As per Wikipedia Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing wherein you refer someone to any online product and when that person buys the product based on your recommendation, you receive a commission.
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.
Its very simple. There are some basic steps needs to be followed. First You need to join Affiliate program. There are lots of programs available like ShareASale, Commission Junction, Clickbank, ImpactRadius etc. Secondly Pick products to promote. Each product has its own affiliate links. Third, share this links via social media, thats it. When someone purchases your shared product, you will earn commission.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.
We cannot deny that Affiliate Marketing is going to be the next big thing in digital marketing. As per a study by Forrester, by 2020, the affiliate marketing spending in the United States is expected to grow to $6.8 billion.
Cole Hernandez, the founder of Pink Graffiti has a beautiful thought on Affiliate Marketing.
She says that with the increasing freelancers and solopreneurs, affiliating marketing is not just another opportunity but a booming one. Millennials are nowadays looking more to passive income and Affiliate Marketing is a fit for it.
Affiliate Marketing is the perfect thing that can help you earn with one time efforts or by occasional efforts. Not just this, there are bloggers and people who solely depend upon affiliate marketing as their primary source of income.
The future of affiliate marketing depends on individuals who can adapt to a fast changing industry. Some of the popular area includes Online Coupon, SMS based Pay per call, QR code campaign, Visual Marketing (like Pinterest or YouTube etc), Data Analysis based Targeting etc.
Ultimately, the future of affiliate marketing relies on the actions of the key players. It is also worth noting that the affiliate marketing outlook involves a focus on enriching user experience, withdrawal of regulatory scrutiny and world of automation as well as intelligent machines capable of learning complex algorithms. All these, point to a very encouraging future for affiliate marketers.
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