- 1 Affiliate Network vs Affiliate Program: Which Is Better?
- 2 Essentials of an Affiliate Network
- 3 Network Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Platform – Pros of Joining a Network
- 4 Affiliate Network vs Affiliate Program – Disadvantages of a Network
- 5 Affiliate Program Explained
- 6 Program Affiliate vs Network Marketing – Program Pros
- 7 Affiliate Program Cons
- 8 Starting Your Own Affiliate Platform
Affiliate Network vs Affiliate Program: Which Is Better?
In today’s world where marketing plays a key role in ensuring communication between producers and consumers, affiliate programs are becoming increasingly popular for promoting products and services. Generating 15-30% of sales compared to other marketing techniques, they are more than just the icing on the cake. However, if for any reason you have not yet used this effective marketing technique, you may be faced with a choice: affiliate marketing vs network marketing – which is best? Naturally, each of these options has its pros and cons. Looking ahead, if you join a network, you can benefit from existing opinion leaders and a large audience of potential customers. If you start a program from scratch, however, you will have far more control. In addition, the affiliate program sets stricter criteria for selecting webmasters based on their performance and experience, so that it generates more high-converting traffic. So, we’re here to compare the two to give you an answer to the burning question: affiliate marketing vs network marketing – which is better?
Essentials of an Affiliate Network
When we talk about an affiliate network, we mean a platform that is already set up and configured. Any affiliate program consists of three parties: a product creator, affiliates attracting traffic and and a consumer with the latter being the most important link since it ensures sales revenue. As for the network, it adds a fourth party that acts as a bridge between the product creator, affiliates and customers. On the one hand, it’s a turnkey solution which connects you to the Influencers. However, on the other hand, the network itself may be a client of the affiliate program, effectively reselling the offers.
A good example of an affiliate program is Parimatch Affiliates, a platform where betting affiliates promote sports betting. Parimatch Affiliates works directly with the Parimatch platform. Since Parimatch also includes an online casino section, it also has offers for casino affiliates promoting online slots, card and table games. As for the affiliate networks, they may work with products of different brands (products of different betting/gambling websites). Since the network has a low entry threshold, it can be an excellent starting point for low-skilled affiliates who are just taking their first steps in the business.
Network Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Platform – Pros of Joining a Network
The best way to find out affiliate marketing vs network marketing which is better is to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. So, by joining a network, you can expect the following benefits:
- Access to a database of Influencers. You will not need to search for webmasters willing to promote your product yourself.
- A low entry threshold. If you are a novice affiliate marketer, you can join a network to learn more about the specifics of the job and gain valuable experience.
- A wide range of offers. Networks usually collaborate with several – even competing – brands so it’s easy to find the right one for you.
To choose a network worthy of your attention, do a little research and read user reviews.
Affiliate Network vs Affiliate Program – Disadvantages of a Network
Wondering affiliate marketing vs network marketing which is best, you should also learn about the disadvantages of a network – check them out below:
- This is a paid option. To sign up to the network, you must pay a fee set by the provider.
- Additional charges. The network may charge a percentage of affiliate commissions, thereby taking away some of your profits.
- Low payouts compared to the affiliate program. This is due to the fact that networks are open to cooperation even with low-performing affiliates and often resell offers, which results in lower commissions.
Since the network may set limits on the number of links you can use and determine commissions for webmasters, this is not a good solution if you want more control.
Affiliate Program Explained
An affiliate program is a platform that collaborates directly with a specific brand and promotes only that brand’s products. You can create your own affiliate program in order to promote your products or those of other brands. Here is what you need to do to run your own program:
- Create a product (a good or a service) that you want to promote in order to make a profit on sales. However, this is not necessary, as you can also promote third-party products.
- Consider the terms and conditions under which your affiliates will work. You’ll probably need to develop marketing tools, implement payment models (e.g. CPA or RS), connect software to track the effectiveness of webmasters and much more.
- Launch a campaign to attract affiliates interested in working with you (willing to join your program).
If you’ve considered network marketing vs affiliate marketing and the latter option wins, you can run your website with ease as there are already many out-of-the-box solutions and plugins to automate most processes.
Program Affiliate vs Network Marketing – Program Pros
So, an affiliate program is focused on one specific brand, and from this the following advantages flow:
- Higher commissions for affiliate work as the affiliate program provides direct offers rather than reselling them as the network does.
- Quick feedback on any questions about the offers.
- Effective marketing tools aimed at promoting a specific product.
Finally, once decided to create your own platform to promote third-party products, you will receive a portion of the money earned by your affiliates.
Affiliate Program Cons
If an affiliate program had no disadvantages, probably everyone would launch their own. However, if you decide to set up your own platform, be prepared for the following challenges:
- The difficulty of finding high-performing webmasters. Thanks to social media and the power of hashtags, you can find Influencers. However, to lure them to your side, you must offer very advantageous terms.
- The complexity of setting up a program. You will have to spend a lot of time and effort to make your platform work well.
- Difficulty in learning the software tools. While there are many out-of-the-box solutions and services that automate many processes, you must first learn how to configure and use them.
Fortunately, there are many tutorials on the internet that will give you all the knowledge you need to create your own program.
Starting Your Own Affiliate Platform
So, whether you simply want to have more control over your business, or you want to make passive profits by promoting third-party products through affiliates, it is likely that you have opted for an affiliate platform of your own. If so, here are the 5 steps you need to take to run your own affiliate program:
- Choose which products you want to include in your platform. Start with a few products and gradually expand the range of supported ones as the platform evolves.
- Decide how much commission you will pay to webmasters. Depending on the niche, the rate ranges from 5% to 30%.
- Launch your platform website and set up the management tools. There are many off-the-shelf solutions on the market, so it’s easy to find options to suit your needs.
- Develop marketing materials tailored to your niche.
- Recruit affiliate marketers interested in working with you. Set favourable terms to attract experienced Influencers and weed out inefficient webmasters.
Finally, if you are an experienced affiliate marketer who wants to make good profits on affiliate offers directly from the product creator, when choosing between the affiliate network and the program, you should prefer the latter. First, you will receive higher commissions. Secondly, you will be able to resolve any issues with the affiliate offers promptly. Last but not least, you will have access to really effective marketing materials aimed at promoting a specific product.