Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing was created with the thought in mind of saving money on advertising. Businesses especially wanted to cut down these costs by only paying for their customers earned. Thus, affiliate marketing was born! Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commission by marketing and promoting a product or service. It became fairly popular in the 1990s when e-commerce was gaining popularity. Ever since the patent was granted to William T. Dobin in 1989, the online world has never been the same.

Who Uses Affiliate Marketing?

One thing people think of when they think of affiliate marketing is social media influencers (bloggers and other content creators as well). Social media influencers will partner with brands that have affiliate marketing systems. These influencers already have a high-volume following and a great presence on social media. This makes it easier to get more sales/leads. They make their money off of sponsorships or partnerships with their favorite brands. They post ads on social media of themselves using the product, sometimes showing how easy the product is to use or even how useful it is. Here’s an example of a social media influencer utilizing this strategy to make some money:

Ecommerce sites like Amazon, Shopify, and Fiverr all have affiliate marketing programs. Amazon has one of the better programs for beginners. This is because it’s simple and worthwhile for the affiliate. Here’s a look at what the process looks like:

P.S.: Even if the item linked isn’t purchased (at least using Amazon), you still get commission as an affiliate for all of the items in the cart/purchased! This is because you’re ultimately the person who got the consumer to the website.

What We Love

One great thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s a very low-cost marketing tactic that actually works. You only have to pay for the earned customers/leads/sales! This can be great for start-up companies that don’t have a very high revenue. We think this would be a wise marketing decision for those who also don’t have much extra time to put toward marketing efforts.

Instagram is a hotspot for this. It’s easy to sneak a link into a bio. You also get percentages off cool products. Who doesn’t like deals?

What We Hate

Something we don’t like about this type of marketing is that from the consumer’s viewpoint, it can sometimes be hard to trust the affiliate marketing the product. When we, as consumers, see products being pushed by third-parties continuously, it may look like they are doing it solely for the money. Do they truly like the products? We may never know. 

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Marina Misitano
Marina Misitano is a content creator/blogger for HBT Digital. She is a recent graduate of Saint Francis University, located in Loretto, PA. She holds a Bachelor's degree in digital media and strategic communications.