3 Ways Affiliate Marketing Can Benefit Social Media Influencers
If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you probably already know why affiliate marketing works. This powerful marketing method serves as an online referral program, where a trusted influencer gets a company’s product or service in front of the right buyer. Referrals still reign, in digital marketing, because savvy sellers know that they bring in big business without much of a financial investment and because they rely on a medium we all still value above all else — word-of-mouth.
There are three main players in the affiliate marketing structure: the business selling a product or service (the merchant), the publisher promoting said product or service (the influencer or blogger), and the consumer. All three must be benefitting from the structure in order for it to be successful.
We know that affiliate marketing has lots of benefits for businesses and consumers, but what about for the affiliates themselves? Indeed, there are lots of good reasons why popular social media personalities personally recommend items to their follower base online. Here are some of the top pros of working with companies as part of an affiliate program.
The number-one reason why most influencers choose to enter into affiliate contracts? Income, of course. How much an influencer can make varies widely, but surveys indicate that about nine percent of affiliate marketers generate more than $50,000 in affiliate income, while most are using this channel to pull in somewhere between five and twenty percent of their annual revenue. However, as you probably know, the earning income is basically limitless.
The highest-paid influencers — most of them running gaming channels on YouTube, surprisingly enough — are pulling in over $16 million per year. Of course, the big industry players are as rich in followers as they are in money, with many of them boasting over 60 million followers. Influencers have the ability to make passive income through digital affiliate marketing, not only by promoting links but also by embedding ads onto their website and other forms of selling.
2. It Helps You Grow FollowersRecommended For You Webcast, November 27th: Why Podcasting is the Ultimate ABM Strategy Register Now
As an influencer, your follower count is everything. Think of it as your most important stat, and the first thing most visitors to your profile will notice. Earning followers organically is a challenge for some influencers just getting started, and, though it may seem counterintuitive, promoting products and services on your social media channels can help you get even more popular online because it provides your fans with valuable, tailored content.
The key is to do it in a way that serves your follower base and doesn’t feel spammy. Remember that users prefer authenticity more than ever, and they’ll be immediately turned off if they feel like you’re “selling out” for a paycheck. Only choose to promote brands, products, and services that you genuinely recommend and have tried yourself. Also, make sure you follow all disclosure laws and are totally transparent with your audience about your relationship with the merchant.
In addition to giving you new ideas and content, an affiliate partnership also gives you access to brand-new audiences. Naturally, if the merchant has a strong presence online and opts to share your content, you can double or triple your base of fans and followers. Advertising partnerships with well-known brands can also boost your reputation and legitimacy, leading to more deals down the road.
3. You Can Work from Anywhere
Building up your influencer presence isn’t easy work, but it does provide you with the freedom you need to grow it into something big and meaningful no matter where — literally and figuratively — you find yourself in life. As long as you have a working internet connection, you can support your affiliate marketing stream. The freedom of this type of work is unmatched and integrates well into many lifestyles.
As an influencer, you’re already used to the day-to-day work of producing content, such as photos, videos, and blogs, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use that content to earn you even more money and clout. Building out a website or a blog is really the best way you can combine your influencer business with your affiliate income. Plus, you can work with your merchants to earn passive income by embedding banner ads onto your site.