Affiliate Marketing is a Performance-based advertising mode,
also known as pay for performance advertising. Performance advertising is a term used in Internet marketing to define a pricing model whereby a marketing or advertising agency will receive a payment or bonus from an advertiser for ‘performance’. A business that has an “Affiliate Program” agrees to pay a commission to the marketing or advertising agency when the agency sends them a paying customer. This may be in the form of each new lead or new customer obtained for the advertiser through the agency’s online marketing efforts or some other ‘performance’ metric the agency and client agree upon before beginning. The merchant makes the sale, the customer pays for the service or product offered by the merchant and the merchant will pay a commission to the agency.
Merchants have been known for as long as humans have engaged in trade and commerce.
The affiliate or influencer must have a way to point the consumer to the Merchant. The most used methods are social media, blogs, or websites. If the merchant has a web-based sales site, sending the customer to that site is the most common practice. What is needed is a way to identify what the customer has an interest in. User groups on the various social media sites are the most common way of finding customers. As an example, you reach people in the market for cat products or information is in “Cat Friendly User Group” or “Pet User Group”. You promote a product in that group that solves a particular need, then members of that group may shop the merchant’s site. When they purchase the item, you earn a commission.
The business has a new customer as well as the responsibility of servicing that customer and you have made your commission.
There is an affiliate program available from most major retailers. Amazon, Walmart, and Target are just a few companies that have Affiliate Programs. There are many more. As you grow your business you will become aware of the merchants that offer affiliate programs.