Affiliate marketing is earning a commission through the promotion of other people's or company's products. We can view it as creating and marketing of a product or service across original parties, with each party receiving a revenue share as per their contribution. Notably, it is not only product creation or promotion that will define you as an affiliate marketer since you can become a creator and a marketer and still enjoy the underlying idea of revenue sharing.
Affiliate marketing is a skill-based approach that anyone can learn. It works by the spread of responsibilities of product marketing and creation among the parties involved. Affiliate marketing can thus leverage various individual's abilities to make the marketing process more effective while providing all the contributors with a share of the profits. The process involves the following parties:
Ø The Merchant.
Commonly known as a creator, seller, brand, retailer, or vendor, the merchant is the owner of the product and can be a company or an individual. They are not actively involved in the promotion process but only have the product or service to sell. In the affiliate program, anyone can become a merchant; thus, be not worried about finding products as you will a variety of merchants.
Sometimes known as the publisher, the affiliate can either be an individual or a company. The business of affiliate marketing often earns the affiliate a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars with the right strategies in place. The affiliate process is where the marketing occurs; they promote one or multiple products by attracting and convincing a potential customer of the value of the products that the merchant has for them to end up buying it.
The consumer or customer is very essential in making the affiliate process to work. They are the source of revenue for the merchant and the source of the commission for the affiliate. The affiliate is charged with seeking a customer in every means possible either through social networks, content marketing, or digital billboards. On a mention, the affiliate does not often know that they are part of the affiliate process; however, some affiliates choose to tell the potential customer as a form of incentive.
For many people, the network is often left out and not considered in the affiliate marketing process. The network is more than just the online platform or marketing media; it is the relationship and the interaction that you have with the people you intend to sell to. It acts as the intermediary between the affiliate and the customer; substantially, an affiliate may have to go through specific affiliate networks to promote a product
Affiliate marketing is a quick and inexpensive way of making money without the hustle of selling the product. To point out, one complicated issue that is often not addressed is, "How do I get paid as an affiliate marketer?" Well, here is an avid description of how you will be paid as an affiliate marketer.
The payment methods are dependent on the program one chooses:
Ø Pay Per Sale
The pay per sale program works similar to the traditional forms of marketing; it is the standard affiliate marketing structure. A merchant pays an affiliate an agreed percentage of any purchase that is made through the affiliate. Unlike other forms of marketing, the merchant sets the price hence the affiliate is only to compel the customer to make a purchase hence earn a commission.
Ø Pay Per Lead
This structure or program is however more complex as it requires more effort to generate enough income. The merchant pays the affiliate in the form of compensation based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate's work is to compel the customer or potential client to visit the website of the merchant and complete either of the desired actions of filling a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, newsletter subscription, downloading or sharing a software.
Ø Pay Per Click
The most common and effortless way of making money. The program focuses on incentivizing the affiliate to redirect a consumer from their marketing platforms to the website of the merchant. The affiliate, therefore, has to engage the consumer and convince them, persuade that is, to visit the website of the merchant; the pay is dependent on the amount of traffic generated by the affiliate.
Are you navigating this article and still not convinced why you need to become an affiliate marketer? Here are the reasons why you need to be one:
1. Source of passive income.
Generate more income by just featuring a product on your platform or leading someone to another platform.
2. There is NO customer support.
You will not be blamed or be held accountable for any sales that go awry; it is all to the merchant. You only need to ensure that you sell or lead people to authentic products and sites.
3. You get to work from home.
There isn't much to discuss here; today, people earn more while working online at the comfort of their homes, be sure to be one.
4. It is cost-effective.
Are you held back by financial constraints in starting your dream business? Maybe redirect your energy into affiliate marketing. It requires low startup fees of only acquiring a marketing platform, and you are set to go.
5. Convenient and Flexible.
You will be considered or consider yourself a freelancer; you will have the ultimate independence and freedom to set your own goals, how to market, the timelines, and products. Only beware that this freedom is directly proportional to your pay.
6. You get what you deserve.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based reward program; more effort and conversions translate to more income. Hone your reviewing skills and write engaging campaigns to enable you to improve your performance and overall income.
Affiliate Marketing Channels
While thinking of starting an affiliate marketing business, you must have thought about the media. There are several channels you can choose from to set up an affiliate marketing business:
1. Influencer Marketing
An influencer is a person who holds the power of impacting the purchasing decisions to a large customer base. They are in a great position to market from the affiliate marketing business as they already have an impressive following population; hence it easy for them to direct consumers to merchant products and websites through social media, blog posts, and other follower interactions.
Bloggers input more effort in analyzing the minor details of all aspects of life into significant issues and address them based on timelines or specified target audiences. Blogging works best for pay per sale as the blogger can review product or service and compel the readers to buy it. A blogger may also write posts and set up related posts through which they earn by pay per click or pay per lead programs.
3. Paid Search Focused Microsites
Microsites are distinct and separate from the main site of the merchant organization; they are advertised within a partner site or on sponsored search engine listings. The microsite ensures that it offers the client more focused and relevant content, which thus leads to conversions.
These are sites that are designed to create huge traffic amounts as they focus on building an audience of millions of subscribers. The websites may have banners and contextual affiliate links that would lead to more rates of conversions.
5. Email Lists
If you have a blog or a website, it is much easier to get email signups that you can send affiliate product recommendations and leads.
Affiliate Marketing Plan
Affiliate marketing is rapidly overtaking other forms of marketing as it wins more and more customers every day, all thanks to technological advancement. Affiliate marketing is also becoming more common, and people are taking it up with the increase in the number of websites. For you to become successful with affiliate marketing, you need a plan, and here are the tips:
A niche can be a product or service that you are passionate about, relates to your discipline or career, or you are more informed about. Choosing a niche comes first since it will determine the extent to which you will carry on with the affiliate marketing programs. You can also consider the marketability, competition, and possible merchant sources when choosing a niche.
After choosing a niche, build your marketing platform. The platforms may be through social media, blogs, or websites. The platform is vital since it is what would convince the merchant of your potential customer base for them to allow you to market their products.
3. Develop a rapport with the customers
Developing a rapport gives you an upper hand when it comes to winning the customers and even maintaining them. Create an audience with specific interests as you showcase the excellent reputation of the product or the brand. Consider creating compelling content for your readers or viewers in your platform that would lead to conversions.
It is more advantageous for one to create personal affiliate networks, which will help in tapping more customers. Creating an extensive affiliate network requires consistency and patience because you will begin with a low number, then the chain will keep on lengthening with time. The growth of the network depends on your trustworthiness, loyalty, and honesty; hence you should make sure that all the appropriate information that can attract as many customers are provided.
On a mention, social media platforms play a significant role in this. You should have a platform where the potential customers can ask questions, give their feedback, and for you also to address the raised concerns. The communication alone plays a vital role in maintaining the customers; thus, the site should be attractive, contain sufficient information and user friendly.
6. Leverage the power of influencers
Influencers can make a product to sell much faster. You may write blog posts about these influential persons, and their followers will be much compelled to read them, thus growing your readership and potential affiliate customer base.
Substantially, affiliate marketing success heavily lies in the types of plans put in place. The best ideas sell better, while inadequate methods result in low sales. The above procedures prove to be some of the best that can lead to rapid sales.
Selecting an Affiliate Marketing Program
The following are the tips to consider when choosing an affiliate marketing program:
Physical products have to manufactured, stored, and shipped; hence they are much challenging if not difficult to operate, which translates to the low rates of commission. Services, on the other hand, pay out more since they bank on numbers of users or sales to cover for the effort in such competitive markets.
2. The Commission Payouts
If you are going for pay per sale, consider a commission that is favorable and much easier to achieve, not unless it is fixed for certain products. Note the following:
Ø Selling more may increase the commission
Ø New program joiners may have some promotions
Ø The rate of commission varies for different products
3. The Referral Lifetime of the Cookie.
This is the time frame from the initial click to the purchase in which a person is eligible for a commission. A long lifetime of a cookie is more appealing since you will not have to worry about the customers or readers failing to click or convert; eBay is one such merchant that offers 60 days’ cookie lifetime. You thus need to pay close attention to the cookie lifetime policy whenever you are choosing an affiliate program.
4. The Payout Conditions of the Affiliate Programs
Many companies pay out monthly with only a few paying out based on the threshold amounts. One harsh truth is that you may not earn anything and worse of it all, some companies go ahead and charge you if you don't earn anything for some months. Go for threshold payouts; you only earn after reaching a specific target as this will make you sell more.
5. The Criteria of Acceptance
Every merchant wants their products to sell, making them open to all affiliates; contrarily, some merchants impose serious restrictions for one to become an affiliate. Take for example, Airbnb, who only allows affiliates with websites and with at least one million visitors every month, which explains the reason for their purported 10% commission on sales.
In addition to the mentioned factors, consider the size of the market or marketability of the product or service, the competition and earning per click. It is only after you consider all these factors that you will be able to make a rational or sound decision on the affiliate program company that is right for you.
Best Affiliate Products to Promote in Kenya
With a niche, you have a specific product to promote, for those without a niche, here is a list of best affiliate products to promote in Kenya:
1. Phone and Laptop [accessories].
2. Kitchen equipment.
3. Fashion wear.
6. Travel and Tourism.
7. Jewelry and watches.
9. Beauty products
10.Food delivery services and coupons
Best Affiliate Programs in Kenya
Affiliate programs or associate programs are mutual arrangements that describe the affiliate marketing plan. There are several companies offering affiliate programs in Kenya, ranging from online courses, website development sites to e-commerce platforms. The following qualifies to be some of the companies offering the best affiliate programs;
Jumia is an e-commerce platform for trading online; they have a variety of products, including fashion clothing, electronics, foodstuffs, among others. It is a market place of leading logistics and connectivity and is one of the best dealers on online purchases. Jumia's advertising media consist of banners, product feeds, and text links. It offers a 13% commission and cookie life of 7 days.
Travelstart is a traveling agency that serves both business and leisure travelers. It enables traveling individuals to make a comparison and get their best taste in means of travel and accommodation services. Travelstart agency works on a specific radius enabling it to serve specific audiences; this has disadvantaged some individuals outside the scope in addition to having specific rates of commission of $4 to $12 for domestic booking using the platform.
Kilimall is one of the largest online shopping malls in Kenya. Kilimall deals in a wide range of products, including; clothes, electronics, fashion, and home appliances. It offers training services for their affiliate for beginners via their website. Kilimall gives a 2% to 8% commission based on the category of the product.
4. iPay Africa
iPay Africa is an innovative payment processing solution across the African continent that has eased the use of payment methods such as M-Pesa, MasterCard, Kenswitch, Airtel Money across the among the nations at a very lower charge. It has helped in curbing financial insecurity, which was a challenge initially when transacting money. The percentage of commissions offered to clients is very friendly (2.5%); one can also earn up to 10% commission of iPay commission fees throughout the merchants transacting lifetime.
HostFiti helps small-scale businesses to create content online efficiently; one can easily use website builders to create a professional website at a lower price. Its success heavily lies in the creativity of the seller or the one promoting the brand. Creativity can be enhanced in the form of videos, banners. HostFiti Website Builder cookies have a lifespan of 45 days and 20% to 25% commission.
The company has partnered with Paysafe Income Access in creating an affiliate program that focuses on the Kenyan and Ugandan markets. The betting site pays out commission whenever a person joins through an affiliate link.
Topserve is a company specializing in accessories used in cake décor, packaging, and edible photo printing. If you are passionate about baking, this merchant is then for you; you will earn a commission of 5% on sales.
Other notable affiliate marketing programs in Kenya are:
Ø E-Pay Kenya
Ø E-Host Kenya
Ø African Point
Ø Kenya Website Experts
Ø Tropical Valley Tours and Travel
How to Build and Optimize a Marketing Audience
Building and optimizing the marketing audience is the initial stage that either reflects on the success or the failure in a business. It encompasses the creation of the target market or potential customers that would make purchases or lead conversions. Building a marketing audience requires patience on the side of the seller as customers are won in stages; they start as readers or info-enthusiasts then convert to potential customers.
1. Research on your target audience
Modern technology has significantly boosted research and knowledge on customer dynamics through social media platforms. Through frequent conversations, a seller will get to know the taste that the majority of the customers need, which can also influence the marketing language.
2. Take advantage of data and analytics
You can always track your website performance through affordable google analytics. Besides, social media platforms can enable you to create more appealing analytics by following the preference of the majority; this helps in even creating more opportunities.
Search engine optimization [SEO] is another meaningful way of optimizing the marketing audience. SEO refers to all the technologies and tactics used to boost the marketing ranking in a competitive field. For example, when one is searching on a specific topic on google, your ranking is necessary because the audience assumes that the first website is the best.
For the last ten years, social media has revolutionized the way people interact; this means that via social media platforms, one can win as many customers as possible. Through social media, you have everyone's attention, which makes marketing and interaction so much easier as they allow a seller to advertise their products to as many people as possible. On a notable scale, online presence seems to be the other name of success, but only in case the buyer can be able to create a good rapport with the customers and showcase the excellent reputation of the brand.
Technology has changed marketing strategies through software and data management. The power of automation originates from technology, whereby one can post the content on the social media platforms and win the customers automatically without reaching them physically. This helps in increasing the profit margin as the cost of expenditure is lowered. The power of automation helps in planning on the campaigns and gives the assurance that the budget-planning will be easy.
. The best form of online branding is to own a website, where the content about the brand can always be displayed. The is no general approach of branding because every brand uses different procedures concerning their target audience and the nature of the business they run.
Building and optimizing the marketing audience is much dependent on the follow-ups made by the seller, a good rapport created between the seller and the buyer, and the level of creativity employed in the marketing of a brand.
Successful Affiliate Marketing Tips
Affiliate marketing requires dedication, strict attention to the customers, adherence to the customer's preference. The following are some of the best tips for a successful affiliate marketer;
1. Be passionate about the job.
It is apparent that everyone that one can do what he or she loves better. Many have tried affiliate marketers just for money, but it has worked for a short period then collapses. Let it be something you enjoy doing and would be proud to wake up to every day.
2. Learn from others
There are several sources of information online of people detailing their experiences on how to go about affiliate marketing. All you need is 20 minutes of internet search.
3. Learn about the product you are promoting
This step has failed many marketers because they don't do enough research about the product; hence they cannot answer the questions posted by the customers correctly. In turn, customers tend to shy away as they perceive such marketers as untrustworthy and dishonest.
4. Be consistence
As an affiliate marketer, one should try to be consistent despite the challenges. You should always in touch with the customers; for example, one should be responding to the questions on the website frequently and even posting on the website at regular intervals.
5. Build a strong reputation in your niche.
Affiliate marketing has gone through some stages that make it more complicated as never before. Building a good reputation will help in winning more customers and retaining the already existing ones. This can be achieved by being polite, honest, and keeping in touch through communication with the customers. The complexity is brought by the competitive environment existing, which has contributed to the elimination of lazy marketers. The few who can compete stiffly experiences a wide profit margin.
Teamwork works best in affiliate marketing as it boosts the number of customers won because everyone will be posting the same content on different platforms. The team members will have different individuals following them, but the content is the same. A team discusses and comes up with the best ideas that favor the majority of the customers.
7. Make a plan
Every business success lies in the plans allocated. Best plans take the win everywhere, and affiliate marketing is not excluded in plan-making. The plan is just a sketch of the actual thing you want to do and acts as a directive measure in every step to be followed.
Beginners Mistakes in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketers make mistakes; many such errors are from ignorance, lust, and lack of experience. The mistakes are petty often costs the brand to eliminate them. The best way to deal with such simple errors is to go through them before making your final decisions. The following are some mistakes that are frequently made by beginners;
1. Wrong decision on the product to promote
The choice of the product to deal with has been a challenge to many affiliate marketers. This is a mistake that results from uncontrolled desire as many aims at promoting expensive products to earn more money only to generate fewer sales. Many affiliates also fail to consider other factors like the change in seasons; for example, one cannot decide to promote sweaters during the hot seasons. The best method to deal with this is to trade in many products that cater for such changes.
2. Poor website designing
A website is the best platform for marketing a product; therefore, it needs a proper design that can impress more audiences who are accessing it. Poorly designed websites drive away potential customers who are unable to get the content logically. Make your website user-friendly, easily accessible, and avoid putting up adverts without offering access to web content.
3. Low-quality content.
The content is the only driving factor of the customers; if it is impressive, the customers will have to promote the brand by buying the product. The materials should be published and posted after thorough proofreading by different skilled individuals to avoid this mistake.
4. Failure to give the updates
In case there are any slight changes that you will be working on, make the customer aware of it, including product or service updates by the merchants. These could be changes in price, improvement in the quality, and even in case of offers. Failure to give updates will drive away potential customers as they may consider you as incompetent.
5. Failure to track on the website performance
This is a mistake resulting from ignorance; many affiliate marketers assume that once they post their content on their websites, there is no need to revisit the site to check on its performance. Through data analytics, you will be able to know the level of engagement, and overall performance, thus make sound predictions and decisions for change.
6. Promoting too many products at the same time
Many affiliate marketers are tempted to choose too many products to promote at the same time. When all these products are posted on the same website, there won't be any logic in the content. Some customers' preferences may be down in the list; hence they won't be able to read all the information, but just quit.
7. Repetition of ideas
This results from the failure of one to research one keep on repeating the same content on their website. It often bores the audience because they will read the same thing repeatedly; you, therefore, need to get creative.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
In summary, you need to use the following strategies to get started with affiliate marketing in Kenya
Ø Choose a niche
Ø Choose and build a platform
Ø Find a program to join
Ø Create great and interesting content
Ø Drive traffic to the affiliate site
Ø Get clicks on your affiliate links
Ø Convert the clicks into sales
Go ahead and make money
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