What is Affiliate Marketing: Benefits and How to Get Started

    October 19 2020  |  Best Practices , Marketing

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    What if we told you affiliate marketing is just influencer marketing but with a different name? Well, it’s true – that’s all it is!  And what if we told you affiliate marketing is key to earning through social media? Also true. So if you’ve ever earned money from simply posting a picture with a product, then you, yourself, have engaged with the rapidly growing business of affiliate marketing!  

    As more companies start incorporating affiliate marketing into their overall brand strategy, it’s critical to understand how you can get involved and effectively market to drive sales. Stay with us while we take a deep dive into affiliate marketing, its best practices, and the PLANOLY products we have to help you get started!

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    Affiliate Marketing and its Benefits

    Neil Patel, a leading marketing strategist, explains affiliate marketing as “the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.” And with studies showing a yearly 10% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the United States, it’s projected that by next year, that spending number will reach $6.8 billion.

    Affiliate Marketing: Who’s Involved

    The three primary players in affiliate marketing are the businesses who have products, the affiliate marketers who are looking to promote businesses, and of course, the consumers. 

    • Businesses - Companies and businesses create an affiliate marketing program to drive more sales by capturing new audiences. They will tap on marketing partners or content creators (you) to help sell their products for them. Note: Work with trustworthy and transparent brands to avoid false marketing and education on products!
    • Affiliates - Affiliates are brands or influencers who promote products through their website or social media. It’s crucial to provide real insight and information into the product you’re promoting. Only promote products you use to create trust between you and your followers.
    • Consumers - These are the social media followers and future customers for the business. They look at your posts and listen to your product reviews when considering purchasing from a business. You want to create compelling reasons for using the product you love so much and make it easy for them to buy from each one of your posts.

    Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for the Influencer

    The great thing about affiliate marketing is generating income by promoting products you love! For example, TikTok creator Charli D’Amelio loves Dunkin Donuts coffee so much she managed to strike a deal with Dunkin just by consistently sharing videos of herself drinking Dunkin or complaining about there not being a close enough store when she’s in Los Angeles. Now, the uber-popular TikTok creator has a menu-item named after her–the first of many deals we’re sure. Now, we know that example might be a little bit out of reach, but still, it follows the same basic principles of affiliate marketing- making money by posting what you love. Check out the rest of its benefits: 

    • No face to face with customers - You’re linking the seller directly to the customer so you don’t have to worry about customer support or customer satisfaction 
    • Flexible goals - Your goals are what you make them, choose the products you share and the campaigns you work on
    • No fees - Most affiliate programs are free and don't cost the influencer anything
    • Organic traffic through SEO - Adding links and keywords can help to boost your visibility within search engines 
    • Creates valuable partnerships - Building your affiliate network and brands you work with can boost your engagement, place you forward-facing with other companies, and grow the relationships that you have with current retailers for more future partnerships

     

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    How to Get Started as an Affiliate 

    • Identify your niche and audience - Start by searching for a product you love, and you know your followers would love to. If you’re not sure what your followers like, try doing follower research through Stories or posts asking questions about what type of content or products they use! Picking a product you believe in will make your job easier because you will be passionate about what you are selling and, in the end, develop stronger relationships with the brands you work with. 
    • Choosing platforms and programs to join - Many companies are starting to put affiliate programs in place, so you can start by researching which companies have them and which companies don’t. If the company you’re looking for doesn’t, then send them a DM or email about potentially collaborating. This also works the other way around. Companies can reach out to you because they think your brand would compliment theirs, but only work with them if it’s best for you! 
    • Linking products in your post - Always tag or link each product back to its website for purchase. Our free feature linkit is great for all types of affiliates. PLANOLY’s link-building feature allows users to link the posts featured on their Instagram feed back to any URL. You can curate a custom gallery of your Instagram posts and attach links to a brand’s website, blog article, or referral links. linkit benefits: directing your followers to the right place so they know where to look, no longer limited to sharing just one link, strengthen relationships with partners & attract brands, and it’s a free feature available to all PLANOLY users.

    And we can’t forget to mention PLANOLY’s new affiliate program! All approved affiliates earn a 10% commission for every user who signs up for a paid PLANOLY plan. This is perfect for someone with a following. All you have to do is apply on our website and once approved you will receive a referral link to start earning. Check out how to become an affiliate here.

    Posting Consistently and with Value

    The work doesn’t stop after one post. Most affiliate programs have guidelines or rules you must follow to market for them. And before you’re turned away by rules, the rules are mostly about how often you post not how to create your content! You’re the content creator they wanted to work with, so you can promote however you see fit. Just make sure you’re doing it consistently and don’t forget to link back to the right places, so your followers know where to get it. 

    Creating Great Content For Each Affiliate Post

    Now, your followers might think your posts are getting repetitive because now you’re posting about a product so much, but it’s up to you to make each post just as valuable as the next! Try mixing it up between educational, lifestyle, and interesting product placement posts. This makes posts about the same product not feel like an ad or like a “buy because I will make money” type of thing. Allowing your followers to see the product you’re promoting in different ways is generally more genuine and engaging. 

    To make sure you’re creating content that’s driving traffic to boost sales, start measuring your success with key performance metrics. 

    PRO TIP: PLANOLY’s Analyze Dashboard allows you to track performance all within the PLANOLY app. 

    It’s clear that affiliate marketing is here to stay, and understanding its key benefits and upcoming trends is the best way to stay on top of marketing strategies in the months to come.

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