What is Affiliate Marketing? How To Start With Affiliate Marketing in India.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Marketing is a way of connecting with the right audience at the right time and in the right place. Marketing products or services is nothing new to the business world. But lately offline marketing is taking back seat in competition with online marketing strategies. With the increasing demand for online marketing, the buzzword “Digital Marketing” is making its mark in the modern world.
Digital Marketing, as it says, is the strategic marketing of products or services through the digital medium or electronic devices. The main types of digital marketing are :
- Search Engine Optimization [SEO]
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing [SMM]
- Pay Per Click [PPC]
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search engine marketing [SEM]
- Radio Marketing
- Television Marketing
- Mobile App Marketing
In this article, let us focus on What is Affiliate Marketing? How to start with affiliate marketing in India.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is one of the most popular online money-making marketing strategies these days. Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where you can earn money for advertising someone else’s product or service on your website to promote it, which earns you a commission for driving traffic to their business.
Affiliate selling is usually unmarked by advertisers. whereas search engines, e-mail, and computing device syndication capture abundant of the eye of on-line retailers, affiliate selling carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates play a major role in e-retailers’ selling methods. An affiliate marketing strategy might work well for bloggers, as they can write different types of articles on the given topic and include affiliate links. Every time a user proceeds to this external website and makes a purchase, they receive a commission.
The construct of revenue sharing—paying commission for referred business—predates affiliate promoting. The interpretation of the revenue share principles to thought e-commerce happened on November 1994, virtually four years when the origination of the World Wide internet.
The idea of affiliate promoting on the internet was formed of, put into practice and proprietary by William J. Tobin, the founding father of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service till 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales of more than $6 million per annum on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts constituted the business prototype of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.
Amazon.com (Amazon) launched its associate program in July of 1996: Amazon associates might place banner or web links on their website for individual books, or link to the Amazon home page. When visitors clicked on the associate’s web site link to travel to Amazon and get a book, the associate received a commission. Amazon wasn’t the primary business person to offer an affiliate program, however, its program was the first to become better-known and function a model for resulting programs.
In 2000, Amazon declared that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, however not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
However, Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts like blogging and interactive online communities, have wedged the affiliate marketing world. These platforms enable better communication and coordination between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platform has additionally opened affiliate marketing channels to private bloggers, writers, and freelance website owners.
With the origin of new media platforms, for instance, Youtube allows video owners to embed ads through the Google affiliate network. New developments have made it tougher for unscrupulous affiliates to create cash. Rising black sheep are detected and identified to the affiliate marketing community with larger speed and potency.
Better Understanding of Affiliate Marketing
For a better understanding of what is affiliate marketing, let us take an example. Consider, I am a blogger. I write blogs on various niches and interests, personal blogs, products, services, etc.
Say, in my latest blog I have written about 10 best front load fully automatic washing machines models in India in 2018. The audience who search for top 10 front load fully automatic washing machines in India, get to see my blog listed in the search result on the search engine.
On opening the blog, they get to read product listings with their specifications and details along with the link to the respective merchant’s website. When the visitor clicks on the link to visit the merchant’s website, it draws traffic from the affiliate ( my blog), which earns a commission to me.
The amount of commission that is earned through affiliate marketing depends on the product that is promoted. Sometimes, the amount can go up to 90-100% of the total price of the product. As millions of people turn to the internet every day to purchase new products and services, the opportunity to start and grow an affiliate marketing business is never too late. As per estimates, by 2020 all the business transactions will be online.
Amazon.com alone is the huge affiliate program, as they sell almost everything under the sun. It is a great opportunity and the best place for you to be an affiliate with them as you can make a good amount of commission by promoting the products sold on their website.
There are few types of affiliate programs,
CPC: CPC means cost-per-click. When you choose the CPC affiliate program, the commission is paid per click. That is when a visitor clicks on the ad links, banners or the marketing images published by you in your marketing program, which means you are driving the traffic.
CPA: CPA stands for cost-per-action. In this type of affiliate program, the commission is earned when the traffic is converted to sales. That is when the visitor buys or rents the product.
Recurring: Recurring, as the word itself says, in this affiliate program, the commission is paid again and again for a certain period or a lifetime. That is when the visitor or customer referred by you, who have purchased a product from the merchant, as and when he renews his subscription, you earn a commission. The best example for this is web hosting, once the customer buys a web hosting, he has to renew it to continue using it. This earns the affiliate a commission every time.
Bonded: The Bonded program is the highest-paid but not so popular type of program. The bonded affiliate program works in this way, you need to refer a customer, when the customer signs up, lead is generated. The customer gets bonded to the company. Every activity related to product marketing is tracked and monitored by the company. Whenever the customer makes any sales to the company, you will earn a commission. In this way, you will earn without doing anything. One of the common examples for this would be Oriflame and Amway.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires. -Bo Bennet
To start affiliate marketing, you must have a strong and relevant strategy to attract visitors and drive traffic from landing page to product pages in order to see results. On driving traffic to the landing page containing offers and links, you must collect email addresses from the visitors in exchange for the free offers or coupons, which will automatically be stored in the autoresponders database, where you would have pre-written emails that will roll out to them on a regular basis.
Some of the most common ad successful affiliate marketing strategies are:
Blogging: One of the basic and common strategies for affiliate marketing is blogging, where product promotion is done through content creation. For creating a blog, there are many online platforms like WordPress which provides you an opportunity to design the blog. It also provides free themes and templates which are customizable. Once the design part is done, then comes the real work of writing the blog content. Picking the right product for promoting is very important as your commission depends on them. There are also a few marketing tools available for free like can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to have basic information about your website activity and traffic sources. This helps you to automate some of the marketing tasks. You can also learn Digital Marketing Course by Google.
Video Blogging: If you are the kind of person who can express thoughts instantaneously with high energy and attract the audience with good quality content, then video blogging is a must-try. One of the best and most popular platforms for video blogging is undoubtedly Youtube. You can create your own video and upload the same on Youtube to promote products. You must enhance your channel and recordings for search in order to get organic traffic.
You can also share your vlogs on social media platforms for extensive reach to the audience. Based on what product you are actually promoting, you can create tutorials, product reviews, etc.
Banner Ads: Banner Ads are basically advertising products or services by creating colourful banners with attractive offers and include them in your blogs or vlogs with a hyperlink to the product website.
Coupons: An affiliate marketer can offer discounts through coupons. This is one of the easiest ways to attract visitors and enabling them to save money on the purchase, which will make them return to your website for upcoming offers and discounts. This way, you may have to share the commission earned. Initially, you may not make a great amount, but you are going to gain the trust of the customers which makes them return to you, which will be a long run payback.
Review Based: This is one of the most intelligent ways of affiliate marketing. You become the spokesperson for a product and service that you have used, tried and tested. You can collaborate with the product’s owner for affiliate marketing and start reviewing it through blogs or vlogs.
You have to maintain trust of your reviews towards the products which help customers to understand the usability of the product. You need to mention both the pros and cons, advantage and disadvantage, good and bad aspects of the products
Key Players of Affiliate Marketing in India There are many affiliate players in India. Among them, top key players are :
- Flipkart: The affiliate can earn incentives by displaying ads or banners in their articles or blogs, which can redirect the visitors to Flipkart website, earning the commission to the affiliate up to 15% when the traffic gets converted to sales.
- Amazon India: Amazon being the biggest e-commerce website if offers great affiliate programs as well. With great conversion rates, affiliates can earn great commissions up to 10% of the sale amount when the traffic redirected from affiliate articles or blogs gets converted into sales.
- MakeMyTrip Affiliate: This popular tour and travel website in India, provides affiliate programs for air ticket, hotel booking, holiday packages, and other bookings.
- GoDaddy Affiliate: With the affiliate program from GoDaddy, an affiliate and customer both are benefited. The customers get great discounts and the affiliates get good commission up to 40% commission depending on the product or service sold.
- Optimise India
- eBay affiliate etc
How to start with Affiliate Marketing in India
Affiliate marketing is one of the smartest and easiest ways to make money online. It has a billion-dollar turnover each year. One doesn’t need any specific qualifications or technical knowledge to start and make it work and grow. When done right, affiliate marketing is a brilliant way to earn a great amount online.
Affiliate Marketing doesn’t need a huge capital. All it needs is strategic planning which will be used to attract people online who are interested in the products or services that you are marketing and ready to buy the same. The best part of affiliate marketing, if you are planning to start as a career is that you can do it from the comfort of your home or anywhere in the world. The only requirement would be a computer with a good internet connection.
The right approach to affiliate marketing is when done in the right way which increases the value of the product or service that you are promoting and builds confidence and trust among the people you are trying to market them. Most importantly, do not get into affiliate marketing which tries to spam people with unrealistic offers or the products that you are not aware of. This way instead of drawing sales, people try to get away from these kinds of products or services.
There are three methods of affiliate marketing to get started with, free, paid or both. The method that you choose is directly proportional to the amount of time taken to see results. However, people have seen results and ade money using both methods.
Free method: Free methods require more work and time in obtaining the desired results compared to paid methods, but it is very much possible to make affiliate marketing work using free methods. This method needs a lot of patience and good strategic planning. The free strategic planning includes,
- Creating social media accounts like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Join and promote on Facebook groups related to your product or service.
- Give your valuable suggestions, answers to queries on such groups and build connections.
- After establishing a good rapport, start the promotion of your product or service.
- This way, you can start making money, which may take quite an amount of time.
Paid method: This method requires you to invest some money into your affiliate marketing business which will allow you to grow your business faster compared to free methods. The money that has been invested in starting affiliate marketing is mostly used for purchasing the traffic. If you are not interested in buying the traffic, you can invest a small amount of money for buying a domain name and web hosting, which can be used to drive free traffic using free methods. Of course, this will also take quite a work and time for driving traffic.
How to start with affiliate marketing? Before that, you need to decide on a product category that interests you to promote by doing thorough product and market research, which will help you to understand the specification of the product and demand for it. This will impact on the amount of money you are going to make. The product can either be physical or digital.
Physical products: If you choose to promote physical products over digital ones, you will be able to promote quite a lot of products of all kinds. These days, giant merchants/ retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Walmart, many others have affiliate programs that provide affiliate marketers with the opportunity to sign up and help them generate traffic and sales, in turn, to earn commissions.
It is quite easy to sign up as an affiliate with such companies and promote their products. You just need to visit their websites and the bottom of the page you can find anchor texts like “Affiliates”, “Publishers”, “Partners”, or “Work with us”. On sign up as an affiliate with these companies, you would be given a special link, which allows you to track the sales generated on a particular product. You can start promoting these products.
Digital products: Digital products are Youtube videos, Ebooks, online training, etc. Digital products are much easier to promote than promoting physical products as they are offered online. To promote digital products, you need to join the affiliate network, which is a third party company that hosts several digital products for promotion. These affiliate networks are genuine and make sure the affiliates get their right commission. They also help beginners with training and guidance.
Affiliate marketing was introduced in India by many online companies. India is a huge and diverse marketplace, online business has the potential for innovative and effective business models. In order to draw in affiliates to join affiliate marketing programs, several Indian and international firms have started affiliate programs in India providing different kinds of incentive models.
How to start with affiliate marketing? In order to become an affiliate marketer, the first and foremost task is to sign up for affiliate marketing programs and start marketing by spreading the affiliate links. The basic requirements to start with this business are :
A website: To start with any affiliate program, you must have a website. Advertisers examine your website to check the type of content you have. Most of them accept those affiliates whose website can bring the bulk amount of traffic. However, there is no need for worrying, as there are also beginner level affiliate marketing programs that accept affiliates with new websites.
An organic way of traffic: There are 2 ways of driving traffic in digital marketing, organic and paid. Some of the affiliates go for paid methods to earn affiliate marketing, which is very risky. These marketers have evolved in the industry by trial and error. As a beginner to affiliate marketing, you must focus on the organic way of gathering or attracting visitors. The organic method includes having social media accounts, forum memberships, members of online communities related to your niche, etc.
Sign Up to an affiliate marketing program: There is a huge number of affiliate marketing programs available today. However, you need to choose a program that better suits the needs of the audience.
These explain the basic requirement for you to start with affiliate marketing in India. After signing up with the program, where you may have to fill in your personal details, they may also ask you for your plans of generating traffic for your affiliate offers and the types of products you wish to promote. Once your application to the program has been approved, you have products/services to promote by gathering traffic and funnels them through your affiliate links.
Web Tracking: A web tracing system monitors and tracks the visitors visiting your websites. It provides complete analytical statistics about the traffic and consolidates the data into reports which help in website management. There are many such tracking tools available in the industry. One such tool offered by Google is Google Analytics tool which is available for free for users.
Google Analytics provides information about the visitors visiting your website like the geographical information, source from where traffic is driven, conversion rates, also data about active users, new users, returning users, and their frequency or returning to the website, engagement time, etc. It offers complete statistical data.
Future / Trend of Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is in trend ever since e-commerce has evolved. It’s been growing vast by every passing year. Based on the statistics of affiliate marketing, the major online business is happening through affiliate marketing.
In India, digital marketing is still in the initial phase. While most of the Indian companies are still thinking of adopting, many giant international companies have already established their affiliate programs here. With the growth of digital marketing at the rate of 30% every year, it is the next big thing in the future to boost the marketing and sales for the newcomers and the existing ones.
In recent years, we have seen how the startups are coming up with excellent projects roving themselves and growing bigger. As the business is growing, the demand for digital marketing is also growing. In order to get into these marketing programs, one needs to have brilliant strategic planning which can attract the customers and produce sales to the merchants.
With the present statistics, Digital marketing in India, especially affiliate marketing will grow only bigger and better in the coming years.