Monetizing Social Media Audiences: Incremental Influencer Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

Łukasz Pośpiech

Who would have thought that programmatic ad performance would enter influencer affiliate marketing strategy? Well… we would.

Monetization opportunities for influencers are nothing new in the business, as advertisers, influencers, and audiences have all gotten used to the standard product and service endorsement.

But there is a format that gives influencers-publishers more control over conversions and unparalleled granular targeting opportunities.

Let us explain how you can safely and effectively monetize your social media traffic.

What is influencer affiliate marketing?

Influencer affiliate marketing is a way of traffic monetization that allows you, as an influencer, to access the best converting, cherry-picked offers by legit brands. With affiliate link ad placement in your social media (feel free to experiment with exact placements) you’re able to send your users only to trusted brands, and earn money with each click.

This being said, you’re able to create a space for your followers to complete relevant purchases and to cooperate with the most legit advertisers. And Zeropark tools filter out bots and non-compliant ads from your offer – so that all the parties involved benefit. Affiliates promote products in your links, and they pay for every impression provided by you.

We understand that for a newcomer, the performance marketing vocabulary may be new. Therefore, we encourage you to see our glossary! But the most important thing you’ll need to remember is that by signing up for an affiliate program, you’re still an influencer, but at the same time become a publisher – a part of traffic providing supply side!

How does it work?

The model is fairly simple. You provide an ad placement by pasting a link somewhere in your social media channels and telling your audience about the offer. Once a user visits it, you can count it as a sold visit. The more conversions occur from these visits, the more attractive of a target you become.

This means that more parties will compete for your ad placements, so they become of an increased value. This is how you earn more by providing legit and safe offers to your audience.


Pricing method in influencer affiliate monetization

Pricing models in affiliate marketing are different, and you can read more about them in our dedicated blog post. But realistically, Cost-Per-Click (CPC) will be the most important model that influencers need to get accustomed to.

It’s an indicator of how much money is to be paid for every single click that you provide to an advertiser. Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) is a variation of basically the same metrics but presenting a cost for a thousand impressions.

The way that this cost model works probably sheds the most light on how to earn more as an influencer in affiliate marketing. Since you’re getting paid for every click, then you need to find a way to attract more of these.

Social Media channels to use in affiliate marketing

Of course, influencers are not all the same, and you may be wondering whether the characteristics of your reach and the platforms you’re using will fit this advertising model. The great thing about influencer affiliate link format is that no matter the platform you’re using, you’re able to become a valid publisher for branded offers.

Just like in standard collaboration with brands, all sorts of social media influencers can become impactful publishers. The affiliate link format allows them to embed their promoted brand’s ad placement in all sorts of environments.

Monetizing Instagram traffic

If anyone still thinks that Instagram is just an online photo album, they are deeply mistaken. Now Meta-owned application is celebrating its 12th birthday, and in 2022 it’s the 7th most visited website on the entire planet. And to be frank, we’re sure that someone tried connecting to Instagram somewhere from ISS, so the reach probably doesn’t include the Earth only.

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is still beating TikTok, and only Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp are the social media platforms ahead of it in terms of daily active users, (rocking 1.3 million active accounts a day). Therefore, it’s obvious that brands and advertisers are looking for safe ways to promote to these audiences.

Another great thing about Instagram is that it really allows you, as a creator (and publisher), to step up your game by promoting your unique links in different placements. Each format has its own characteristics and will appeal to slightly different audiences. Hence, Instagram is probably the most versatile social media platform out there, at least in terms of affiliate marketing strategies and possibilities.

Instagram influencers are free to use Instagram stories, the skyrocketing in popularity of Instagram Reels, as well as standard posts and Instagram profile description link placements.

Monetizing YouTube traffic

YouTube link placements may be a little less engaging, given the character of a platform, as it’s, generally, less interactive. But it does not change the fact that its traffic can become a real value in the hands of a competent publisher.

YouTube creators have the power to engage their audiences for extended periods of time, as well as efficiently build credibility and attachment to the audience. Affiliate networks offer them a chance to monetize their incredible number of visits. We already mentioned that YouTube is in the top 3 platforms when it comes to daily active users with 1 billion hours’ worth of content watched every single day.

And as much as putting an affiliate link inside the video file proves not to be the most efficient, since people will have no possibility to click it, YouTubers are able to place these in the descriptions of their materials, endorse these during live streaming, in video annotations, the community tab, in YouTube Reels as well as add them in the channel description.

Monetizing Telegram reach

It may not be an obvious choice in all countries, but Telegram influencer marketing is steadily becoming more and more important. The communication platform is known for its data privacy protection, has attracted more than 550 million active users every month, and is currently the 10th most popular social media platform in the world.

Since the communicator is not only designed to provide direct messages between two users but also offers a comfortable way of creating and catering to communities, it’s no surprise that it has created a space for opinion leaders and influencers to establish direct relationships with followers.

Unsurprisingly, this directness very positively affects influencer affiliate program efficiency. The contextual relevancy of audiences gathered in one community is also on the highest of levels, which is always an indicator of the best-performing publishers.

Monetizing TikTok traffic

TikTok is perceived as the most Generation Z-oriented social media site out there, but that is not entirely true. In fact, people over the age of 24 make up more than 35% of the platform’s users, and we already know how active these audiences are – 90% of platform users visit the app more than once a day.

Monetizing the traffic is another logical step that has been already taken – TikTok rocked 2021 with more than $2.3 billion in consumer spending. Adding affiliate links to social media posts and conducting well-targeted affiliate marketing campaigns is not a novum, but the access to legit and recognized brand partners elevates this partnership to a whole new level. A level that brings value to everybody: advertiser, publisher, and the user.

Another great thing that TikTok offers and the other platforms are only trying to imitate, is the probability of reaching audiences that are not necessarily your followers… yet. Producing viral content is relatively easier there, and thanks to a precise algorithm, reaching completely new accounts becomes achievable.

Monetizing Facebook traffic

The story goes that Facebook is being slowly but steadily put into the closet, but the data suggests something radically different. Zuckerberg’s creation is still number 1. as the social media platform with the most active users every month. And maybe the month-to-month growth is not that impressive (up to 3.8% monthly in 2020 and 2021), but we need to remember that Facebook already has 2.936 billion active users. The scale makes the biggest difference here.

Facebook’s recent updates and investments put the company’s focus on business-oriented features. But in recent years we’ve seen new opportunities to streamline audiences and followers coming to Facebook. Livestreaming, interest groups, Marketplace… these environments, alongside standard Facebook pages and stories, become highly converting, and really interesting for brands and advertisers.

Monetizing Twitch traffic

Livestreaming was already briefly mentioned when we mentioned Facebook and YouTube traffic opportunities for affiliate marketers. But there is more to that trend, as live viewership is not just an addition anymore. Twitch, which is undoubtedly the market leader in live streaming services, has been only gaining popularity.

In the US, even before the global pandemic changed people’s online behaviors, in 2019 126.7 million people watched live transmissions. But the expectations are really high and by 2024 the total viewership numbers are supposed to reach 164.6 million. Globally, this phenomenon has an even wider reach.

Twitch creators can easily engage with live audiences via chat. The live conversation becomes a great opportunity to advertise affiliate links. The unique link could be put in the description, or even be visible at all times as a widget.

Other social media available for affiliate marketing

The social media platforms that were mentioned above are obviously not the only choices. The likes of Pinterest and WhatsApp can become platforms for monetization of your influencer traffic as well. And as cross-platform reach is usually the best strategy for influencers, make sure to diversify and collect subscribers or followers in the whole spectrum of places.

Traditional influencer endorsement

Some of our readers may be still wondering how affiliate links for influencers differ from traditional product placement, sponsored content, and standard influencer endorsements.

In the traditional advertising proposed by influencers, the target audience is exposed to a direct advertisement and endorsement on chosen channels. Some brands use special promo codes to be able to settle with the influencer based on how many sales they provide, but this is not an industry standard.

Becoming a publisher is, besides changing the label for a more ‘professional’ one, an opportunity for somebody who has an online reach to monetize it in a safe and favorable way, but also to elevate themselves to the next level of online marketing business.

Although the two may sound similar to the inexperienced ear, the affiliate link strategy allows you to monetize every single purchase-oriented person you direct to the offer instead of you ‘becoming a billboard’. By accessing the affiliate campaigns for legit brands, you’re making sure that only quality marketers representing quality brands can access your traffic.

The more competitive these clicks become, the higher the bids for them during RTB (real-time bidding). Affiliate marketers will want to target your traffic more when you prove that it’s of high quality and offers many conversions.

This form of cooperation with an affiliate network proves to be highly efficient, as, in every stage of it, a maximum standard is required. Low-yield marketing campaigns and traffic will be immediately caught. This way brands are represented only in safe ad placements, affiliate marketers are granted granular and carefully selected targets, and publishers (the supply side) can rest assured that they offer only safe offers to their user base.

Adblock-free affiliate marketing solution

Although undoubtedly a great feature for users, adblockers have become a nightmare for every affiliate marketer. Their efficiency greatly decreases standard affiliate income on the most common advertising placement. But it does not affect influencer marketing in any shape or form, which only elevates the value of every click won.

Influencer marketing grants access to a highly motivated audience

Another aspect of influencer marketing that needs to be highly stressed is the power of influence. The study shows that 49% of people trust the recommendations they hear and see online, and 40% of online users have at some point decided to make a purchase after hearing influencer recommendations.

This only showcases how efficient the online endorsements are, and psychologically, this makes perfect sense. Since people have a strong need to feel that they are part of a society, they tend to accept common opinions. And since influencer marketing revolves around the concept of opinion leadership, this explains why affiliate marketing is so efficient, and why clicks provided by an influencer are the most desired target audience in the industry.

The fact that social proof works does not need to be stated, as, for many years now, we have all seen ample evidence for it. But if you feel like this is still something you’d need more explaining on, feel invited to see the below animation prepared by 365 Careers.

Tips for successful influencer affiliate marketing

Please see the below set of tips we have for influencers who want to turn into successful publishers and safely monetize their social media reach:

  • Always control your statistics. Consult with your Zeropark Account Manager to maximize the earnings;
  • Interest more people with your content. Provide a brand-safe environment for advertisers;
  • Always stay in touch with your Zeropark support team members;
  • Create a multi-channel audience to attract people with various media preferences;
  • Stay natural and keep your traffic organic. Fake clicks and bots will be immediately detected by the Zeropark Compliance Team;
  • Follow the trends to make sure users and brands find you attractive.

Summary: Who can become an influencer-publisher?

As already mentioned, affiliate marketing is open to everybody who can offer brands their reach. It’s natural that more prominent influencers will offer more clicks, and because of the scale, their monetization opportunities will increase. But this does not mean that only they are able to capitalize on this affiliate link model.

Becoming a publisher-turned-influencer is a grand occasion for micro-influencers as well, as it’s only up to them how much and how valuable traffic they’ll provide to the brand offers. Remember that affiliate marketing is for all influencers on brand-safe platforms and with a highly motivated user base.

  • Instagram influencers;
  • TikTok influencers;
  • Twitch streamers;
  • YouTube influencers;
  • Facebook influencers;
  • Telegram influencers;
  • Pinterest influencers;
  • WhatsApp influencers;
  • And more.

Micro-influencers and niche-oriented influencers

Not categorizing influencers by context and believing all are alike is probably the biggest mistake we could be possibly making. Fortunately, this is not the case here, and we understand perfectly how different niches attract different audiences. With precise targeting tools available for Zeropark advertisers, we’re able to match your user base’s intent and preferences with contextually relevant ads.

The portfolio of influencer-publishers could be growing without limits, and here are only some of the community niches that could be targeted with top affiliate brand offers:

  • Travel influencer;
  • Fashion influencer;
  • Lifestyle influencer;
  • Home decor influencer;
  • Coupon influencer;
  • Sports influencer;
  • Toys influencer;
  • Family influencer;
  • Gaming influencer;
  • Music influencer;
  • Food influencer;
  • Automotive influencer;
  • Pop culture influencer;
  • Educational influencer;
  • And many more!

Why is joining the affiliate model worth it?

Although it might look scary for unseasoned influencers, Zeropark onboarding makes the transition to the affiliate influencer monetization model flawless. And all that you can expect from this move are positive outcomes, as long as you make sure you provide valuable content and traffic. Among the biggest advantages of affiliate links, you’ll find that they are:

  • Flexible;
  • Efficient;
  • Automatic;
  • Safe for all parties involved;
  • Adblocker-proof;
  • Easy to comprehend;
  • Long-lasting;
  • Cookieless (without third-party data processing).

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Łukasz Pośpiech

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