Affiliate marketing isn’t a new and upcoming marketing strategy. On the contrary, it has been used for more than a decade now but thanks to the rise of influencers, using affiliate links is more than ever the way to go.
For those who don’t know, “traditional” affiliate marketing is done by bloggers or media publishers who usually have their own websites where they can promote any product or service through reviews, demonstrations or how-to guides. They used affiliate links and promo codes to drive website traffic or even sales for any brand. This way the brand can easily keep track and see where clicks or sales come from. Therefore, they know where to allocate more money. For instance, if an affiliate is bringing 50% of website traffic, the brand might consider investing more in this person. However, the major downside of affiliates is that they usually work with several competing brands as their only goal is to increase their incomes.
By combining influencer and affiliate marketing, brands are not only reaching their target audience, they are also experiencing way more sales. Influencers also work with links and promo codes, exactly like affiliates but unlike them, influencers are trusted and listened to by their communities. Influencers are not going to collaborate with competing brands as they recommend only products they actually like and use on a daily basis. Money is of course a big part of the process, but it isn’t the most important concern. The reason why influencers are so reliable is because they are authentic, honest and trustworthy. When an influencer is not transparent with its community, he/she will most likely lose its power and influence.
Affiliate marketing for influencers works exactly like traditional affiliation. They earn a commission on the number of clicks or sales they drive on behalf of the brand. They are 2 ways of earning a commission; pay per click or cost per acquisition. The former is associated with earning a small amount for every click, whether or not the customer ends up buying anything, whereas, the latter is usually a small percentage of the final sale amount. This method, cost per acquisition, is far more used by brands especially on Instagram as trusted reviews are more likely to turn into sales.