Affiliate marketing is an effective way to improve your earning potential as an influencer. You can get started no matter your following, even if you have under 10k followers.
You don’t need anything special to get started, whether you create YouTube videos, Instagram content, or have your own blog. In this guide, we’ll explain what affiliate marketing is and how to use it as an influencer.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
There’s a lot of confusion around what affiliate marketing is and how influencers can use it to their advantage. In affiliate marketing, you promote products and services and receive a commission or payout if someone makes a purchase through you.
In essence, you act as a middleman between the consumer and the business. You don’t need any specific following to get started. Many affiliate programs or referral programs are open to anyone.
How does it work? The brand will track when someone makes a purchase through you either through a special link or coupon code. From there, you’ll get a payment depending on what the individual purchased and the specific affiliate program.
With 49% of consumers depending on influencer recommendations, it makes sense for influencers to utilize affiliate marketing. If the influencer has a strong audience in a clear niche, they’re sure to be profitable with this type of strategy.
How Influencers Promote Affiliates
With affiliate marketing being one of the top ways influencers make money online, how exactly can they promote affiliate? There are a few different ways:
- Product review
- Tutorial or recipe
- Video show-and-tell
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Email marketing
When followers see you using a product or brand regularly, they start to have a positive association with that brand. If they feel it’s something you really use and trust, they’re likely to consider trying ti themselves.
Tips for Being an Affiliate
If you’re planning to get started with affiliate marketing, there are some things to know before you begin. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and it takes time for some campaigns to start making money. As long as you’re consistent and have a strategy, you’re likely to find long-term success.
Here are the top tips for being a better affiliate as an influencer:
- Trust: Work with brands you already use and trust. It’s always good to be authentic with your audience, especially when you’re encouraging them to purchase something.
- Keep it simple: Don’t go overboard by promoting anything and everything. It’s more effective to stick to a single or a few products/brands on an ongoing basis.
- Avoid being promotional: You don’t want to turn your personal brand into an advertisement. It’s okay to sell why you love a product, but don’t be over-the-top.
- Niche down: Having a specific, engaged audience is the best way to find success with an affiliate campaign. For example, if you create cooking content, find brands that naturally fit this audience.
Last but not least, make sure you follow the FTC affiliate rules. This means you need to disclose your affiliate links clearly. Saying something is an affiliate link is usually enough. Even if you’re a small influencer, you still need to follow these rules.
Where to Find Affiliate Opportunities
Where can you find affiliate marketing opportunities if you’re an influencer? No matter your following size or the type of content you create, there’s an affiliate partnership that’s right for you. This is the perfect way to take your side hustle full-time.
The first place to check is with brands you already use. Look for an affiliate page or referal page on their website. Sometimes you’ll need to apply, but they should make their affiliate rules clear from the start.
If you can’t find an existing program, feel free to reach out yourself. You can contact the brand’s marketing department to see if they have an affiliate program already or if they’re considering partnering with creators. You’ll be surprised what happens when you ask!
Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?
If you’re already promoting the brands you love online, odds are it’s time to try affiliate marketing for yourself. While the payout might not always be large, it’s easy to get paid to promote the brands and products you already use.
No matter your following, it’s easy to get started. As you learn more about the things your audience wants to see, you’ll optimize your affiliate strategy to earn even more.