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 most popular ways people make money online. It is a strategy where an individual partners with a business in order to make a commission by referring readers or visitors to a business’s particular product or service.
The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates, and specialized third party?vendors.?
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other?Internet marketing?methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular?advertising?methods. Those methods include?organic?search engine optimization?(SEO), paid?search engine marketing?(PPC – Pay Per Click),?e-mail marketing,?content marketing, and (in some sense)?display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with?referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while?referral marketing?relies more on trust and personal relationships.
Websites and services based on?Web 2.0?concepts—blogging?and?interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal?bloggers, writers, and independent website owners.?Contextual ads?allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance,?YouTube?allows?video-makers?to embed advertisements through Google’s?affiliate network.?New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.