What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Can It Promote Products?

Affiliate marketing is a branch of digital marketing responsible for generating traffic and leads performed by a third-party service provider on behalf of a client. When a company needs to promote a new business, they reach out to an affiliate.

Affiliates own a network of email chains and websites to promote products and services through text ads, links, and banner ads. Affiliate advertising is excellent when you want to boost your company’s reach online.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is promoting products and services by a third party in exchange for a commission. In this branch of online marketing, three key things are at play: 

  • the advertiser
  • the affiliate
  • the customer

The advertiser, often a business looking to advertise their offerings, contacts an affiliate, such as a social media influencer or blogger, to have an agreement of promoting their products to the customers on their behalf. 

For every successful purchase that comes from the promotion, the affiliate receives a commission from the advertiser. This type of agreement can be beneficial to both parties, and it isn’t tricky to start.

Those who usually spend time on social media know it’s prevalent to see links embedded in a text discussing a particular product or service. These links generally lead to the webpage of the product or service being advertised. 

But this is not a simple case of spreading the word advertising–every click the link gets and every product purchased from that link earns the writer of the post a commission from the product’s company. Overall, that is the basic principle of affiliate marketing.

3 Types of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has three primary types, which are:

  1. Unattached Marketing

This affiliate marketing is where the affiliate has no attachment to the product or service they are promoting. This non-attachment can either be a lack of knowledge or expertise in the product or service area. 

That leaves the affiliate no room to discuss the goods other than basic promotion and advertising to their audience. Usually, it comes in the form of quick links, banner ads, and mentions. This type of affiliate advertising is usually quantity-driven, making it easy to find affiliates to incorporate into these types of affiliate marketing programs.

  1. Related Marketing

This type is different from unattached marketing in a way that it is more about affiliate authority. In related marketing, the affiliate promotes goods under the field they specialize in, such as a popular florist promoting a particular fertilizer to their audience. 

Because of the affiliate’s expertise in the product area, their voice or promotion has more weight than unattached marketing. So choosing this affiliate marketing model means that your product has a higher chance of getting noticed by the target customers. 

When customers see an expert promoting a product, they’re likely to trust their word. The only downside to this marketing is that fewer customers will be reached since the product is particular.

  1. Involved Marketing

This peak product-affiliate relationship model takes the affiliate’s personal experience with the product or service and the recommendations they make. Whether or not the product is within the affiliate’s expertise, they can create recommendations because of personal experience.

That is considered the highest quality model, but this type also risks the affiliate’s reputation if the product fails to meet the customers’ expectations.


Affiliate marketing is an effective strategy to promote your products and services to a broad audience. Used both by new and existing businesses, affiliate marketing helps boost offerings and promote business growth.