What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards another party, called an affiliate, for each visitor or customer introduced because of the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.


Who Makes Up the Affiliate Marketing Business?

The industry has four core players:

  1. the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’)
  2. the network(that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments)
  3. the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and
  4. the customer.

The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.


How Does Affiliate Marketing Fit In With Other Marketing Techniques?

Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because companies often use multiple advertising methods. Generally, the methods companies use in online marketing include:

The opportunity for a business to use affiliate marketing to its advantage is at its best when the business either has a low or non-existent marketing budget, or prefers to share a larger percentage of their sales with affiliates versus taking more marketing risk with PPC or display advertising channels.

Affiliate Marketing Adoption Rates

Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to drive significant traffic and revenues in online retailers’ marketing strategies.


Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Like any other marketing technique, there are examples of both huge, outsized results and total failures.  And like all other marketing methods, the truth is found somewhere in the middle.

Some of the issues we had with affiliate marketing are what prompted the creation and development of Affiliate Content Magic, primarily that products that rely on the knowledge or intellectual property and ideas of the merchant are usually not sold well via emails and display (i.e., banner) advertising.

Affiliate Content Magic allows businesses to leverage the blogs, educational articles, and other content they create by distributing it to other websites in a trackable way.  And this tracking gives other sites a monetary incentive for publishing this content to their readership.


Affiliate Content Magic Improves Affiliate Marketing

Leveraging the original content that many businesses create by distributing it further to outside websites in exchange for a cut of potential future sales gives companies the opportunity to reach customers they aren’t reaching now, and gives small and medium sized websites the ability to monetize their readerships in a way that simply adding Google AdSense ads or Amazon affiliate banners cannot do.

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