Affiliate marketing is a payout to affiliates, generally influencers or media that promote your brand or product with a unique link that tracks their contribution to your sales. When a sale is made from their link, they earn a commission, generally 5%-10% of the product cost. You can think about affiliates, also known as publishers, as external salespeople for your brand — they essentially market your product, whether consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics or pretty much anything else you can physically sell.
As a communications executive, the first media outlet I really saw put affiliate deals to works was Wirecutter, a product reviews site that was quick to monetize and today sits within The New York Times Company. This new model was a critical development for publishers because media outlets struggled to make up for declining ad sales. Today, most media outlets have commerce teams that handle their affiliate programs. Transparency is critical, so most publish their terms to explain the separation of editorial content from affiliate programs.
Most influencers also leverage affiliate programs today. They use their personal brand equity and channels to endorse and promote products, with affiliate revenue often representing their largest stream of income.
The adoption of affiliate marketing today is incredible: 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage it, with spend increasing 10% a year, expected to reach $6.8 billion in 2020.
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Article Resource: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/06/05/we-are-living-in-an-affiliate-world/#1ec4f71d32a0