Knowing what the options are for an affiliate program can help you to decide which is best for your e-commerce business. Choosing the right type can lead to more efficient time management and an increase in revenue from successful conversions via the affiliate link.
In the following section, we’ve included four different ways that brands and e-commerce businesses of varying sizes like to implement their affiliate programs, along with some successful examples for each.
1. Sponsored Posts on Instagram, Facebook, & Other Social Media
The classic example of an affiliate program is a campaign run through social media. An influencer or a popular page will already have an established community, so it can be a great place to showcase a product to a group of likeminded people. The post can serve as a demonstration of the product, and the affiliate can give affirmations and opinions that increase the likelihood of making a conversion.
There have been sponsored posts on social media for pretty much every product, with more common ones being beauty or sports related, and it continues to be a consistently impactful channel to pursue with affiliate programs.
2. Sponsored YouTube Videos
A YouTube video is a great place to implement ads from an affiliate program. This involves an ad, usually around 30 seconds to a minute long, that describes the product – often with a signature twist or spin from the YouTuber to align it with their voice and make it appeal more to their fans.
Common e-commerce businesses that utilise YouTube sponsorships include subscription boxes and premium products from companies like Manscaped or graze, and cosmetics products such as ones from ASOS or Keeps.
3. TikTok Video Shopping Ads
A now well-established platform for e-commerce, TikTok Shop and associated Video Shopping Ads provide a massively popular way to reach your target audience and show them your product in action. With over a billion users, and thousands of high-audience influencers, this is a budding market for affiliate programs to thrive.
Interested in TikTok Shop? Find out more with our beginners’ guide >
4. Sponsored Influencer Retreats
This is a far more involved and expensive process than many other affiliate programs and is usually reserved for trusted affiliates such as brand ambassadors. The business takes the influencer on an all-expenses-paid trip to a nice location such as a hotel abroad, paying them to make posts that advertise their products or services.
This usually results in a string of posts, videos, reels, and more, all with affiliate links or product branding that encourage fans to visit the site. A sponsored retreat is usually only implemented by massive brands for expensive campaigns and won’t be beneficial for traditional e-commerce marketing.
How to Implement an Affiliate Program
First you’ll need to find an appropriate affiliate. This means understanding the target market of your product, your budget, and the target market that the affiliate can reach. Once you find someone, or multiple people, that align with these aspects, you should send them an offer for an affiliate link.
This link or code will track the number of conversions you get, allowing you to pay the affiliate the appropriate compensation. At the same time, it will provide useful information on which affiliates are giving you good business and which ones aren’t. This allows you to refine your affiliate program over time.