What are affiliate networks and how to use them

Affiliate networks are one of the tools of Internet marketing. This tool is willingly used by large companies, however, in SME enterprises it does not play a very important role. However, this is not a result of the fact that it does not work in a micro-enterprise, but rather of the fact that many entrepreneurs do not know how affiliate networks work and how to use their potential. On the other hand, the pattern of their operation is simple and does not require a significant time commitment. See what affiliate networks are and how to use them.

What is an affiliate network?

Affiliate networks are partnership programmes. Their task is to provide new channels of sales of products or services to entrepreneurs through the possibility of advertising them on the websites of partners registered in the programme.

How does the affiliate network work?

The operation of partnership programs is based on the participation of 3 parties: advertiser, partner and client. Advertisers, also called service providers, are companies that want to use affiliate networks to promote their brands and their products. Partners are owners of websites or other web portals (forums, blogs) who lend advertising space on their own media. Affiliate programme clients are Internet users who come into contact with advertisements and perform specific activities while encountering them. In the case of twinning, the fourth party, which is the programme promoter, owns the programme and coordinates the cooperation between all parties, is often also mentioned.

How to advertise in affiliate networks?

Advertising in affiliate networks is based on a signed cooperation agreement. It determines what form of advertising will be used and what its purpose is. In the first case, we can talk about such advertising formats as banners, mailings or AdWord advertisements. The purpose of such messages can be to go to the website, subscribe to the newsletter, leave contact details and even purchase the product. The messages prepared by the advertiser are placed on partners’ websites and are equipped with a link, we invite you to the website. This redirection is called a affiliate link and allows you to measure how many people actually went to the website / did the actions from the domain of a specific affiliate program partner.

How much does an affiliate advertisement cost?

The advertiser pays the remuneration to the affiliate, which depends on the results. Most often, Pey per lead settlements are used, i.e. for specific actions of a user, e.g. for filling in a subscription to a newsletter, Pay per Clik, i.e. a fixed fee for clicking on a given message, and Pay for Sale, i.e. a percentage settlement for the sale of a product or service advertised.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

The main benefit for companies using affiliate marketing is the dissemination of knowledge about their products/services online. This allows them to gain new customers and increases brand awareness. However, in order for this to be the case, affiliate marketing must be conducted to appropriate target groups, and the advertising message must be well prepared and respond to their needs. Not only advertisers but also partners benefit from affiliate marketing – it is a source of income for them.

Affiliate marketing is an interesting form of promotion, which is worth trying in the company. However, it should be remembered that if you want it to really work, all the elements must be properly prepared and planned. Poor quality materials, directing messages to inappropriate target groups, placing advertising next to controversial content or even promotion of competition make the effects of affiliate marketing small.

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