Generating leads and website traffic is hard work, but affiliate marketing allows online businesses to effectively market products and their brand with minimal budget, effort, and time. Affiliate marketing provides a win-win for companies and affiliates. 

Many businesses use an affiliate marketing campaign to grow their business because it is a cost-effective way to achieve high ROI, increase brand awareness, and expand to new markets. Using affiliate marketing software allows ultimate visibility of your program’s performance-based success, which can be challenging to track with other traditional advertising methods.

Businesses are not the only ones reaping affiliate program benefits. Content creators also enjoy plenty of affiliate marketing benefits. When establishing affiliate partnerships with businesses, creators develop a passive income stream that allows schedule flexibility while doing what they enjoy – writing and creating content to grow their personal brand. Today, we’ll go over the top 10 benefits of affiliate marketing strategies for brands, plus five bonus ways that it benefits content creators. 

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model that involves recruiting content creators, or affiliates, to promote a company’s products and brand. The affiliates often promote a company through blogs, social media, email marketing, or websites they own. But regardless of the way they promote, they’ll always place a trackable link to the brand’s website or product page within their content or bio. Each time someone clicks and purchases via the shared affiliate link, the affiliate earns a cash commission or other incentives. This revenue-sharing model motivates affiliates to keep promoting the brands they’ve partnered with.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

More and more businesses are learning about the benefits of affiliate marketing and are implementing it into their online marketing strategies. Working with affiliates is a low-cost way to promote your website and products to a broader audience, while ensuring that it is consistent with your other marketing efforts and that it will help achieve maximum results.

Affiliates’ established niche audience, and the trust affiliates built with their followers, allow you to grow your business more quickly than you could on your own. Whether you’re an e-commerce retailer, a B2B SaaS, or another business, you stand to benefit from affiliate marketing (assuming your business is ready and able to recruit affiliates and pay out consistent commissions). 

Why does affiliate marketing work so well? Here are the top 10 benefits of affiliate marketing for businesses that you need to know.

benefits of affiliate marketing rr

1. You’ll extend your reach among a targeted audience

Since you handpick affiliates, you can ensure they already have an audience that matches your target audience. Therefore, you’ll receive the advantage of leveraging the affiliates’ pre-established audiences via their word-of-mouth advertising for your brand. The affiliates’ posts can reach thousands of eyes at once, who will likely be interested in your products. 

You can also choose the specific product page or landing page link your affiliates share, to target an even more narrow niche based on specific interests. So, affiliates passionate about your business can rapidly increase brand awareness across a relevant audience. 

2. Affiliates generate traffic and leads

Affiliates use direct links to send traffic to your website via their own websites or social channels. Therefore, you open up new, trackable marketing channels. Affiliates utilize their strong persuasive writing skills and digital marketing expertise to create content that increases their own post views, while simultaneously driving traffic (and potential customers) to your website. And usually, the more traffic affiliates send to your site results in more sales for your business. 

Although affiliate links don’t directly boost your SEO, the reputation boost affiliates create may also help with search engine rankings because more traffic is coming to your site.

3. Affiliates drive sales through trust

Similar to a referral marketing program, affiliates have built trust with their audience and are viewed as trusted authorities for product recommendations. So, affiliates’ followers are more likely to purchase a recommended product and trust their opinions and reviews of your products. Affiliates’ recommendations are far more effective at gaining trust than ads and other messaging directly from your business. The affiliates’ trust factor and extended reach allow you to scale your advertising efforts with affiliate marketing relatively quickly. 

benefits of affiliate marketing: top customer acquisition method


4. Affiliates help boost your reputation

The trust affiliates have with their audiences translates to trust in your brand. Therefore, when audiences see reputable affiliates talking about your brand positively, it helps boost your brand’s reputation. Affiliate marketing is great way to build up social proof surrounding your brand. 

5. Affiliate programs let you reliably track ROI

While tracking return on investment for some marketing campaigns can be hard, you can easily track affiliate programs, so you always know how affiliates are performing. Affiliate links allow every sale to be traced back to the affiliate responsible, for full visibility on conversion rates and more. Therefore, you’ll always know which affiliates are top performers and those who may require additional guidance and support. Using data from affiliate-linked purchases, you can also determine which products perform well via affiliate marketing. 

Bonus: Usually, it’s hard to track the ROI of social influencer marketing. But if you treat influencers as affiliates and give them trackable links, you have a way to measure these influencers’ sales metrics and have full visibility on their campaigns’ ROI.

6. Affiliates do the marketing for you

Although there’s upfront work involved in finding the right affiliates, once you’ve established an affiliate marketing program, it practically runs itself. You’ll have affiliate marketing software to automatically track affiliate engagement, which motivates affiliates to create more traffic and sales for you. Affiliates understand the benefits they gain from participating in affiliate programs, and will create more than just one or two pieces of content for you. Instead, they’ll be driven to create and optimize multiple content pieces to increase your sales via their affiliate links. 

7. Affiliates offer all the benefits of partnerships

Although affiliate marketing shares similarities with channel and distribution partnerships, affiliate partnerships are often easier to establish. You’ll build a valuable, long-term relationship with your affiliates that can help identify new markets, lead to reaching new verticals, and generate more qualified leads. The affiliates’ extended reach and expertise can help you achieve goals out of reach on your own.

8. Affiliate programs are cost-effective when done right

One of the most appealing affiliate program benefits is the low startup cost with the ability to drive significant results. Once affiliate programs are set up, they continue to be cost-effective to maintain when following affiliate marketing best practices

If you’re using affiliate marketing software, you’ll only pay for the software and affiliate commissions, while the affiliates essentially create free content for your business. Affiliate marketing is typically significantly less expensive than traditional advertising methods, such as PPC. 

9. Affiliate marketing is low-risk

Since you’ll only be making payments when affiliates drive conversions for you, affiliate marketing is also a low-risk marketing channel. You’ll only pay affiliates when they help you make a sale, so you’ll only spend when you see results. Contrast this with other forms of marketing (like paid ads), where you must spend money before seeing performance results.

10. Affiliate marketing is flexible

Once you have an affiliate marketing program in place, scaling up or scaling back your efforts is simple. Adding more affiliates, or choosing to focus only on select affiliates, can help you scale your business without breaking the bank.

 In addition to changing the number of affiliates, you can change the commission and reward structures as needed, to keep your affiliate payouts both competitive and affordable. You can also choose to give affiliates discount coupons for their audiences, which they can share to help increase your sales (and their commissions).

Bonus: 5 benefits of affiliate marketing for affiliates

We’ve discussed the benefits of affiliate marketing for business, but it also benefits content creators. Affiliate marketers are typically bloggers or social media influencers who create compelling content. Some even have dedicated affiliate websites (affiliate product sites), focused on promoting other businesses’ products and services within a given niche.

Similar to how affiliate marketing helps companies promote their products and increase sales, it’s a way for content creators to quickly and efficiently monetize their content. 

  • Affiliates can generate a passive income stream while doing what they love on their schedule. Some affiliates use their affiliate marketing as a full-time job, and others use it as a secondary but still significant source of revenue. 
  • Affiliates have the ultimate flexibility: they set their own schedule, choose their niche to write content that resonates with people and allows them to earn money, and pick the products they want to promote. 
  • Affiliate marketing enables creators to network with stakeholders at various companies and build lasting relationships that can impact their future growth.
  • Affiliate marketing is low-risk for the affiliate, just like it’s low-risk for businesses. Affiliates simply set up a link on their site at no cost to them. As long as the affiliate wisely promotes products based on their niche, they will make money simply by having the link sit on their website, blog, or social channel.
  • And just like brands can track the performance of affiliate programs, affiliates have high visibility of their campaigns’ performances to adjust strategies as needed.

 Affiliate marketing is a true win-win for businesses and content creators. 

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for Affiliates


Are you ready for an affiliate marketing program?

While there are many affiliate program benefits, you must meet the following five criteria to reap all of them and create a successful affiliate program:

  1. Have access to content creators with an audience that matches your business to ensure recruitment of good-fit affiliates.
  2. Sell products that appeal to a wide audience. 
  3. Have high profit margins.
  4. Be willing and able to pay cash commission for every sale from affiliate links.
  5. Have high customer retention rates, which ensures you are set up for affording repeat commission payouts. 

If you check all these boxes, starting an affiliate program can help you share your brand with an extended audience and increase ROI. However, if you do not meet the above criteria,  you’re running a small business, or your business is only at the beginner stages, a customer referral program may be a better fit for allowing customers to share your brand with their network. 

Affiliate software: The best way to reap all the benefits

To properly reap the benefits of an affiliate program, and have full control over your program, you’ll need to use affiliate software. Many benefits can only be reaped with software. You won’t get all the above benefits of affiliate marketing if you choose to outsource your program to an affiliate network. 

  • Affiliate software gives you full control over your affiliate data. But an affiliate network owns your data and may withhold information that you need to properly gauge your affiliates’ ROI. 
  • Affiliate software also gives you full control over your affiliate relationships, letting you build meaningful connections. You own the affiliate partners that you register in your program when you use software. But affiliate networks act as a middleman: they own the affiliates on the network, and deprive you of the chance to communicate directly with affiliates.
  • Affiliate software is cost effective, as you’ll only need to pay for the software and for affiliate commissions. But affiliate networks take a cut of your sales (sometimes up to 30% of your sales), and may charge other additional fees, on top of the commissions you’ll pay affiliates. 
  • Affiliate software helps keep affiliates engaged with your program, through automated reminders and updates. Affiliate networks don’t help you keep affiliates engaged, because the network benefits when affiliates join (and divide their time between) many programs hosted on the affiliate network.
  • Affiliate software offers full flexibility to customize a program how you want. But on an affiliate network, you can only create your program within certain boundaries that the network allows.

compare affiliate software vs affiliate networks

Wrapping up

To summarize, affiliate marketing programs provide a wealth of benefits for businesses and affiliates. Companies can enjoy increased website traffic and leads, broader target audience reach, reputation boost, and better ROI tracking with lower costs than traditional marketing efforts.

Also, affiliates use their position of trust to recommend your products, making it easier to convert and engage with new customers and expand into new markets. Affiliates do the marketing for you to give you more time to focus on growing and improving products and services.

Content creators enjoy the benefits of affiliate marketing by earning money for creating and sharing content with their audience with the flexibility to make it work around their schedules. Also, the connections made with stakeholders of various companies allow affiliates to expand their efforts further and reach new heights. 

Do the benefits of affiliate marketing sound appealing to you, and are you ready to start an affiliate marketing program? Learn how to develop one in our guide on starting an affiliate program, or read our list of affiliate marketing tips and ideas. Also, check out how our affiliate marketing software can help affiliates track their activity and allow you to see program performance easily.