What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another company’s product or services. Affiliate marketers typically earn a commission or percentage of sales from the products they promote, which makes it a viable income stream.

And in our digital world, it’s increasingly important to know about every form of marketing out there. Affiliate marketing has become a widely successful avenue of marketing for businesses, as social media and other online platforms continue to be deeply ingrained parts of everyday life.

Affiliate Marketing: Low Cost and Low Risk

Affiliate marketing is popular because it’s a relatively low-risk and low-cost form of marketing. There is very little upfront cost in affiliate marketing – it can be as little as the cost of a website, or even a simple social media account. Businesses only owe money to their affiliate marketer if they generate sales or leads.

The Types of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Unattached affiliate marketing – This model of affiliate marketing is one in which the marketing partner doesn’t have any attachment to the product they’re promoting. They have no known expertise, interest, or skill relevant to the product, which ultimately can absolve their obligation or ability to make product-based advisements.
  2. Related affiliate marketing – As implied, this model of affiliate marketing involves a partner that has some relation to the product they’re promoting. With some level of expertise on the product or service they’re marketing, the affiliate partner has the ability to generate traffic, and they’re often viewed as a trusted source on the subject.
  3. Involved affiliate marketing – Involved affiliate marketers have a connection with the product or service they’re promoting. Because of their connection, they’re able to make recommendations and claims about the product or service, and it’s likely their audience will trust their authority. This is the riskiest form of marketing for an affiliate partner, as their reputation could be affected if customers make purchases and disagree with the quality or effectiveness of the product or service.

Examples of Affiliate Marketing

Whether we recognize it or not, affiliate marketing is all around us. If you’ve watched The Home Edit on Netflix, you’ve seen affiliate marketing. It’s a widely popular home-organizing show that left everyone Googling “The Container Store.” Throughout the show, Joanna and Clea let viewers know exactly where they source their product. If so inclined, with a quick Google search, Home Edit fans will find a plethora of products that the hosts recommend. Their product recommendations go far beyond The Container Store as well.

what is affiliate marketing

Joanna and Clea’s recommendations fall into the involved affiliate marketing category. They are speaking as experts on the topic of organization and make recommendations to their audience. Their authority and expertise on the topic of organization heavily influence their followers’ trust on the subject.

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About the Author

Sixth City Marketing

This post was written and edited by employees at Sixth City Marketing, a full-service SEO and digital marketing agency helping clients across all industries since 2010.

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