Is affiliate marketing dead?
I get asked this question quite often these days. With the global economy in crisis and hundreds of thousands of people losing jobs each day, it can be easy to assume that all the fear-mongering articles telling you affiliate marketing is dead to be true.
But is it really? In this article, I’m taking you on a short course on how you can make affiliate marketing work for you through the pandemic and even after it.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing has been around for as long as digital marketers can remember. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways you can advertise your business or earn money while promoting someone else’s.
Moreover, one of the most unique characteristics of affiliate marketing is the fact that you are essentially tapping into various customer bases without having to spend a ton on advertising. Plus, there remains the fact that a business also does not lose money to reward affiliates.
In any case, you can look at it from both ways. Whether you’re a business that employs affiliate marketing as one of your strategies or you are an affiliate marketer, it’s beneficial to both parties.
In one way, the business gains sales from being advertised by a marketer. On the other hand, the marketer will only get paid if the company makes a sale. Plus, it’s a good reason to put up content - you know, in case you’re out of ideas.
To make it simpler, let’s break it down into two discussions:
Affiliate marketing for business owners
If you’re not an affiliate marketer, but rather a business looking to employ the services of marketers and other individuals to promote your business, affiliate marketing is a lucrative and low-risk method of advertising your business.
This allows you to tap into various audiences that you don’t have to look for yourself. Since you’re counting on your affiliate marketers to gather leads for you, you’re tapping into each of their own individual audiences.
Moreover, you’re also not investing anything monetarily unless you get something in return. Say an affiliate marketer is tasked to make a sale using a specific link, you don’t have to pay them for advertising you if their link doesn’t generate traffic or sales for you.
To cut it short, affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy that allows you to incentivize individuals who sign up to your program. Of course, this doesn’t have to be free.
For example, you could require them to subscribe to your services or make a purchase prior to becoming an affiliate.
Affiliate marketing for affiliate marketers
As for affiliate marketers, the risk is slightly more elevated. However, it also depends heavily upon your professional marketing skills.
That said, there are also a few sites and businesses that allow you to sign up as an affiliate marketer without having to spend any amount of money beforehand.
That said, several platforms do require that you make a purchase or a subscription to qualify as an affiliate marketer. At which point, you’re usually given a link you can redirect your audience to which earns you a certain commission for every sale or lead generated - depending on the terms of your affiliation with the brand.
That said, being an affiliate for many brands is a lucrative way to earn a passive income. This also gives you a good resource for content you can post on any of your platforms.
Is affiliate marketing dead?
You can find any number of articles telling you that affiliate marketing is dead. What I can tell you is this: it most certainly is not.
Several brands rely heavily on affiliates to generate passive traffic and sales to their sites. This is one of the biggest marketing strategies applied throughout the industry.
Just look at some of the largest sales funnel platforms. Have you noticed nearly all of them offer an affiliate program?
That’s because it’s a high-reward incentive that converts a client base you normally would have had trouble tapping into.
Look at it like this: would you rather support a business you basically know nothing about when you come across it on an ad or would you rather support it because someone recommended it to you?
For business owners
Yes, several ads center around customer testimonies, but this relies heavily on your brand image. After all, it’s easy to show highlights but what about the negative stuff other customers have to say?
I know I’d much rather purchase something when I’m reading an in-depth review of it or if I see someone using it and raving about it.
But more than that, affiliate marketing relies heavily on how much an individual trusts your brand. Overall, affiliate marketing relies heavily on trust and ratings.
Customers are more likely to trust your brand or do business with you when it’s recommended by someone who has made use of your services or products.
But what does that have to say for the longevity of affiliate marketing? Business owners should not fret. With various parts of the world on lockdown, it has opened up opportunities for digital marketing to thrive.
Despite reservations regarding the current economic standing in various parts of the world, it has ushered in an era that allows online businesses to thrive despite the pandemic.
Now more than ever, is the right time to invest in various digital marketing strategies with more than 80% of the world population online and searching for more convenient ways to fill their needs.
Summary: Affiliate marketing encourages customer reviews that are not only geared towards making you sales, but it also helps you spread positive and more relatable reviews for your possible customers. Regardless of reservations, it’s clear that the online market is thriving. The instability of the job market has pushed people to look for opportunities to earn elsewhere which means you have a higher chance of succeeding with affiliate marketing techniques than you would have in previous years.
For affiliate marketers
Recent events have led people to flee to the safety of their homes. This also means there are more people who are actively online and looking for content to fill their lives.
Affiliate marketing allows you to identify problem areas in the community that would help you connect a vast majority of your audience with key business that you are affiliated with.
This also means you have higher chances of gaining a commission from being affiliated with certain brands than you would have in previous years.
Some would say that the unstable economy and job market have led to a plummet in online sales. On the contrary, ecommerce sales have soared over 44% in the second quarter of 2020.
Even if you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer, it’s still the best time to invest in online marketing of any form. Whether you’re blogging, creating a youtube channel or are trying to make a bit extra by presenting your services online, affiliate marketing is definitely something you should look into.
Summary: Affiliate marketing is certainly not dead. In fact, 2020 and the rise of ecommerce and heightened online activity has made it one of the most popular side-hustles in the industry. There are now more choices when it comes to businesses that offer an affiliate program, which makes it easier to support businesses you can actually benefit from.
Is affiliate marketing still profitable?
The fact remains that affiliate marketing is still one of the most profitable side-hustles in the industry. In fact, the profitability is reliable enough that some professionals eventually make the switch to dedicate their careers to affiliate marketing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: affiliate marketing is soaring in 2020. This fact remains true whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a business owner. Truth be told, I'm not sure why there are several articles that are trying to convince you otherwise.
But I will tell you this; there is no reason for an activity to not be profitable. All you need to do is find the right audience and employ the right marketing tactics.
I’ll let you in on a little secret - the only reason businesses fail is because they are not ready. This is where business practices, customer retention, lead generation and marketing tactics play an important part.
If you put enough thought into your business model, it will succeed. And there is a better chance of you succeeding in 2020 with a business, so why don’t you employ all means necessary to make it possible?
Besides, you can find here the best affiliate programs with recurring commissions that I promote. I can assure you that this list includes only high-quality products.
What has changed for affiliate marketing in 2020?
Social media has made it possible for digital marketing to evolve in many ways. Of course, this includes affiliate marketing. And with most of the world’s population on social media nowadays, there are certainly many trends that have sprung to change the course of affiliate marketing.
Let’s take a look at these changes and trends that are set to open up more opportunities for profitability moving forward.
How to make affiliate marketing profitable for you
Think of affiliate marketing in the same way you would any business model. You would need to put in adequate time, effort and expertise to guarantee monetization.
There are several ways affiliate marketing can be made profitable for you. This fact remains through regardless of your career.
What I mean is, even if you are a business owner or an influencer or are running a business that does affiliate marketing on the side, affiliate marketing has a huge potential to become profitable on all angles.
Take a look at some of my key takeaways to make your affiliate marketing efforts successful:
Best practices in affiliate marketing
If you truly want to succeed in affiliate marketing, it’s important to take certain values to heart. The same can be said of any business. Of course, you can’t just focus on the monetary aspect of affiliate marketing.
Here are some of the best practices to guarantee success in affiliate marketing:
Summary: To cut it short, it’s important to focus on a fair exchange of value and interaction. Your only goal should not be conversion, but to build a loyal audience that will trust you completely.
Regarding email marketing tools, you might want to check my guide: the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing.
Final words. Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Whichever angle you try to look at it from, all signs point to yes. Affiliate marketing is definitely a worthy investment. Whether you own a business or are a dedicated affiliate marketer or an influencer looking for a side-hustle, it’s clear that affiliate marketing poses many benefits.
That said, affiliate marketing is certainly not for everyone. Like any business, it can take time for you to see any results. Unless you already have a cult following that would immediately purchase everything you tell them to, it’s important to put in effort and time.
But more than that, it’s important to make sure you employ several practices to guarantee success. Make sure you build trust, maintain relevance, stay visible and to explore various mediums to maximize results.
Overall, I highly recommend you look into affiliate marketing while the market is still hot. Despite the pandemic, more and more people are flocking to social media and eCommerce to fulfill their needs.
And regardless of what anyone says, affiliate marketing remains well alive and profitable for all parties involved.