Affiliate marketing occurs when content publishers use an affiliate link to promote another retailer’s product or service and earn a commission.
Affiliate marketing is the networking of advertising and promoting products. In this model, a third-party content publisher — an influencer, a consumer, or a business — promotes a product or service for another retailer or brand. The promotion often includes a call to action (CTA), which typically encourages a consumer to purchase the product.
When the consumer clicks on the affiliate link and heeds the call to action — in this case, purchases the product — they’re sent through to the original retailer’s or brand’s ecommerce site to complete the transaction. When the transaction is complete, the affiliate promoter receives a commission on that purchase.
Affiliate marketing can scale up or down: Promoters could publish a one-time link or build an entire business around promoting third-party products. In the highly connected ecommerce world, affiliate marketing is a creative (and often lucrative) way to draw on the power of referrals, reviews, and social proof.