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How Affiliate Marketing Works — And Why Brands Should Be Using It

How Affiliate Marketing Works — And Why Brands Should Be Using It

Affiliate marketing is a powerful and cost-effective tool for brands to expand their reach, increase sales, and enhance their online presence. Here's a brief explainer on why affiliate marketing is a beneficial approach for businesses.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission in exchange for marketing another person’s or company’s products or services. In simple terms, affiliate marketing is recommending stuff you love and getting paid for it. When a consumer finds a product or service that they’re into, they tell others about it, and can earn a cut of the sales whenever someone buys it through their recommendation. Sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.

affiliate marketing

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Make Sense For Brands?

It’s the definition of a win-win scenario. Affiliates are rewarded for their efforts, and brands enjoy increased visibility and revenue.

  • It’s cost-effective and performance based. One of the key advantages of affiliate marketing is its performance-based nature. Brands only pay for actual sales or desired actions, such as clicks or leads. This ensures a high return on investment (ROI) as marketing expenses are directly tied to measurable outcomes.
  • There’s a built-in audience. Affiliates — often bloggers, influencers, or industry experts — come with their own dedicated and engaged audience. By leveraging the networks of affiliates, brands can quickly tap into new and diverse customer segments, reaching individuals who may not have been exposed to their products or services through traditional marketing channels.
  • Affiliate marketing enhances overall brand credibility. Consumers tend to trust recommendations from individuals they follow and admire. Affiliates, acting as advocates for your brand, can provide genuine reviews and endorsements, building credibility and trust among their followers. This personal touch can be more influential than traditional advertising methods.

Who Is Using Affiliate Marketing?

As publications compete with everyone else for eyeballs and ad dollars, everyone from media sites to influencers to content creators are utilizing affiliate marketing as an extra source of income in addition to ad revenue, partnership dollars, etc.

  • Publications: Traditional publications are looking for ways to make up for lost revenue in print advertising. While most publications still feature authentic product reviews, the reality is that affiliate links increase a brand’s chances of securing editorial press coverage. Commerce editors are looking for ways to make money for their publication.
  • Influencers: Utilizing affiliate marketing in conjunction with partnerships allows for better tracking on influencer ROI for the brands. It’s also a way for influencers to earn additional income in addition to any partnership fees. If the influencer is affiliate-savvy, you can negotiate a lower-rate for that influencer’s partnership fees in exchange for a higher commission.
  • Loyalty and Cashback Publishers: Loyalty and cashback publishers are very popular types of publishers in the affiliate marketing space. They generate their revenue through commissions they receive from affiliate links that users on their sites use to purchase from. Cashback publishers work on a cash reward principle, sharing a portion of their commission revenue with their users.

Let’s Get Started

TURNER can work with your existing platform, or help you launch a new affiliate program. Get in touch at digital@turnerpr.com.

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