What is Affiliate Marketing, Who is involved and How does it work?
Online affiliate marketing is what I call relationship marketing which is between four main parties. The merchant, advertiser, publisher, and the consumer.
This is the basic concept behind affiliate marketing online along with a great way to earn money online.
Since affiliate marketing came on the online scene this has become a multi-million-dollar business and many Affiliate marketers have managed to do quite well just with affiliate marketing on its own.
But it does take work if you want to be successful.
Here are the four main parties when dealing with affiliate marketing online.
The merchant also known as the retailer has a product or service available that may be of benefit to the specific consumer in mind.
Notice I said specific consumer in mind and not everyone. This is known as a niche (more on this further in the piece).
A merchant could be the author of a book wishing to display their proud new publication.
Or it could include an individual or smaller company that may have some form of Healthcare products they believe people can benefit from.
Perhaps a small business wishes to let people know they have a large range of different types of cameras and other accessories available.
The list can go on and on and as you can see all our different products some of which may not be of interest to various types of consumers or customers online.
But as for the merchants, they are seeking that particular type of customer for their goods.
In Ancient Times
Now before the 90’s most of these merchants would have been restricted in their ways of advertising and making their products know.
This would have only been on a local basis as before the ’90s the internet didn’t really exist.
As a result, many people would not even know that some of these merchants exist, let alone what they may have to offer the consumer.
So many people would have missed out during these times.
Then came the 90’s, in particular, the mid-1990’s as this is where a huge impact that not only would change the way merchants could advertise.
This impact also allowed them to connect and build a better and stronger relationship in marketing their wares to the world at an international level.
As we know now the internet has had a huge impact on the world not only with the various forms of online or internet marketing.
This changed the way people communicate on an international and local level which also affected many in their private lives as well.
This impact became know as the World Wide Web (WWW) or otherwise know as going online or going on the internet as we now accept it.
To think this explosion online happen only within the last 30 years which if you think about it was really not that long ago.
Unless you are one of the youngsters reading this then you would consider 30 years as ancient.
(Don’t worry your time will come when your kids will think of you as ancient too LOL).
Help is at hand.
Since the inception of the internet, many new technological forms have come into play which helps the merchant to display their wares that will not cost an arm and a leg as it once did in the past.
So how has this helped the Merchant?
This has enabled many merchants and even some Wannabes to make their presence known online.
This will also increase their brand to the general public on an international basis.
In order for this to happen the Merchant creates a relationship with a group or larger organizations.
These organizations are able to combine the many different items that many merchants have on hand.
This group is the second party in relationship marketing as I call it.
The Advertiser also called the Affiliate Network.
The Advertiser is able to bring together many merchants wishing to advertise their various forms of products and or services in one place.
The same advertiser will also as a service to the merchants provide an image and in most cases some form of a description of what the items are about.
As the advertiser displays the many forms of opportunities on their website consumers are able to visit the site and sift through the thousands of products or services available.
Many of which will be of no use or interest that that specific group of people looking for that one particular item.
As a result, it can also turn consumers off and they then will seek elsewhere if they can’t find what they are specifically looking for.
What they are able to provide further is a service that will allow other website owners (affiliates) to advertise the said products and help to promote and show what is available to the public with a specific customer in mind.
In doing so this creates an expanded presence not only for the products and business of the merchant but also for the website owners such as the advertiser and the other website owners known as affiliates.
However, there can be some issues as although many consumers may visit the site of the advertiser.
The prospective customer may be confused and lost with the many different forms of items available some of which can run into the thousands are of no interest to them.
If they can’t readily find what they are looking for quickly will most likely go elsewhere and look for what they are seeking.
Consumers are searching for something that is specific to their needs this is called a Niche.
A Niche is a product or service that is specific to the needs of a group of people that have an interest in that particular item.
For example, a customer may be interested in searching for golf clubs and most likely a specific type of clubs perhaps a brand name.
They will not be interested in searching on the advertiser’s site for ideas or equipment on planting flowers as this is not specific to their needs.
So to remedy this and to make it easier for the consumer in seeking that particular Niche the Third-party comes into play.
The Publisher or better known as the Affiliate Marketer
It is here where the fun begins. The affiliate normally owns a website (wise choice these days) but one that is specifically related to the niche that the customer is seeking or has an interest in.
What happens here is in order for the affiliate to promote the selective niche they have created their website for.
The affiliate joins an affiliate program.
Once approved by the advertiser they will provide the affiliate with various tools and methods to allow them to promote on their website.
This can be generally in the form of images, banners, and or text relating to that particular item.
Many times the advertiser will let the affiliate know of any future upcoming events, for example, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday specials, or any other major events celebrated.
The affiliate now has various links, banners to use on their website so to help promote that particular product or service in question.
In doing so the affiliate will then provide some further descriptive details or even a review of that particular product or service your customer is interested in.
Remember you as the affiliate are writing to the customer and not about yourself or telling the customer you should buy this now.
Provide an informative discussion in relation to your niche and allow the customer to make their own conclusions if that item is of use and benefit to them.
This brings us to the final and most important party.
The consumer or better know as the visitor to your website.
Let me explain one thing first with the words consumer or customer and visitor in reverse order.
The visitor is the one who will come to the website that relates to the specific niche the visitor is looking for.
What the affiliate does on their website is provide enough information relating to that same niche so that the visitor will be able to make an informative decision on whether to click that link or not.
Should they pay no further interest in what is on offer that that person leaves the website still as a visitor?
They may revisit the website later if they are still in two minds on the item in question but they are still a visitor.
Now should the person like what the affiliate has to say on the matter then they will click on the link provided.
This link will take them to the advertiser’s site and they will make that final decision to purchase the goods or services on offer or not.
When a transaction has taken place that visitor becomes a consumer or a customer to all other three parties within this relationship marketing I have discussed above.
This is the merchant, the advertiser, and the affiliate as the visitor now a customer have purchased via the affiliate website.
These are the concepts and information relating to affiliate marketing online.
HOW DOES AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK.
Should you have further questions please do not hesitate to place your comment below.
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That you once again for your precious time.