Affiliate marketing is an established method of performance promotion. Nowadays, almost every brand runs its own program. In spite of this ubiquity, affiliate marketing is still poorly understood by promoters who are more accustomed to conventional means.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
The underlying concept is simple. Whatever one wants their visitors to do on a site –whether it’s purchasing, contacting a specific number, submit personal info via a form or sign up to an email- they only pay once the specific action occurs. This involves three facilitators. Those paying for the action to be performed are known as advertisers. They may range from transactional sites ran by high street merchants to online dating sites and corporate banks. However, the most common action they seek to achieve is a sale.
The people who refer traffic to the advertisers with the aim of converting this to the specific action are known as publishers. According to this Google Sniper review, they’re normally paid via commission for every action. Affiliate networks bring these parties together. There are networks to provide reporting, tracking, account management and handling commissions between advertisers and publishers.
Publishers: The Online Sales Force
The innate advantages of publisher marketing are simple to understand. From the advertiser’s perspective, pay is based on performance, which ensures a transparent model that’s measurable by its nature. Return on investment can be calculated on a cost per acquisition. This is how much the advertiser would be willing to pay if the publisher can get the traffic they refer to do something, such as making a purchase. The publisher thus takes on the initial risk and act as the online sales force on the advertiser’s behalf.
The model offers high rewards for the publisher if they can convert traffic into sales. This means that a publisher needs to be innovative and willing to transcend the boundaries of conventional marketing. Publisher marketing has led to the rise of promotional methods that have later joined their mainstream counterparts. Such include the utilization of social media and consumer incentives.
Perhaps the best thing about publisher marketing is the various kinds of actors that it attracts. Affiliate marketing has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. For some retailers, it drives about half of their online sales. Specialists in email marketing, consumer rewards, paid search, and social media all operate as affiliate marketers alongside their conventional content and community websites which seek to monetize their web properties. Given the various promotional means, what unites all these parties is the way in which the promotion is evaluated and how they’re paid, which is the cost per acquisition metric.
Anyone operating under such a model could be considered a publisher. They cover almost all parts of the web. Advertisers can thus benefit from a wider reach into discreet niches which conventional marketing can’t penetrate. All the publisher’s activities, from provision of banner coverage to representation in the search space, are included in the cost per acquisition agreement. However, it takes a great deal of resources and time to run a successful affiliate marketing program. One needs to know the common challenges encountered in the advertisers’ respective sector.