motivated by profit to join an affiliate program. Once they enter the program, they are able to promote the merchant’s products in any form they can, in order to increase sales. Their performance is tracked using trackable links and they are paid based on that performance, i.e., based on the conversions they achieve.
Digital buyersApart from merchants and affiliates, who take an active role in affiliate marketing, it is also important to mention digital buyers. These are the modern consumers who are experiencing the buying process in a completely different way nowadays. Not only does the habit of buying online instead of offline changes rapidly, but the way the consumers buy is also changing. Digital buyers are more prone to explore products before they buy. This is how showrooming and webrooming were introduced in e-commerce. Nowadays, buyers want recommendations, and they want to see the benefits of the product. In fact, they look for recommendations from friends and people they respect (bloggers, influencers, etc.). All of this has a positive influence on affiliate marketing because it increases the chance of online buyers finding the products through recommended (affiliate) links. Furthermore, a lot of surveys show that affiliate marketing drives performance, which includes brand discovery and awareness, as well customer engagement and purchase. Affiliate marketing basically connects merchants and buyers and affiliates are those who connect the two.
Getting startedLearning more about affiliate marketing (by reading this ebook for example) is the first step that is going to help you get started with this type of marketing. It is essential that you understand the basics to be able to explore your options and how you can leverage the potential of affiliate marketing. As mentioned above, you will have to choose one of the two roles in affiliate marketing. If you have a product and you need help with promotion of that product, then you will be a merchant. On the other hand, if you have a great blog, lots of subscribers, or online influence, and you want to cash that in, you can do that by becoming an affiliate. We can summarize the entire process by defining the tasks of these two participants. On one side, a merchant sets up a program. He provides everything needed for the product promotion, including images and links. Affiliates join this program and start advertising the product using online resources. Their activity is being tracked through links. Once the online user clicks on an affiliate link, that activity is stored in the user’s browser cookies. When the user buys a product, and this has been detected as a visit originating from an affiliate link, that affiliate is paid a commission. The time interval during which the cookies stay in the browser can be different from one website to another, but it is usually a period of 30 or 60 days. This means that the transaction can be detected during that time interval and still be contributed to the affiliate. For example, the user clicks on the affiliate link, checks out the product, but decides not to buy. However, the same user goes back and buys the product days later. This sale can still be attributed to the affiliate if the cookies are stored in the browser.
Types of affiliate websitesAffiliate links can be shared on a number of different types of websites including:
- Price/Feature comparison websites
- Product review websites
- Personal websites
- Coupon websites
- File-sharing websites
- Video-sharing websites
- Shopping directories