Affiliate marketing is an awesome way to earn passive income. Aside from getting paid or getting freebies from the sponsor brand, you get to earn commission percentage from their sales as well. This is also a good way for you to somehow measure the strength of your influence. More usage of your affiliate code shows the power of your charisma.
It usually does not require sign up fees as well. You are helping out to empower the sales of a brand after all. Payouts vary from brand to brand though. Also, you as an influencer is a brand itself so you have to consider that brands you associate with as well. Like a celebrity, your image reflects on which brands you affiliate with.
Is It Okay To Get Sponsored? Will It Affect Credibility?
There is nothing wrong with getting sponsored as well. We all have our needs and wants, too, in order to live so the cycle of money is continuous. What’s wrong is declaring something sponsored as not sponsored. That’s when credibility incredibly falls.
Some influencers have done this and got bad feedback from online users. When they get notorious for being inauthentic like this, their followers, views, and supporters may drop then affiliates and brands may stop partnering with them. It can be a big blow to both their online life and even personal life. Privacy is a bit scarce after all if you’re a celebrity or influencer.
There must be a balance of pros and cons. Favoring the sponsor is of course natural since it is a sponsorship after all. But nothing is perfect so it’s okay to detail some flaws or dislikes from your end to truly be your authentic self. The online presence of being approachable and like a friend to all is the approach so authenticity in reviews is a must. You may also serve as a consumer’s voice to the sponsor/brand in terms of what may need improvement.
In a way, you are also doing a service to your followers or fans by giving them discounts or whatever promo with brand/s or product/s that they may possibly be interested in as well. It’s a win-win scenario. You can also vouch for fellow influencer friends to take part in a brand’s affiliate program so that they, too, can possibly earn a commission. Support culture is widely practiced online after all.
While we’re at it, PlainLosAngeles is an example of a brand offering affiliate marketing program. The young brand offers quality plainclothes and other lifestyle products. A portion of their sales goes to several global reforestation programs, too. It is a brand with advocacy that many influencers can associate themselves with. Based in LA, the brand ships worldwide so that anyone can enjoy the minimalist fashion lifestyle.
Affiliate Marketing Online
The affiliate marketing term is very broad yet it gives us a sense of what it is. It relates to marketing a brand, product, or service through various affiliations of people, brands, or businesses to help elevate themselves in terms of brand awareness and sales.
The advertising in this can be both subtle or obvious. An example of an obvious ad with an affiliate could be directly and briefly discussing the brand and its product or service in their vlog or posting it as a caption in their Instagram post. A subtle way would be wearing or using the sponsored brand within the affiliate’s content but not openly discussing the sponsor’s services or products.
Back when vlogging was not still the trend, blogging was its origin wherein website owners will write about the sponsor and its products/services. It can be done directly as well with a whole article describing and detailing about it or it can be done subtly with a brief nod to the sponsor of the post at the end of the article. It still is an ongoing occurrence to those who do not desire to venture into vlogging.
Before GDN, website owners would join blog networks to build relationships, more audience, and possible sponsorships as well. This was popular before Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube grew.
What’s Next for Affiliate Marketing?
The Internet is so massive and with connectivity available globally, the online space is not definitive in terms of its overall shape or direction. Trends and virality may either be seeded or effortless. Even with affiliate marketing, the direction it went from website ad space and blogging to vlogging was guided by online user consumption and creation.
For now, it seems that affiliate marketing may become similar to celebrities’ being tied to various agencies in terms of sponsorships. Influencers and content creators may be attracted to join a sophisticated and very rewarding agency-type of organization if such will emerge to make content creation and consistent earning more harmonious for their lifestyle. If not, it can be a totally independent culture with no guarantee of until when you will be riding the highs of popularity and earnings but again, it is a proposed passive income generator after all.