What separates good content from great content is the willingness to take risks and push the envelope

– Brain Halligan, CEO and Co-Founder HubSpot. 

What makes content great is the writer’s ability to transform words into art. 

Basics of marketing

Marketing refers to the process in which you interest potential buyers often referred to as customers to buy the product or service that you are marketing. Marketing is a long process, some of these steps are – 

  1. Researching
  2. Selling
  3. Promoting
  4. Distributing

When we market a product/ service we are also creating a brand. We are setting the tone of the brand the kind of messaging that will be associated with that particular brand. One common way of doing this is by creating a unique identity for the brand. For example – why do you choose to buy an X product as opposed to Y? Does the messaging appeal to you, do the ingredients? Does it have a sense of uniqueness to it? There are many things to consider when marketing a brand, first, you must meet the ISO brand standards then you must choose the path that sets you apart from the competition and what markets the product accordingly.

History of marketing

It’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when marketing first began. Some people believe that marketing as a means of selling your product existed right from the times of ancient civilizations. It could be possible that during the era of barter systems, traders came up with fun and unique ways of selling their products in exchange for their products. They could have possibly used the tools at their disposal to make their product stand apart. China and India were the first ones who came up with innovative ways and methods to sell their products to others. Their methods were conventional and not recognized as marketing then, but it’s believed that that is where the idea of marketing began to develop.

The 18th and 19th century, people saw a period of rapid social change. The driving factors for this service change was technology and scientific innovation.

What is affiliate marketing?

With the advent of technology, came new marketing trends that have gained popularity. Affiliate marketing is a relatively new form of marketing where businesses pay a commission on conversions through links provided by the brand.

Affiliates are freelancers who don’t own stock, they don’t have to deal with customer complaints or have a fixed number of customers to meet in order to get paid. Affiliates get paid every time a customer clicks on their link and buys a product or service that they advertised.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Unlike conventional marketing methods where there are many process that you need to undergo before going public with your brand, here there are only 2 parties involved these are :-

  • Affiliate – Affiliates are marketers who promote brand content on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter which then ultimately drives potential customers to the product. Affiliates get paid in commission when their advertisement is turned into a sale.
  • Merchant – Merchants are the ones who own the brand, product, or platform an affiliate chooses to promote. Affiliates get paid the commission by the merchant.

What are the various affiliate marketing tools?

Gone are the days when advertising was done only through print media. With the advent of technology, more people are spending time online and are hence more prone to seeing an advertisement on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, than television or on the radio. A reason why this form of marketing is gaining more and more popularity is due to it’s inexpensiveness. The merchant isn’t advertising the product, you are advertising a merchants product in return for a commission that’s charged by you. Television advertisements typically run for lakhs even crores of rupees for a simple 30 secs ad. Paying commission to affiliates is much more convenient.

Customers these days are a lot more informed than they were 50 years ago. Today’s customer read product reviews, talks to people before making a decision. What makes affiliate marketing interesting is the fact that affiliates have the opportunity to reach as many customers as they can through their content and then turning it into an effective sale. Research has shown that a referred customer is 4 times more likely to talk about a particular brand and has a 37% higher conversion rate.

As an affiliate, there are many ways, many tools that you can use to promote your or your merchants products. Some of these products are – 

  • Social Media – Suggestive of the name, social media refers to various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc to market a product. This is one of the most popular tools that’s used by marketers these days.
  • PPC – If you’ve ever made a search online, you must’ve noticed the first 2-3 links that pop up, more often than not, a brand pays the search engine platform to buy that ad space. Every time you click on an advertisement that you see online, the advertiser pays for that click. This is a way for advertisers to advertise their products when someone organically searches for a product that’s relatable.
  • SEO – SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of your product and increasing your website traffic to gain more customers through both paid and non-paid organic or inorganic search engine results.
  • Content Marketing – Content Marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant content that’s consistent to attract and retain a clearly defined audience who will then ultimately drive your customers towards making a purchase or a profitable customer action.

Key pointers to remember when using affiliate marketing

With growing popularity, affiliate marketing is a highly competitive market wherein to be successful you have to do some studying about what works for you and what doesn’t. Here are a few points to remember and work on before becoming an affiliate and promoting a marketers content – 

  • Creating content that generates revenue – When you start working on something new, I’m sure you are going to be super excited and this excitement to post something, anything may or may not work. Good content comes from when you strategize and devise a plan that works best for you and your brand. Randomly placing links in the article isn’t going to help anyone. If you really want your content to help generate sales, then focus on who your target audience is. As long as your content reaches the right target audience, the sales will come. 
  • Incorporate your products in the content – What is the content that you want to put across your platform? Who is your target audience and what is their problem that you would want to solve? Once you have all these answers, you can move on to doing your research. Do keyword research and once you have your content ideas it’s time to start inserting affiliate links into your content. The benefit of doing this is that your links will be specific to the content that you want to promote.
  • Turning visitors into affiliate customers – When you identify which content campaign of yours has the most traction , you can focus on either promoting that or creating more content that’s similar to that. A lot of beginners assume that in order to generate high sales, you need to promote each and every post with the same amount of money but this isn’t true. Experiment with your content, observe and make use of tools like CPC, SEO and turn them into your advantage.

Different affiliate marketing platforms

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, let’s talk about how to become an affiliate marketer. There are many platforms that are available for you to join online. These platforms have various commissions for their marketers depending on the product they choose to advertise and the platform they choose to operate it from. Some affiliate marketing platforms are – 

  • Reseller Club – Reseller clubs is one of the largest reseller hosting sites in the world. Here you can choose from a wide range of hosting products which is created for web developers and web designers. Earn anywhere between 25-100$ per referral. A referral is a link that has a time validity such as 60 days. This link keeps a track of all the sales which were made by you in the past 60 months.
  • Flipkart Affiliate – As one of the largest e-commerce platforms in India, Flipkart provides its affiliates with a variety of tools such as banners, APIs for listings on Flipkart, widgets. All these products will help you promote Flipkarts deals/ platforms on their own site/app. An affiliate can earn a commission anywhere between 6-20% based on the category of their choice. You can track your referral links and conversions with real-time reports.
  • Amazon Associates – Amazon is the largest e-commerce brand in the world. Becoming an amazon affiliate is easy, all you have to do is sign up using your existing amazon account. Customise your links by adding pictures which can help elevate your sale. Amazon affiliates earn anywhere between 0.2% to 10% based on the kind of product they’re marketing. A huge advantage of being an Amazon affiliate is, if a customer opens your link and is then taken to another product through your link, you will still get a commission on that product purchase because it was your link that helped make that purchase.
  • vCommission – As one of the oldest affiliate networks in India, vCommission is working with some leading e-commerce websites such as Myntra, Snapdeal, and AliExpress with a strong affiliate base of over 18,000+ and has more than 14,000 publishers making it also India’s largest affiliate network platform in India. As a vCommission affiliate, you can earn a commission anywhere between 5,000-100 $. To be eligible for this platform, your content needs to be written only in English.
  • BigRock Affiliate – BigRock is one of India’s leading web hosting and domain registration company. As an affiliate earn a commission that’s anywhere between Rs. 30 and can go upto 30% on each sale. Apart from domain registration,  you can use the platform for email hostings, digital certificates, and website buildings.
  • Yatra Affiliate – You may have heard of yatra as one of India’s e-commerce travel companies. Plan your entire trip from travel to hotel rooms. Commission for affiliate marketers is given upon paid bookings.

In Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a great way for you to earn some side income whilst staying at home. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that there are many tools at your disposal and so you can be as creative as you want to, to market a product/service of your choice.

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