Are you planning to grow your marketing stack? Are you exploring how to increase your sales or improve your brand awareness? Or do you just want to diversify your marketing strategy? If you are curious about what affiliate marketing means and want to understand the basics, you have come to the right place.
What exactly is affiliate marketing?
As a concept, affiliate marketing has been around for ages, though the Internet has enabled a faster and more reliable way of building and managing an affiliate marketing network.
Affiliate marketing revolves around a simple idea: partnering with individuals, who then become resellers working on a commission basis.
The big change now is that new technologies make building this relationship and operating in this way much more efficient and scalable than before. Whereas in the past, an affiliate would have had to stock the physical product and travel around to show it to potential customers, the rise of e-commerce has revolutionized this sector by bringing the whole process online.
Basic concepts and how it works
Modern affiliate marketing is defined by the following basics:
- E-commerce operations are done through online stores instead of physical stores. Even if you have a physical store, you can also have a website or an online store, which will allow you to start your affiliate program with Tapfiliate.
- There is a wide variety of e-commerce platforms, and many are optimized for selling specific products and services (eg. online courses, consultancy services, physical products, downloadable digital products, etc).
- To start an affiliate marketing program with Tapfiliate, all you need is a basic understanding of what affiliate marketing is, but you don’t need a large organization to roll your affiliate program out for you — that’s where our affiliate tracking software comes in, making it scalable for you.
- You simply hook your website up to our platform — the process varies according to your website, but in most cases, it takes just a few minutes to set up.
- You can then create your first affiliate program in Tapfiliate.
- Affiliates subscribe to your program(s) online through Tapfiliate, and receive a unique link that identifies them.
- Each affiliate then publishes their link on different platforms, promoting your product.
- When someone clicks on one of these links, they are directed to your website or online store.
- Using digital tracking techniques, the link that people click to get to your website allows Tapfiliate to ‘tag’ them. This establishes a virtual connection between the affiliate and the user or customer who clicked on the link, and keeps this connection for a certain number of days.
- If the customer converts on your website (purchases, leads, subscriptions and downloads are all examples of actions that can be considered ‘conversions’) this conversion will be attributed to the affiliate that led the customer to your website.
- This conversion automatically generates a commission for the affiliate.
- At the end of the day, the more an affiliate promotes your brand and the more conversions they lead to, the more commission they get, generating a virtuous cycle.
To go a step further, you can opt for Multi-level Marketing (MLM), also known as Multi-tier Marketing, or sub-affiliates, which allows affiliates to invite new sub-affiliates.
With MLM, each time a sub-affiliate drives a conversion, they not only generate a commission for themselves, but also a residual commission for the ‘parent’ affiliate who initially invited them to join your program.
You can set up unlimited MLM levels on Tapfiliate, and, of course, determine the commission amount at each level.
There are many other things you can explore: how to best integrate affiliate marketing into your existing marketing stack, what the best ways are to create and run an affiliate marketing program,or what best practices you can use to grow your affiliate base. We cover all these topics and more in various parts of our website, including our Blog.
Armed with the basic concepts and and understanding of how it works, we hope you can now decide if affiliate marketing will be beneficial for you.
Start small and simple. Try a basic approach that you can test easily and quickly to decide if affiliate marketing is what you need for your business. Once you’ve seen the potential, and if you want to grow your affiliate marketing further, we will be right here to help you!