Basic Affiliate Marketing
At the most basic level, affiliate marketing involves a company paying a commission or some other bonus to a person (the affiliate) who understands effective customer engagement and promotes the company to a friend or acquaintance who then becomes a new customer of that company.
As you can see, there are generally three key players in an affiliate marketing program:
- The merchant (the person or company selling something)
- The affiliate (the person promoting the product)
- The customer (the person buying the product based on interaction with the affiliate)
The affiliate is simply a customer telling his/her friends about a company, product, or service. As that promotion generates sales, the company then thanks the affiliate by providing some sort of perk or commission.
The customer is happy because they’ve discovered a product or service they hadn’t known about before. The affiliate is happy because they’ve earned a bonus. And the company is happy because they’ve increased sales with minimal marketing investment. It’s a win-win-win!
Everyone is online
These days, spreading information via word of mouth is easier than ever. Rather than waiting to talk about a company, service, or product in a face-to-face conversation, we can copy an internet address and paste it into a personalized email, Facebook post, or tweet.
Almost everybody is online and virtually connected. Recent Facebook reports claim that more than 50% of the adult population in the US has a Facebook account and that nearly 60% of Facebook users are connected to one hundred or more friends.
And chances are that if an individual is not connected to Facebook or another social network, they live near or are closely associated with someone who is. Whether or not these figures are totally accurate, they illustrate that most people are connected online in one way or another.
Taking it to the next level
As a person starts to see commissions, it’s likely they’ll be more motivated to expand their referral process. An individual may even seek out affiliate marketing opportunities as a way to supplement income.
Financially motivated individuals can take their affiliate marketing efforts to the next level by recommending products or services through their own commercial web presence, whether that be a professional blog, Facebook group, or multifaceted corporate web presence.
Trusted commercial Internet professionals can easily recommend products and services for another company and increase revenue to both businesses – to one business through increased traffic and sales and to the other through commissions generated through the affiliate program.