It is high time we accept the elephant in the room – it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, deliver, engage and ultimately sell products or services to customers. Long gone are the days when marketers can only pay for advertisements and expect great results.

There are a lot of online advertisements that we install ad blocker in our browser on a large scale. And let’s face it – when was the last time you were encouraged to buy anything by online advertising? I always get badly disturbed by pop-ups, which make it impossible to access the content I want, and I feel like I’m not alone. This is why affiliate marketing comes in handy.

What is affiliate marketing

In theory, affiliate marketing is everyone’s dream. To say things directly, minimum effort, maximum revenue. Or, at least that is what all gurus and patrons of mill-rich-fast programs want you to believe. Theory and practice are two different things, so you should not expect to duck into a pool of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck soon.

A person in front of a board performs affiliate marketing and different marketing optimization strategies written on it.
There are associates who make a lot of money, and some with decent incomes. There is always a third group, which earns nothing.

Who exactly is affiliate marketing for?

Affiliate marketing is for everyone. If you are an expert in your niche and want to share your knowledge with a wider audience, then affiliate marketing seems like the right opportunity for you. Other people can benefit from your expertise, and you will receive an additional income. Seems like a win-win situation for everyone, right?

It is not wise to base your livelihood entirely, as you cannot predict whether people will be interested in the products you offer. What’s more, you only get a small percentage of sales. But when it comes to your online presence it can cover some of your basic expenses.

To start your affiliate marketing business you need a website or other means to communicate with your audience. You can use a lot of tools to do this, and we will discuss it in the next article. Just remember about some tracking mechanisms – it can be a cookie or a pixel. Without it, you will never know how many customers you have referred to a third-party website.

What to see

But, as always, there is a fly in the ointment. Do you remember that some of the most famous brands have failed in 2017? A popular hashtag can turn into a bashtag within minutes, so you always have to keep an eye on the social media channels of the brand being promoted.

Imagine you are collaborating with one of these companies, let’s say Pigeon or DiGiorno Pizza. Last year, Pigeon released an advertisement showing a black woman changing her skin color using Dove products. There was anger among the people from the campaign. No surprise – when it comes to insensitive advertising, Pigeon was very high at the top of the scale.

The Dow is a racially insensitive campaign showing people’s reaction to the brand 24 screen shot
A similar problem was with DiGiorno Pizza. This tweet was released in 2014:

View images on Twitter
8:53 am – 9 September 2014
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518 people are talking about this
The hashtag he used was #violent, a trending hashtag in defense of domestic violence victims. You did not have to wait long to see negative reactions on the Internet.

Screen shot of the Brand24 dashboard reacting to the DiGiorno hashtag

Your reputation, which you’ve probably built for at least two years, is on the line. And do you really want to be associated with a firm that was known for some racial slur for a few weeks or whose sloppy manager did not hashtag before launching the campaign? You can be blamed for a social media crisis that is not entirely your fault.

There are a few ways to get ahead of all social media storms (as Murphy’s Law teaches us, they usually occur when you are away from the keyboard with no Internet connection).

At Brand24, our helping hands are discussing alerts and volume charts. Whenever you get a notification, there is an unusual increase in the number of online mentions. You can protect your reputation, and we all know how much time and effort it takes to build a reliable online presence.

Okay, so you’re all set – you know how, you have an audience, you have a website, you track your conversions.