Decoding the most popular affiliate marketing channels

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Affiliate marketing is a highly cost-effective and efficient performance marketing method to significantly improve the organization’s revenue. That is why brands and advertisers across the globe rely upon and invest heavily in running an affiliate marketing program. According to the Google Trend data, the number of searches for “affiliate marketing” has grown tremendously over the past five years. While 81 percent of brands use affiliate marketing to capture the customer’s attention, improve brand awareness and increase sales, 79 percent use the method to engage existing customers. Affiliate marketing is estimated to be worth $12 billion globally and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. In fact, almost 16 percent of all global e-commerce sales come through affiliate marketing. By now, we have understood the importance of affiliate marketing for e-commerce companies globally and how it has become an integral part of their marketing initiatives. This blog will explore the popular affiliate marketing channels brands, and advertisers can explore to reach their goals and objectives.

Blog Affiliates

Blog affiliates are the most critical cog in the affiliate marketing wheel as over 65 percent of affiliates rely on this medium to drive traffic to the merchant’s website. Blog affiliates are usually experts in their field who create content to showcase a specific affiliate product from their niche. Their content expertise can range from personal finance to travel, hotels to fashion & beauty. And since they are SEO experts, their content reaches a massive audience organically, giving the advertisers the best opportunity to onboard new customers into their folds. Thus advertisers and brands aggressively work with blog affiliates who can efficiently help them promote their products and services through their meticulously crafted content and by adding the related affiliate link and referrals code to their blogs. According to recent research, long-format content generates nine times as many leads as short-form content.

Review Sites

According to a leading research report, more than 80 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting or engaging with a business for the first time. Furthermore, 76 percent of consumers trust these reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. If these statistics are any indication, the importance of review sites as an affiliate marketing channel cannot be undermined. What works for review sites is the consumers’ trust in them and a guide to understanding the features of the products. Experts in the particular niche with a huge follower base make reviews on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram, which holds enormous importance for prospective customers. Within the reviews, they leave the affiliate link, discount coupon, or codes for the consumers to shop on the merchant site and avail additional benefits, earning the affiliates a higher commission. Product pages with genuine reviews record 3.5 times more conversion compared to product pages without reviews.

Coupon Sites

Coupon sites are the most crucial affiliate marketing channels because they can reach out to many customers who are always looking for a deal on these sites. Their business model is pretty simple. These coupon site affiliates make money by working with advertisers and brands and driving the traffic to their websites, hoping that more and more customers referred through them buy the product on the merchant’s shopping website, earning them a more significant commission. Here the affiliates offer a discount code or coupon to its customer and will make a commission once they go ahead with the purchase. Marketing research reports have found that almost 80 percent of consumers unaware of the brand are likely to try their products and services if provided with a promotional coupon.

Cashback Sites

Cashback Sites are an integral part of affiliate marketing. These sites give some amount of money back to the customers for using the site’s affiliate links to make a purchase. This is their way of incentivizing the customer and encouraging them to make all the future purchases through the cashback sites to earn more rewards. So basically, the cashback sites receive a commission for directing the traffic to the merchant’s website, and from that commission, they pay a small fraction to the consumers to keep them returning to their site. This means the publisher will make less profit but make up for the margin loss by driving the volume to the merchant’s site. Since these sites offer more significant consumer benefits, the conversion and return rates are higher.

Social Media Affiliates

Social media influencers have millions of followers who diligently track all their social media posts and follow them for tips and advice. What makes influencer marketing so successful is the connection between the influencer and their followers and the content they create, which is genuine and relatable. Hence, leveraging social media influencers for the affiliate marketing campaign is a great option. Many brands and advertisers usually rope in social media influencers and provide them with special coupon codes that they can share with their followers, increasing brand conversion rates. Furthermore, creating unique coupon codes for each influencer the brands work with also helps track their performance while benefitting the brands with additional purchases.

Besides these popular affiliate marketing channels, other widely-used channels include E-mail Marketing Affiliates, News & Media Affiliates, Search Affiliates, and Mobile Affiliates, which have helped brands and advertisers to scale up their campaigns and acquire new customers. It is up to the brands to decide which affiliate marketing channel is best-suited for their products and campaigns.

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