What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where a business rewards external partners, known as affiliates, for each customer they bring in through their own marketing efforts. It refers to the overall strategy of building affiliate-driven sales, as well as related marketing efforts. With affiliate marketing, you can capture customer clicks, scrolls, mentions, and double taps in the thriving $21.1 billion global influencer market.
Here’s how it typically works: let’s say you’re a SaaS company offering an HR automation solution. You set up an affiliate program and invite tech and HR bloggers, related businesses, or influencers to join. These affiliates promote your service on their platforms—through blog posts, social media, or newsletter recommendations—using unique affiliate tracking links you provide.
Every time someone clicks on an affiliate’s link and purchases your product, the affiliate gets a pre-determined commission. It’s a performance-based approach that rewards affiliates for successful conversions, creating a win-win scenario. The affiliate earns a commission for their promotional efforts. Your company gains a new customer without having to do the direct selling.
Affiliate marketing is like referral marketing in many ways, with many overlaps. Overall, though, it can be a highly effective way to increase brand awareness, reach new audiences, and drive sales, all while keeping your marketing costs lower. By partnering with a network of motivated affiliates, you’re leveraging their influence and reach to promote your products or services in markets that you might not have access to otherwise.