Affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing strategy where you promote other company’s product or services, in return for a commission for each purchase of the product or services, through your promotional channels.
It is a very old and popular marketing strategy used in different industries however; over the years, affiliate marketing has become one of the premier passive income earner for most entrepreneurs both online and offline.
Owing to its consistent popularity in recent times, more people are engaging in affiliate marketing, regardless of the nature of their businesses. But, engaging in affiliate marketing does not automatically guarantee success in the business.
To make it big as an affiliate marketer, you have to understand the business, how it runs and how you can really get to earn from it. And in this guide, you’re going to learn everything about affiliate marketing, starting from the following paragraphs below:
Types of Affiliate Marketing
There are three major types of affiliate marketing. You don’t necessarily have to engage in all of the three but you can the ones you want to use as your preferred marketing approach, depending on your priorities and resources.
Unattached Affiliate Marketing
Also known as the pay-per-click marketing, usually, this is the go to affiliate option for most beginners without platforms. It is a marketing arrangement where you don’t need to have an online presence or brand authority to market a product.
With this kind of affiliate marketing, you don’t have to use the product or be an influencer in that niche. You can simply sign up for a company’s affiliate program, get their links and promote it using paid advertising like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads etc.
Most new affiliate marketers are attracted to this type of affiliate marketing because naturally, it takes time to build the reputation and popularity that might be needed to organically push out some products.
The notable thing about this marketing model is that you don’t have to get involved with the product or spend time to build a personal platform to promote it.
Related Affiliate Marketing
This is an affiliate marketing model where you already have a platform like a blog, a website or a decent number of following on the social media.
With this type of affiliate marketing model, you register with your preferred affiliate company or product, get your custom links and promote it on your website either via a blog post, banner or other channels.
This type of affiliate marketing is very popular with bloggers, content creators and other entrepreneurs with a certain level of online presence and platform.
One notable feature of this affiliate marketing model is that you don’t necessarily need to use a product before promoting it.
Involved Affiliate Marketing
This is currently one of the most popular affiliate model business models today. With the involved marketing model, even though you’re getting paid to promote the product, you will still have to use the product before you can decide whether to promote it or not, based on your own outcomes.
The involved affiliate marketing thrives on brand popularity and reputation. It is the go to model for most popular influencers. But, for you to gain success with this model, you will need a platform, an audience and the right reputation to push through the brand.
It is one of the most genuine forms of affiliate marketing and one notable thing about this marketing model is that it’ll demand your involvement and experience with the product. And when done honestly, it can push a real win-win for you, your audience and the affiliate company itself.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
Although affiliate marketing is a great way to generate income either passively or actively, this model of income generation is not without its own advantages and some drawbacks.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
- It is a very popular business with lots of companies and products you can choose from across different niches, industries and countries around the world.
- Another major advantage of affiliate marketing is that it is a low cost business. You can become an affiliate marketer, with or without your own platform.
- Also, you don’t necessarily need any special expertise to become an affiliate marketer. Where you’re a complete beginner, you can always start with the unattached model or choose any their affiliate marketing model that suits you.
- And finally, affiliate marketing is a decent strategy to make passive income without getting involved with the business on a full time basis.
Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
- One of the notable cons of Affiliate marketing is that you don’t have control over the business. So, to earn a decent income with the business, you have to follow the rules of the affiliate program to the latter.
- It can be fraudulent. Owing to the nature of the program where you get people to actually buy a product before getting paid a commission, a number of affiliate companies do come up with fraudulent programs where affiliates don’t get paid their commissions after sales.
- Also, some companies do set up procedures that make it difficult for affiliates to get paid their commissions despite sales.
These are some of the things you must watch out for, before joining an affiliate program.
Steps to Start Affiliate Marketing
To start and build a successful affiliate marketing business, there are some important steps you have to take and I’ll be listing out these in the following paragraphs.
Choose the right Niche
Even though there are some marketing models that don’t necessarily need you to be knowledgeable in your preferred affiliate marketing niche, to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you must choose the right niche.
This is very crucial because the niche you choose will affect your choice of audience, marketing strategy and eventually, the success you’ll make as an affiliate marketer.
For example, to get better sales, you have to choose a niche that has products or services with a decent demand or products from a recognized brand.
Also, as someone with an established audience or platform, before choosing a product, you must consider a niche or a product that aligns with your area of interest and that of your audience.
Identify your Target Market
It is very important you identify, understudy and understand your target market. By so doing, you will get to know the kind of promotional strategies that works for them.
For example when you know your target market extensively, it becomes easier to ascertain whether paid promotions or organic promotion using content marketing is the best strategy to use in driving sales.
Also, it makes it easier for you to decide the kind of content that will appeal to your target market, whether it’s a blog post, a review post or a tutorial. This knowledge is critical to your success.
Research the Product
After choosing your preferred niche, you have to pay attention to the particular product or company you want to choose, research their reputation, reviews and find out feedback from other people using their products.
If you’re using the involved affiliate marketing model, be sure you test-use the product before recommending it to your audience as this will both safeguard the integrity of your brand and protect the interest of your audience.
Build a Platform
While it’s very possible to become an affiliate marketer without owning a platform, to build a real affiliate marketing business, you must consider getting your own platform.
It could be on a blog, social media handle or a newsletter. Wherever you choose, you have to start building a real audience, using content marketing to provide value that aligns with the interests of your business and that of your audience if you want to easily sell to them.
Promote the Product
Affiliate marketing thrives on promoting the right product to the right audience. Now that you have secured the right product and the right audience, you have to go all out to promote your products vigorously.
Since you already understand the promotional strategy that works for your audience, based on your market research in step 2 above, it’s now time to promote the product, using the strategies you identified.
Remember, you can promote your affiliate products using paid promotions on Google, Social Media and other platforms or you can also use organic promotional strategies like content marketing.
Measure your Outcomes
After taking all the steps above to promote and spread the word about your affiliate marketing business, to ensure you get consistent outcomes, you have to measure the result of your effort at intervals.
Identify the strategies that worked and the ones that didn’t, including the factors that were responsible for the outcome.
By tracking your performance, you will not only get to create consistent results, you will find valuable data that will guide you towards building consistent success with your business.
Like every other industry, affiliate marketing is an ever evolving industry with new trends, products and best practices.
To stay on top of your game in this industry, you have to be updated on the latest development in your preferred niche. Learn the latest market trends and find opportunity to collaborate, grow and build your business at all times.
Top Affiliate Marketing Programs in Nigeria
The following are some of the top performing affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria.
- Jumia Affiliate Program: Jumia is one of Nigeria’s biggest brands and their affiliate program is very popular with bloggers and content creators with a platform in Nigeria.
- Konga Affiliate Program: Like Jumia, Konga is also another popular ecommerce brand with a well-known affiliate marketing program in Nigeria and Africa generally.
- Amazon, a globally recognized ecommerce brand provides one of the top international affiliate marketing programs for Nigerians and most other Africans. Compared to most other international affiliate programs, it provides an easy chance for affiliate marketers in Nigeria and Africa to start and earn from affiliate marketing.
- Payporte, Travelstart, Piggyvest and Bet9a are also some of the other top affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria that are both popular and high paying.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing provides a decent way to earn extra income online, whether you’re in Nigeria, Kenya or anywhere in the world.
The good thing is, you don’t have to be an expert or even own a platform to become an affiliate marketer. By following this guide, you can start right where you are and build a successful affiliate marketing business, irrespective of your location.
And should you need further ideas to find your feet in building a successful affiliate marketing business, you can reach out to us here.
Now, it’s over to you. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to building an affiliate marketing business? Leave your comments below.
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